## Monday, September 29, 2008

### Off-Day Puzzle Grand Finale (#13): The Riddle

You've dealt with The Prophecy; now try your hand with The Riddle. And just FYI, I had originally penned an elaborate backstory involving the Sphinx, but after reading it back to myself I decided it was too ridiculous even by my standards. So here, free of any contrived set-up (and as a tribute to a favorite book from my youth), is today's Grand Finale Puzzle:

(click image to enlarge)

Puzzle Note: The answer to the riddle is a Dodger. And as usual, if you think you might have the right answer but are not sure, then you almost certainly do not have the right answer (or at least not the right reasoning).

Puzzle Rules: Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:

• Email us with the name of the Dodger player who is the answer, along with your reasoning (answers arrived at via luck or the wrong reasoning, even if correct, count for participation credit only). And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and

And remember, today's puzzle is worth 130 PCS Points vs the standard 100. Good luck!

______________________________________________________

Hint #1 (9:02am PT): This isn't a word puzzle in the sense that the Nostradamus Prophecy puzzle was a word puzzle. In fact it's pretty dissimilar to any previous puzzle. And every line of the riddle is fairly significant.

Hint #2 (10:21am PT): I sort of envision this puzzle being solved in three stages. If we were to number the lines of the Riddle from 1 to 20 (i.e., the book quote would comprise lines 6 through 15), roughly but not exactly speaking, lines 1-4 apply to Stage I, lines 5-16 5-17 to Stage II, and lines 17-20 18-20 to Stage III.

Hint #3 (11:27am PT): Once you get Stage I, the rest should flow more easily. The key is to figure out who/what "the infant boys" are and what "crowd" they are scattered in. Anyone who visits this site is certainly familiar with the "crowd" and likely has seen one or more of the "infant boys" before (cryptic enough for ya?) There should be enough clues in the riddle (particularly lines 1, 2, and 3) to figure this part out, and once you do it'll all make sense.

Hint #4 (11:50am PT): The infant boys are not people, although they may have people in them.

Hint #5 (12:54pm PT): Maybe you should focus first on figuring out what "the crowd of 3,000" is. So to paraphrase the first 3 lines of the Riddle: what consists of approx 3,000 things (although I doubt anyone's counting...) that are no more than 2 years old (if you do the math it works out to about 4 or 5 'newborns' per day) and were begotten from "the minds of 7 grooms of 7 brides", and that visitors to this site would be familiar with? And forget that the ultimate answer is a Dodger - although that is true, it won't help you solve the puzzle.

Hint #6 (2:08pm PT): For those who have figured out what the crowd represents and are looking for the 10 infant boys (i.e., you are in Stage II), there are two separate sets of clues to help you here. One set is related to the book excerpt (you don't have to know anything about the book itself) and the other set is from the zodiac signs. But don't neglect lines 18-19 or even if you find the infant boys it won't mean anything to you.

Hint #7 (3:38pm PT): For those looking for the infant boys: Agatha can help you with the keywords

Hint #8 (3:38pm PT): Peer = click

I have a feeling that this work puzzle will be the death of me.

Oops, word not work.

karina said...

ehh, hint?

karina said...

Master Quad, you're our only hope.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

After reading this, I'd really like to see the original one that was somehow MORE ridiculous.

Eric Karros said...

Take heart Quad - it's not really a word puzzle, at least not in the traditional sense. I'll post a hint shortly.

Eric Karros said...

Hey since I can't think of a good hint right now, let me try this: ask a yes-or-no question here, and once there are a few such questions posted I'll pick one to answer.

Are the numbers within the riddle a path to finding the answer?

Eric Karros said...

The sequence of the numbers 10 through 1 are important, but you can't solve the puzzle using that alone.

Maybe some food will help my brain along.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

Oooh!

I am 99% positive I've figured out the gist of the story behind this.

Sneaky!

karina said...

Is it related to seven chinese brothers?

Eric Karros said...

MSTI, if you're correct then I'm impressed you got the concept so quickly. I look forward to further updates on your progress...

Karina, I didn't know who the Seven Chinese brothers were, but doing some quick internet research shows me it's an R.E.M. song, and a Chinese tale. I wasn't familiar with either until now, so I guess the answer is no, it's not related.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

EK, I'm pretty sure I do, but the pieces aren't falling into place based on it as quickly as I thought they would.

If I shot you an email saying what I think it is so far, would you confirm/deny I'm on the right path?

Steve Sax said...

EK, I don't think we're going to win this bobblehead. I'm lost.

Eric Karros said...

Sure MSTI, send over your email...

Eric Karros said...

Sax, I think if you read carefully, particularly the first 5 lines before the book quote, the concept should eventually come to you. No pressure...

Another hint will be posted shortly -

Sons of said...

Another hint has been posted. Regarding this hint, I'd say MSTI is on his way to understanding Stage I...

My first theory/answer has been submitted.

Ricardo said...

did I wins?

Eric Karros said...

Sorry that was me accidentally commenting using sosg the corporate account "sons of". Anyhow ricardo I'll check your email in the next 30 mins...

Neeebs said...

I say the chances of me figuring this one out is Slim to None.

Notwithstanding, I will somehow come up with a creative, albeit wrong, answer and then call it a day.

Neeebs said...

Eric Karros said...

Went through the email - Sorry Quad and Ricardo, not correct. Neeebs, you are on the right track.

Another hint has been posted.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

Judging by hint 4, I now believe the infant boys are Soylent Green.

Eric Karros said...

I have a hint that I think may reveal too much; I'll wait until 1pm-ish to post it.

FYI I am still open to answering yes-or-no questions if anyone has any.

Does this riddle have something to do with the post season?

Eric Karros said...

Quad - no. I've posted Hint #5 (a big one, I think)...

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

I definitely know what the 3,000 refers to. But I'm completely stuck on figuring out how to pick the right 10 out of them (no, not the same 10 I said in my email).

Eric Karros said...

MSTI: congratulations, you have entered Stage II. So see Hint #2 for further guidance.

DanGarion said...

Yeah the 3000 and the 7 is easy, but figuring out the 10.... hrm...

jose said...

Just sent something in.

Eric Karros said...

DanGarion, haven't heard from you in awhile. Glad to see you seem to still be married to the same woman.

Jose, sorry, your solution is not correct. You are however are correct about the first part, and have thus entered Stage II of the puzzle along with MSTI, DanGarion, and I think Neeebs, probably among others.

Eric Karros said...

Hint #6 posted.

Eric Karros said...

I made a slight correction to Hint #2. Sorry for any confusion.

Neeebs said...

I'm ready to throw in the towel.

Neeebs said...

I'm ready to throw in the towel.

New theory sent in.

jose said...

Just sent mine in. Exhausting.

Eric Karros said...

Quad, you are definitely on the right track, but...

...someone else just sent in the correct solution. Wow. Congratulations, Jose. Tomorrow when I post the solution I'd like to hear your thought process as to how you solved it.

Eric Karros said...

2nd place (and essentially whichever of the two prizes that Jose doesn't want) is still up for grabs...

Hmmm...going to take a dinner break and maybe watch some football, then come back to this.

Congrats Jose.

fanerman said...

I submitted an answer. I'm so tired now.

Eric Karros said...

Congrats Fanerman! You are the 2nd to solve.

jose said...

Neeebs said...

I officially give up.

Home to dinner.

Question sent in.

Eric Karros said...

Woo hoo, Steelers score 14 points in 15 seconds to go up 17-13.

And everyone, I'm hitting the sack now, good luck and I'll post the solution tomorrow!

Steve said...

Just sent in my answer! That was crazy!

Mr. Customer said...

My answer's in. That was hectic.

karina said...