Hercules was grateful the morning sun wasn’t hotter as he pulled the heavy flatbed trolley laden with crates up Hippocrates Hill and along Aristotle Avenue to the Golden Hind. Arriving out of breath, he knocked at the deliveries entrance and the door was answered by the landlady, Artemis.
“Oh wow, Hercules – did you drag that all the way here?! You must be exhausted – come in, come in.”
Hercules picked up a crate and heaved it inside. Although he hadn’t recognised the name, the pub felt strangely familiar to him...
“Didn’t this use to be the White Swan?”
“Oh, a long time ago now!” chuckled Artemis. “It’s been the Golden Hind for the last month. Before that it was the Black Dog, the Golden Ram... You might say I’ve got a thing for coloured animals!”
Hercules lifted the lid of the crate and was met by the sight of 169 bottles of various colours, with letters on their caps, and a variety of odd symbols stencilled onto the wooden rim of the crate itself. A slip of paper on the top listed the names of the beverages to be found within. Hercules sighed.
“This is another puzzle, isn’t it?”
“Of course!” replied Artemis. “You see, I borrowed something from your mother and she would like it back. You just need to work out what that item was, given what you see before you...”
Hercules frowned. “Did you customise this crate yourself? Hang on – did you go down to the wholesalers already, open this up, do something weird to it, and then leave it there for me to bring all this way?!”
“May-be...” said Artemis, a little guiltily. “It is very heavy... Anyway, search around and see what you can find. Just beware – I’ve got a thing for coloured animals, remember...”
TASK: Solve this enigmatic puzzle to find the 13-letter object Artemis borrowed from Hercules’ mother. Watch out for those ‘coloured animals’...
Bottle-cap text reproduced below for copy-paste purposes:
NOMTAWOSINODA RRIDRETEMEDSE ADLOGDETILFOX WSETUOBACKNYI AEMOHGRCHUMTS SDISEGEKSCANU YENNAIADSFLEE PMOOSNSERATWH PITGULURETDTT AHAREMUCHEAIE HCUOZSELSELEM NRRGWHERBREWU UAACHILLESELR
Grid of colours and list of unicode symbols available in source, if required.