"Bemused and befuddled mean pretty much the same thing."I'm sorry, but I beg to differ, and leave my own little diatribe:
Marybeth: Bemused and befuddled can have the same meaning (see bemuse definition #1 on merrian-webster.com). However, I prefer definition #3 of bemused, which has a different meaning than befuddled, to wit: amused, which seems much more applicable given the circumstances in which our two characters find themselves. Befuddled means confused.
Sometimes it is amusing to confuse someone else, and I supposed you could be amused if you were confused, but it is equally possible that you could be either bemused or befuddled without being the other.
Thank you for this opportunity to quibble.