I really, really wanted to finish my playthrough without looking at hints. After all, I beat the game back in 1998 without cheating, and I was convinced I could do it again.
Up until this point I had been stuck on a few things (sign in the woods, didn't pick up the can opener because his head wasn't obviously looking at it), but nothing like this - I had just spent the last hour in that sorry adventure-game-state where I said, "Screw it" and went around to EVERY character in every scene and tried every inventory item with everything them... and still, nothing.
The part I was stuck at was trying to figure out how to get the tools from the bees. I knew they had tools. I knew the tools would be used by Glottis. And I knew the bees were having union troubles. But... that's it.
After an hour of trying every item on every character and STILL not having made any progress I gave up. I went online and checked out a hint system.
And man... I wish I could say the solution feels obvious - it does - but I really don't think I EVER would have figured that out, even with trying every item on everything.
SPOILERS FOR BEE TOOLS PUZZLE
You see, when trying every item on every character, I really don't think I ever would have thought to try and interact again with the patrons of the jazz club. And if I did try to interact with them, I probably wouldn't have thought to show them the note.
In retrospect it all makes sense - HOWEVER, the key piece of information - that the bees were looking for the right words - was delivered to me once, two weeks ago (in real time) and never mentioned again. I totally forgot the bees were looking for the right words. That clue right there "word" would have been enough to point me in the right direction - but it never came up again and I really don't know if I ever would have figured it out.
Still love the game. Still having a blast. But man... I wish I could have said I completed it without caving.
What about you guys? What was the puzzle that broke you?