Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

Solution for 5.4 Dream Team (Answer = BRENDAM)

You will first need to identify the images:

TAMMUZHENLEY
FOOTHOUSE
MAILSQUARE
POSSEGORDONTUBBY
TOOTHTALKCAR
PUFFVAINTHUNDER
ADWORDSGERMS
CROSSTOP
SHARECHEEK

There are a few different ways into this puzzle. You could have:

  1. Noticed that the first picture of each set all sounded like names. Tammuz is particular did not have many options.
  2. Noticed the word association for the second picture (particularly since this was released on the same day as 5.5 Writing on the Wall)
  3. Googled a bunch of words from {MAIL, SQUARE, PUFF, VAIN, THUNDER, SHARE, CHEEKY} to find the theme song lyrics.
  4. Simplify noticed that the colours looked like Thomas engines.
  5. Googled the makes and found that there were all related to trains.
  6. Realised that the last item represented wheels, and made some sort of leap from there.

In any case, those 3 images plus the remaining 3 items in each group provide six clued properties of each of engines 1-7 of the Steam Team.

Here is the complete list:

NumberNameName sounds likeAdjective phraseTheme song lyricsColourMakeWheels
1Thomas the Tank EngineTAMMUZTank TOPHe's the CHEEKy oneBlue (6 stripes)E2OOO
2Edward the Blue EngineADWORDSBlueTOOTHWants to help and SHAREBlue (5 stripes)K2ooOO
3Henry the Green EngineHENLEYGreenHOUSEToots and huffs and PUFFsGreen (white line)LMSooOOO
4Gordon the Big EngineGARDENBigFOOTTHUNDERs down the lineBlue (4 stripes)A0ooOOOo
5James the Red EngineGERMSRed CROSSIs VAIN but lots of funRed (3 stripes)L&YoOOO
6Percy the Small EnginePOSSESmall TALKPulls the MAIL on timeGreen (no white line)GWOO
7Toby the Tram EngineTUBBYTramCARWell let's say, he's SQUAREBrown (plain)J70/OOO\

The natural next step would be to trace the path for each engine.
e.g. Thomas the Tank Engine would travel along the path TAMMUZ → TOP → CHEEK → Blue (6 stripes) → E2 → OOO

Doing this for engines 1-7, you get:

which spells out the final answer BRENDAM, a town in the Thomas universe.

Author's Notes:
This is one of two puzzles dedicated to my 2-year-old son Musa (the other being 3.3 Middleman), who loves Thomas. The Thomas universe turned out to be much bigger and more detailed than I ever imagined! In any case, I am now equipped with unusual skills such as being able to identify the engines from their faces alone (not an easy feat, trust me!). So I guess it was bound to turn into a puzzle.