16
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Pic not related to the puzzle

I happened to write a book once. It was told by the main character - an educated adventurous gentleman with a long yet dignified name. Yet, when I sent the manuscript to the publisher, they told me that not only was it extremely boring, I also had to change the name of the hero.

I was so shocked, that I ripped and threw away my book, and forgot everything about it.

Today I found several pieces of it and it doesn't look as bad as I remember (perhaps I got a little nostalgic, though). I could even try to rewrite it from the scratch. The only problem, though, I can't remember the name of the main character that I liked so much. Also, some of the pieces I found don't make a lot of sense (supplying tar for parties, for instance). That's why I need SE help once again!

excerpt 1 (preface)

Young people nowadays tend to r, might I say, "cool" things. The w world is open to them after they "leave d in various subjects, yet remaining infantile. I had already mastered clan my years of college, but modern youth prefers to foolishly try drums, guitar, c.

excerpt 2 (college hobby)

After a while I mand to mase bread baking. I became a permanent supplier of tar, sometimes, canapes for student parties. I've even experimented with hallucinogenic products: my hashish cakes were exceptionally good, and M were still acceptable. By the time I got my graduation ndless offers of a job from restaurants were going my way; but I had already chosen to be an adventurer.

excerpt 3 (lucky note)

While I was hastily making a fire to protect myself from the danger, I saw the last oming for me. He was alone - a minute ago his ban all of my friends, one by one, so he was the only one remaining hungry. In that exact moment the pebble fell from my clumsy hand and cluttered on the temple's we ceramic floor tiles, making a weirdly pure sound. What surprised me, the made the ogre stop in its place, as if he was stunned! It was similar to that time when my music skills made a dramant, back in the Cave of Death...

excerpt 4 (sickness)

Many ed doctors gave up, trying to find the reason for my disease. I can say, ness is the only one that treats me now; those weird psychis are getting stronger with each day. An ancient doctor once claimed that den jars, accumulate the sickness inside for our whole lives, and we get sick only if the a "bursts through" to vital organs.

Now, as always, I state the criteria (bonus questions are not necessary to get the tick):

1. Find and correct all the mistakes.
2. What's the hero's name?
3. Can I use it and why?

Hint 1 (graph from the book draft):

M's emotionally unstable, as every adventurer should be!

.

CORRECTION: ORANGE graph should end at 3, not 4! (sorry)

Hint 1 explained nicely

Each of the 4 paragraphs makes for 5 hidden words. Having taken the amount of letters in every word, and then stacking them in order: each paragraph produces a 5-point graph. The remaining graph can be considered a red herring for now (though it too has a meaning)

Hint 2

I used two words ending with "i" in one of the excerpts; both are shortened versions of full words.

I think hints would be too straight-forward. I'm going to post screenshots of Gareth's existing answer (see me as the ouija board spirit).

Screenshot 1:

missing link?

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  • $\begingroup$ It's funny that I could make some real mistakes during creation of these puzzle. Please, report on those here in the comments if you're quite sure. Don't blatantly edit the thing :) $\endgroup$ – Thomas Blue Dec 20 '18 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ Your list of criteria goes 1,2,2,4. The 2 should probably be a 3. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Dec 20 '18 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ (Apparently something about this puzzle makes 3s turn into 2s :-).) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Dec 20 '18 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @user477343 Thanks! That's a random picture of a generic explorer I found on the Internet. Note that neither the picture nor the watermark have nothing to do with the puzzle :) $\endgroup$ – Thomas Blue Jan 11 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ Oh... well, I might try this tomorrow then if nobody else has the answer... yet ;) $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Jan 11 at 13:41
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As the puzzle says,

the manuscript has been torn, and each of these excerpts is missing some bits. In each case the missing bits form words or names. And, as indicated in a hint, the lengths (in letters) of the missing bits are shown by four of the five graphs. We shall see in due course what the fifth graph is for.

Excerpt 1:

Young people nowadays tend to do rad or, might I say, "cool" things. The whole world is open to them after they "leave uni" versed in various subjects, yet remaining infantile. I had already mastered clavi in my years of college, but modern youth prefers to foolishly try drums, guitar, bass etc. [Lengths: 6,4,8,3,6.]

Excerpt 2:

After a while I managed to master rye bread baking. I became a permanent supplier of tapas or, sometimes, canapes for student parties. I've even experimented with hallucinogenic products: my hashish cakes were exceptionally good, and MJ ones were still acceptable. By the time I got my graduation cap endless offers of a job from restaurants were going my way; but I had already chosen to be an adventurer. [Lengths: 3,5,4,5,4.]

Excerpt 3:

While I was hastily making a fire to protect myself from the danger, I saw the last ogrec oming for me. He was alone - a minute ago his band ate all of my friends, one by one, so he was the only one remaining hungry. In that exact moment the pebble fell from my clumsy hand and cluttered on the temple's white ceramic floor tiles, making a weirdly pure sound. What surprised me, the flint's tone made the ogre stop in its place, as if he was stunned! It was similar to that time when my music skills made a dragon dormant, back in the Cave of Death... [Lengths: 5,4,3,10,6.]

Excerpt 4:

Many trained doctors gave up, trying to find the reason for my disease. I can say, Dr Illness is the only one that treats me now; those weird psychic aches are getting stronger with each day. An ancient doctor once claimed that we, as Leyden jars, accumulate the sickness inside for our whole lives, and we get sick only if the acid "bursts through" to vital organs. [Lengths: 5,5,5,7,3.]

Summarizing:

DORADO HOLE UNIVERSE VII BASSET AGE TERRY PASO JONES CAPE GRECO DATE HIT FLINTSTONE GONDOR TRAIN DRILL CACHE WEASLEY CID 3 4 4 2 4

and now we have

five groups of four words (where OP has indicated that each group has one word from each excerpt) each lead to a word whose length is given by one number in the last set. So we have BASSET, CAPE, GONDOR, TRAIN -> HORN; HOLE, AGE, DATE, DRILL -> MAN (kudos yet again to MOehm for noticing that one); UNIVERSE, TERRY, HIT, CACHE -> MISS; DORADO, PASO, GRECO, CID -> EL; VII, JONES, FLINTSTONE, WEASLEY -> FRED. (FRED also goes with BASSET, but OP's hint suggests it doesn't here. FRED/MISS TERRY/JONES could have been put the other way around, but OP has indicated that this way was intended.) We can put our final set of five words together to make MANFRED MISSELHORN, which could be the character's name (we know it starts with M). That happens to be the name of a retired Olympic rower; it's not clear to me whether that's enough reason to change it.

So, to address the three things we are challenged to do:

  1. Find and correct all the mistakes. Done; see above.

  2. What's the hero's name?

Probably MANFRED MISSELHORN.

  1. Can I use it and why?

You can use it if, and only if, the coincidence with that rower's name isn't a problem. Using existing names isn't always bad (I'm sure there were lots of Harry Potters before J K Rowling came along) but a rather unusual name shared with a somewhat eminent person is probably a bit too much. You should change it.

Credit where due: much of the above was contributed by MOehm in comments. Specifically:

excerpt 1's DO/RAD/O and UNI/VERSE; excerpt 3's FLINT/STONE; excerpt 4's DRILL, WEASLEY (though I will take what little credit is due for thinking of "Leyden jars"), and ACID; noticing the [connect-wall] tag; spotting MAN as a connection between several of the words, which may also be how he thought of DRILL.

So if you like anything in this answer, go and upvote something of his.

Also, the first gap in the last excerpt was provided by OP, neither I nor MOehm having been able to figure it out.

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    $\begingroup$ Though I was about to start giving hints, your post gave me lots of faith in the local folks. I'll probably refrain from giving hints for some time (though there are places were you hit real close and my initial reflex was to correct you) $\endgroup$ – Thomas Blue Dec 21 '18 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ Miss El Paso? Think big -- one of the global contests will give you the 8-letter answer in the first section. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jan 11 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ Cor, that's an impressive bit of (clearly correct) jumping to conclusions @MOehm! $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 11 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ I hadn't thought about rearranging the words, but there is a "Connect Wall" tag I failed to see earlier! That opens up many opportunities. Word 4.4 could be (Ron) Weasley, a character from Harry Potter. Word 1.3 is (Miss) Universe. Word 1.4 could be ?IN instead of psi, perhaps gin if clang were something one could master. (Plus a Gordon theme -- Terry? Jones?) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jan 12 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ Good puzzle, and no apologies needed. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 13 at 17:26

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