## Monday, June 22, 2009

### Off Day Puzzle #8: The Countdown

Man, there are a lot of off days in June. In April and May, we had only two each. Then suddenly in June, we're hit with four in a fifteen-day span. Which means more rest, more deadlines to come up with something creative, and more puzzles for the players, for Sax and I, and for you all, respectively.

And they seem to have gotten somewhat more difficult as well. After receiving double-digit correct answers for each of the first three puzzles, none of the last four hit that mark, culminating in a season-low five correct solutions for last week's sound-it-out puzzle. Hopefully today's will be a bit more accessible, but I can never tell.

Anyways, those are just some random puzzle musings. Here's today's brain teaser:

—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–

Look for the signs within number nine,
Looking at eight? Stop wasting your time.
Seven’s in past, yet offers no clue,
Six speaks of four, but is useless like two.
Five is reflective back onto itself,
Four may run long, but that doesn’t help;
Three planned to help out, alas it forgot,
But signs are forthcoming? Apparently not.

–—––––——–––––—––———––—––—–––——–––––––—–—–———–—––—––

Hint #1 (8:40am): 4,1,2,3,3,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,2,3,3,4,3,3,1,3

Hint #2 (10:18am): The 1st step is to figure out what each line of the poem refers to; then the 2nd step is to figure out what the puzzle is asking. Most of the lines provide some hint as to what they refer to.

Hint #3 (11:38am): Neither the numbers in the poem, the numbers in Hint #1, nor the puzzle methodology itself has anything to do with baseball.

Hint #4 (1:17pm): It's in courier type so you can easily tell which line is the longest...

Puzzle Rules: The answer to the puzzle is a Dodger player. 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 first and last name of the answer, along with your reasoning (submitted answers with only the player's name, without an explanation, will not be accepted. Likewise, correct answers arrived at via luck or the wrong reasoning count for participation credit only). And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and

You have until midnight PT tonight to submit your answer. Good luck!

Not familiar with SoSG's off-day puzzle competition? Read up here. And join the fun!

Loney Fan said...

The whole time I am looking at this I have this scene running through my head.
http://tinyurl.com/6n97wt

karina said...

Email sent in.

berkowit28 said...

Signs. We want signs.

Eric Karros said...

sorry karina, keep trying!

ubragg said...

I believe I've deciphered the riddle, but am still stuck. I sent a question via email.

Eric Karros said...

Ok I realize now part of this puzzle is a bit unfair, I will post a hint within 5 minutes which will make it much more fair.

Eric Karros said...

ok, give me a couple more minutes...

ubragg said...

Eric Karros said...

Ubragg with the first correct solution!

jose said...

ubragg said...

Woo hoo! Finally got one in first! Good puzzle, EK, and thanks for the hint posting. It would have taken many hours without that, for me, at least. :)

Steve K said...

I was hoping to stretch my win streak to two... but I have no idea yet and the hint hasn't helped.

Sometimes I think the hints are a harder puzzle than the puzzle itself.

Eric Karros said...

Jose is in with answer #2:

1. UBragg
2. Jose

The hint is probably one of the most helpful if not the most helpful hint in PCS puzzle history, largely because without it the puzzle is probably unfairly difficult.

Steve K said...

I don't doubt that the clue is very helpful... I just don't have any idea of how to apply it since I have no idea how to solve the puzzle yet! Good job UBragg & Jose!

Fred's Brim said...

answer submitted? me? it seems so...

This puzzle really isn't helping my hangover.

Eric Karros said...

FB is in da house!

1. UBragg
2. Jose
3. Fred's Brim

Yeah actually the hint isn't helpful unless you already understand the puzzle, so to speak.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Answer sent, but I'm not too confident.

karina said...

I need a hint for the hint.

DanGarion said...

Here I am at work, actually trying to do one of these and after 45 minutes of picking it apart and doing some various things, I'm already contemplating giving up. Blah.

Eric Karros said...

sorry MLASF, not ocrrect.

Hang in there Karina, Dangarion, all others...

Eric Karros said...

another hint posted

Geez, this is the first puzzle on which I'm drawing a total blank! Being the front-runner sucks.

New attempt sent in.

berkowit28 said...

Hmmm, these hints are not helping me too much. In the new hint 2, I believe I had already got the first step, but it's circular, so to speak, so I've got nowhere to go. And, unless there's something I'm missing here, the 2nd step is, well, sure - of course, we've got to figure out what the riddle is asking. That's the whole problem!

Well, I guess others will figure it out, or there'll be more hints later in the day.

Eric Karros said...

No, sorry Quad. Hint #3 posted.

Rbnlaw or Orel (or other grammar geek), is the grammar in this hint correct? Should 'has' instead be 'have'?

MR.F said...

Hint #3 is helpful... I think.

MR.F said...

I think "has" is correct. "Neither/nor" is like "or", and the verb should be singular.

DanGarion said...

Is there anything in the riddle other then the letters and words that we see? Like punctuation marks such as dashes and dots?

Orel said...

"Rbnlaw or Orel (or other grammar geek), is the grammar in this hint correct? Should 'has' instead be 'have'?"

I concur with Fanerman.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Nuts to this. I have better things to do with my off-day, like watch videos of a fight at a Marlins/Yankees game on Yahoo.

Eric Karros said...

There are no hidden characters.

I'll post another hint fairly shortly.

karina said...

I just sent a question and a minute later a surely wrong answer.

Eric Karros said...

No, sorry Karina.

Hint #4 posted. Hopefully that will help move a few of you along...

DanGarion said...

I'm an idiot.

DanGarion said...

See I already sort of knew hint 4, but I just, I guess my mind is blank today. I'm not good at puzzles, I'm more of a math wiz.

MR.F said...

Steve K said...

Sent in my answer! And yes, hint #1 was definitely very valuable...

I am getting no traction at all, so far. I may have to punt.

berkowit28 said...

Unfortunately, I had already figured out all the hints except no. 1, and I still have no idea what's going on.

LLCoolL said...

Answer sent. Finally got one (I think).

Eric Karros said...

Fanerman is in! I will check the others momentarily...

Josh S. said...

I'm see a pattern, but it's not really leading me anywhere. This comment might be the extent of my participation this week.

Steve K said...

I was hoping to make up some ground on fanerman, but he got in just before me.,,

Unknown said...

i've figured out part of this, but i have no idea what to do with hint #1!

berkowit28 said...

Got it!

Yes, once you get the idea, Hint 1 is necessary and invaluable.

I'm definitely more of a math person as well DanGarion. Word puzzles always kill me.

Eric Karros said...

J Steve, LL, and Berko are in too:

1. UBragg
2. Jose
3. Fred's Brim
4. Fanerman
5. J Steve
6. LL Cool L
7. Berkowit28

Quad, it may be a poem, but you can't deny there are lots of numbers involved.

MR.F said...

I'm being targeted?! Good thing I was one quick step ahead this time.

Steve K said...

I wouldn't say "targeted" - it's more like "the person ahead of me."

EK,

Sent you a question.

MR.F said...

Okay grammar dudes: another question.

The sentence: "They all drove."

What part of speech is "all"? Adjective for "they"?

Eric Karros said...

I personally think "all" is the noun and "they" is the adjective.

MR.F said...

I found this discussion:

http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/5/5-180.html

Most people seem to agree that "all" modifies "they", though it can also be more than one part of speech at the same time. Many also think that the location of "all" changes what kind of modifier it is. Anymore detail than that will just make my head hurt more than usual.

Thanks EK.

This one ranks quite high on the number of dead ends pursued. Ubragg makes a 50 point jump on me for this one! At least my overall score wont change, since we're into the rolling totals now.

Hopefully I can jump on the next puzzle to even things up.

Eric Karros said...

Yes to the Mr C:

1. UBragg
2. Jose
3. Fred's Brim
4. Fanerman
5. J Steve
6. LL Cool L
7. Berkowit28
8. Mr Customer

Actually, I'll have to place first just to hold my ground, since I'll be losing my +100 for puzzle 2 next time.

I guess I'll need strong finishes in 10 and 11 to make a move.

ubragg said...

Nice work, MC, I'm glad to see you pulled out the 50 here -- I wouldn't have felt right with a 100 (or 90, technically) point swing. Keeps everything very interesting this way. :)

Congrats to all the rest of the solvers today too! Stick with it if you haven't gotten it yet...

BWrightson said...