M Puzzle: Mad Liberation

by Bridget Copley

The words that belong in the blanks are:

read, carries, waiver, inn, cliff, Grimm, basses/bases, buss, knight, paired, caries, pared, llama, Starr, night, butt, lama, bee, in, bus, waver, Clif, pie, red, bailed, be, loss, Ann, canvass, grim, scent, venous, star, knew, baled, add, but, maize, ad, Los, oar, or, maze, heroine, new, Venus, cent, pi, canvas, an, heroin

The words come in pairs that sound alike; one of the pairs has an extra letter. How far apart the members of the pair are tell you how to order the letters. For example, MAIZE and MAZE are five blanks apart, so the fifth letter in the message is I. (Actually, the sixth, since the first pair is the one where both members of the pair can fit in the same blank: BASSES/BASES. This was done so that the math would work out!)

0	S	basses	bases
1	A	oar	or
2	I	paired	pared
3	D	add	ad
4	L	llama	lama
5	I	maize	maze
6	K	knight	night
7	E	heroine	heroin
8	E	bee	be
9	R	carries	caries
10	I	bailed	baled
11	K	knew	new
12	S	buss	bus
13	S	loss	los
14	O	venous	Venus
15	N	inn	in
16	S	scent	cent
17	F	cliff	Clif
18	I	waiver	waver
19	R	Starr	star
20	S	canvass	canvas
21	T	butt	but
22	N	Ann	an
23	A	read	red
24	M	Grimm	grim
25	E	pie	pi

Eriksson's first name is Leif; therefore the answer is LEAF.

Story restored in 2010 by the archivists of Beginner's Luck, based on the same re-created script used in the puzzle. Thanks to Lance Nathan for providing the story.