Teams arrive at a magical bazaar where items can be exchanged. They're explained the rules, given a BOOK and some PROSE to start off, and meet four NPCs. Each of them has a way they can transform objects and a "quest" for a type of objects:
The Mathematician, who subtracts letters from words and is looking for shapes
The Artist, who "adds red" to objects and is looking for plants.
- This is based on meaning, rather than wordplay. They give the example SKY->SUNSET, WHITE->PINK and CHEEK->BLUSH show up in the puzzle.
The Writer, who spoonerizes pairs of objects and is looking for writing implements
"Spoonerize" means swap the leading consonant sound of two objects, such that both results are legal objects.
If one of the objects starts with a vowel, the other consonant is moved from one to the other. (e.g. AIR + BOX => BEAR + OX)
The Pawn Broker, who buys and sells objects and is looking for other chess pieces
- They'll buy any object for 1 gold, and have a price list of items they sell.
There's only one general path through the puzzle. Each quest can be fulfilled twice- after turning in the second item, the character will explicitly say they don't need anything more.
Starting items: PROSE, BOOK
Subtract PROSE -> ROSE
Turn in ROSE to the Artist, receive RAG
Spoonerize BOOK + RAG -> ROOK + BAG
Turn in ROOK to the Pawn Broker, receive YEN and 1 gold
BAG, YEN, 1 gold
Sell BAG for 1 gold
Buy PAWN for 2 gold
Spoonerize PAWN + YEN -> YAWN + PEN
Turn in PEN to the Writer, receive CHEEK
Add red to CHEEK -> BLUSH
Subtract BLUSH -> BUSH
Turn in BUSH to the Artist, receive NOTION and 1 gold
YAWN, NOTION, 1 gold
Sell YAWN for 1 gold
Buy LIGHT for 2 gold
Spoonerize LIGHT + NOTION -> KNIGHT + LOTION
Turn in KNIGHT to the Pawn Broker, receive WINE and 1 gold
LOTION, WINE, 1 gold
Sell LOTION for 1 gold
Buy LIGHT for 2 gold
Spoonerize LIGHT + WINE -> WHITE + LINE
- They can turn in LINE and get OWL at this point, but they won't be able to use OWL until later.
Add red to WHITE to make PINK
Subtract PINK -> INK
Turn in INK to the Writer, receive 5 gold
LINE/OWL, 5 gold
Buy SCONE for 5 gold
Trim SCONE -> CONE
Turn in LINE and CONE to the Mathematician (in either order), receive OWL and DANCER
- Spoonerize DANCER + OWL -> ANSWER DOWEL. (A dowel with the answer on it.)