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If you'd like to check out a similar puzzle I made, check out The Word Web of horror - Clue Twenty Two.


Oops. You think, that after the spider invited the fly in, I'd be smart enough to stay away from the spider's house. But no. I foolishly wandered too close, and now I'm trapped here, stuck in this Word Web. However, the spider has offered to let me go if I can correctly guess her age. The problem? I don't know how long super-huge ginormous spiders live!

Luckily, she gave me a way to find out. The Word Web that I was wrapped in, she told me, would reveal the answer - I just had to find the numerical value of the final word. She also told me it was less than 50, but above 20. Can you help me find her age and get out of this mess?


If you haven't heard of a word web before, this is how it works. The final answer is a single word. To get to that word, you have to trace a trail back.

You start with groups of four words. Each of these four words is connected to a parent word - either in an idiom, or if they can be put together to make a different word.
For example, if you have the words SMITH, PITCH, CAT, and JACK, then those four words will lead you to BLACK.

In this case, words C3a through C3d will give you C3. C-4 will give you C. A, B, C, and D will give you the final answer - which you can then use to find her age.


A1a - BRIDGE
A1b - FIRE
A1c - BEAD
A1d - QUICK

A2a - OVER
A2b - LIGHT
A2c - SHINE
A2d - MAN

A3a - PILL
A3b - EYE
A3c - SKY
A3d - COLLAR

A4a - DAISY
A4b - AIR
A4c - LEGS
A4d - MEAT

B1a - HEAD
B1b - BREAD
B1c - EYE
B1d - SLEEVE

B2a - SMALL
B2b - GOOSE
B2c - DOWN
B2d - MOTHER

B3a - BEAT
B3b - FAINT
B3c - AT
B3d - CHANGE

B4a - UP
B4b - BABY
B4c - BACK
B4d - OUT

C1a - PAINT
C1b - BED
C1c - BLANKET
C1d - EARS

C2a - KING
C2b - QUEEN
C2c - MUD
C2d - HEELS

C3a - BREAD
C3b - TIRE
C3c - NOTE
C3d - LINE

C4a - PENCE
C4b - PACK
C4c - TEEN
C4d - SHOOTER

D1a - BAD
D1b - DOLLAR
D1c - WARRANT
D1d - OFF

D2a - BULL
D2b - MONEY
D2c - ARM
D2d - AGAINST

D3a - CUT
D3b - SELL
D3c - ORDER
D3d - RUN

D4a - BENT
D4b - AIR
D4c - PLAY
D4d - END

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A1: bridge, fire, bead, quick

DRAW. (Drawbridge, draw fire, draw a bead on ..., quick on the draw.)

A2: over, light, shine, man

MOON. (Moon over an unattainable beloved, moonlight, moonshine, man in the moon.)

A3: pill, eye, sky, collar

BLUE. (Blue pill in The Matrix or, bleh, Viagra; blue eyes; blue sky; blue-collar workers.)

A4: daisy, air, legs, meat

FRESH. (Fresh as a daisy, fresh air, fresh legs, fresh meat.)

So A is

DRAW, MOON, BLUE, FRESH -> BLOOD. (Draw blood, blood moon, blue blood, fresh blood.)

B1: head, bread, eye, sleeve

ROLL. (Heads will roll, bread roll, roll one's eyes, roll up one's sleeves.)

B2: small, goose, down, mother

STEP. (One small step ..., goose-step, step down, stepmother.)

B3: beat, faint, at, change

HEART. (Heartbeat, faint at heart, (merely) at heart, change of heart.)

B4: up, baby, back, out

Actually, STEP would go nicely here too! Step up, baby steps, step back, step out. But it seems like a more solid fit for B2. I wondered about FACE but wasn't satisfied and OP indicates in comments that it's wrong. Alconja, in comments, suggests an answer that's pretty clearly right: THROW. (Throw up, throw the baby out with the bathwater, throwback, throw out.)

So B is

ROLL, STEP, HEART, THROW ... and Alconja continues to be helpful by suggesting STONE. (Rolling stone, stepping stone, heart of stone, throw stones at.)

C1: paint, bed, blanket, ears

WET. (Wet paint, wet the bed, wet blanket, wet behind the ears.)

C2: king, queen, mud, heels

In the light of Mithrandir's hint I think this must be DRAG. (A drag queen is a man dressed as a woman for a certain kind of performance; apparently, though I hadn't known, there are also drag kings. One can drag another (or their reputation) through the mud, and drag one's heels.)

C3: bread, tire, note, line

FLAT. (Flatbread, flat tire, flat note, flatline.)

C4: pence, pack, teen, shooter

SIX. (Sixpence, six-pack, sixteen, six-shooter.)

So C is

WET, DRAG, FLAT, SIX -> FEET. (Wet feet, drag one's feet, flat feet, six feet under.)

D1: bad, dollar, warrant, off

SIGN. (A bad sign; \$; sign one's death/arrest warrant; sign off.)

D2: bull, money, arm, against

PIT. (Pit bull terrier, money pit, armpit, pit X against Y.)

D3: cut, sell, order, run

SHORT. (Cut short, sell short, in short order, run short.)

D4: bent, air, play, end

I wondered about LINE, but wasn't surprised that OP indicated that was wrong. Probably (in view of his hint in comments) this is DEAD. (Dead bent, dead air, play dead, dead end. Though I don't find "dead bent" entirely convincing.)

So D is

SIGN, PIT, SHORT, DEAD -> STOP. (Stop sign, pit stop, stop short, stop dead.)

And so, finally, we have

BLOOD, STONE, FEET, STOP -> ?

which clearly leads to

COLD. It seems (thanks to user ablerks for suggesting this in another answer) that the intended way to get from there to an age is just to convert letters to numbers via A1Z26 and add 'em up. So our spider is 3+15+12+4=34 years old.

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  • $\begingroup$ A2 or simply over the moon $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Dec 14 '18 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ Group B could be OUT (roll out [of the shop/the red carpet/autobots], step out[side/for a moment], [eat your] heart out, ...), which fits your meta theory nicely with "out cold". $\endgroup$ – Alconja Dec 14 '18 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ Almost everything here is correct; D4 isn't, but you seem to have gotten D even so :) Your tenuous guess is not the answer for B4. As for how to get the age... I'll let you stew for a bit on that. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir Dec 14 '18 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton Ah yes, now that I think about it that's probably what I first thought of. (I added the explanations after posting the answer.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Dec 14 '18 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja I think it shouldn't be, because OUT is in list B4 and these puzzles generally avoid that sort of repetition. I think. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Dec 14 '18 at 11:00
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Adding to Gareth's answer:
This might be too simple but might the age just be

the sum of the numerical values in the alphabet of COLD? C-3 + O-15 + L-12 + D-4 = 34

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  • $\begingroup$ It's certainly possible... ;) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir Dec 14 '18 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ Bleh. OK, I guess. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Dec 14 '18 at 10:58
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Also adding to Gareth's answer The answer for C2 might be

HIGH (High king, High queen, High mud?, High heels). For FEET it can be High [arched] feet

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice idea, but unfortunately not - I think the one I have in mind fits a tad better. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir Dec 17 '18 at 16:00

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