Monday, September 20, 2010

Off-Day Grand Slam Finale Puzzle #13: The Trondheim Maze

Although you don't know where or when in Trondheim to go, you book the next flight out. Upon landing at the airport, you and Jasmine retrieve your luggage, then wonder what to do next.

"Did you book a hotel?" asks Jasmine.

"No. I didn't want us to lose focus on our mission," you reply nonsensically. You prefer to not reveal your real reason for not finding accommodations in advance: a hope for more camping action.

"So then what do we do? Where in Trondheim are we supposed to go?"

Just then, a woodchuck in a bright orange sweater-vest approaches you. "Come with me," he says.

Jasmine looks at you nervously, not knowing how to react. Sensing her hesitation, the woodchuck adds: "Don't worry - my name is Stoover."

Apparently that does the trick, as Jasmine follows him as he heads for the terminal exit. You follow. The Norwegian air is frigid. Soon you're both climbing into the backseat of Stoover's Scandinavian-made automobile.

Thankfully, Stoover cranks up the heat before firing up the engine. Once you've left the airport grounds and are headed to town, Stoover breaks the silence. "I know why you're here," he says. "If you just do as I say, you'll be okay."

Continues Stoover: "Now, I'm going to have to ask you to put on these blindfolds." He turns around and hands you and Jasmine each a piece of black cloth. "Please. Now."

Jasmine is clearly frightened, and you are too. Neither of you move.

"Please," the woodchuck repeats. "Trust me. My name is Stoover."

Jasmine takes one of the blindfolds and fits it over her eyes. You do the same. Satisfied, Stoover continues driving for about twenty minutes without speaking.

The car then stops. You hear Stoover get out of the car and open the passenger side door on your side. "Get out and follow me."

Still blindfolded, you do as he says. Once out of the car, you shiver in the cold Trondheim breeze. Walking slowly so that you can keep up, Stoover leads you for about 50 feet, then you clearly hear him open a door. He walks in, you and Jasmine follow, and the door shuts behind you. Although apparently indoors, you're still extremely cold. If you weren't blindfolded, you're sure you could see your breath.

"Now," says Stoover, "count to 50 then you can remove your blindfold. And good luck."

Although you don't hear the door open again, you no longer hear Stoover. He seems to have disappeared. You do, however, hear Jasmine counting under her breath. 14, 15, 16...

"I think he's gone," you whisper. "I'm taking off my blindfold."

"No" replies Jasmine. "He said to count to 50 first. We should do as he says." You find yourself surprised by the conviction in her voice. "His name is Stoover."

"Very well," you reply, and patiently wait for her to get to 50, at which time you both remove your blindfolds.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Note: nothing above this line is relevant to the solving of the puzzle. It's merely a narrative about an orange sweater-vested, Volvo-driving woodchuck used to segue into the puzzle.)

You find yourselves in an approximately 7' x 7' x 7' room. It's lit by an eerie pink light. The walls seem to be made of ice. It's like a cubic igloo. Glancing around, you notice the color is caused by the fact that two of the four walls are translucent: the West wall, which is colored white, and the South wall, that is colored red. The mix of the red and white light passing through the walls results in the pink hue. Strangely, the south wall also has a large letter "R" etched into the center of it. There is no sign of Stoover.

You also see a door in the East wall. And perhaps most peculiarly, you see a few pieces of firewood arranged in the center of the floor in front of you.

After you've gathered your bearings for a few minutes, Jasmine asks: "What do you make of all this?" She frowns and adds, "I'm cold."

You try the door, but it's frozen shut. As you sift through the firewood looking for an idea, you suddenly remember: "the matches!"

Reaching into your pocket, you pull out the matches and light the firewood. You and Jasmine take a few moments to bask in the comforting warmth. Then, as you observe the flickering flames dancing before you, you do a quick double-take. Sure enough, this is what you see:

"Jasmine! Do you see that? It must be important! Let's write it down so we don't forget." As soon as you jot it down, the word disappears, though the fire continues to burn.

As the heat from the fire further overtakes the room, you decide to try the door in the east wall again. Eureka! The heat apparently helped loosen the icy door seal, and it pops open. "C'mon Jasmine, let's go!"

Hint #1 (8:01am): Think of a classic puzzle/toy popular in the 80's

Hint #2 (11:25am): Think of a classic puzzle/toy popular in the 80's involving a cube

Hint #3 (11:25am): This hint is embedded in the appropriate room (the "dark room")

Note (9:24am): Correction made to part of text in the "dark room" (thanks UBragg). I don't think the original error should have substantial impact on anyone, but it should be mentioned.

Puzzle Rules: The answer to the puzzle is a time and place in Trondheim.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 answer, along with your reasoning (answers arrived at via luck or the wrong reasoning, even if correct, count for participation credit only). 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. Solution will be posted tomorrow. Good luck!

Additional Notes:

  • This puzzle, the Finale, is worth 150 points!
  • Any comments regarding this puzzle please make only in this post thread, not in the other ones that are a part of this puzzle, as I likely will never notice the other ones. I have tried to disable comments in the other posts to enforce this but may have missed a few.

*New to SoSG's PCS Puzzle Series? Here's how it works. Join the fun, all are welcome!

49 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

I hope I still have my directional map from last year to help me with this puzzle.

Eric Karros said...

Perhaps quick on the trigger, but I posted a hint. I'll be out for an hour or two but will check back soon -

ubragg said...

Answer sent! Very clever puzzle, EK, one of my favorites to date. Take that, succubus!

Mr. Customer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Customer said...

OK, I get the construction. Now to steal time to solve.

Eric Karros said...

Congrats Ubragg! I am stunned you solved it so quickly (i.e., I never learn):

1. UBragg

J. Steve said...

I don't think I'll have a time to work on this, but we'll see...

MR. F said...

I will attempt this one, I think. May not get far though.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I'm sick of these fucking bears.

Not the bears fucking, mind you. Just these damn bear puzzles.

MR. F said...

Mr. LASF, If you were tired of the bears fucking, I'd question your sanity.

Mr. Customer said...

Got it all figured out but the indexing.

Eric Karros said...

Hints 2 & 3 added.

MLASF - does the introduction of the woodchuck help?

Dusty Baker said...

Link to bears humping video, please?

Mr. Customer said...

I've gotten beyond 2 and 3, EK. I just don't know how to interpret what I've got.

rbnlaw said...

Har.
I tried to translate "Stoover" before even reading the rest of the puzzle.

I'm doomed.

Spanky said...

Up the Alpha Betas'!!!

Mr. Customer said...

Progress sent.

Eric Karros said...

Mr C is almost there (I replied to your message).

Dusty - done (in the text of the puzzle)

QuadSevens said...

Answer sent!

Eric Karros said...

Quad is in! Good job -

1. UBragg
2. QuadSevens

Mr. Customer said...

Answer sent.

Eric Karros said...

...and Mr C!:

1. UBragg
2. QuadSevens
3. Mr C

Eric Karros said...

Anyone else still working and/or want/need a hint?

Jason said...

Progress sent.

QuadSevens said...

Looks like I got back from lunch just in time to get my email in before Mr. C. Phew!

Mr. Customer said...

Finishing before Jason locks me in to 2nd place. Double insult when coupled with the throw-away TD that got me a Fantasy Football win.

MR. F said...

I am working on work, and will try the puzzle some more in a bit.

Jason said...

Mr. C: My new nemesis.

Josh S. said...

I may take a crack at this later, but for now I'll take my measly 10 points please.

Eric Karros said...

Participation is worth 15 points today, Josh. Yours have been registered.

rbnlaw said...

I do like these type of puzzles. Too bad I have no time to map it all out.

Josh S. said...

WOOO FIFTEEN

Mr. Customer said...

I will definitely have to submit my map for this one. You will be amused.

MR. F said...

Damnit! My documenting system is not sufficient to cover one of the rooms...

Eric Karros said...

Yes, Mr C please send in. Quad already sent his in. I'll post any that are submitted, successful or not!

Mr. Customer said...

EK,

I'll send it after work. The format is...challenging.

Jason said...

I'm a blind idiot. Answer sent.

Eric Karros said...

Jason is the 4th one in, edging Mr C closer to more-than-50% land (although he's already clinched his spot):
1. UBragg
2. QuadSevens
3. Mr C
4. Jason

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I give up.

MR. F said...

I need paper and scissors. My spatial reasoning is sorely lacking.

rbnlaw said...

Is it me, or are the puzzles getting harder.

It's me, isn't it?

Mr. Customer said...

@RBN

This one was fairly difficult. Not as hard as the damn bears fucking in the woods, however.

Eric Karros said...

rbn - well, it took UBragg 70 minutes so for all practical purposes, it's unsolvable.

Steve Sax said...

EK, I still don't get what this has to do with Cabbage Patch Kids.

MR. F said...

These puzzles are a lot more fun at work.

rbnlaw said...

I just think I need more time to draw this out.

I'm not going to do that, but that's what I need.

Dusty Baker said...

Stoover? I don't even know 'er.

Steve Sax said...

It ain't Stoover 'til it's over. Just under two hours left, boys and girls!

Josh S. said...

I could go for some Stoover's French Bread Pizza.

Or "French Bed Pizza" as Janine said it in Ghostbusters II.