As noted in the instructions, each comment involves wordplay of the sort found in cryptic (British-style) crosswords: homophones, anagrams, reversals, double meanings, etc.
- First comment: A synonym for “student” or “schoolboy” is PUPIL, and just as this student grew up in darkness, the PUPIL of the eye becomes larger in darkness.
- Second comment: To “focus” your effort suggests a LENS, varieties of which include complex, contact, and convex.
- First comment: EDAM is a popular cheese that is “made” backward.
- Second comment: Filberts and cashews are culinary NUTS, which is “stun” in reverse.
- First comment: The Greek poet HOMER is traditionally described as having been blind, though almost nothing is known of his life. When a baseball is knocked out of the park, it’s a home run, colloquially called a HOMER.
- Second comment: The time-related word found in the exact middle of “Athens” is THEN, which is commonly partnered with “if” (“If X, then Y”) and “now” (“now and then”).
- First comment: The most famous Swiss painter was Paul Klee, whose surname is a homophone of CLAY, a common sculpting medium. (“Klee” is also accepted by the quiz.)
- Second comment: Picture puzzles that represent sounds using images are REBUSES, a word that could itself be represented by pictures of Syngman “Rhee” and public “buses.”
- First comment: The upper arm bone is the HUMERUS, which sounds “like a joke” because it’s a homophone of “humorous.” (“Humorous” and “humourous” are also accepted as answers.)
- Second comment: The person’s arm is shown bandaged in a SLING, and to serve food (especially in a diner) is to “sling hash.” “Outrageous [mis]fortune” is a reference to Hamlet’s “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”
- First comment: “My crop is a jumble” suggests an anagram, and two long words in the comment (“sparely” and “replays”) are anagrams of each other. They’re also anagrams of a farm crop, PARSLEY.
- Second comment: If he can’t farm food, his fallback is to HUNT, or go on a quest: that’s also the surname of actresses Helen HUNT and Bonnie HUNT.
Combining the answers to the villagers’ second comments gives the seemingly arbitrary “LENS NUTS THEN REBUSES SLING HUNT.” However, typing that answer brings up a reminder that the SUN has vanished, and every bit of it is gone. Removing every letter that appears in SUN, then respacing the result, gives the apt incantation “LET THERE BE LIGHT,” which lifts the curse and brings back the sun.