Game 1, Puzzle 8: Crossword
As we close in on the final puzzles of Game 1: The Missing Mr. E we now turn our attention to puzzle #8, the Crossword puzzle. I enjoyed making and having a crossword puzzle so much in the previous game Puzzle Master that I brought it back again. I sort of hoped that players might think it employed the same trick as last time in that the answer to the puzzle was in the clues themselves and finishing the crossword was unnecessary. Alas, I don’t think anyone fell for that.
The players got to the puzzle by clicking on the book labeled “Puzzles” located in the book shelf behind the desk in the office picture.
The puzzle is simple enough. Find the answers to the clues and plug them into the crossword. Some of the squares contained diamonds and some circles. Unscramble the circled letters to get one solution and the diamonds to get another.
I chose to use a crossword puzzle at this point in the game because the players had been gathering bits and pieces of information and I wanted to help them put them together a little. Each clue and answer was specifically selected so that if arranged in a certain order some of the mystery to story would be revealed. I helped the players do this by adding all the numbers to the top of puzzle. For example, the first set of numbers is 6 & 9. If you take the answers to clues 6 and 9 you will get “deteriorating organs”. Continuing to do this with the rest of the answers produced a sort of message. It doesn’t just spell it out to the players but definitely puts some pieces together and begins to give them some answers as to what secret E is hiding.
Although I would have preferred otherwise, I was not able to put the numbers in any kind of order like the Fibonacci sequence (see pic on left), although one day I will find a way to use that sequence in a puzzle.
I’m not sure if any of the players bothered to do this part. I don’t recall reading anything about it in the dicussion board. They were probably so wrapped up in finishing the game that anything that wasn’t directly related to solving a puzzle was ignored. However, it is important to the storyline so I hope they went back later and figured it out. Or perhaps they will do so now. This information may be needed for Game 3: Chasing Shadows. Then again, maybe not. Only I know for sure.
Getting back to the puzzle, once the crossword was solved and the diamond and circle letters extracted from the puzzle all the players had left to do was to rearrange the letters to determine the answer(s). I’m not sure if this was the hard part or if finding the answers to the clues was because according to the amount of time taken to solve the puzzle, this was the third most difficult puzzle in the game. It took 11 hours and 20 minutes for the first person to come up with the correct answer. When that person did, they found out that the diamond letters were a “red herring” and the circled letters were the key to the puzzle’s solution.
The correct answer gave the 8th (and what would turn out to be the final) number in the series, 30,as well as a link to the next puzzle, Scrabble.