Solution: Where the Wild Things Are

Written by Ethan

Part 1: Rebuses

Each rebus clues a Pokemon name with one letter removed. All Pokemon are rock or ground type and match the given enumeration of ? in the names. The missing letters spell GOEVOPOKEMON, which is an instruction that will be applied later.

Part 2: Cryptics

Each of the moves on the Pokemon cards is a 'easy' version of a cryptic clue, where the definition part is given as the move name and the description is the wordplay portion. Enumerations are given by the attack damage, divided by 10.

The puzzle emerges when you realize each group of words clues a a rock when you "sound" the words out. For example, OATH+OAK+LACE sounds like Orthoclase. Rocks are confirmed by the HP values divided by 10, giving an emueration.

Part 3: Extraction

By noticing that many of the rocks define the Mohs scale of hardness, as well as the first letters of the flavortext spelling MOHS, we can use the Mohs number of each rock to index into the evo'd form of Pokemon. Doing this gives BASED LOYALTY

PokemonMissing letterCrypticsRockEvolutionMohs numberIndex
CUB[O]NEOOath + Oak + LaceOrthoclaseMAROWAK6A
LILEE[P]PFelt + SparFeldsparCRADILY6L
[M]UDBRAYMPear + Re + DotPeridotMUDSDALE7L
RHYHOR[N]NAnt + Tea + MoneyAntimonyRHYDON3Y

Author’s Notes

Exact values of Mohs values vary based on the source you use (some sources say Peridot is 6.5-7 for example), so if I had time to rewrite this, I'd probably would have used Mohs to order, rather than to index.

The answer to this puzzle is also unfortuantely green paint. I originally had some plans to do with "loyalty"/disloyalty for Pokemon but the final version of this puzzle just did not live up to that.

I'm pleasantly surprised that a lot of people liked this puzzle - I actually hated writing this puzzle and wanted to rewrite it so bad, but """unfortunately""" didn't have the time. I suppose I'm glad this puzzle made it to the end :)