Puzzle Contest!

Come, ye puzzlers of Ur, to Alw's Puzzle Hut! New puzzle every week!

TO ENTER THE PUZZLE CONTEST: Purchase a puzzle on a note from the puzzle room in my tower. The solution will always be an English word or phrase. When you think you have it, mail the note, together with your answer and a brief explanation of how you arrived at your answer, to Alw Sunny no later than the date specified on the note. One entry allowed per Glitch.

GIVE UP? Mail the note, with a message reading "UNSOLVED", to Alw Sunny for a full refund.

OUT OF PUZZLES? Send me a message to let me know the box is empty and I will restock and notify you when I next log on.

SOLUTIONS: Solutions will be posted after the deadline for submitting solutions has passed--check the leaderboard for a full list.

PRIZES: For every puzzle, two Grand Prizes will be awarded--one to the Glitch with the first correct solution, and one to a Glitch randomly drawn from the remaining correct solutions, as well as Runner-Up Prizes for all further remaining correct solutions. For more details, read the note next to the Prize Box in my tower.

LEADERBOARD: I will be keeping track of first-place finishes and correct solutions as time passes--keep an eye on the leaderboard!

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink


  • Week 1: Things to Say to Girls at Parties

    This week's puzzle had a selection of quotes with a single word strategically replaced with "pants". The astute solvers looked up the real quotes and found the missing words.

    Step two was to use the numbers in front of the quotes to determine which letters of the missing words to use, spelling out the answer, "James Bond" (or "Bond, James Bond", as the "Pants, pants pants" at the end of the puzzle suggested.)

    There was a bit of a hiccup as the first nine or so puzzles went out with an error (a 9 instead of an 8 in front of one of the quotes, which would have given a solution of "James Botd"). Many thanks to first-place finisher Lagomorphic for recognizing this and pointing it out.

    All affected entrants were notified of this error via butler; however, if you purchased a note with this error, and for whatever reason were NOT notified, please return the note to me for a full refund and consolation prize. I hang my head in shame and resolve to do better.

    But on to the good news! Besides the aforementioned Lagomorphic, who correctly solved the puzzle on day one and will shortly be receiving a Grand Prize of 10 Butterfly Eggs, five of the other forty-two entrants provided the correct answer. Congratulations to Tetro, Emiko, Exist0717, Shankinator, and Fado! By random number generator, the second Grand Prize winner is Fado. The other winners will soon be receiving Runner-Up Prizes of 200 Currants each.

    WEEK 2's PUZZLE is now available on the first floor of my Tower, together with new Prizes and an updated Leaderboard!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Week 2: Elsie

    This week's puzzle took the form of a comic strip without a punchline. (The curious can see it here).

    Three words in the comic are spelled in all caps: ELSIE, CALL, and NUMBER. The astute solver recognized that this meant puzzlers were looking for an LC (Library of Congress) call number.

    The only other bit of information that changed, panel to panel, was the position of the hands of the clock. While many puzzlers noted their importance and tried to wrangle a number from them, only one, CuCN, recognized it as semaphore. When properly decoded, the clocks read: E (numerals) 2 2 1 (space) (letters) W (numerals) 3 1.

    Looking up E221 W31 in the Library of Congress' catalog leads to the title, "Who was the author of the Declaration of Independence?" I would have accepted any of the members of the committee that drafted it, but CuCN provided the answer I expected, Thomas Jefferson.

    So, congratulations to CuCN, the only Glitch out of 72 entrants to come up with the correct answer! They will shortly be receiving a Grand Prize of 5 Purple Sno Cones. (The other five will just have to wait for some other week!)

    WEEK 3's PUZZLE is now available on the first floor of my Tower. I promise there is no semaphore required!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • wow. CuCN is smart!
    Posted 7 years ago by Kookaburra Subscriber! | Permalink
  • that's pretty US-specific
    Posted 7 years ago by shhexy corin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yes, the Library of Congress is in the US. However, the LC classification system is not restricted to U.S. use, and call numbers in general are used worldwide. I'm sorry if you tried the puzzle and found it not to your liking.

    ETA: Also, my offer is now and has always been to give a full refund to anyone who can't or doesn't want to solve the puzzle. It's not everyone's cup of tea; that's okay.
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I realised I was being a bit bitchy, apologies :)

    I have no idea what a Library of Congress call number is, or even what a call number is, never heard of it before yesterday, but if it's something that lots of people know about then  I'm sure it was a lot of fun! 

    I didn't take part/know about your puzzles, so I'm not miffed at all -  it just felt like when we have a pub quiz and there's a question where you don't understand most of the words of the question, let alone have a clue about the answer. 
    Posted 7 years ago by shhexy corin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Ps. What do you mean by ETA?  I only know that as "estimated time of arrival"
    Posted 7 years ago by shhexy corin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Shhexy, it also can mean "edited to add."

    Looking forward to trying the puzzles!
    Posted 7 years ago by Pii Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Wow, I would have never solved that Elsie puzzle but what a crazy great idea! And I love this week's puzzle!
    Posted 7 years ago by Candy Warhol Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Shhexy -- no worries. :)

    I get the feeling too. Though I'm only three weeks into this venture, I'm trying for variety in the puzzles--not everybody is going to get everything, and hopefully different puzzles will appeal to different people.
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Week 3: An AdvendtURe

    This week's puzzle (here for the curious) asked puzzlers to identify the odd picture out.

    Most puzzlers correctly deduced that the pictures all had something to do with our Glitchly world of Ur (as hinted by the UR in the title). Not everybody noticed the "vend" not-a-typo in the title, though.

    Specifically, each picture represents either a street or a vendor in Ur. There are 7 streets and 8 vendors, therefore one of the vendors is the odd one out. The intended pairs were as follows:

    (Jar Jar Binks) - Jarjai Binq - Toy Vendor
    (Highland dancers) - Highland Fling - Animal Goods Vendor
    (Louis Pasteur) - Louise Pasture - Animal Goods Vendor
    (Minced Oaths) - Mincedoathe Formation - Hardware Vendor
    (Chitterlings) - Chettar Lings - Grocery Vendor
    (Lust, Caution poster) - Lustan Cautions - Grocery Vendor
    (Cool Beans) - Khoul Bheens - Gardening Goods

    Odd one out -- Kitchen Tools

    Some pictures proved more difficult than others to identify (more than one puzzler thought the chitterlings were squid -- sorry!) but there were three valiant solvers (out of 39 entrants) who came up with the correct solution.

    Grand Prize #1 of 1000 cherries goes to Bruce Garetz for the first correct solution!

    Random number generator selects Arashi Kurobara as the second Grand Prize winner!

    And a runner-up prize of 500 Currants goes to CuCN, who solved the puzzle for a second week in a row, putting him at the top of the most-puzzles-solved leaderboard.

    WEEK 4's PUZZLE is now available in my tower! Happy puzzling!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Sorry for being dense,again, which one is the minced oath picture? Is it the one with Jimminy Cricket?
    Posted 7 years ago by shhexy corin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I only realized the chitterlings weren't squid by going through streets by vendor type for the vendors I hadn't hadn't matched up yet until something clicked in my brain. =P (But hey, obviously it worked!)

    And yeah, the minced oath pic is the one with Jiminy Cricket.
    Posted 7 years ago by Arashi Kurobara Subscriber! | Permalink
  • can someone explain the minced oath one? 
    Posted 7 years ago by shhexy corin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • The link in the solution goes to an explanation of what a minced oath is. The four things in that image are Jiminy Cricket, fudge, sugar, and cheese, which are all examples of minced oaths. (I totally thought that the fudge was a brownie until I realized what the overall image represented.)
    Posted 7 years ago by Bruce Garetz Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Week 4: Ditsy Dahlias

    Here is the puzzle in its entirety, for the curious:


    Five Glitches were gathered for a moment of silence when they were interrupted by a strange noise.

    Molly said, "What terrible HULLAbaLOO!"
    Ollie said, "ChandeLIERS crashing MENacingly!"
    Rollie said, "You CAN'T seriously imagine--"
    Sally said, "AMbuLANces!"
    Ellie said, "GRENDALINE BUries AMbuLANces personally."

    What was it?


    Two hints were included: The initials of the speakers, which spell MORSE, and the first syllables of the puzzle's title, "Dit Dah", which is how dots and dashes can be vocalised in Morse code. (I suspect most solvers skipped the dit dah and went straight for the Morse.)

    Clever solvers translated the lowercase syllables as dots and the uppercase syllables as dashes (each word thus translating to a single letter) to come up with the solution, "Esquibeth's Conch".

    WELL DONE to the six solvers (out of thirty-two entrants): CuCN, Bruce Garetz, Arashi Kurobara, Candy Warhol, Veralidaine, and Sewer! CuCN picks up his second first-place finish, and the random number generator selects Arashi Kurobara as the second winner of this week's Grand Prize, 500 Hooches! The four runners-up will each receive 500 Currants.

    WEEK 5's PUZZLE is now available in my tower! Puzzle long, puzzle hard!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Week 5's deadline is noon game time, the 3rd of Junuary, but results will be delayed till after the weekend owing to my being out of town.

    WEEK 6's PUZZLE is available in my tower right now if you want to get a head start, though!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Week 5: One of These Things

    Here is the puzzle if you're curious.

    One of these things is not like the others, as the song says, and in each group of 4 pictures there were 3 that shared a common element and one that did not. The intended answers:

    (Elmo, Kermit, Hoots, Natasha) B - Kermit the Frog is not performed by Kevin Clash.
    (Frida Kahlo by Frida Kahlo, Albrecht Drer by Albrecht Drer, Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh) A - Morisot is not a self-portrait.
    (Italy, Iceland, Australia, India) - N - Australia does not start with an I
    (Sloth, Wombat, Fox, Crab) - I - There are no wombats in Ur (yet, as several people pointed out).
    (Goethe, Dead Parrot, Inquisition, Spam) - S - Goethe doesn't refer to a Monty Python sketch.
    (Freddie Mercury, Spock (a Vulcan), Venus Flytrap, Bruno Mars) - T - While Vulcan, like Mercury, Venus, and Mars, is a Roman god and (arguably) a planet, it isn't in the solar system.
    (Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Great Wall of China) - E - Machu Picchu isn't in Asia.
    (Bulbasaur, Diglett, Charmander, Squirtle) - R - Diglett is not a starter Pokmon.

    The intended answer is BANISTER.

    First for the second week in a row is CuCN, who wins a Grand Prize of 10 Modestly Sized Rubies! Correct answers were ALSO submitted by m4, Bruce Garetz, Arashi Kurobara, Scarf, and Anna Grahams (out of 29 entrants). RNG selects Scarf as the winner of the second Grand Prize, and the other clever Glitches as the winners of 1000 currants each. Your prizes will arrive shortly!

    Week 6's puzzle is still available in my tower -- deadline for entries is noon game time, the 13th of Remember!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Week 6: Favor

    Here's the puzzle for reference.

    This week we used the game as part of the puzzle! For each skill listed, solvers determined whether the symbol next to it was of the primary giant, a secondary giant, or non-affiliated giant. Then, starting at the highlighted B on the wheel and moving clockwise, they moved one space for a primary giant, two spaces for a secondary giant, and zero spaces (thus repeating the letter) for a non-affiliated giant.

    This spelled out the answer, BOOKKEEPING.

    While this week's contest was attempted by many (55 entrants!) only two solved the puzzle correctly, and literally MINUTES APART. Congrats to CuCN, who takes first place AGAIN, and Bruce Garetz, who very nearly snatched it from him. Both will receive this week's Grand Prize of 50 Bubble Tree Beans!

    Week 7's puzzle is now available in my tower. Can you break CuCN's streak? You'll never know unless you take a look!
    Posted 7 years ago by Alw Sunny Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I'm no good at math puzzles, but I'll be certain to try next week's puzzle.
    Posted 7 years ago by Avnas Subscriber! | Permalink