Monday, August 24, 2009

Off-Day Puzzle #15: Dead Sailors

Happy puzzle day! Today's edition is a bit macabre, and has nothing to do with baseball, but I hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless.

Read the following verse carefully and fill in the blank with the proper number of diseased sailors (including the last two who didn't immediately die):

Not well-versed in the high seas,
The ____ sailors caught disease.
Rotten mutton made them ill,
Benign it looked but looks can kill.

They ate and when their feast was through,
'twas heaven taking all but two;
Two sick survivors lost at sea,
If I've seen worse, I lie to thee.

Will fortune save their aimless boat?
Both reaffirm their faith and hope;
Their tombstones nonetheless will say,
"They won our hearts but lost their way."

Hint #1 (7:56am): The puzzle was inspired in part by the Plain White T's.

Hint #2 (10:03am): It might help to recite the verses to a friend (or to yourself).

Note (not really a hint, but sort of I guess) (11:49am): Getting the correct-syllabled number to fit the meter of the poem is not the methodology (such a methodology would not result in a definitive answer anyhow, as there are countless numbers each with a given number of syllables. And the meter on these puzzle-poems is never perfectly correct...).

Solution: click here.

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 correct number along with your reasoning. Submitted answer without the reasoning, or those submitted with the incorrect reasoning, will count for participation only, even if the number itself is correct. And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and
  • Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I may confirm correct answers there.

You have until midnight PT tonight to submit your answer. Answer will be posted tomorrow morning. Good luck!

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

65 comments:

karina said...

Lousy attempt sent in.

Eric Karros said...

No, sorry Karina!

The lack of activity leads me to believe that either a hint is needed or that there's nobody out there...

drewdez said...

I could use a hint.

Eric Karros said...

Hint posted...

J. Steve said...

An answer sent, but most likely not right...

drewdez said...

Answer sent!

fanerman said...

I'm staring blankly.

karina said...

This hint is too romantic for my taste. Urgh.

Eric Karros said...

...and we have our first correct answer! Congrats drewdez:

1. drewdez

Sorry J Steve, keep at it...

QuadSevens said...

"Hey There Delilah" is not my favorite song. But the spoofs of that song are pretty funny.

karina said...

Is Hey There Delihah? i thought it was "1,2,3,4"

QuadSevens said...

First guess sent in.

Eric Karros said...

Delilah is pretty hot.

Keven C said...

Answered

Eric Karros said...

Sorry Quad, not correct. But yes to Keven C!

1. drewdez
2. keven c

Mr. Customer said...

Answer in.

QuadSevens said...

Second guess sent in.

J. Steve said...

Another guess sent in. I can't tell if I'm reaching or actually on the right track...

karina said...

Can we have another hint?

Eric Karros said...

Mr Customer is in! Other submitted solutions are incorrect:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer

Where is ubragg today? Is it his turn to take a day off? Anyhow, I will post a hint shortly...

Eric Karros said...

Hint posted...

J. Steve said...

This time I've got it!

Mr. Customer said...

I'm noticing that I'm much quicker on the text-based puzzles, which it strange given my chosen profession.

fanerman said...

Answer sent!

Eric Karros said...

J Steve and fanerman are in!

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman

berkowit28 said...

Answer sent in.

(I'm baaack, but only because I got it in 2 minutes thanks to the hints. Very busy at the moment. Glad I didn't actually have to listen to the pop music...)

Eric Karros said...

Good job Berko:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28

Matt said...

Answer sent

Josh S. said...

Answer sent!

Eric Karros said...

Yes to Josh S, no to Matt:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28
7. josh s

Eric Karros said...

BWrightson's and UBragg's apparent absences are creating a lot of opportunity...

fanerman said...

Their absences are most conspicuous.

Josh S. said...

I would have missed today too, but the doc said the baby isn't quite ready to come out yet. Of course, going into the doc's office to get that news might have cost me a few spots.

(Totally worth it, though.)

BWrightson said...

Answer sent! Being conspicuously absent was really weighing on me. Glad I'm inconspicuously present now.

Eric Karros said...

Nope, sorry BWrightson.

A note/sortof-hint posted.

BWrightson said...

Devastation...

BWrightson said...

Real answer sent. Just testing you the first time, EK (you passed, BTW).

Erin said...

Answer sent.

Mr. Customer said...

"Delilah is pretty hot."

True, but always hide the scissors

Eric Karros said...

BWrightson and Erin join the club:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28
7. josh s
8. bwrightson
9. erin

karina said...

Answer sent.

Eric Karros said...

Mr C - But without scissors, how would Delilah have solved the previous puzzle?

Ubragg said...

I'm here! Sad to say work commitments prevented me from taking a look at this until just now, but better late than never.

Ubragg said...

And... answer sent!

Mr. Customer said...

EK,

That's between her and the Philistines.

rbnlaw said...

Horrible guess(es) sent.
This marks two puzzles I've attempted.

Eric Karros said...

Shocking news: Ubragg is correct!

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28
7. josh s
8. bwrightson
9. erin
10. ubragg

Eric Karros said...

no, sorry rbnlaw...

Neeebs said...

I think I got it.

rbnlaw said...

Third attempt sent.

Eric Karros said...

No, sorry rbnlaw and neeebs. Though you're both on the right track...

rbnlaw said...

4th and 5th guesses sent. At least my train is on the track, let alone the right one.

Eric Karros said...

She looks good even when sweaty and muddy.

The Plain White T's failed to win her with a tender love song. What chance do I have using a poem about diseased, dying sailors?

Screw it, I'm taking my shot anyways.

Eric Karros said...

no, sorry rbnlaw. You're getting more off-track in fact...

Danielle said...

(first ever) answer sent!

Eric Karros said...

Danielle - I think you have it, but I sent you a follow-up email...

Eric Karros said...

Danielle nails it!:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28
7. josh s
8. bwrightson
9. erin
10. ubragg
11. danielle

jose said...

Ok, answer sent.

Eric Karros said...

Jose and Neeebs inducted into the Hall of Puzzle #15 solvers, in that order:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28
7. josh s
8. bwrightson
9. erin
10. ubragg
11. danielle
12. jose
13. neeebs

rbnlaw said...

So much for my track. I should wait for the visual puzzles.

rbnlaw said...

Final answer sent. The others were just me thinking out loud.

Eric Karros said...

Ok folks, I'm hitting the sack. I'll check email tomorrow morning.

And I will be inconsolably disappointed if I don't find the correct solution from you, rbnlaw. You are very close.

Good night!

LLCoolL said...

Finally got a free moment to look at this. Answer sent. Very cool puzzle.

Sons of said...

Ladies love cool l, as well as his solution:

1. drewdez
2. keven c
3. mr customer
4. j steve
5. fanerman
6. berkowit28
7. josh s
8. bwrightson
9. erin
10. ubragg
11. danielle
12. jose
13. neeebs
14. llcooll

Ok, I'm really going to sleep now. G'night!

rbnlaw said...

I know I will be #15. My inability to spot the obvious is frustrating.