Thursday, July 16, 2009

Off-Day Grand Slam Puzzle #12: Solution

Word to the wise: bring a jacket. Because it's off to Norway we go!

The first part of yesterday's puzzle is to find the correct path:

  1. As per the Cub's first question in Puzzle #6, his true love is Jasmine. Thus, he must avoid Matilda, Eve, and Grace.
  2. As per the Cub's second question, he can move only at night, so he must reach her by 6am. At 30 minutes per move, this gives him 16 moves.
  3. As per the Cub's third question, his first move must be to the south.
  4. Assuming the Cub moves south with his first move, his next four moves are entirely determined by where he does not cross paths with a tree, an eagle, a vulture, or a spurned love. In each case, he has only one possible move.
  5. With his sixth move - at 12:30pm - he has an option of going either East or South. If he goes South, he will not be able to reach Jasmine in time. Therefore, East is his only move.
  6. All his subsequent moves are determined not by avoiding enemies, but by beating the clock to Jasmine.
  7. Here's the path in its entirety:

Once that's done, you must next figure out the words the forest speaks, as follows:

  1. The first 4 utterances are the 4 letters on which the Cub sits at the indicated times: midnight (M), 2am (K), 4am (4), and 6am (5).
  2. Using the green="0" and pink="1" convention indicated by the clock color scheme, the last 2 utterances correspond to the ascii translations of the 8-digit binary strings that correspond to the Cub's first 8 squares (01101010 = J) and his second 8 squares (01110010 = R). This device was used in last year´s grand finale puzzle.
  3. Put the 6 utterances together and tack 'em to the end of SoSG's favorite, and you have, which brings up the Norway wikipedia page.

"Gratulerer" to UBragg, QuadSevens, BWrightson, Josh S, Drewdez, Fanerman, J Steve, Mr Customer, and Erin. Next Puzzle Thursday, July 23, 7am...the first from SoSG Orel! Also, updated rankings to be posted soon, and of course prizes awarded as well!


Steve Sax said...

I got MORTEN HARKET as my answer, but I missed the other a-ha moments.

It's unfortunate, since a-ha hails from Norway; I was so close to this answer! If I had only had one more colored pencil...

Nostradamus said...

If I only had a "Take on Me" pun that wasn't a little too suggestive. Not that you're not an attractive guy, Sax!

berkowit28 said...

I wasn't paying attention last year to the solution to the Grand Finale puzzle, which was beyond me, so I didn't know about the binary code "device". Of course it was right there in the solution to that puzzle, but I didn't read that thoroughly - my downfall. That puzzle did not seem analogous to this one, I just missed it. It very much was indicated by the "translate computer-speak to people-speak" hint, and the 1's and 0's in the time.

I did wonder for a moment if the translation was from hex numbers to decimal numbers, but the path had lots of letters further along the alphabet than G, so I ruled that out. I should have thought a little harder along that line, and read the solutions to last year's puzzles more thoroughly. Ah well.

Good puzzle. Maybe it will help next year that I'm paying closer attention this year.

MR.F said...

I spent too much time thinking about the colors pink and green.

There was a lot to be distracted by. All the letters and numbers that don't get used, the crazy colors, the hot female bear cubs...

Neeebs (The Original) said...


"the hot female bear cubs."


Josh S. said...

The binary code threw me for a little while. First, I thought you needed to look what digits were in the pink and green spaces at each half hour. Then, when I realized the clock int he graphic was a key, I got confused by the fact that three zeroes were colored green. So, for every green space in the path, I put three zeroes into the binary code, which gave me gibberish.

Also, since I have preview enabled for TinyURL, putting in gave me "http://ford". Not a real address, but something that looked like an intentional clue. I spent several minutes trying to figure out how "ford" fit into the answer.

Great puzzle!

Nostradamus said...

@ fanerman,

The happy tree friends color scheme was a definite plus.

MR.F said...

I just had to fill out my timesheet. It was not pretty =/.

berkowit28 said...

Yes, any "unreserved" tinyurl that began mk45 led to Ford Motor Company - a distinct curiosity of this puzzle. More interesting than the more usual "Error: Unable to find site's URL to redirect to."

QuadSevens said...

I completely forgot that the binary translation was in last year's grand finale puzzle. I wasn't able to solve that puzzle actually. I did remember some posts last year dealing with the binary nature of the Dodgers scores (1-0, 10-0, 11-10, etc). That and the clock clue, gave me the right idea of where this puzzle was headed.