Of all the possible uses for excel, creating this puzzle has got be one of the best. The answer to yesterday's puzzle is the matchbook.
So here are the steps you must take:
- Map out the floorplan of the hedgemaze as you roam around. It should look something like the following:
(click image to enlarge)
- The key room is the one where Brandon lurks. There are two notes found in this room. The first has a poem with a bunch of missing words, and the second hints at how to find those words. Let's focus on the second note first.
- This note says:
The route taken here you must heed,
For lined it is with those you need.
For in their homes a Son did speak,
The 12 missing words that you now seek.
If you retrace the steps that took you to Brandon's room (outlined in green in the map above), you'll see you traversed Erin, Quad, MSTI, and Brandon, in that order. "In their homes a Son did speak" means that in each of these readers' blogs - Robots Took My Medicine, Bet As Bogus, Mike Scoscia's Tragic Illness, and Reflections of Blue, respectively - one of the SoSG Sons commented. To tell you which comment thread to look for, use the date that the readers' respective room post was made. For example, Erin's room was posted July 10, 8:47pm, so if you look on her blog on that day and time you'll find this post and thread, in which SoSG Orel commented. His comment had three words in italics, which correspond to the first three blanks in the 1st poem (the italics were clued in by the missing words being italicized in the poem).
- If you proceed thusly for all four blogs (this thread from Bet As Bogus, this thread from MSTI, and this thread from Reflections of Blue), you can find the 12 missing words: cut, walls, south, east, portals, step, first, those, meet, tell, gave, need (three from each blog). Fill in the missing words in the 1st poem in order, and it will read as follows:
Cut through the walls to the south east
Four portals deep, and step through each
The first letters of those you meet
Translated tell which "gave" you need.
- Also, you must be aware that to solve the puzzle, you gotta get your Norwegian on. The owl clues you in on this via his last words "ha det bra, og lykke til!" which is Norwegian for "goodbye and good luck," at least according to online translators. Also, "gave" is "gift" in Norwegian. So if you do as the poem says, it will tell you which gift you need.
- Thus, using the map, do as it says; cut through the walls to the southeast, four portals deep (four portals means five rooms, inclusive of the starting room). Starting from Brandon's room, this will lead to rbnlaw, Alejandro Pena, Nic J, and Neeebs' rooms (in blue in the above map).
- Using the first letters of "those you meet", it spells "BRANN".
- Again translating from Norwegian to English, Brann = Fire. Each gift option corresponds with one of the basic elements, earth, wind, fire, and water. The matchbook corresponds with fire. That's your answer!
A big congratulations to DunkHawk and golem, who solved it before any hints were posted. They were followed by Josh S, QuadSevens, J Steve, Mr Customer, UBragg, fanerman, Drewdez, and Berkowit28. Well done gentlemen!
And one note - I apologize I wasn't able to include all regular readers in the puzzle, and particularly all regular puzzle participants. That was my original intent, but in the end I know I wasn't able to as it got just too unwieldy. It ended up being pretty arbitrary who I included and who I didn't, but I apologize to those I missed!
Final standings and prizes to be revealed soon!