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Anton Riddle Metapuzzle

Mark Halpin

Each of the group members’ last names is a letter-change based on one of the International Boxing Federation’s weight classifications (omitting subgroupings such as “super heavyweight”). As additional cluing, each person’s email address contains a word like “pound”, “hammer”, “whip”, etc., and each address given is that of a state’s Boxing Commission.

Arranging the names from the lightest weight to the heaviest gives the answer order shown.

  Oscar Fly        BAREBACK
  Horst Bantam     STANDPAT
  Elihu Feather    COZENING
  Avril Light      OTTOMANS
  Betty Welter     SKELETON
  Anton Middle     MISTAKEN
  Moira Cruiser    UNCLESAM
  Dwain Heavy      DESPISES

Note that each first name is five letters long. In the configuration, the second and fourth letters of those names spell SOLVE NOW / AS HITORI.

The first step in doing this is to note that there are eight 8-letter answers, and, the order determined per the grouping meta, to make a square of them (see Step 1, below). Secondly, solvers must then treat this square as a Hitori puzzle. For those unfamiliar, the gist of a Hitori, normally constructed of numbers, is that you must darken squares so that 1) no character appears more than once in any row or column; 2) no darkened square may touch another, except diagonally; 3) no un-darkened square or squares may be isolated from the rest.

Once the puzzle is solved (Step 2), darkened squares may be read to obtain the answer: BEAT ANTON SENSELESS.

Solving teams were given the option of beating Anton in a standard game of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots or, for extra benefits, constructing their own robot that would beat Anton in that game.