Friday, September 11, 2009

Off-Day Puzzle #16: Solution

Is Ubragg as good at creating puzzles as he is at answering them? You be the judge. The answer to yesterday's puzzle is Russell Martin. Here's the solution, straight from UBragg himself:

Step 1: "After getting help from the starting lineups..." suggests that you identify the first names of these former Dodger players to get your first message. The Dodgers all-time roster on Wikipedia is a good reference for the names you aren't sure on.

Team 1 Team 2
Andy LaRoche Irish Meusel
Davey Lopes Nomar Garciaparra
Duke Snider Eddie Murray
Dusty Baker Alex Cora
Ivan DeJesus Chin-Feng Chen
Greg Brock Hiram Bocachica
Ike Boone Rick Dempsey
Todd Hundley Oscar Robles
Sandy Koufax Wilson Alvarez

Taking the first letter of the first name of each player, you get the first message: ADD DIGITS IN EACH ROW

Step 2: "you must then keep official score of the game..." suggests that you keep score. A reference was provided for exactly the notation to use. Here is what my scorebook looked like after scoring.

Team 1:

Team 2:

Step 3: Now, as suggested by the message from step one, let's add the digits in each row, and then convert these to letters using A=1, B=2, ...

  • Andy LaRoche: (3+1) + (2+2) + 1 + (3+1) = 13 = M
  • Davey Lopes: (1+4+1+2) + 1 + 1 + (1+2+2) = 15 = O
  • Duke Snider: 0 + (5+3+3) + (1+4+1+1) + 0 = 18 = R
  • Dusty Baker: (6+3) + (6+2+1+1) + 0 + 0 = 19 = S
  • Ivan DeJesus: (2+1) + 1 + 1 + 0 = 5 = E
  • Greg Brock: (1+2) + 1 + 2 + 3 = 9 = I
  • Ike Boone: (3+3) + (1+4+2) + 1 = 14 = N
  • Todd Hundley: (4+1) + 0 + 3 = 8 = H
  • Sandy Koufax: 1 + (1+3+1+3) + 0 = 9 = I
  • Irish Meusel: 2 + 0 + (5+2+1) + (5+3+2) = 20 = T
  • Nomar Garciaparra: 0 + (4+3+3) + (5+2+2) + 0 = 19 = S
  • Eddie Murray: 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 1 = A
  • Alex Cora: 1 + (3+1) + 0 + (6+3) = 14 = N
  • Chin-Feng Chen: (2+2) + 0 + 0 + 0 = 4 = D
  • Hiram Bocachica: (8+3) + 1 + 3 + 0 = 15 = O
  • Rick Dempsey: 1 + (9+2) + 0 + (8+1) = 21 = U
  • Oscar Robles: (3+1) + (4+3) + 1 + (6+2) = 20 = T
  • Wilson Alvarez: (6+2) + 1 + 0 + (4+3+3) = 19 = S

So this gives the next message: MORSE IN HITS AND OUTS

Step 4: This suggests that you reinterpret the scorebook as Morse code, using hits and outs as dashes and dots. The insight here is to think of them like official at bats, where walks and hit-by-pitches don't count for anything (X), while a hit (H) is a dash and an out (including fielder's choices, which count against the hitter)(O) is a dot.

  • Andy LaRoche: OOHO = dot-dot-dash-dot = F
  • Davey Lopes: HHHX = dash-dash-dash = O
  • Duke Snider: OOHX = dot-dot-dash = U
  • Dusty Baker: OHOX = dot-dash-dot = R
  • Ivan DeJesus: OHHO = dot-dash-dash-dot = P
  • Greg Brock: OHOO = dot-dash-dot-dot = L
  • Ike Boone: OOH = dot-dot-dash = U
  • Todd Hundley: OOO = dot-dot-dot = S
  • Sandy Koufax: HHH = dash-dash-dash = O
  • Irish Meusel: HXXO = dash-dot = N
  • Nomar Garciaparra: XOXX = dot = E
  • Eddie Murray: XXXH = dash = T
  • Alex Cora: OOOO = dot-dot-dot-dot = H
  • Chin-Feng Chen: OXOX = dot-dot = I
  • Hiram Bocachica: OHOX = dot-dash-dot = R
  • Rick Dempsey: HOXO = dash-dot-dot = D
  • Oscar Robles: OOOO = dot-dot-dot-dot = H
  • Wilson Alvarez: OHXO = dot-dash-dot = R

So this yields the final message: FOUR PLUS ONE THIRD HR. This of course refers the memorable "Four Plus One" Game, in which the third home run of the four-plus-one was hit by Russell Martin, which is the Dodger being honored in the exhibition game, and the answer to the puzzle.

Congratulations to Keven C for being the first to solve, followed by Keven C, QuadSevens, drewdez, and J Steve. This one was certainly a difficult one, with only 4 solvers - an all-time low! So those four should really feel proud of themselves.

Thanks to UBragg for a fantastic puzzle. You have shown to be as skilled a puzzle creator as you are a puzzle solver.

Updated rankings coming soon, and next puzzle 7am, Monday Sept 17!

10 comments:

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

You'll notice that I've stopped participating in these puzzles all together.

Fred's Brim said...

me too - they make my head hurt :/

rbnlaw said...

I was so bleary eyed by the 3rd step that I couldn't continue.
I am surprised that I got that far, as I usually stop at "Off Day Puzzle #__"

Mr. Customer said...

That's damn cool.

I had the moment of clarity much too late to be helpful (I got home quite late, and thus didn't hit step 4 until about 11:45), but the puzzle was really well done.

Ubragg said...

Sorry it was so hard guys. I'm glad those that solved it seemed to enjoy it, but if I had to do it over again I'd definitely do something a little less involved that more people could have enjoyed. I certainly am not happy about setting the fewest solvers ever record!

Steve Sax said...

Don't sweat that at all, ubragg. Puzzles are always of variant levels of difficulty. What I like about this one is the "aha" moments that come at each level of recursiveness. Very artful!

QuadSevens said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle for the same reason Sax. I was also amazed that Ubragg could come up with 3 different messages that all had 18 letters and led to the next stage of the puzzle.

Add Digits In Each Row
Morse In Hits And Outs
Four Plus One Third HR

JBJ-1138 said...

WTFF

i thought you this wuz a dodgerblog n not MENSA Mind f@#%ing make me feel dumb as all hell :-P

Orel said...

Amazing stuff, Ubragg. Congrats!

Eric Stephen said...

This puzzle was/is really awesome. My head exploded while reading the explanation.

Very well done.