The Sprout Stand seems like a good place to START this Gazette.
To move on, you’ll need to fill in the blanks for Today’s Special.
Every menu item at The Sprout Stand has a description that is six words long, and there are six blanks for Today’s Special.
“Inferno,” “The Sproutiest,” and “The Cheap Seats.” all have at least one fork (which means that their description contains a single word in the same position as Today’s Special) and all of them start with “USE.”
In the “Community Bored Game Swap,” each section contains an address and a description for a board game that you’re probably familiar with.
In no particular order, the words that you’re looking for are “TITLE,” “DIGIT,” “ADDRESS,” “USE,” “LAST,” and “IN.”
When you arrange the words from The Sprout Stand correctly, you should see the message “USE LAST ADDRESS DIGIT IN TITLE.” Look for another place in the paper where addresses appear.
Before you can use the last address digit, you’ll need to find the title of the game described in each section. For example, you might hear “KING ME” while playing Checkers, so the title of that game is “CHECKERS.”
From top to bottom, left to right, the games that you’re looking for are:
- GUESS WHO
- CONNECT FOUR
Note the spoons and forks next to each of the menu items. Many of the menu items use the same words as Today’s Special in their descriptions, and the spoons and forks tell you how many words match.
Once you have all the titles, you need to use the address associated with each title to get one letter from each title. When you have all the letters, you can string them together to make a three word phrase.
The game at “1231 North Street” is “CLUE.” The last digit in the address is 1, so you should take the first letter of “CLUE,” which is “C”
After you find all the correct letters, you should have the phrase “CONFLICTS MINUS TWO”. Look for any other mentions of “conflict” in the paper.
In the 2021 Event Notices, there are several events that had to be rescheduled because of conflicts. Use the original date to find a hidden message.
The Blood Drive was supposed to be held on the second Saturday and Sunday in February. If you consult a real calendar, you’ll find that that is February 13th and 14th. When you subtract two (per the message of the board game section) you’ll be looking for the 11th and 12th.
The Hincksville Holidays calendar has some really interesting days. Look closely at the font and you’ll notice that parts of some days jump out at you.
The first and last numbers are already filled in on the calendar, so you can find that the conflict from the Blood Drive gives you the words “SHIFT EVEN”
For each word that has an even number of letters, shift all the letters by one place.
For each word that has an odd number of letters, shift all the letters by two places.
Look at the article on the front page to find a bunch of dominoes and some words that look like they might have been shifted.
After you’ve shifted all the words by the correct amount, you should see the message “CHOOSE TREASURE EVERY OTHER LETTER OF TWO PERCENT OR CHOOSE BEFRIEND SIXTEEN PERCENT.”
When you find all the conflicts and match them to the calendar, you should see the message “SHIFT EVEN LETTER WORDS BY SECOND DOMINO TOP ODD BY BOTTOM”.
The advertisement for the video games sale has a choose-your-own-adventure game inside it. To start playing, you’ll need to decide if you want to choose treasure or friendship, and then look at the row for the correct percentage.
When you decide to go for the treasure, you take every other word of the line that starts with 2%, which tells you “DEATH, START OVER.” Looks you might want to make friends with that dragon instead.
When you decide to befriend the dragon, you take every other letter of the line that starts with 16%, which tells you “PALS, NOW PILLAGE 15 OR RELAX 20.” Make your choice and decode the next percentage to see how it turned out.
From top to bottom, the decoded lines are:
1%: ESCAPED NOW WED ROYAL 12 OR OPEN BUSINESS 3
2%: DEATH START OVER
3%: LUCRATIVE NOW INVEST 6 OR SPEND 8
4%: SUCCESS YOU WIN A EQUALS ONE
5%: STRONGER NOW DO GOOD 19 OR PILLAGE 4
6%: PYRAMID SCHEME TRY AGAIN
8%: CHARITABLE NOW WORK OUT 5 OR NAP 11
11%: HUMDRUM RESTART THE GAME
12%: SPURNED MAYBE NEXT TIME
15%: OPPOSED NOW RUN 1 OR FIGHT 18
16%: PALS NOW PILLAGE 15 OR RELAX 20
18%: ARRESTED START FROM BEGINNING
19%: LAME TRY YOUR LUCK AGAIN
20%: STARVE TRY AGAIN
The advertisement is asking you to play a perfect game in order to reveal the hidden message.
The only way to play a perfect game is to follow this sequence: BEFRIEND, PILLAGE, RUN, OPEN BUSINESS, SPEND, WORK OUT, PILLAGE, SUCCESS. Each of those steps has a different percentage associated with it that needs to be converted to a letter.
When you look at the percentages from your perfect game, you get 16, 15, 1, 3, 8, 5, 4. Which can be converted into letters, using A=1, B=2, etc.
The final answer is “POACHED.” Was the egg stolen? Was it cooked? Will we ever know who is responsible?!