Tuesday 1 January 2019

Allard’s Annual Puzzle Puzzle SOLUTION

…you know I don’t normally give solutions on my blog – but I break that rule once a year for my annual puzzle, so here you go:

First off, for those of you playing at home and wanting to confirm your answers, the two-word exhortation I was looking for was “SAVE CHICO” … my first idea had been to shoot for “TONGUE DEPRESSORS” but I decided that was too long… I’m lazy and it was Christmas – and judging by how few people solved it, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t make it any more complicated.

OK, so how the heck am I supposed to get SAVE CHICO from that page?!

Allard’s intended solution, which may or may not bear much resemblance to how my solvers actually got there:

  1. Start in the usual place by identifying the puzzles and designers, because that’s what we always do, right? And I sort of told you that in the instructions… which then asked you to derive a 2-word exhortation, but didn’t tell you how…
  2. Notice there aren’t many designers and they all appear more than once.
  3. Wonder why those pics are laid out rather deliberately all around the page.
  4. Try and make sense of things by concentrating on one of the designers, say Strijbos…
  5. There are a lot of ways to join those pictures up, surely there must be some sort of way of defining how they should be connected? But I didn’t tell you how to do that, so what could it be? We’d need some sort of universal rule that everyone already knows… if only we had something like that.
  6. Take the list of designers’ surnames and puzzles (dropping any leading articles), sort them alphabetically by designer and then within that, by puzzle name.
  7. For each designer, connect the puzzles in alphabetical order… that will trace out a shape for each designer, which should look quite a lot like a letter – actually they should be rather unambiguous, very specific letters - make a note of those.
  8. Cool, I have a list of letters now: “SACVHEICO”  …. Which could lead you to my answer if you’re in a hurry, but if you look at the lines you’ve drawn on the page, you might notice that the there are two distinct tangles of letters in there – they overlap a bit, but don’t tangle – if you separate the tangles and take the left one first, you get “SAVE CHICO”.

Two people solved my puzzle!

Many people sent me a pretty darn good list of puzzles and designers, and even more sent me a list of exhortations – several of them repeatable!

Kudos to Brendan Perez for sending in the first complete list of designers and puzzles, sadly without the final answer.

The first correct entry arrived at 02:25 (my time) on Christmas morning from Nick Baxter… and then about 5 days later I received my second correct entry from Ali Morris – well done gentlemen!! And thank you all for playing along. 

Nick and Ali will be getting something puzzling in the post in due course, as will Brendan for being the first supplier of a complete list of designers and puzzles, and Mike Toulouzas wins my lucky draw. 

Happy New Year folks!

ID Row Col Puzzle Designer
13 4 5 Circle Hales
5 2 3 Fire Starter Hales
12 4 1 Pentagon Hales
31 8 5 Turn the Plug Hales
37 10 3 Viper Hales
28 8 1 Wire Cutter Hales
36 10 1 Barrel Kamei
21 6 3 Cassiopeia Kamei
38 10 5 Nonsense Box Kamei
30 8 4 Pentagon Kamei
29 8 2 Whiskey Bottle Kamei
34 8 10 Duet Kawashima
40 10 8 Pod Kawashima
24 7 5 Rose Kawashima
15 4 8 Spring Camera Kawashima
23 6 10 Twin-Lens Reflex Camera Kawashima
1 1 1 Barcode Burr Krasnow
17 5 3 Merkaba Krasnow
4 1 5 Sequential Star Krasnow
14 4 6 Cocobolo Maze Burr Sound
39 10 6 Diamond Box Sound
32 8 6 Loop Box Sound
33 8 9 Lotus Box Sound
41 10 9 Snake Box Sound
8 3 2 First Box Strijbos
9 3 4 Lotus Strijbos
3 1 4 Pachinko Box Strijbos
2 1 2 Revenge Lock Strijbos
16 5 2 Tube It In Strijbos
18 5 4 Washer Cylinder Strijbos
19 5 10 Down the Rabbit Hole Wiltshire
42 10 10 Golden Ratio Box Wiltshire
20 5 11 Borg Box Yarger
11 3 9 Checkmate Puzzlebox Yarger
22 6 6 Fulcrum Box Yarger
35 9 9 Gordian Knot Yarger
27 7 11 Little Game Hunter Yarger
6 2 7 Blitz Young
7 2 9 Gold Coast Parking Meter Young
26 7 9 Louvre Young
25 7 7 Opening Bat Young
10 3 7 Telephone Box Young

[Table and diagram taken from Nick's solution.]

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