Solution: META: Wah-llet

Written by Max Chang and Benji Nguyen

Each of the puzzle answers contains a keyword that refers to a member of one of the 6 clued categories. Each of these members match one of the colors used in the numbering. For example, PO BOY contains the keyword PO which is the name of the RED Teletubby (a British children’s character). Each of these categories also contains a purple member, Waluigi’s preferred color. Matching up the colors with the purple member of the category, indexing into the purple member, and reading clockwise starting at the top left leads you to the answer, WALUIGI'S PENSION.

PuzzlePuzzle AnswerKeywordColor of Puzzle AnswerCategoryPurple Member of CategoryIndexes
Wah-taburgerPO BOYPORedTeletubbies (a British children’s character)TINKY WINKY6, 7, 3
Wah-gyu SteaksMEDIUM RARITYRARITYWhiteMy Little Pony (a friendly quadruped)TWILIGHT SPARKLE4, 6, 3
Wah-shington PostPEACOCK ROOMPEACOCKBlueClue (a mystery character)PLUM3, 1
Wah-spkeepingMICHELANGELO ANTONIONIMICHELANGELOOrangeTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (an adolescent crime fighter)DONATELLO4, 6, 3
Wah-rcadeCASCADING STYLE SHEETSSHEETSGreenGoogle Workspace (part of an online tool suite)FORMS5, 2
the PEACOCK room ->PLUM
PIRATES of penzance ->ROCKIES
cascading style SHEETS ->FORMS
















Author’s Notes

Max and Benji independently came up with the idea to do a purple-themed meta. This meta was the result of us merging our ideas together. As the hunt went on, we learned of some unfortunate red herrings other teams found. Chief among them are the fact that the number of numbers was equal to the number of words in the six answers. The latter was something that didn't get caught in playtesting because we changed PEACOCKROOM to THEPEACOCKROOM fairly late in the process. Oops. Another fun fact: we changed the text to read "GOLD" instead of "YELLOW" for the Pirates days before the hunt as well.

The team deliberated quite a bit over whether or not Rarity was white or purple. We spent hours trying to find a replacement, but couldn't find another character that met the meta's answer constraints (the G in the meta answer was the biggest problem). We ended up sticking with Rarity because the rest of the meta worked out well and we figured that teams wouldn't have a problem making the correct character to color pairing once they identified the correct character reference.

The other thing the team discussed at length was the overall layout of the puzzle. The black border was used because the white and lighter colored numbers needed to be visible. The non-linear presentation of the numbers and the skewed orientation of the inner quadrilateral were purely for aesthetic purposes. We figured that some teams might try to draw lines connecting the numbers, but expected that most teams would discard this idea fairly quickly given that the lines didn't all pass through letters, didn't make a shape, and didn't use the feeder puzzle answers.

We wanted to design a first meta that wouldn't be too difficult (hopefully), but still have a satisfying or cute a-ha. As with any first round meta, we were hoping that this wouldn't wall too many teams from enjoying the rest of the hunt. This definitely happened to some teams, but we're happy with the overall solve rate on this one. We both hope that teams using Google Sheets were amused upon learning that "part of an online tool suite" was cluing something they were using.

Other groups of things that contain a purple member that we considered (to varying degrees of seriousness) but didn't use include, but are not limited to: Inside Out emotions, Monstars, Ocarina of Time medallions, lyrics from America the Beautiful, Ginyu Force members, Scooby-Doo characters, Gay Pride symbols, and many unspecified anime characters from the TV Tropes page on Color-Coded characters.