Thursday, September 06, 2012

PCS Season V Finale: If It's Thursday, It Must Be St. Petersburg

This is it! The big Rutabega! Today's puzzle brings the PCS season to a close.

Solving this puzzle will win you absolutely zero PCS points, but being the first solver will net you the loot (and bragging rights)!

Thanks for putting up with all my torment this year, PCSers. I have one final challenge for you. Follow our heroes in their travels and answer the final question when you get to the end.

Train/Destination:
Syntax: TRAIN NUMBER City, e.g. "EST 9043 Paris"

The bears escaped to the nearest city across the Swedish border on the first train out of Trondheim on Thursday morning.

Enter the train and destination above to continue.

Puzzle Rules: Solve the puzzle to answer the final question when you get to your destination! 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:
• Send us an Email with "PCS" somewhere in the subject line, containing the first and last name of the players, along with your reasoning. Submitted answers without the reasoning, or those submitted with the incorrect reasoning, will count for participation only, even if the answer itself is correct. Please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and
You'll have a little longer to work on this one. You'll have to be resourceful to get the information you need along the way. The answer will be posted...well, we'll just have to see!

Hint #1: For those having trouble with which train numbers to use, this site uses the international route numbers, and was the one used to develop the train schedule.

Hint #2: When you have the complete route and correct interpretation, your will need to rely on you knowledge of past PCS puzzles (and particularly Grand Slam puzzles) to answer the final question.

Hint #3: The first train number is R 13381.

Hint #4: Something about the image of the bears at the boarding platform will give you an idea of how to decode each travel leg.

Hint #5: Look at the faces of the clocks, there's several odd things about them...

Franklin Stubbs said...

Oh, and you only need to use the accepted English spellings of cities, too. Naples, rather than Napoli, for example. No special accents or diacritical marks.

ubragg said...

question sent

Golem said...

Sent a question also

Franklin Stubbs said...

To clarify, each country has their own numbering system, but the number to use is the europe-wide number.

I used www.deutschbahn.com for construction, so in case you're running up against a wall, you can go there for clarification. They have international schedules included.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Golem, I didn't get your question. If you put PCS in the title, it will forward to my mobile device.

Is this puzzle not compatible with IE9 or am I just entering the wrong train number?

Wrong train number. Using firefox now anyways.

Franklin Stubbs said...

IE should be OK. I test drove it on several browsers.

ubragg said...

Franklin Stubbs said...

When you correctly interpret the secret message, you will need to rely on your knowledge of PCS (and particularly Grand Slam) puzzles to interpret.

ubragg said...

OK, new answer sent, and pretty sure I've got it now.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Indeed he does!

Ubragg makes a season sweep! Since this is the last puzzle, I'm going to throw in a second prize that will be assigned randonmly to one of the successful also-ran solvers.

I'm making this shit up as I go along, so I'll let you guys know.

ubragg said...

Awesome puzzle, Stubbs, and thanks for all the puzzles this season, I had a blast! I anxiously await the prize announcement. Suggestion: how about a sweep of the Giants this weekend?

Franklin Stubbs said...

For those working, that web address has a typo, this is the site I used for construction.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Ubragg, you've got quite a prize haul coming. If there is any way I could arrange for you wish to be granted, I'm all for it!

Orel said...

Is this our first JavaScript-enabled puzzle?

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Franklin Stubbs said...

Orel, the first-half GS had a java function, as well.

Franklin Stubbs said...

The first two hints from the comments are officially posted.

What stage is everyone stuck at? Another hint for getting the right trains, or interpreting the schedule?

Franklin Stubbs said...

Hint #3 is posted with a starter link.

I have all the trains. Working on the decoding.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Hint #4 up for the "Step 2" folks.

spank said...

The Manzana II cannot compute.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Hint #5 is up.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Hint #5 updated to be a little more revealing.

I haven't given up on this one yet! Gonna have some pop tarts and start working on this some more.

Question sent...waiting on beer.

Franklin Stubbs said...