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MN0PQ8 Puzzle 4 Hints

Hints:

Click the arrow next to the hints and solution to view them!

Hint A

A year and a month is a short time, so there can’t be that many changes, right?

Hint B

Do you all have an up-to-date version of the page between you?

Hint C

Perhaps there is some version found primarily in the middle of the copies?

Hint D

Check between the different first letters

Key Solution

Crown

Hint E

Your key instruction from the last part applies to the words, not the phrases

Hint F

If one end is used to arrange, what is the other end for? Your answer is somewhere in this very set.

Answer

Comment

Walkthrough

The puzzle was intended to be a shakeup that would surprise puzzlers.
Thus far in the event, for each puzzle undertaken, the team would receive 4 identical copies of the puzzle sheet.
Puzzle 4 intentionally breaks this pattern, by giving 2 pairs of 2 different copies of the puzzle. So if each person had their ‘own’ cop of the puzzle, half of the team is looking at a different version of the puzzle from the other half.
The intended puzzle-solving flow involves the team communicating with each other in order to even determine what is going on.
The text was written so that the differences between the two articles are subtle and hidden (though they become increasingly more obvious the further down the article that you go).
The most effective way a team can detect what is going on is if they are reading sections out loud – hopefully someone will read a paragraph out loud, and another person will correct them once they see that they have read it ‘wrong’. (Though it’s fun thinking of team members letting the incorrect reading ‘pass’).

So with that in mind, in this digital format it’s not possible to preserve the primary trick of the puzzle, so we’ll just move forward with the differences.

There are 16 word differences to be found in the main text of the article. Note that this has been hinted at in a number of ways:
-The ‘last updated’ date on the two versions is different (this does not count among the important differences though)
-There is a marker showing ’16 Edits’, which is hinting that there are 16 differences
-The medium is the message here – much of the fun and caveat of wikipedia is in how mutable the content is. You can consider the puzzle as having been printed ‘across versions’ of the same article.

After finding the word differences, it might be tricky to figure out what to to do next. (One might be able to figure it out just from the pattern of word combinations).
Here are some clues:
-On the sidebar, there are is a ‘random article’ called Focus Gnome Head, where the ‘G’ is bolded. Note that the three words are in alphabetical order.
-The whole text is talking about the ordering of the letters mattering, and how you arrange letters and words with respect to each other

The above and some intuition should lead to this insight: each pair of difference words’ first letters are separated by 2 letters in the alphabet. In other words, there is one letter between them. These between letters are the target output.

See below the list of differences and the target letters:

join – link (K)
devise – form (E)
xeta – zeta (Y)
based – dependent (C)
quickly – speedily (R)
neat – proper (O)
xiii – viii (W)
more – other (N)

true – right (S)
next – post (O)
quite – slightly (R)
service – usage (T)
right – target (S)
huge – jumbo (I)
copies – equivalents (D)
discharge – fulfill (E)

Arranging the message:
Key Crown
Sort Side

The key of the puzzle is therefore ‘Crown’

Which means that our instruction leading to the rest of the puzzle is ‘Sort Side’.

So this should move our focus to the sidebar. There’s a lot there to unpack, but the most obvious subset is the list of ‘Random Sidebar Articles’. Sorting these seems like a great thing to do.

Random Sidebar Articles:
Spam Allow Traction
Ammo Quota Quorum
Zany Ballad
Comb Fashion
Come Draw
Yacht Comment Answer
Dupe Tiramisu
OPEC Team Dune
Oregano Scenario
Versachi Podium
Rotund Replica
Rotation Sac

But you’ll find that sorting them as-is doesn’t quite reveal anything. The next thing you try should probably be sorting each of the words individually. This should be well-clued by the overall content of the article on the right which is describing the whole process of sorting.

Random Sidebar Articles:
Allow
Ammo
Answer
Ballad
Comb
Come
Comment
Draw
Dune
Dupe
Fashion
OPEC
Oregano
Podium
Quorum
Quota
Replica
Rotation
Rotund
Sac
Scenario
Spam
Team
Tiramisu
Traction
Versachi
Yacht
Zany

There’s not really a heavy clue of what should happen next, but hopefully you can notice that the last letters of this alphabetized list spell a clue:

Word Between Comma And Community

Which could be pretty ambiguous. However, there is one word right in this last that fits that criteria – and it is our answer:
Comment

(Which should also fit with the them of online editing)