Friday, September 05, 2008

Off-Day Puzzle #10: Solution

Puzzle #10 had two levels, both appropriately theme-related because I'm so damn creative, and allusions to both answers hidden in the puzzle's text.

The first level was the more obvious one, whch required locating all the names on the list to help fill in the hole in the grid. Some of the players' names extended into the yellow (blank) area, allowing one to fill in all 16 of the missing letters. The completed grid looks like this:

(click on image to enlarge)

The sixteen squares in the yellow "hole" read "LEAD SINGER OF HOLE," which of course is Courtney Love. (Hole had an album called "Live Through This," which is clued in the text of the message (called the "flavortext", among puzzle afficionados).)

The second level was a bit more hidden, requiring one to read all the unused squares in the grid (which are highlighted here):

(click on image to enlarge)

Reading left to right, top to bottom, one gets the following message: "YOU HAVE FOUND AN EXTRA HIDDEN CONTEST. EMAIL US THE AUTHOR OF HOLES." Holes, a Newbery Medal winning children's book that was turned into a movie starring Shia LaBeouf, was written by Louis Sachar. (One of the later stories in the Holes series was titled "Small Steps" (clued in the flavortext with "not giant leaps").)

Congratulations to the puzzle solvers (in order of completion): MSTI, daniel, quadsevens, neeebs, Gil Gamesh, SoSG Karros, LoneyFan, Berkowit28, steve, erin, fanerman, and jose. As for the four bonus puzzle solvers (quadsevens, steve, fanerman, jose), extra congratulations, and instructions will be posted shortly on how the bonus prize lottery will be determined...stay tuned!

New PCS Rankings out shortly! Thanks for another fun round, everybody!


berkowit28 said...

The hidden level (bonus clue) is deviously clever. I'm very impressed that anyone found it.

It did nag at me that you had told us that you had drawn the H-U line to show us _which Hu_ to use, i.e. not just as a sample demonstrating that diagonal lines were OK. It kept bugging me that for the main solution it didn't matter at all which Hu we picked (there's another in top right corner). I should have thought more about the fact that it did matter to the sequence of unused (and, for that matter, used) letters.

Just a coincidence that there's also "BUCA" - "hole" in Italian - in the grid. It wasn't obvious or complete enough, I knew. Nice coincidence, though. Also looking for a another Giant middle infielder (like Kent), but who didn't leap to Dodgers, didn't lead anywhere. Nor did looking for some sort of non-leaping footware or other baseball apparel like cleats (could have been the bonus prize this time).

All the unused letters - huh. Very clever. This must have taken you some time to put together.

berkowit28 said...

Correction - "BUCO".

QuadSevens said...

Fun puzzle Sax. Looks like you spent some time with excel to make this one.

Bonus prize theories: Krispy Kreme Donut Holes, Dodgers Golf Balls (to hit a hole in one), Dodgers 3-hole punch, wiffle balls, or Andruw Jones bat with a hole in it.

Steve Sax said...

Unfortunately, the bonus prize is *not* theme-related. It's more in league with the magic gloves that neeebs won last time...

Berk, thank you for the kind words on the construction. It did take a little while as I had indeed thought of both levels while making the grid. Using the unused letters to clue in a secret message is a pretty common trick for word-search-type puzzles, so I wanted to remain tight-lipped on hints for the bonus; however, you're correct in "backsolving" why I had to point out that specific HU (as well as leave a comment later that CORA was distinct from LAROCHE).

I never thought of the BUCO thing / using other languages. Maybe that will come up in a future puzzle...I like it!

And if Blake DeWitt and Angel Berroa can play defense like they have the last two games, plus mash some homers from the plate, puzzle themes like this will be rendered irrelevant. Which would be ideal!

Neeebs said...

OK. Here is the most important question going into the series against Arz....

Do the Magic Gloves stay on the child or do they get a revamping on something else?????????????

QuadSevens said...

Very good question Neeebs. I also wonder if this new SOSG giveaway will have an effect on this weekend's series.

Orel said...

Neeebs, you mean the child hasn't been allowed to take those gloves off? You're a harsh taskmaster.

Neeebs said...


The way I look at it is that the dynamics can't possibly change until the giveaway prize is actually delivered and displayed by the recipient on the blog.

QuadSevens said...

Then I guess we will just have to wait for the next series for bonus prize to help out the Blue Crew. Keep a good grip on that snake for us Neeebs.