Cluemeister's Corner

Previous puzzles: | September (answer) | October (answer) | November (answer) | December (answer) | January (answer) | February (answer) March (answer)


It's been an enigmatic road to Minicon 46, a mite more turvy than topsy, but the con is before us at last! Since last September, this open-ended corner has hosted seven puzzles of varied character. A summary of these puzzles and their winners follows below:
The September puzzle asked readers to identify what number, when spelled out, comes second in alphabetical order. The Cluemeister's answer was "Eight and eight billion eight billion eight hundred eight million eight hundred eight thousand eight hundred eighty-firsts." It was won by Andy P., with an answer of "eight and eight eighty-fifths".

The October puzzle consisted of a list of facts pertaining to U.S. presidents and asked which one was missing from the list. The correct answer, Chester A. Arthur, was given by this month's after-the-fact winner, Lisa S.

The November puzzle was a word search containing characters from the works of Charles Stross. The leftover letters in the middle spelled out a question whose answer was "Missile Gap". It was won by Patricia Z.

The December puzzle asked how many possible chess moves there are, as distinguished by standard notation. The Cluemeister's answer was 29,166. The only reader (and de facto winner!) brave enough to tackle this complex problem was Laramie S., with an answer we shall not mention.

The January puzzle asked how to make sand timers mete out exactly eight minutes even when the common factors of their runtimes seemed to make such a feat impossible. The Cluemeister's answer involved breaking the timers and pouring sand from one into the other. Jon S. did the best job of bridging impossibility and won this month's puzzle.

The February puzzle was a riddle in verse. It was about the months of the year, and the answer was not February, oddly enough, but September. This puzzle was won by Patricia Z.

Finally, the March puzzle asked readers for the length of the shortest legal game of Monopoly, subject to various constraints. The Cluemeister's answers ranged from 1 turn (no restrictions) to 5 turns (no trades, auctions or mortgages). It was won by Andy H.

The Medallion Hunt

The Sixth Annual Minicon Medallion Hunt will be held at Minicon 46. It will include at least seventeen 1973 pennies, or "medallions", hidden throughout the hotel (but mostly in convention space). Some of these pennies will be marked with numbers, and are worth that amount in Dealer Dollars. The rest will be marked with letters and are good for a prize from the Cluemeister's prize table in the Medallion Hunt Office (conveniently located in an area congruent and identical to that of the Bozo Bus Tribune Office). The Cluemeister has decided that the winner of each month's Cluemeister's Corner puzzle will receive a free prize from this table if they make it to Minicon. They have been notified by e-mail.

Additionally, the most valuable penny, traditionally styled "The Big Kahuna", will be hidden by a clue incorporating elements from all seven puzzles. Those who gave our puzzles a go may therefore find it easier to unwind this mysterious spool (perhaps in tandem?) and discover the prestigious $20 penny.

The Cluemeister wishes to thank everyone for participating in this Corner's monthly conundrums, and only regrets that his personal convictions and miscellaneous unnecessary non-disclosure agreements prevent him from doing so. We, his staff of interchangeable proxies, therefore warmly do so in his place. Thank you.

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Cluemeister's Corner

A new feature for Minicon 46! Try your hand at monthly puzzles created by the mind behind the Minicon Medallion Hunt... and get an edge when Minicon begins!
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