Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 12

Merlin Mystery wand

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 12 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

Previously, the full list of 75 solution objects were found and put in their correct order. These objects actually represent a set of instructions for casting The Alchemist’s Spell.

Gunson’s justification for using objects to symbolically represent the spell was to make the puzzle independent of language.

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Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 11

Merlin Mystery wand

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 11 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the full list of 75 solution objects in their correct order. It also confirms which page of the book each object comes from to make it easier to check.

Obtaining this list can take several hours of work turning back and forth through the book, even when you know exactly what you’re doing.
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News and Updates for December

logoChristmastime is here, by golly!

Whether you call it Christmas, Hanukkah, Hogswatch, Krampusnacht, Pancha Ganapati, Winterval, Yule or Yalda, the end of the Gregorian Calendar year is, for many, a season of glad tidings and enforced time with the extended family.

Puzzles and games are a great way to soothe political and religious differences, offering something entirely different for people to argue about.

As I write this, there’s still time to pick up some of these puzzle books if you’re stuck for gift ideas. Alternatively, there are a few online challenges to while away the northern hemispherically cold winter evenings.

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Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 10

Merlin Mystery wand

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 10 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the complete solution to the Diabolo mini-puzzle. This is the last mini-puzzle and is so straightforward that the bulk of this post is devoted to a summary of all 7 mini-puzzles which make up The Merlin Mystery.

In part 3, we established a chain of objects that links the Diabolo to an open, blank book. The book has the right page half turned over. Literally, this means “turn to the next page of The Merlin Mystery”.

The Diabolo mini-puzzle simply says that the sequence of steps described by the previous 6 mini-puzzles should be carried out on every page of the book. That’s it.

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Cryptic Crossword Primer for Christmas

crossword

Click for full size version

Cryptic crosswords are one of those things you either love or hate, that you either understand or can’t stand. Part of the problem is that there is a huge set of rules for solving them which you are simply supposed to know. If you don’t know the rules, you’ve got no chance.

This post is a Chritmas present to readers. It includes a short introduction on how to solve cryptic crosswords and a special Christmas themed crossword to try your hand at. It is not like some of the devious cryptic crosswords in the broadsheets. Most of the clues should be fairly easy and fun.

You can click on the image to the right to view the crossword at full size, and here is a PDF version to download and print.

I believe that puzzles are a great activity for families stuck together for extended periods trying to think up topics of conversation! So print a few of the crosswords off and work together over the holiday period to find the answers.

This crossword and the primer below were written by myself and my partner in crime at inkflamingos.com. Please visit her art blog!

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Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 9

Merlin Mystery cover

The Merlin Mystery

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 9 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the complete solution to the Cuboid mini-puzzle.

In part 3, we established a chain of objects that links the Cuboid to the copper tiles. The Cuboid also links to the Nim and Mer symbols, but this created an ambiguity since the Pyramid and the Cone also link to these symbols. The ambiguity was resolved in the earlier parts of the solution by focusing on the gold and silver Zodiac and Alchemy symbols scattered across every page. This leaves only the Zodiac and Alchemy symbols inscribed into the copper tiles for the Cuboid puzzle.

Understanding what these copper tiles mean involves exploring the steps in the chain between the Cuboid and the Nim and Mer symbols more carefully. This penultimate mini-puzzle turns out to be a maze of overlapping ideas.

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Dickens’ Final Chapter: A TimeTrap Escape Room

TimeTrap logo

TimeTrap Escape

TimeTrap Escape are a small escape room company based in Reading, Berkshire. So far they have produced two temporary “pop-up” rooms in bars around the town.

There were some great word-of-mouth reviews for “The Dungeon”, held in the basement of The Purple Turtle, but I couldn’t make it in person. So when I heard that “Dickens’ Final Chapter” was having a short run in the library of the historic Great Expectations hotel and bar, I didn’t miss my second chance and visited them during their final week.

And so a willing friend and I travelled back in time to discover which felon had stolen the manuscript of Charles Dickens’ final book.

Though the room is now dismantled, I have attempted to keep this review spoiler free in case it is recreated in the future.

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The Egyptian Jukebox: Solution Part 2

Egyptian Jukebox book cover

The Egyptian Jukebox

The Egyptian Jukebox by Nick Bantock is a dark and intriguing conundrum. The book asks a single question: “Where do my worlds join?”. The answer can be discovered in the 10 Drawers that make up the book.

This is Part 2 of my solution to the Egyptian Jukebox. Part 1 is here and provides some hints to get you started before going into the full explanation of the puzzle methodology and the solutions for the first 5 Drawers.

This part will give a brief recap of how the puzzle works before giving the solutions for the last 5 drawers and fitting them together for the final answer.

If you want to avoid spoilers as much as possible and just want a few hints, stop reading this post now and go read Part 1.

Last chance!

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Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 8

owl

The Owl clock on P2

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 8 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the complete solution to the Cylinder mini-puzzle.

In part 3, we established the chain of objects that links the Cylinder to the owls and to the moon symbos.

If you’ve been following the solution so far, you can guess that that the next step will be to count all the moons on every page. This is no mean feat as they are often very well camoflagued.

But counting the moons is of no use without knowing what they mean and, for that, we need to look at the owls.

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