Hints & Solutions Edit
Highlight the white text inside the block for hints ranging from vague to specific...
If the instructions aren't clear, you are trying to navigate from the upper left (cave) to the lower right (home).
The poison darts can be used at any time, so just think of it as "you may remove four thieves (letters) from the map"
It may help to look at the path from the end, because from of the thieves will obviously need to be removed.
The walls are your friend - use them.
You need to start by hugging the left wall.
The answer to the puzzle is: COWL.