Summary from the future: HQ visited teams to play a variant of the board game Wavelength.
We gave volunteers random ratings on three different scales, such as "On scales of Ball shape -- Spaghetti shape, Greek -- Chinese, and Spring -- Fall, give a 3, 4, and 9 respectively."
If they submitted e.g. DOG, we asked the rest of their team to rate DOG on those three scales. The team succeeded if their error (sum of distances from the guessed numbers to the true numbers) was at most 6. Teams could obtain all of the clues by succeeding in 3 rounds.
You could play this game amongst yourselves (I encourage you to try it at some point; it's fun) but if you're solving a hunt you probably just want to: