Talent Contest

56 Solves   &   105 Attempts


by Tan Chor Kiang

The odd phrasing of “luck will always be in your favour” should remind many of the popular phrase “may the odds be ever in your favour” from the Hunger Games. The reference to mentors, and the action of going through various stations before putting one’s best performance to the judges (something which tributes do before they enter the arena) should also confirm the Hunger Games theme.

Next, we observe that the stations are arranged in alphabetical order, which suggests that some rearrangement is required. There are a total of 12 stations - in Hunger Games, the significance of the number 12 is the total number of districts, each with a special industry. After solving enough round 1 puzzles, solvers will realise that the answers can each be linked uniquely to a district’s industry. Rearranging the answers based on the district number and extracting the first letters of the answers, we get the cluephrase I VOLUNTEER AS, which is part of another popular phrase from this movie. The missing word, TRIBUTE, which completes this phrase, is the thematic solution to the Meta puzzle.

District Industry Corresponding Round 1 Puzzle Answer
1 Luxury goods 1.05 Investigation Ivory pearl
2 Masonry 1.11 Urban Planning Voussoir
3 Technology 1.08 Navigation Online
4 Fishing 1.12 Zoology Leviathan
5 Power 1.03 Comprehension Utility
6 Transportation 1.07 Military Intelligence Naval ships
7 Lumber 1.02 Art Timber
8 Textiles 1.04 Fashion Elastane
9 Grain 1.09 Observation Einkorn
10 Livestock 1.01 Addition Red bull
11 Agriculture 1.10 Psychotherapy Apple
12 Mining 1.06 Language Shale


Author’s notes

As a Hunger Games fan, I’ve always wanted to do a Hunger Games puzzle, and I hope this puzzle (along with the rest of the hunt) will do justice to the theme! I particularly liked the fact that there was a thematic cluephrase that I could fit within 12 letters, so solvers couldn’t “eyeball” the solution that easily. The meta itself is also not restrictive, and allows for highly thematic puzzle solutions. Essentially, the setters could craft any puzzle - all that is needed is to find a solution with a starting letter that matched the industry of one of the districts.


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