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Solution: Entitlement

Written by Adeline Wong and Ella Sheffield

Upon calling in ENTITLEMENT for The Death of the Library, we are presented with one final puzzle: entitlement to what? Aside from the list of the emoji at the top, we have 11 minipuzzles that look suspiciously like content from each of the puzzles in the round.

Unfortunately, we quickly begin to realize that these minipuzzles aren't quite solvable as-is. But with some helpful entitlementβ€”matching one of the emoji sets to the title of a book by one of the Death of the Library authorsβ€”we can gain information we can plug into each minipuzzle to solve it! To aid in identification, the book titles are given in alphabetical order.

πŸ§ βž‘οΈπŸ—‘οΈA Mind to MurderP.D. James
β¬‡οΈπŸš£Down at the DinghyJ.D. Salinger
β™ΎοΈπŸŒŽ 1️⃣: πŸ”πŸ§™β€β™€οΈEverworld 1: Search for SennaK.A. Applegate
πŸžοΈπŸ‘©β˜‚οΈπŸžοΈMary Poppins in the ParkP.L. Travers
πŸ‘΄πŸ¦ πŸ“•πŸˆπŸˆOld Possum's Book of Practical CatsT.S. Eliot
πŸ”₯🌍πŸ”₯: πŸ§“πŸ˜‡πŸ§“πŸ˜‡πŸ”šRagnarok: The End of the GodsA.S. Byatt
πŸ€’πŸ”§β™žThe Ill-Made KnightT.H. White
➑️🧍 🧍🧍🧍 πŸ§β¬…οΈThe OutsidersS.E. Hinton
2οΈβƒ£πŸšΆThe Second ComingW.B. Yeats
πŸ₯ˆπŸͺ‘The Silver ChairC.S. Lewis
β±οΈπŸ“ The Time MachineH.G. Wells

Now we can move on to the subpuzzles:


Book used: A Mind to Murder

The given word, DR. (styled as the abbreviation) is the first word of A Mind to Murder. In accordance with the original puzzle, we extract an A.

Poly Lines

Book used: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

Cats: The Musical is famously based on this collection of poems by T.S. Eliot. The only song that fits the given enumeration (and has two brief singing parts followed by a long section of speaking in unison) is "The Naming of Cats". We extract an M.

Through the Looking-Glass

Book used: The Ill-Made Knight

Alice notes that there is a piece missing, and that white has already completed a checkmate. The only square the missing knight can occupy to force a checkmate is g7 on World B. Taking the corresponding letter from the World B extraction board gives an E.

The Launch of This Puzzle Has Been Delayed

Book used: The Time Machine

The Time Traveler's target year can be calculated through Ohm's Law, then by noting that power is equal to current times voltage.



\(\frac{4013530.00074\textrm{W}}{5\textrm{W/yr}}\approx802706\textrm{ years}\)

The space telescope launched July 1, 2023 is EUCLID, which uses the mirror arrangement pictured in the diagram. Taking the difference between the Time Traveler's calculated year (802706) and the year he makes it to in the novel (802701) yields 5, so we extract an I.

Flight of the Babelbees

Book used: The Silver Chair

Silver is an HTML color with a set code (#c0c0c0), so we can calculate the distance between the silver hex and the #c0c140 hex. Expressed in base-36, this distance is S0, so we extract an S.


Book used: Everworld 1: Search for Senna

For this minipuzzle, we simply repeat the extraction step of the original: searching the Library for SENNA yields a page filled with the letter T.

Eight Cells

Poem used: The Second Coming

The 8-cells puzzle divides into 4 8-cube regions (colors are arbitrary). One possible logical solution path can be found in this google sheet.


The region indicated by the + is hypercube net #142 on the WHUTS website. But this time, instead of the first-place solver, we want the one who comes in second! This is Zac Wilson, so we extract a W.

Folk Wisdom

Book used: Ragnarok: the End of the Gods

The audio file given here has no song, only the sound of turning pages. We can also resolve the rebus to A.S. Byatt (A'S + BUY + AT), plus a few extra images as usual, so we can reasonably conclude that the folk song in this minipuzzle has been replaced with the book written by Byatt. (This is further confirmed by the proverb clued by the leftover images: "To fall from the ox onto the rear end of an ass", or "To fall on hard times".) There's no loop here, but we should again index the title of the song-turned-book using the number of images in the proverb, giving us an N.

How the Turntables

Book used: The Outsiders

Mr. Syme is a TEACHER in The Outsiders. Applying the turntables to obtain the antigram ((CH)(EA)T)ER and extracting the starred letter gives us an H.


Book used: Mary Poppins in the Park

The Agatha Christie novel clued in this incident report is Dumb Witness, which involves a poisoning using phosphorus. Unfortunately, when we wrote this puzzle, we used the incorrect spelling "phosphorous", and by the time this was pointed out to us, we were several days into the the hunt with no good way to fix it. The rest of this solution assumes "phosphorous" is the correct spelling.

To determine the path, we know that the full path must cross through a park twice (one bus and one taxi) without revisiting any stops, which means we must be in Kensington Gardens / Hyde Park in the west of the Scotland Yard map. The bus-bus sequence between the two park visits must be 124-123-122, which orients our path and allows us to place the section approaching the train station as 122-95-94-(74 or 93). However, we can't then leave 93 by bus, so we must be at 74. The remaining bus-taxi-taxi-taxi-bus sequence (looping around to the beginning) must be 74-58-59-76-77. (The only bus connection forward from 74 that we haven't used is 58, and the only 3-long taxi chain between 58 and 77β€”the other side of the bus route at 124β€”is 58-59-76-77.) The full path is therefore 76-77-124-123-122-95-94-74-58-59-76.

Element 76 is Osmium (Os); taking the letter between O and S in PHOSPHOROUS gives us U.

Sandwich Shop

Story used: Down at the Dinghy

The craft in Down at the Dinghy is, obviously, a dinghyβ€”the sharp-ended cod-fishing subset of these are DORIES. A dory is clearly a quiche, so taking the letter in the third position in DORIES gives us an R.

Final Extraction

As we were filling in our titles, we probably noticed that a given minipuzzle uses a book other than the one written by its answer-author. This gives us a chain with which to order our letters, and extract the final answer HUMAN WRITES.

PuzzleAnswer-AuthorTitleLetterMinipuzzle Using Book
Flight of the BabelbeesS.E. HintonThe OutsidersHHow the Turntables
How the TurntablesP.L. TraversMary Poppins in the ParkUElementary
ElementaryT.S. EliotOld Possum's Book of Practical CatsMPoly Lines
Poly LinesP.D. JamesA Mind to MurderAGreetings!
Greetings!A.S. ByattRagnarok: The End of the GodsNFolk Wisdom
Folk WisdomW.B. YeatsThe Second ComingWEight Cells
Eight CellsJ.D. SalingerDown at the DinghyRSandwich Shop
Sandwich ShopH.G. WellsThe Time MachineIThe Launch of This Puzzle Has Been Delayed
The Launch of This Puzzle Has Been DelayedK.A. ApplegateEverworld 1: Search for SennaTπŸ”πŸ”πŸ”
πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”T.H. WhiteThe Ill-Made KnightEThrough the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-GlassC.S. LewisThe Silver ChairSFlight of the Babelbees

Author’s Notes

Adeline: Even after The Death of the Library was finalized, this puzzle when through a great many iterations. One of the first was a ridiculously long slog that involved constructing cryptic clues out of words from 36 book titles and the 11 puzzle titles, and cryptics remained a core mechanic for the meta for nearly every draft afterwards. We went back and forth over this decision for...probably about a year and a half, with (cryptic metas are apparently a bit contentious), but eventually (about two months before hunt) we decided we had to scrap it. We tossed around another set of fascinating puzzle ideas, which I won't spoil here in case people ever want to use them, but we couldn't quite make any of them work. We resigned ourselves to whittling away at ideas until something stuck, or maybe turning around and returning sadly to the cryptics...

And then Ella visited me in New York one weekend, and we got to talking, and then we wrote the entire meta from scratch over the course of twelve hours. The only part we kept was the emojified titles.

I do think this meta has a lot going for it! One of the strengths of throwback metas is that they can feel more capstone-y by nature, which was one of the concerns we had about the cryptics. We wrote the puzzles somewhat prioritizing humor (one of my favorite tiny details is the single-letter extraction blank in the PDF for The Launch of This Mini Has Been Delayed), so we hope solvers had fun going back and applying puzzle mechanics in ways they may not have been expecting. (And if it prompted an extra forward-solve or two, so much the better.)

(I should also mention that the original impetus for the chaining mechanic was my desire to reference Cats: the Musical for the Poly Lines miniβ€”we had a musical puzzle, and we had T.S. Eliot, so how could we not?)

The tight time constraints did force us to make a few suboptimal decisions, though. It still pains me that we couldn't work in a way to use A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower (in combination with Bruegel the Elder's The Tower of Babel!), but that would have involved rewriting most of the minis to extract to different letters, and by the time we realized that both of those items existed, we were a few weeks out from hunt and already locked in. Still, I found the process of writing this puzzle was one of the most delightful of the hunt (not least because it was, well, short), so I hope it brought the people solving it at least some of the amusement we experienced while writing.

Ella: So spending 12 straight hours redrafting the second half of the round 3 meta wasn't exactly how I expected we would spend our time when Addie invited me to spend the weekend in New York, but in hindsight it really should have been. There was nowhere I could go to escape the overwhelming influence of Shardhunt brainrot.

To be clear, it was fun! The nice thing about a callback meta is that the process of construction leaves you with a greater appreciation for everyone else's puzzles - I definitely ended construction feeling much better about the impressiveness of Shardhunt than I had at the beginning, which was in the midst of a low point in terms of everyone's hunt burnout. Writing this meta reminded me of how many really cool puzzles we have in this round, and how amazing all my fellow writers are. About 3-4 hours of the 12 hour process were just spent trying to backwards rederive the Babelbees math while the author was asleep in a different timezone, and that honestly way more fun that I expected it would be. (No one better let me convert to a math major, okay?)

Of course, Addie and I were also various levels of sleep deprived and delirious while writing this, with the chaos that you would expect. A good fraction of the minis were kept just because we both thought that they were hilarious while writing them at 3 am (and I still stand by this now). One of my favorite minis ended up getting scrapped when we gave up on our overly ambitious Sandwich Shop plan, but I will forever mourn the fact that we didn't get to use JD Salinger's short story "This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise".

My personal favorite story about this puzzle didn't come from our 12-hour marathon, however, but from during our subsequent full-hunt testsolve. (Pause for testsolver appreciation! They were amazing and we couldn't have done this without them.) I had originally wanted to use another notable space telescope mirror for the Launch mini, ideally Hubble, mostly because I thought it would be really funny to "assemble" a mirror grid that's just a single circle. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the extraction letter to work out for it, so I resigned myself to losing the bit and just made a single hex to extract from. Flash forward to the testsolve a few weeks later, and I opened my news feed to see a launch announcement for the Euclid Space Telescope, the latest space telescope to launch after JWST. (I was actually somewhat devastated, because I'd been planning to watch the launch live and had gotten so wrapped up in the testsolve that I'd forgotten. But that disappointment was soon overwhelmed by puzzle excitement!) Euclid was 6 letters long, contained the letter we needed, and lined up perfectly with Launch's central theme of proceeding chronologically through the history of aviation and spaceflight! I'm not sure if our testsolvers realized the implications of the fact that the telescope had been launched the day before they solved the puzzle, but I had a great time frantically texting Addie behind the scenes about changing it. It makes the space nerd in me very happy that this got to run.