“Careful, the shrub may have fingerprints on it!”

“Careful, the shrub may have fingerprints on it!” - PLANTSEVIDENCE
"Careful, the shrub may have fingerprints on it!"

As a detective, my first instinct upon reading the phrase “Careful, the shrub may have fingerprints on it!” was to think about what objects could potentially have fingerprints on them. I first considered the possibility of a weapon or tool, but it seemed too obvious and not quite fitting with the word “shrub”. I then realized that the word “shrub” could also refer to a type of plant, and that plants can leave green, leafy prints on things they come into contact with.

With this in mind, I started thinking about potential phrases or idioms that involved both plants and evidence. “Planting evidence” immediately came to mind, but it didn’t quite fit the crossword clue as it was missing an “s”. That’s when I had my breakthrough and realized that “plants evidence” could work as both a phrase and a crossword answer. And so, “PLANTSEVIDENCE” was the solution to the crossword.

This thought process relied heavily on my knowledge of both vocabulary and the ways in which criminals try to cover their tracks. It goes to show that sometimes the key to solving a mystery lies in thinking creatively and exploring different possible angles.