## Monday, July 13, 2009

### Off-Day Puzzle #11: In Sync

We've had a Word Search Puzzle before. And we've had a boy band puzzle before. But we've never before dared to combine the two. Until today's 'In Sync' puzzle:

(click image to enlarge)

Somewhere, somehow, in the second image are 32 hidden words. These words are broken down as follows (unless otherwise noted, for words that are people, only their last names appear):

• Seven (7) are either Spice Girls or Central American countries;
• Six (6) are either a main Entourage actor, or a main Sex and the City character;
• Seven (7) are either current Supreme Court Justices or the first names of one of the 5 last contestants on Rock of Love Bus;
• Six (6) are either among the top 5 career NFL passing leaders or among the bottom 5 players picked in the 1st round of the 2009 NBA draft; and
• Six (6) are either one of the last 5 MLB perfect game throwers or one of the first 5 World Cup host countries.

So there you have it...good luck!

Oh, that's right, the first image. It's relevant to the puzzle too.

Hint #1 (9:15am): It's not a mistake: we know how to spell *NSYNC the band.

Hint #2 (10:10am): Unscrambling the image on the left is important for two separate reasons.

Hint #3 (12:03pm): The 7 words you are looking for in the 3rd category above (Supreme Court Justices or Rock of Love contestants) are Roberts, Ginsburg, Thomas, Stevens, Mindy, Beverly, and Ashley. If you can't find them, you need to figure out why.

Hint #4 (1:18pm): There are four distinct steps to solving the puzzle:

1. Unscramble the image on the left
2. Something else
3. Find the words in the word search
4. Something else
The two 'something else' steps match up nicely with the two reasons referenced in Hint #2. And step 2 is directly related to Hint #1. And to paraphrase Hint #1, if we know how to spell *NSYNC, the title of the puzzle must not be a reference to the band...

Hint #5 (2:32pm): If you think step 4 is along the lines of this puzzle, you are sooooooo wrong.

Hint #6 (4:36pm): Here are the 32 words you're looking for:

• Seven (7) Spice Girls or Central American countries: Brown, Bunton, Halliwell, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama;
• Six (6) Entourage actors or Sex and the City characters: Ferrara, Grenier, Piven, Hobbes, Jones, York;
• Seven (7) current Supreme Court Justices or 5 last contestants on Rock of Love Bus: Roberts, Ginsburg, Thomas, Stevens, Mindy, Beverly, Ashley;
• Six (6) top 5 career NFL passing leaders or bottom 5 1st round NBA draftees: Favre, Elway, Moon, Eyenga, Douglas, Gibson;
• Six (6) last 5 MLB perfect game throwers or first 5 World Cup host countries: Cone, Rogers, Wells, Brazil, France, Italy.

Solution: here

---------------------------------------------------------------

Puzzle Rules: The answer to the puzzle is a current Dodger. 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, as well as your reasoning. 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? We're always looking for more participants!

karina said...

Super easy, Eric! I have to know the names of Entourage actors, Sex and the City characters, American Supreme Court Justices, contestants on Rock of Love Bus, NFL passing leaders and basic knowledge of the 2009 NBA draft...

Eric Karros said...

Karina: From that I deduce that naming the Spice Girls off the top of your head is no problem.

But regarding what seems to be your concern: finding the candidate pool of words is not meant to be the difficult part of the puzzle - it's all easily found on the internet.

karina said...

Actually Eric, i'm wondering if it could be Victoria Adams or Victoria Beckham...

I was just teasing you but i know this is going to take me all day long.

Steve Sax said...

karina: if you want to be my lover, you gotta get with EK.

karina said...

"solving it's too easy, that's the way it is"

Ubragg said...

Eric Karros said...

Good question Karina - I'll say that Beckham/Adams isn't one of the Spice Girls in the puzzle...

Mr. Customer said...

Ubragg,

You're killing me, dude!

In all seriousness, I'm not worthy.

I need to figure out some covert way to get this done at work.

Eric Karros said...

UBragg nails it. To even the playing field, we're only gonna let him read every other word of future puzzles.

1. UBragg

Ubragg said...

Don't worry MC, I think as long as you get one of the next couple spots, you'll still be close enough to pass me on the Grand Slam puzzle...

EK, great puzzle once again!

Eric Karros said...

Does anyone want a hint?

Mr. Customer said...

EK,

If you must...

I keed!

Josh S. said...

Damn! I forgot it was puzzle day! Time to get crackin'!

karina said...

Mr. Karros:

May we have a hint, please?

karina said...

I'll wait 'till hint #2

Eric Karros said...

Hint Posted.

Josh S. said...

According to Wikipedia, Rock of Love Bus went from 6 contestants to 4. (Not a sentence I ever thought I'd type.)

Eric Karros said...

Josh S - "According to Wikipedia". I like that. Though you're not fooling anyone. That was a crazy episode, wasn't it?

But good point - to clarify, the top five in this list.

berkowit28 said...

re Hint #1: *What's* not a typo?

fanerman said...

Crap. Puzzle, and it's my turn for the chain fiction! How will I do any work today?

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

This is seriously harder than it looks.

Eric Karros said...

Quad sticks one to his rivals!

1. UBragg

Second hint will be posted shortly.

Take that Loney Fan and Jose! Woohoo!

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Found something about our favorite 2B SoSGer.

http://tinyurl.com/neoctb

Eric Karros said...

Second hint posted.

karina said...

I see a connection between hint#1 and Berko's comment. About hint#2, i have to email the picture to my friend, the N'Sync fan, to see what she makes of it.

Neeebs said...

(This will really send fear into Karina's heart, but EK knows better.)

Eric Karros said...

No, sorry not correct Neeebs...

Mr. Customer said...

(crosses fingers)

Neeebs said...

This looks like a puzzle that I can figure out if I could simply allocate a couple of hours for research and figuring out the clues.

Who has that kind of time during the workweek? (unless your name is Ubragg, or Mr. Customer, or Jose, or Q7.)

I propose a Saturday puzzle, the only problem is that there are ALWAYS games on Saturday.

So until then, I SUCK!

Now back to work.

Josh S. said...

I may need another hint. I have unscrambled the first image. I can see one reason why that's important, but not another. And I'm seeing some of the words in the word search (not nearly all), but also multiple ways of getting one of them, which is confusing the hell out of me.

Mr. Customer said...

Neeebs,

I will not lie, I've occasionally had to take an "emergency conference call" on puzzle days. Sometimes I can come in early and solve it before anyone comes in.

Acutally, the last GS puzzle I solved on the plane on the way to a project meeting.

Eric Karros said...

No, sorry Mr C.

Josh, I'm not sure which of the 2 reasons you've got, but I'll say one of the reasons is related to Hint #1.

I'll post a 3rd hint within the hour -

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I've unscrambled it and I've still got nothing.

berkowit28 said...

Like Josh, I have unscrambled the first inage some time ago, and can see one way how that will surely help eventually, just not yet. I was hoping I had an idea of the second way, that would lead to providing the keyto converting the grid of letters into something that would enable matching up words to clues, but it does not look hopeful. My idea not only appears wrong, but would be extremely laborious (more than any SoSG puzzle ever) to follow through to the end. So I'm stuck waiting for the clue that lets "the rest of us" figure the thing out in quick succession.

Eric Karros said...

Hint #3 posted.

Mr. Customer said...

Re: hint #3

That's funny, according to what I assumed were the rules of the puzzle, I'm pretty sure I found Breyer in there...

Maybe a coincidence?

Eric Karros said...

Mr C - Breyer's not in there. If you remember, Bret Michaels eliminated him in like the 1st or 2nd episode.

BWrightson said...

Answer sent - brutal puzzle. It's like three puzzles in one.

Erin said...

I found Mindy, Ginsburg and Ashley before that hint. I've searched for the others for an hour with no luck. Good times.

BWrightson said...

PS Brutal in a good way. =)

Eric Karros said...

BWrightson is officially a force to be reckoned with:

1. UBragg
3. BWRightson

Erin - did you completely find Ashley and Ginsburg, or did you only almost find them?

Erin said...

EK, I found them. Maybe I wasn't supposed to find them the way I did (as in, they aren't in a straight line, but all the letters are connected in order), but they're there.

Mr. Customer said...

EK,

I still contend that his dissenting opinion on District of Columbia v. Heller tipped the scales. Bret's a lover, not a fighter.

Eric Karros said...

Erin - Ah, so you found them "Boggle-style" - that's not the way you're supposed to find them. Only Mindy I believe is readily apparent.

Erin said...

Well, then the number of words have found just decreased from ten to two. Back to the drawing board.

Neeebs said...

Bret Michaels needs a well regulated milita.

Mr. Customer said...

Damn, this isn't looking good, then. I was hoping for a quick one, but I'm not sure I'm going to finish this at all.

I'm throwing in the towel until the end of the workday.

J. Steve said...

Found the 32 words in the puzzle and am once again stuck... I was expecting something magical to occur once I hit this part of the puzzle!

Josh S. said...

Found Mindy and Ginsburg before the hint, but using the same methodology I used for Ginsburg, I can't find ANY of the others.

Eric Karros said...

Another hint posted.

Josh S. said...

Breakthrough! A little work and I'll have an answer. I'm not looking at any more hints after #4.

berkowit28 said...

Like Josh, I found Mindy and Ginsburg with a new method - also Ashley and (with a bit of adaptation) Stevens. But I have proved to my own satisfaction that Beverly and Thomas are impossible, so I'm not even looking for Roberts.

Therefore, I must have it all wrong again. Unscrambling the image on the left has led to only one new clue, which has not been of any help as yet. Nor has clue 4.

The system I thought I had found originally (not the one that found the four words above) is really clever - it would make for a good puzzle sometime. But it doesn't seem to have anything to do with this one - no words at all result.

Oh well. I might have to wait for about 10 hints on this one.

Erin said...

Congrats, Josh. I got nothing.

jose said...

Hmm, stumped on step 4...

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I don't have the attention span for this.

Eric Karros said...

A fifth hint posted.

fanerman said...

My patience is tested. I don't know if I have time for this today, let alone the story.

Josh S. said...

My breakthrough only got me so far. I'm stuck on the search. I need 1 from the NFL/NBA group and 2 from the perfect game/World Cup group.

fanerman said...

I don't even remember that last puzzle.

berkowit28 said...

Well, yeah. But thanks anyway. That was (sort of) the method I tried second time around, when I found 4 (or 3, really) of the supreme justices/love bus thingies, but worked out conclusively that it could never find at least two of those. So I'd given up on this methid.

My first method (the one you didn't understand in my first email) really was a way of putting the grid "in sync" with the unscrambling of image 1. But, alas, apparently not the correct way.

So now I'm stuck again, and hint 5 just told me what I knew already. Unless hint 5 is a clever way of saying it really is like that previous puzzle, but with a slight difference. Vive la difference, but I don't know what it might be.

Eric Karros said...

To elaborate on Hint #5: If you're stuck in step 4 and you think the final trick is as that of the previous puzzle I linked to in the hint, you are, in a sense, as completely, totally, polar-ly oppositely, 180 degrees wrong as you can be.

berkowit28 said...

That's what I suspected : something clever. No, I'm still stuck on steps 2 and 3.

Josh S. said...

Step 1: Check
Step 2: Check
Step 3: Check
Step 4: RACKIN' FRACKIN' STUPID BRAIN WORK!!!

J. Steve said...

Oh no! My arch nemesis is as far as I am with this puzzle. I need to figure out Hint #5 to try and make up some ground...

Josh S. said...

Neeebs said...

I'm declaring victory and moving on.

Eric Karros said...

Ill post all 32 words in the search and possibly one last hint as soon as I get home (approx an hour).

Josh I'll check email too-

Josh S. said...

Thanks EK. I'm also going to send you a duplicate response from a different email address. The one I sent from first is being wonky and I don't know if it actually went out.

Eric Karros said...

Josh S is in!:

1. UBragg
3. BWRightson
4. Josh S

The 32 words are posted. I'm debating whether or not to post one last hint.

Josh S. said...

Huzzah!

J. Steve said...

EK: I'm sure you can guess my side of the debate! I have no idea how people figured out Step 4.

berkowit28 said...

I have no idea how you got the 32 words. So knowing the actual words doesn't really advance me. I don't know what's going on. Wait til tomorrow, I guess.

Mr. Customer said...

OK,

Horrible day at work, etc. I've more than exceeded my fun limit. I'll get back on the horse next off day.

Eric Karros said...

Sorry you had a bad day at work, Mr C. You know what will make you feel better? Solving this puzzle!

Anyhow, I'll post a last hint here, though I don't know how helpful it will be.

As I mentioned, Step 2 and Step 4 are all about unscrambling the message. Step 4 is about the message itself - if you figure out what it means, it will tell you where to look and the answer will be spelled out.

Mr. Customer said...

Thanks EK,

I may come back to it later.

Mr. Customer said...

Alright, I'm taking it home for one more go.

Apparently stubborn > burnt out.

Eric Karros said...

Good luck Mr C and all else still trying. My last sorta-hint is regarding step 4 being the opposite of the other puzzle: think about what had to be done in the other word search puzzle linked to in the hint (check the solution if needed), and do the opposite.

I'm hitting the sack, will check email in the morning. And don't forget the next puzzle is in just 2 days, on wednesday.

J. Steve said...

That's it... I have to give up.
EK: I have no idea what "do the opposite" means... I've gotten everything up to there, but can't figure out Step 4.
Mr C: Good luck and good night!

Mr. Customer said...

Our long national nightmare is over.