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Old 03-17-2012, 11:51 PM   #41
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( No anagram is involved in that answer, nor is the symbol on the opal a necessary clue to solve it. Batsheva's insight came from saying the words aloud without worrying about punctuation between them.)
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:57 AM   #42
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Well, the vampires are a simple challenge (for someone who eats a lot of garlic anyway). But then again, vampires are devious creatures, so maybe there is something I'm missing here... But the simple maths are as such:

First hour, you've got the first one who makes three -> that's four.
The four wish to confuse air traffic and all fly around so they make twelve. All in all -> 16
So 16 times three equals 48 (plus the old 16) -> 64
And then you have 64 who want an energy boost and can't settle for a banana, so you get 64*4 -> 256

Or simpler: 4^4=256

And I place a disclaimer of brains working at below-par capacity due to a cold.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:20 AM   #43
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stepurhan believes Uptimist's timing may be a little off due to a misreading of the puzzle parameters, though he may be mistaken. He also considers the possibility that Mrs Ye is the owner of a spinning toy commonly known as a top, and rummages through the toy chest looking for such an item.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:43 AM   #44
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Kenichi Nakamura's first attempt at the vampire puzzle appeared reasonable, a clear-cut case of exponential growth, and yet... that wasn't quite the answer. What was wrong with this reasoning?

As he mulled this over, Batsheva swept up to the toy chest in a flurry of bangles and flora. "MRS YE'S TOP!" L. V. watched, feigning incomprehension, as she affected a campy drag queen voice, pointed to an item in the toy chest, and said to Mrs. Ye, "Lemme borrow that top!"

"Excuse me?" asked Margaret Ye. She'd always found Batsheva a bit exasperating.

"That's a cute top! I wanna borrow it! Let me -" Batsheva stopped, seeing that her efforts at lightening the mood were falling flat, and said, "It's a YouTube thing."

Ocean Zweidler sighed as Mrs. Ye handed over the toy. It was decorated with multicolored dots, but the part that immediately drew Ms. Ellis's attention was the handle. It unscrewed from the disc easily, revealing a metal cylinder that fit neatly into the lock.

"It must be electronic," said Kenichi, noting the lack of notches on the key. "It has a chip inside the handle to signal the door."

But when they opened the cabinet, the safe inside confronted them with yet another challenge! Inside was another locked door, with a combination lock that bore a compass rose around its dial, rather than numbers. And attached to this safe was a sheet of paper bearing the following maze of arrows:

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Old 03-18-2012, 10:31 AM   #45
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At the Banquet of 2021...

"You didn't really mean for that to happen, did you? When they found the ochre stone?"

It was Cox who spoke, more than a little impertinently. She was a truly rigid and inflexible servant of the Witch, and was shocked that this minor heresy was being committed. But she definitely had a point. "You never expected the answer of 'Dante's Inferno!' You couldn't have... Could you?"

"The Sapphire Witch is unpredictable! Who knows? Perhaps I anticipated this second answer from the start! After all, many of these riddles were forged with two answers in mind!" The Witch laughed, then added, airily waving at Miss Cox's garishly colored attire, "You ought to loosen your collar a little."

"I'm sorry, but It's not right! Letting a wrong answer pass is wrong! Let's just strike that out and - "

But fortunately, the pedantic argument proceeded no further, "It'll be fine," said Rathvon, another of the Witch's servants. Short and rubicund, and as flexible as Miss Cox was rigid, Rathvon frequently had to clean up after her mistakes when she spoke a little too quickly, which was often. "Try to see things from our Witch's position, sis. It's not a 'wrong answer'; it fits the clues and decodes neatly. It was just an unexpected move, that's all."

The Witch nodded, and by illustration, made a chessboard diagram appear.


----

As the sky darkens, the magic of the Witch waxes in power. Shall we have a little music?

(Theme: Witch's Chess)

Though the pieces were the same as in normal play, they were arranged in a pattern that couldn't possibly have been achieved in any sane chess game. As they watched, black moved a pawn out of the way, revealing an unexpected attack from a bishop. The white king was being threatened.

The Witch tapped on the figure to emphasize the threat. "You see? The Witch side must respond. We are in check."

"Can't we ignore it -"

"We cannot afford to. What if they invoke the Sphinx's Tenth Commandment? If any player's answer neatly fits every single clue of a riddle without breaking these rules, it is a correct answer."

Cox stopped short, for the full depth of the Witch's insanity had finally become apparent to her. "You mean to play this whole game by Sphinx's rules? That means that you can't use red herrings! Every clue would have to either be a genuine clue to some earlier or later riddle, or a hint to someone's character, or a clue to what really happened that night, or all of those things!"

Sphinx's rules were meant for short riddles and individual puzzles, but never for an entire game. Yet the Witch didn't seem daunted. "I never decreed in red that I was playing by Sphinx's rules. And no matter. We've moved out of check and lost little for it. Provided that we weave all these myriad details into our story without compromising the truth, we shall win."

"A reasonable move indeed," added Dudeney. "Conservative and cautious."

"Yeah. Great move," said the boy at the end of the table, rather impatiently. "But I don't care if you play easy on me. Okay? If I give you a wrong answer, I want to know! Don't talk down to me."

The Witch looked saddened at this. "Is that really all you care about? The right answer?"

"I care about the truth. It's okay if we play games," said the boy, "but I want to get an answer at the end. I feel like sometimes... you get close to showing me a fact, something that really happened that night, not just fake names and metaphors and riddles. But whenever you do, I bet you tell Cox to get rid of it. Just to keep me from seeing..."

The Witch mulled this over in silence. Dudeney looked up expectantly, as this was the point where a Witch was duty-bound to rebuff the arrogant mortal. "Annabel?" said Dudeney.

"Let me think!" Such a blunt demand was rare, and yet the boy had a right to ask. But a Witch needed to be firm in these matters, or else ruin would result. "Were the secrets of the Club's final meeting generally known," said the Witch, "I would be ruined. Why should I trust you?"

The boy considered his answer carefully, but couldn't really come up with a reason that appealed to the Witch's self-interest. "Because I believed in you."

"Well..." said the Witch, a little more softly. "We'll see. Let me speak to my mentor. When this Chapter's banquet arrives, and not before."
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:26 PM   #46
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This is a really gripping narrative, with puzzles as an added bonus.

Vampires are scarier than I imagined.

If vampires need 3 peoples blood per hour. They must be munching every 20 minutes.

Assuming Drac doesn't need blood to start flying, his first snack is at 20 minutes. At 20 minutes there would be 2 vampires.

At 40 minutes, Drac has his second snack, and Drac junior has his first. There are now 4 vampires.

Carrying on in this fashion, the number of vampires doubles every 20 minutes, giving a total of 4,096 vampires at 240 minutes.

Alternatively, Drac needs a snack to get started (so there are 2 vampires at 0 minutes rather than 20 minutes in) This adds another iteration, to an eye-watering 8,092 vampires.

Based on the 2010 population figures (if Wikipedia is to be believed) the number of people in Manhattan is 1,585,873. Assuming the vampires only leave Manhattan when all the population are turned, the whole lot will be vampires by 7:00 am.

On the plus side. that happens to coincide with dawn (approximately), which should thin out the numbers a bit.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:10 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepurhan View Post
stepurhan believes Uptimist's timing may be a little off due to a misreading of the puzzle parameters
I told you I'd have an excuse with the cold
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:52 PM   #48
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Quote:
Based on the 2010 population figures (if Wikipedia is to be believed) the number of people in Manhattan is 1,585,873. Assuming the vampires only leave Manhattan when all the population are turned, the whole lot will be vampires by 7:00 am.
(Ah, that would be the case if we began at 12:00 midnight - that is, 12:00 AM. But you may want to reread the question...)

Several years ago...

Alicia Tressler had known of Ann Seaton by phone and electronic correspondence, but actually meeting her in person was quite another thing. Seaton's office was neat, save for one desk piled high with papers, but details hinted at its owner's eccentricity. One bookshelf held, next to the classic textbooks and protocol guides, a copy of The Hobbit, and brass figurines, some in the shapes of witches and giant mushrooms, stood on a filing cabinet in the corner.

"Cup of tea?" asked Dr. Seaton, offering the clinician a mug labeled with a three-eyed smiley face.

"Thanks," said Dr. Tressler. "Liked the introduction you gave me today. Very flattered!" Before her talk, Seaton had introduced her as a world-renowned diagnostician. Of course, that she was one of Seaton's several dozen collaborators on the Cancer Chip project, seeking to find molecular 'signals' to diagnose and treat tumors, probably contributed to the warm reception.

"Only the best for you, Alicia," said Seaton, toying with a spring between her fingers. "But I actually wanted to talk to you about something else. Not business at all. My husband and I have started a kind of club."

"A club?"

Seaton shrugged, as if to say 'it's nothing serious', but her eyes were focused on Tressler's "Think of it as a puzzle and riddle club. I do know how you enjoy mysteries, so..."

"Guess I'm up for a meeting! Couldn't hurt to try!" said Alicia, gamely.

"Oh, good, good. You know Professor Rinaldi? He's on board, too..."

And that was how Dr. Alicia Tressler took her first step toward becoming ALICE, the Witch of Connections.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WitchOfDoubt View Post
(Ah, that would be the case if we began at 12:00 midnight - that is, 12:00 AM. But you may want to reread the question...)
I always get confused with how AM and PM are supposed to work when it comes to the 12:00s.

Quote:
And that was how Dr. Alicia Tressler took her first step toward becoming ALICE, the Witch of Connections.[/font]
Witch of Connections, eh. Could this have something to do with the connections puzzle from the safe? It can't just be her name because, even with the title "doctor" there aren't enough letters to fill all the boxes. Am I missing something obvious here?
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:18 PM   #50
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Quote:
I always get confused with how AM and PM are supposed to work when it comes to the 12:00s.
(Hmm... you may want to re-think that puzzle, then!)

Quote:
Witch of Connections, eh. Could this have something to do with the connections puzzle from the safe? It can't just be her name because, even with the title "doctor" there aren't enough letters to fill all the boxes. Am I missing something obvious here?
(Remember, the safe dial is a compass rose - it should bear the directions N, S, E, and W. And the maze is a clue to open the safe...)
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:25 AM   #51
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Depending on whether the vampire feeds on 3 people after an hour, or on 1 person every 20 minutes, I agree with the 256 and 4096 answers.

The fact that it's noon doesn't mean anything. It was never stated that the vampires in this particular riddle can't stand sunlight, and besides, they could get by in the subway system alone...



As for the compass lock thingie. I think the lock combination is NSWE (in that order).

In the grid, if you start at the A and take the north arrow, then - at the box you just arrived at - the south arrow, then the west arrow and then the east arrow, you arrive at the R.

Also: A + North + South + West + East + R = A+N+S+W+E+R = ANSWER.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:20 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimovieMan View Post
As for the compass lock thingie. I think the lock combination is NSWE (in that order).

In the grid, if you start at the A and take the north arrow, then - at the box you just arrived at - the south arrow, then the west arrow and then the east arrow, you arrive at the R.

Also: A + North + South + West + East + R = A+N+S+W+E+R = ANSWER.
Brilliant Sir!
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:57 PM   #53
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The guests continued to discuss the vampire problem, and eventually reached a conclusion: at least two answers were possible, in keeping with the running themes of the night, depending on how they characterized the vampires' rate of reproduction.

Naturally, old Walter Sexton called foul. "Sphinx's Second and Third," he muttered. "Not a sound riddle. Framing's too vague."

"On the contrary," said Ocean Zweidler, "At noon, the vampires should burn up. That's all the information we need... unless they were Twilight vampires, but those hardly count, do they?"

Batsheva had a caveat. "Could've ridden the subway! Dracula would get the senior discount."

"The riddle tells us that the vampires were flying," replied Ocean, a little coyly. Then, in a moment of terribly Batsheva-like insight, she added. "Of course, they could have had umbrellas to protect them from the sun."

"That's true!" said Batsheva, nodding sagely. In the end, the guests settled on three answers: 256, 4096, and zero, with the third being most likely given Batsheva's nature. Would this vampire lore be relevant later on?

Of course it would.

*******

With a last careful click, Walter Sexton, one of the Club's more traditional puzzle solvers, spun the compass dial to the last position - E. "Rather like solving a crossword," he remarked. "Fill in the missing letters to find the 'ANSWER.'" As he spoke, the safe swung open, revealing yet another safe inside it - a safe within a safe. On that safe was taped a piece of paper - the very page you are reading right now - and on that piece of paper were two stories.

The first story told how Walter opened the safe, but the second was an outrageous lie. According to the bottom half of the page, L. V. had opened the safe using his mother's name from her first marriage, a piece of information that would have been entirely inaccessible to anyone else! How absurd... but was it a clue of some kind? This was the second time that they had found two parallel stories inside a safe, and each time, L. V. had been the victor in the alternate story.

"I imagine that whoever wrote these riddles thinks a great deal of you, Mr. Ford-Seaton," said Walter, drily.

In the second story, what combination did L. V. use to open the safe?

*******

Meet the Pieces (Part 6 of Many)

Kenichi Nakamura
Age: 48
Profession: Programmer

Quote: "People call riddles 'difficult' or 'easy' in a way that sounds like saying 'good' or 'bad.' Lose, lose! Tell me if a riddle's 'clever' or 'crude.' If it's clever and easy, give it to children. If it's clever and difficult, give it to me. If it's crude, give it to nobody."

Background: Born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, Kenichi Nakamura grew up in a big city on the Boso Peninsula. From a young age, he loved tinkering in his father's electronics store, taking apart radios, soldering wires, and getting the odd shock from a charged capacitor. In his twenties, he attained international fame under the pseudonym "Ken Q." as the author of the acclaimed When they Call series of 'visual novels.' In pursuit of new ideas and puzzles he traveled the world, learning English and swapping hacker jargon with his western peers.

Random Fact: Kenichi Nakamura can solve a difficult Playfair cipher in his head.

Sample Riddle: Mark Ye was looking increasingly impatient with the guests' attempts to solve the riddles. "Mark, are you allowed to try to answer these?" asked Mr. Nakamura.

"Staff and their families are only allowed to answer the Witch's Epigraph, not the safe riddles." recited Mark. "I'm bored."

Kenichi filed the reference to a 'Witch's Epigraph' in his memory for later consideration. "Would you like to have a riddle of your own to solve?" asked Mr. Nakamura.

"Yeah!"


"Okay. There is a frog on that staircase with 39 steps.

First it jumps up 5 steps.
Then it jumps down 2 steps.
Then it jumps up 5 steps.
Then it jumps down 2 steps.
And so it repeats, until it reaches the top. If -"

"25 jumps!" said Mark. "I know this one! It's with a well!"

"... no, not that one. Suppose you see the frog on top of the 38th step, and you know it started on top of one of the first ten steps. Which of those steps could it have started from?"
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:38 AM   #54
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When starting on the floor, it takes the frog 25 jumps to reach the top (like Mark said). On his 23rd jump, the frog reaches step 38.
Because of the +5/-2 iteration, every third step gives the same jumping sequence (each consecutive time requiring 2 jumps less to reach the top).
That means that starting at steps 3, 6 and 9 would each result in the frog arriving at step 38. No other sequences have him arriving at step 38, since there are only 39 steps in total.

If you don't count the ground floor (step 0, which the frog can hardly start "on top of"), then the frog could only have started from steps 3, 6 or 9.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:42 PM   #55
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Even at his young age, Mark was thorough and clever. "There's a pattern. It's the same thing every three steps." He presented the correct three numbers in order, from lowest to highest. Unsurprisingly, they would prove to be useful later.

Regardless of which guest managed to open the compass dial - LV or Walter - the safe inside was entirely different from any they had seen before. Behind the paper bearing the two stories was a second taped note and a microphone speaker. Some of the text on the note was blurred, but the following could be made out:


"Maybe we ought to look at that collection of records," suggested Ocean. The group gathered around the box of records as Samuel wheeled a phonograph into the room. The singles in the box were, from front to back:

* "Kaze wo Atsumete"
* "I've Got Dreams to Remember"
* "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
* "Suspicious Minds"
* "Hey Jude"
* "Amor, No Gracias"
* "People Get Ready"
* "There Are Bad Times Just around the Corner"
* "Rhapsody in Blue"
* "Superstition"
* "Respect"
* "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
* "Take on Me"
* "The Riddle"
* "Mamma Said"
* "Here I Go Again"
* "Twilight"
* "Ruby Tuesday"

The guests pooled their knowledge and considered the problem carefully. A combination of songs - most likely a pair of them - was required.

"I was never good with songs," said Mr. Jackson, the tech guy. "But her taste was pretty broad, wasn't it?"

"Think there's a message in these?" asked Samuel. Of course, knowing Ann, there had to be - probably more than one. Lana Rodriguez simply listened as the guests played through the songs, and reflected on all of the times that the Sapphire Witch had borrowed the scratched old discs. Foreman had brought a phonograph into her hospital room, in that last awful month.

If he'd been so thoughtful about his little affair, mused Lana, bitterly, she might have let him win this. But you gave him just enough rope to hang himself, didn't you, Ann? Him and that flighty little woman.

"Huh!" said Batsheva Ellis, flipping through the records as Foreman hovered near her shoulder. "She liked ELO! Good taste!"

Turning away a shade apologetically, Dr. Rinaldi said, "I think I shall look for the other path through the arrow maze. I have no head for popular music."

"Agreed," said Walter Sexton.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:45 AM   #56
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About the blurred note:

Sodium11 --> Sodium has an atomic number of 11

If what's between brackets needs to be 17, then the blurred word should be Carbon (which has an atomic number of 6).

That said, sodium carbonate is more commonly known as washing soda, so maybe we need the word 'SODA' here???




As for the records, there's a hidden message present if we add the artists who perform the songs:

Happy End - Kare wo Atsumete
Otis Redding - I've Got Dreams to Remember
Police, The - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
Beatles, The - Hey Jude
Rocio Durcal - Amor, No Gracias
Impressions, The - People Get Ready
Noel Coward - There Are Bad Times Just around the Corner
Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
Stevie Wonder - Superstition
Aretha Franklin - Respect
Neil Sedaka - Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
A-Ha - Take on Me
Nik Kershaw - The Riddle
Shirelles, The - Mamma Said
Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
ELO - Twilight
Rolling Stones, The - Ruby Tuesday

Looking at the first letters gives us: HOPE BRINGS AN ANSWER
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #57
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Kenichi Nakamura puzzled over the second clue, pulling out a periodic table from a chemistry book on the bookshelf. Sodium carbonate? Hmm... no, that didn't fit any of the songs. The records had to hold the secret to solving this.

It didn't seem like a cipher or cryptogram of any conventional kind, he reflected. It almost certainly had to do with the contents of the songs themselves.

"Hey, dudes.... how'd we solve the bead puzzle? With the solder and all that?" thought L. V. aloud.

The first clue was even trickier. Batsheva tried reading the lines aloud, ignoring the blurred-out text, to see if anything jumped out at her. They had already begun testing records, and the answer to that clue certainly was not one of the first nine songs.



Ocean flipped back and forth through the singles, looking for any pattern, and then... it hit her.

She pulled out a pencil and paper, and had it in seconds.

HOPE BRINGS AN ANSWER

"Could it mean...? No, of course not, that would be ridiculous." It was likely that they were not meant to use this clue just yet, but it would be helpful shortly. "Hope brings an answer..."

Little did Ocean know that an uninvited guest, spying upon the proceedings from the landing above, had heard what she said, and had jotted down a hasty scribble in her notebook. "Weird," she muttered. But before this watcher - a girl of no more than twelve - could think further on this, she heard footsteps approaching, and swiftly ducked into the Club's computer room as two security guards turned the corner.

It was Maria Brand and Sal Lucas, a set of new additions to the Club staff.

"Man," said Sal, a portly but well-muscled man of about forty. "Boss's got us working long hours. Why they gotta do it at midnight?"

"They don't want anybody to find out," replied Maria, coolly, adjusting the walkie-talkie at her waist. "Would you?"

The girl furrowed her brow, pulled out her phone, and quietly set it to record the conversation for later.

"Eh, gates locked," Sal smiled easily, reflecting on the last set of sacrifices. "Nobody's getting back there until it's time. Disappearances happen all the time 'round here, anyway."

Ducking further into the shadows as the guards passed by, the girl wondered just who - or what - was going to disappear. Should she tell her mother? But the Witch said she absolutely couldn't be seen by anybody!

The clock struck seven. Five hours to midnight.


----------------

(The second solution to the maze remains undiscovered; if you're stuck, remember that even if the Witch had a different last name in her second marriage, her first name was likely unchanged. This should give you the first two moves through the maze...

The first clue to open this safe is a tricky one. One possible way to solve it would be for multiple posters to listen to different songs and use teamwork to find the answer. I've eliminated the first several songs, so it's got to be in the second half of the list.)
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:46 PM   #58
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(Note: By finding the hidden message in the records and solving the earlier puzzle involving Ocean's housekeys, you have unlocked the segments related to Hope.)

In 2021...

As the guests sat quietly at the table, a figure emerged from the shadows of the banquet hall.

"Well," said the newcomer, her voice flat and even. She was sleek, graceful, and strangely ageless, and in her right hand, she carried a long obsidian rod. "It seems," she said, "that the Human Side is unwilling to find the second way out of that maze. Perhaps a little encouragement is in order."

"You needn't need go that far!" snapped the Sapphire Witch, but the newcomer waved a hand, calling for silence.

"Don't test my patience," said this new Witch. "Boy!" she said, turning to the youth opposite the Sapphire Witch. "Do you know who I am?"

"Maybe," said the boy. "Are you the Witch of Secrets?"

The Witch of Secrets smiled. "Indeed. Yes. I am. And I imagine that all of you have come to 'solve the story.'" She waved her rod, and a red scythe-blade sprung from the tip. "Be my guest. It amuses me when mortals seek to surpass the power of Witches."

Although the implied threat filled the boy with dread, he concealed it as well as he was able. "Quit playing around and get to the point! I want the truth of what happened that night.

Why was my mother disgraced? What was up with the disappearances? Do we even know who won that inheritance dispute?"

The Witch of Secrets chuckled, low and cruel. "You have more pressing problems to consider. Every time the Human Side fails to solve a riddle, the power of the Witch Side grows."

Miss Cox nodded. "It's true. In Witch's Chess, it is the duty of humans to provide a 'rational solution.' If the Human Side stops thinking, magic wins by default."

"Now," said the Witch of Secrets. "It is time for you to see the true power of the Witch's Darkness."

----

After glancing left and right to make sure nobody was watching, Walter Sexton and L.V. Seaton-Ford stepped away from the rest of the crowd, into the darkness of the club's hallways.

"Dude, what's up?" asked L. V. "You looked kinda angry there."

Sexton faced him and sighed. "More disappointed. I know you object to Ms. Ellis on general principle. But there's no reason to snipe at her."

L. V. grinned with his mouth, but not his eyes. "You think she even notices?"

"I've known Ms. Ellis for some time," replied Sexton, sounding tired. "She pretends not to notice, but she does." They kept walking, losing track of their surroundings as they talked. "Do you blame her for what happened?"

"She coulda waited until the body was cold."

"That's not an answer, young man, and - where are we now?"

They had reached an unfamiliar place in the Club - a small, square room with stone walls that they'd never seen before, lit by a flickering chandelier. On the floor was engraved a large letter "A" in Gothic script, and foreboding archways lay to the north, south, east, and west, with the letters "N," "S," "E", and "W", engraved over each arch, respectively. All opened into long, dark, curving tunnels.

"What's this?" said Sexton, picking up an envelope from the floor. It bore a distinctive seal:




Find a way out or die.

You get a two-move head start.


Signed,
The Witch of Secrets

From somewhere to the south, the two heard the sound of inhuman shrieks and hisses. Whatever they were, they were getting closer. But surely there was a rational explanation for this...

Walter and L. V. have been trapped in the maze. Use compass directions to guide them through the labyrinth, one room at a time, and hurry!
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Last edited by WitchOfDoubt; 03-31-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #59
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If L.V.'s solution to the maze was his mother's name from her first marriage, then we need to start with N-N (her name was Ann, so we start at the A and take the north arrow twice).

This path eventually leads to one single possibility (due to some combinations ending in a square with no outgoing arrows - a dead end), and that possibility is: ANN WESER.
It's the only solution that starts with ANN and leads back to the R.

This makes N-N-W-E-S-E the combination that L.V. used to open the safe.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:47 PM   #60
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(Well-reasoned! You might wan to recheck the last two moves, though.)

"Run," suggested L. V., helpfully, and the two of them sprinted through the north door into a long tunnel that curved to the east. As they stepped into the room it led into, a stone block slammed down behind them.

Walter stopped to catch his breath - whatever was chasing them should be caught behind that door. Then he heard the crashing footsteps from the east.

Two demons stepped into the room and stared at the pair for a long moment through utterly black eyes. Snarling, one leapt at Walter, and he madly scrambled through the south door with the creature in pursuit. The other demon charged at L. V., who fled in terror through the north door.

A - N - N -

The tunnel curved around and left L. V. in a room entirely out of place - a laboratory?

The air was was strangely calm; for the moment, the sound of demons had vanished.

Busily, translucent figures sorted fruit flies with paintbrushes, ignoring L. V. entirely as he entered and the door clicked locked behind him. One of these scientists, a man in his thirties, gleefully squirted an undergraduate with a bottle of ethanol. He appeared to be a professor, and a familiar one at that.

"Stop it, Dr. Rinaldi," said the student, looking a little put out. L. V craned his neck and saw that the young man's notebook was titled 'B. WESSER.'

"Ah... Bruce, you've got to learn to enjoy yourself, eh?" replied the ghostly figure. "Work a puzzle! Kiss a girl! Listen to some music! There's a fun song out, you know. It goes -"

Before L. V could think further about what he'd just seen, however, a pounding at the north door quickly diverted his attention to escape. The hinges wouldn't hold off the demon for very long. The west door looked promising.

Keypad Lock

To unlock the keypad, L. V. must enter a four-digit code.

* No digit appears more than once in the code.

* Three of the digits are three-letter words in English.

* The last digit is twice the first digit.

* The sum of the first two digits is 10.

Solving this lock will provide a clue to the record safe puzzle.
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