Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Off-Day Grand Slam Finale Puzzle #13: Solution

Of the last 13 puzzles, ubragg has taken 8 and Mr C the other 5.

The solution to yesterday's puzzle reads "MEET ME OCTOBER 27 AT 10PM AT THE BAR IN THE SCANDIC SOLSIDEN HOTEL".

"Hey, you in the back! Listen, you don't wanna go in that bathroom quite yet. Just trust me. My name is Stoover."

The maze is a huge Rubik's Cube. Each room is one of the 27 cells of the cube, and each has at least one and up to three of its walls colored (except the "Dark Room") representing the colored sides on the exterior of the cube. Note that a Rubik's Cube has 6 sides, 27 smaller cubes (rooms), 54 smaller square-shaped exterior surfaces, and 162 total cell surfaces (interior and exterior). Each of these different types of entities will come into play. Also note this puzzle was a major pain in the butt to make.

The first step is to wander through the rooms and record your observations. Namely, the locations of the colored walls, any letters etched in the walls, the words that burn in the fires, and any doors.

If done correctly one can determine the initial state of the cube:

Here's another representation of the cube's initial state, unfolded into 2-D form to show all 6 sides/54 exterior cell surfaces:

And here's a mapping of each room's doors and locator ID's (which are the post titles, which though irrelevant to the puzzle solution can help track the rooms):

The center cell is the "Dark Room," which is dark because there is no exterior surface. It's also the only one of the 27 cells that does not move when the cube is twisted. The poem in the Dark Room tells you you must solve the Cube in 3 twists. Using the I,II,III; 1,2,3; and a,b,c conventions above, those 3 moves are:

  1. Twist top layer I to the right
  2. Twist East layer c downward
  3. Twist bottom layer III to the left

The Dark Room poem further hints that you must read three exterior surfaces before each of your three moves:

  1. Before the 1st twist, read the floor
  2. Before the 2nd twist, read the South wall
  3. Before the 3rd and final twist, read the East wall
  4. And after the 3rd twist, when the cube is solved, read the words in the fire.

Focusing first on the 1st three twists, the relevant surfaces read as follows:

(click image to enlarge)

A clear message is emerging: "MEET ME OCTOBER 27 AT 10PM AT THE B..."

Finally, to complete the message as per step 4, you must take the final state of the puzzle and read first letter of each of the words in the firewood and read them as indicated in the poem:

Put it all together to get the full message:


The Scandic Solsiden Hotel! - 30 minutes from Trondheim airport, and a short walk from Pirbadet, Nidaros Cathedral, and Stiftsgaarden wooden palace. Make your reservation here!

And finally, on the off-chance anyone is interested, here's the overall key I used to track each rooms' fire-words, doors, and surfaces:

Congratulations to UBragg, QuadSevens, Mr C, and Jason. Well done to all!

Coming tomorrow: Look inside the mind of Quad, Mr C, and Jason (they have one each), as they have each submitted their puzzle-mapping worksheets. Anyone else who has one, successful or not, please submit and I'll publish (Mr F - I know you have one, let's see it! UBragg - I'm not sure if you have one, as you may have done it in your head, but if you do, please submit as well)

Thanks everyone for another fun puzzle season, hope you enjoyed. Final Rankings to post soon!


Fred's Brim said...

*shakes head*
I am not sure what's more amazing, that this puzzle was even created or that Ubragg solved it in an hour while spinning plates on sticks and texting his buddy that he just tweeted about LiLo going back to court

Eric Karros said...

And to think UBragg was making those texts on an old 12-key keypad. Incredible.

QuadSevens said...

I heard Ubragg was also performing a tracheotomy with a ball point pen while solving this puzzle!

Josh S. said...

I heard Ubragg is an artificial construct created by EK because he secretly hates Mr. C.

Nostradamus said...


It happens.

Loney Fan said...

I can't keep up with these puzzles anymore. I can't believe a single person even solved that one.


rbnlaw said...

We need Ubragg on the GT's more often to mock his puzzle solving prowess while unable to figure out a given player's WAR or xFIP.

Whatever those are.

MR.F said...

I tried to read the floor, and came up with "octet meme." Then I got tired and lured chores and the guitar.

Nostradamus said...

Before I forget, I'd like to thank EK for providing me with endless hours of swearing and frustration...that I enjoyed immensely.

MR.F said...

I really should quit my job so I can spend actual time on these things!

Nostradamus said...

Priorities, Mr. F!

QuadSevens said...

Absolutely no work got done yesterday morning while I was mapping out this maze yesterday.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

I think that SOSG should disqualify a puzzle participant if he/she doesn't participate in at least one GT per week.


*takes his small brain and walks away*

Steve K said...

I can't believe that puzzle. I'm amazed at the solvers, but even more amazed at EK. Impressive all the way around!

Shawn Green said...

I applaud the solvers of this puzzle. I also mock them.

Kyle Baker said...

You know the Simpsons ep ("Lisa's Rival") when Lisa is around the family that is brilliant, and she feels stupid...they do exercises like transforming "Alec Guinness" into "Genuine Class". Lisa can't do it, so they just hand her a rubber ball to bounce.

Here's Dusty in the corner, bouncing a rubber ball.

MR.F said...

Jeremy's Iron!

Josh S. said...

Turns out Alec Guinness was a major pizza face in high school, so acne ugliness would also have been acceptable.

ubragg said...

Pics sent, along with some comments that hopefully will find its way into tomorrow's post!

Man, I'm taking a beating here. If it is any consolation, I do feel bad that I haven't contributed much else on the rest of the site. My work schedule has been extremely busy this year (see www.google.com/tv for what I've been up to), but I still read everything on the site religiously, and I am an absolutely hard core Dodger fan (in case anyone wondered about that), and have been since the early 80's. Unlike past seasons, I've watched the majority of games this year via MLB.com's condensed games, usually at 2 or 3 am the night they occur, but I necessarily avoid the game threads or any other real time discussions until then.

I have really thought about not participating in the PCS next season, because I don't want to be that guy that only does the puzzles and nothing else, especially if it breeds resentment from my fellow Dodger fans. The only thing that kept me going was the thinking that if there was someone else out there pushing *me* to get better, I'd want them to stick around and keep giving it their best, or any victory I would have would be hollow. But I can see both sides.

I'm willing to put my participation next year up for consideration in an SoSG poll if necessary, as the last thing I want to do is wear out my welcome with my fellow Dodger fans. :)

Regardless, thanks EK and guest contributors for another awesome PCS season. I had a blast!

Nostradamus said...


Being the champ earned you some ribbing, but it's all good-natured. Don't hang up your cleats on our account. Besides, you can't quit until I figure out how to beat you fair-and-square.

Neeebs (The Original) said...


*bowing down to your geniusness*

If you read all of the posts on this site and the comments, you SHOULD know that we like to poke our fellow commenters as well as the Sons whenever we get a chance.

You are a legend here. Don't take a sabatical. We mock lightly and with malice towards none.

If you don't believe me, just ask my mom. She takes a beating here, too!!!!

*takes away Dusty's ball and dibbles it around for a bit*

Eric Karros said...

UBragg, it's all good natured ribbing. At least nobody named a fantasy football team after your Mom (he-yo, Neeebs!) I myself rarely show up to the GT's as most here can attest to.

Eric Karros said...

Whoa I didn't even see Neeebs' comment when I posted that last comment.

ubragg said...

Thanks guys! I feel much better now, it musta just hit a chord that I was already feeling a little bad about.

On the other hand, Neeebs, your mom was asking for it! ;)

Neeebs (The Original) said...


My mom makes a mean pot roast.


Exactly. Point proven.

Steve Sax said...

EK: when you say "A clear message is emerging: "MEET ME OCTOBER 27 AT 10PM AT THE B..." "

...I'm missing the clear message. Huh?

Eric Karros said...

Sax: huh?

Kyle Baker said...

BTW, ubragg, Google TV seems to be tha bomb. Looking forward.

Blogger aside (which wasn't even developed by Google), Google's shit is tight.

*bows before Google gods*

ubragg said...

Thanks Dusty!