On the Outs With In-N-Out Recap [SPOILERS]

And the correct answer to the “On the Outs With In-N-Out” puzzle was…

CATHEDRAL OF JUNK!  With over 60 tons of…well…junk, Vince Hannemann was able to construct a huge multilevel structure in his suburban backyard.  The cathedral contains junk dating back to 1988 when Vince started building the structure.  Some pieces of the structure were Vince’s own additions, but many of the components are brought by visitors, which proves that one person’s trash is another’s treasure!

For this puzzle, we are presented with several notes spaced across multiple days from a log book.  A quick look at some of these entries will reveal that every one has a few qualities.  Specifically, every entry indicates a number of people seen, whether these people were going IN or OUT of their location, and a hint to identify a specific word or phrase.  Day 0 provides the clue words directly, so one solving path involves focusing on the specifics of Day 0 to learn how the clued words are to be used.

After reading a few of the introductory statements for each day, we also notice that Day 0 is the only day that directly mentions the leader that is being met with.  So ideally, we would like to find a way to obtain the answer of COOK from the ingredients given.  After some quick math, one will notice 9 suspects go IN while 5 suspects go OUT which leaves 4 suspects still IN.  This matches the number of letters in the answer word COOK.  So we may assume that the number in each log tells us how many letters to consider from the given clue word and the assignment of OUT removes those letters from the set of those who have already gone IN.  We can confirm our hypothesis by keeping the indicated number of letters from the start of each clue word on Day 0.  This gives:

CHICK + ONIO – CHI – I – N = CKOO

And a simple unscramble gives the solution word COOK.  Thus we have determined the mechanism that will solve this puzzle.  The next task is to go through each day and solve for the clued words.  To aid in this effort, we can note that each day has a theme to it (programming languages, Restaurants, etc.) and also, our suspected answers can be entered into the Dossier Checker to verify they are correct.  A list of the correct clue words is given in the chart below.  Answers are ordered to match the given clues, capital letters indicate the important letters for each clue word, and a minus sign is included to indicate which are OUT clues.  Finally,  the leader being met with each day is also given below:


One likely notices during this solving process that every leader is associated in some way with religion.  We should keep this in mind since it is likely a theme of the puzzle.  Now we need to repeat the process one more time using our list of leaders as clued words, the corresponding day number to indicate how many letters are important from each leader, and the italic phrases at the start of each day which all contain the word IN or the word OUT.  This gives:

J + L + FR + NU + MONK + CATH + DEACO – C – MON = JLFRNUKCATHDEAO

Which unscrambles to the final answer:  CATHEDRAL OF JUNK.


This week’s first-place Fastest Solver was davidsteinandfriends, followed by teams teammate in second and Cardinality in third! Nice work, everyone!

Congrats everyone! And with that, the next puzzle, “Coloring Book” has been posted! Good luck and happy solving!

Note: Cathedral of Junk is not affiliated with Mission Street Puzzles in any way.

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