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They approached the man apprehensively. He was aware of their approach, but did not turn to face them. Instead, he kept looking through the window toward the stars. Finally, one of the men gathered the courage to speak. "Master", he said, "if you had one word to describe all that you see - the stars, the planets, the galaxies - and at the same time convey your sense of wonder and amazement, which word would you use?". The master paused, then turned to scribble on some paper. After he was done, he handed it to them.

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What is that word?

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1 Answer 1

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The word is:

celestial

because each letter of the word is represented by one of the moons of Saturn (backwards):
Tethys, Rhea, Helene, Rhea, Ymir, Paaliaq, Phoebe, Mimas, Helene

then using the IAU designation, these moons are labelled:
III, V, XII, V, XIX, XX, IX, I, XII

and then substituting the letter of the alphabet results in:
C, E, L, E, S, T, I, A, L

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  • $\begingroup$ And here I was thinking I might have made it too hard. $\endgroup$
    – Tryth
    Mar 2, 2015 at 8:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Doesn't the fact that it took puzzling.se 2 hours to solve it make it a hard puzzle? $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2015 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ @GuntramBlohm, well I'm still waiting for a full answer on this one puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/8252 and there's two clues still to solve on this one puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/6618 so I'd say 'hard' puzzles here measure their solving times in months. ;) But 'hard' isn't necessarily better. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Mar 2, 2015 at 14:42

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