GC to update day-of-game.
Puzzle is delivered to teams on a small USB drive containing an executable.
Running the program, teams will see this:
There are only two possible interactions with the program: clicking on a square, which will play a sound, or hovering over a square, which will show a tooltip with the coordinates of the square (1-based from the top-left). The coordinates are merely a notational convenience for the teams.
The sound most squares play will be two sentences spoken at the same time. Some squares will play only a single sentence. Teams are expected to discover that the sentences spoken along rows and columns tend to be the same.
Eventually, they will figure out that the spoken sentences are actually crossword clues. When a square is clicked, both the down and across clue associated with that square play. If there is only one clue for a square (because the letter is in a tight space) only one clue will play.
By listening and solving the clues, teams can both create a map of the grid and fill it in with letters, as shown below:
The clues are as follows:
Synthetic material made from organic polymers
Commonly found on the plants in this forest
Graceful in movement
A heroic animal from the 90s
The delicious parts of you the forest animals will eat if you don’t get out of here
One acting on behalf of another
Like some cigarettes
A grim conclusion, and an important clue to this puzzle’s solution; two words
What you might do after choosing a direction to walk in; hyphenated
You might think this would describe the shortest path out of the forest (but you’d be wrong)
What the forest will do to the minds of those lost in it
Oil derived from flax
Entreaty to the forest monster
One who hangs around a bit too long. Don’t be one in this forest.
To be observant, like you should have done while walking into this forest
How many people were really killed when they were decimated
What your blood will do when you hear the screams of your companions
A slope or hillside; it sounds like a donkey
Not quite straight
Crushed underfoot, like this path you seem to be going around in circles upon
Like those fabric bags at a grocery store
To make the wrong judgment, legally
Make a metal workable by applying heat
The eighties or nineties, and, incidentally, how long it will be before anyone finds your remains if you don’t make it out of this forest
An exact duplicate. Watch out for one if you get separated.
To gather naturally, as information
What you wouldn’t want to do to the door to the witch’s house
Strange, like this forest
What the old man did when he told you this forest was perfectly safe
Crucially, note the clue for 17-Across. The answer to this clue, "DEAD END", hints that the answer to the puzzle is in the grid's dead ends:
Reading left to right, top to bottom, the answer is "TERROR".