Gleaming the Verb is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2009 by Kevin Jackson-Mead. It was an entry in IF Comp 2009 where it took 21st place.
In this very short one-room game, you play as someone abducted to solve a series of related word puzzles.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
CAUTION: You only get each vocal clue once, with no way to re-invoke it.
> x me. i. (Nothing.) x cube.
Okay, let's follow the instruction.
> read cube. ("ONLY PERFECTLY EXPERT READERS ARE TRULY ENLIGHTENED")
Well, the first letters of that spells OPERATE. This sort of wordplay is an acrostic. There's a few versions of acrostics and I hope you like them, because that's what this game's about.
And you either get it or you don't, I'm sorry to say. Your only clues are the phrases that the synthesized voice says.
> operate cube. ("WITHOUT RADII, DON'T FEAR A FLAT CUBE")
Last letters of each word spell TITRATE.
> titrate cube. ("CAN THIS TREASURE CONCEAL TRICKS?")
A diagonal acrostic now: CHECK. That's the first letter of the first word, the second letter of the second word, the third letter of the third word, and so on.
> check cube. ("ETERNAL ASKING CURBS NINJA'S ODD IDEA")
And a backwards diagonal acrostic: ADJUST. Last letter of last word, second last letter of second last word, etc.
> adjust cube. ("FIXING OUR FULL MIND")
Uhh, FOLD? First letters of the first two words, last letters of the last two words?
> fold cube. ("Review your actions, back to front, and you will end this puzzle hunt.")
So the new clue is really "FOLD ADJUST CHECK TITRATE OPERATE READ", and the acrostic for that is FACTOR.
> factor cube.
*** You have won ***
I have to say, if I was actually abducted and put to the test this way, I'd be rubbish at it. Acrostics only work in written form. If I only heard them, I'd say "what?", hoping to at least hear the clue again and I'd be completely stuck.
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