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The Spelling Hex

The theme of this year's Microsoft Intern Puzzleday was the Harry Potter books; we told the interns that they were attending the summer residential session (Redmond Campus) of the Kwikspell (TM) Correspondence Course in Beginners' Magic.

Because Microsoft gets summer interns from all over the world, we couldn't assume that they'd even heard of Harry Potter, let alone devoted themselves to its arcana. We could refer to Hogwarts all we liked, we just couldn't require them to know what it was. The result was that we named all of the puzzles after various spells (from the books or otherwise) and all of the live mini-events after Hogwarts classes (e.g., Charms, Potions, etc.).

The original idea for this puzzle came from a Perplex City card, but I wanted to avoid the non-sequitur in my own version. (Also, I wanted to use the "hex" pun.) Pretty much all of the intern teams ended up solving this one.

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