Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Off-Day Puzzle #5: Solution

Single solver today who got it before any hints posted. Anyhow, the answer to yesterday's puzzle is Belgian-born Athletic, Mariner, and Blue Jay Brian Lesher.

Here's the unscrambled image:

It reveals three things:

  1. The following poem in blue letters (capitalization and punctuation added):

    To solve this here's what you will need:
    Unlearn how you learned to read.
    Left to right then high to low,
    From your mind those thoughts must go.

    Here it's Red, Rose, Steel, Foley,
    Derek to Pockets Kelly,
    Next go Grove to David then,
    Write it out and that's the end.

  2. Photos of four people, and
  3. A bunch of green letters which still don't seem to spell anything.

Let's first turn our attention to the poem (although you may have solved the elements of this puzzle in a different sequence). What it says is that we've all learned to read by a hierarchical algorithm comprised of two priority levels:

  1. Left to right
  2. High to low
But here you must learn a new algorithm of reading comprised of three, new priority levels:
  1. Red, Rose, Steel, Foley
  2. Derek to Pockets Kelly
  3. Grove to David
Seems nonsensical, but let's look at each level individually:
  1. Red, Rose, Steel, Foley. Some of these words might look familiar. Isn't that Axl Rose in the lower right? And isn't that Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop - a.k.a. Axel Foley - in the lower left? Some of you may have even recognized Axel Steel from Guitar Hero in the upper left. And the becoming redhead in the upper right, why she must be Red!
  2. Derek to Pockets Kelly. If you don't know Hall-of-Famer High Pockets Kelly, a googlesearch of "Pockets Kelly" will quickly uncover him. Once you figure out that reference to the word "High", clever deduction should lead to Derek referring to Derek "Low"(e). So essentially the line reads "Low to High".
  3. Grove to David. Similarly, these are references to Left(y) Grove and David (W)right. So the line reads "Left to Right".

Put it together and your new algorithm is:

  1. Red, Rose, Steel, Foley
  2. Low to high
  3. Left to right

So read the green letters according to the new algorithm - by starting in the bottom left of the photo of Red ('O') then going to the bottom left of Axl Rose ('F'), then same square in Axel Steel ('T'), then to Axel Foley ('H'). Then, moving one square up in the photo of Red, as per the algorithm ('E'), and so on. It will ultimately spell the following:

Of the players born in the same country as Red, the one with the most career RBI's

And how are you supposed to know where Red is from? I don't expect anyone to actually recognize who she is. BUT...at this point you've probably realized the commonality among the other three photos: Axl Rose, Axel Red, and Axel Steel (a further hint embedded in the puzzle title). A googlesearch of "Axel Red" will reveal who she is: Axelle Red, Belgian chanteuse.

Looking at baseball-reference will show there's only one MLBer born in Belgium, Brian Lesher (38 career RBI!).

(Note: I know it was sorta weird that I asked for the Belgian player with the most career RBI's when there's only one player born in Belgium. My original question was something like "the only player in MLB history born in the same country as Red." But then I realized that someone could have figured out the final question without ever identifying that 'Red' is Axelle Red, and he could just go to B-R and find a country in which only one player was born. And although there were several such countries, based on the redhead's looks, most could be reasonably eliminated as her birthplace.)

Congratulations to UBragg (solved in 49 minutes!?!), Jason, Keven C, Drewdez, QuadSevens, Mr C, and Dusty Baker.

Next puzzle in a week: Monday, June 14, 7am PT!


Nostradamus said...

Holiday weekend for the next puzzle, thankfully!

Steve Sax said...

I was waffling a little bit on the Belgian reference, too. Nice job, EK.

Josh S. said...

Heh. For once, I'm glad I never got started.

Steve K said...

I googled "Derek to Pockets Kelly" and got a bunch of stuff about Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly...

QuadSevens said...

I was going to wait until after work to solve this puzzle, but I have no patience. Had to bypass the web security to download that picture.

Steve Sax said...

I'm glad to see that seven SoSG readers were able to axelle on this puzzle.

QuadSevens said...

I'm happy that I Rose to the challenge of this puzzle.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

You guys (solvers) are one sick bunch of brainiacs.

Dusto_Magnifico said...

I came up with my own answer and in my mind I was correct. Belgium? HAH!

Maybe we should split the puzzling into divisions. Have 2 puzzles, 1 for the "pro's" and another easy one for us "amateur's". Because I am sure that EK wants to do twice the amount of normal work on an offday...

MR.F said...

I did not like this puzzle =(

Josh S. said...

Why not Axel Merckx?

Josh S. said...

P.S. I know why not. Red is better looking.

But, did you know if you get Axel Merckx to say his name backwards, he returns to Belgium?

Josh S. said...

Uhhh...isn't there a game on the 31st?

Josh S. said...

Or is it an "Everybody Else is Off"-Day puzzle?

Kyle Baker said...

I like Dusto's way of just making up your own answer and going with that. You can never be wrong!

karina said...

@Dusty Baker @Dusto M it is a great idea, so EK doesn't have to read and receive around 9-10 emails per puzzle from one single person asking trivialities.

Anyway the fun is to participate (or that's how I convinced myself).

Eric Karros said...

Oops, you're right, next Monday is Memorial Day so of course there's a game.

Corrected. Next off-day puzzle: June 14.

Dusto_Magnifico said...

No matter the difficulty (though for me it will always be a mind bender) its always fun just to play along.

I feel like the fat kid that joins the soccer team just for the orange slices and fruit punch after the game. (I think I have expressed this sentiment before.)

Nostradamus said...

should have checked the calendar. I've got next (6/10), it seems.

Nostradamus said...

Axolotl unavailable for comment.

Steve Sax said...

@Josh S 10:32a: love the Mxyzplk reference!