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Solutions for Act V Scene 3 - Splice

The title and genealogy tree point to a definite genetic theme for this puzzle, but what is being inherited? The first step is to realise that we have ten red boxes and ten clues (with the "Clues" heading in red), indicating we need to fill those boxes with the clues.

Monotonous and repetitive intonation CHANTING
Tiny plant that is lucky in fours CLOVER
Search for water via mystical means DOWSE
Tough or surly, as in billy goats GRUFF
Forcibly takes possession SEIZES
Statues (collectively) STATUARY
Unusual; weird STRANGE
Inhalant used to subdue rioters TEAR GAS
Two siblings sharing a birthday TWINS
Speak softly without pitch WHISPER

Aside from STATUARY, none of the clues are too difficult to solve, and the fact that the answers are in alphabetical order should help to confirm their correctness. But this also suggests that their listed order doesn't correspond to the order they should be placed into the red boxes.

Clearly, we are looking for a way that certain pairs of words can be combined - or 'spliced' - to produce a new word. Splitting the words into halves and trying to join different halves together doesn't get us very far, and the odd-lettered words make this splitting ambiguous. But what we can do is combine alternate letters of two words. LOCK and PITH, for example, would compine to form L_C_ + _I_H = LICH.

Judging from the red boxes at the top of the diagram, we want to start off by finding two pairs of these words that can directly 'splice' together to produce another word. This isn't as hard as it sounds, as wrong pairs will usually reveal themselves in the first few letters. Nevertheless, there are more than two possible pairs included in this list:

CHANTING + DOWSE = COAST
CHANTING + GRUFF = CRAFT
CHANTING + WHISPER = CHASTEN
SEIZES + CLOVER = SLIVER
SEIZES + TWINS = SWINE
TEARGAS + TWINS = TWANG
TWINS + CHANTING = THINS

Before we try to fit these into the diagram, several things are worth noting. Firstly, it seems apparent that we are most interested in the 'final' pairs of parents in the fourth row of the tree. Assuming that left/right parents consistently correspond to odd/even or even/odd 'letters passed on', the final left parent in the fourth row of the left side of the tree should be passing on the same letters as the very first left parent in the top-left of the diagram. CHANTING is an 'odd-parent' with three other words in the list, making it the best candidate for that far top-left position. This, in turn, suggests that the left parent in each pair is the 'odd-parent.' As we only care about the odds of the final 'odd-parent' in the left side of the tree, the order we fill in DOWSE, GRUFF, and WHISPER doesn't matter.

We can then rule out the TWINS + CHANTING combination above as a coincedence and move on to the right side of the tree. SEIZES is an odd-parent to two words, and so is the best candidate for the first odd-parent on the right side. TWANG doesn't splice with any other words, so the first pair cannot be TEARGAS and TWINS. Similarly, SWINE doesn't splice with CLOVER, so the first row must be SEIZES and CLOVER producing SLIVER which then combines with TWINS to give SWINE. TEARGAS and SWINE then produce TWANG.

The two remaining words, STATUARY and STRANGE, do not produce any words when spliced with any other in the list, suggesting that our final spliced children are not going to be recognisable words. From the brackets beneath each of the final two pairs, we can also deduce that these children are going to be six letters in length, meaning that COAST or CRAFT, rather than CHASTEN, must be the final odd-parent on the left side. This gives us two possible sets of final letters:

COAST (or CRAFT) + STATUARY = CTATTA
TWANG + STRANGE = TTAAGG

or

COAST (or CRAFT) + STRANGE = CTAATG
TWANG + STATUARY = TTATGA

giving us the final letter strings (including the filled-in boxes):

While these aren't words, they are recognisable to anyone who has ever studied biology: they are comprised only of the four DNA bases, GCAT. In DNA, G is paired with C across the double helix, and A is paired with T. The arrangement of boxes at the bottom are only half of a double helix, suggesting that we want to find the other half. Keeping the filled-in letters as they are, this gives us:

GATAATAANTONTCCOR
or
GATTACAANTONACTOR

Clearly, the second row is the correct one, and gives us the final message GATTACA ANTON ACTOR. The actor who played Anton in the film "Gattaca" is LOREN DEAN.

The answer is: lorendean