UFO

How It Works

The sequence emitted by the Frisbee has short pauses between sets of the same color, longer pauses dividing up the chunks, and even longer pauses dividing the chunks into sections. For instance, the first section contains four chunks, as follows: W GGG YYY, W G GG C, Y C R MM, and W GG M B. Only the seven colors used by the beacons appear within the Frisbee's sequence, and each color again only flashes up to three times. Teams have to be careful here distinguishing multiple sets of the same color. For instance, the fourth section starts BB C MMM MM M, so the separators between the flashes of magenta become very important.

Solution Steps

Teams need to

  1. Record the positions of the beacons on the map.
  2. Transcribe the blink sequence emitted by the Frisbee.
  3. For each chunk in the sequence, plot the corresponding beacon locations on the map. (e.g. find the W beacon, the GGG beacon, and the YYY beacon)
  4. Connect the beacons for each chunk in order, connect the dots style. (W is hole 4, GGG is hole 17, YYY is hole 16: these form an L)
  5. Do the same for all chunks. Result: LAST WORDS ATOZ FROM *** (That's "A to Z", not "at Oz")
  6. Notice that the last chunk in the sequence contains 9 entries, corresponding to all 9 beacons on the cloud stones.
  7. Extract the last word alphabetically from each stone. ("rain river sea cloud" -> "sea")
  8. Arrange these last words in the order indicated by the last chunk.
  9. Extract the Nth letter from each word, where N is the number of times the beacon sitting on that stone blinks.

The last chunk is: Y RR WW YY R GG CCC RRR BB
The last words are: WISPY, WHEELING, SEA, STARS, STRATUS, STRATUS, TWO, WIND, WEATHER
The letters are: W,H,E,T,S,T,O,N,E

GC Notes

The idea for this puzzle came up at a puzzle brainstorming session where we tried to figure out what to do with some of the locations we had scouted. By some coincidence, we'd run across disc golf courses in both the north and south loops of the route; we were pretty much locked into using N.A.D. park on the south loop (due to the need to cut driving distance), so we thought it might be cute to also include one in the north. To make sure it stayed “cute” and not “annoying”, we needed some way to tie the two locations together.

I'm always a fan of giving teams stuff that seems like it might be useful, but not immediately obvious how. With something like 10 hours separating the two courses, this seemed like a good reason to dig into the “bag o' crap” (reference to our Illumine Game) once again.

Oddly enough, the timing of the route was such that the original north loop location wouldn't happen in the dark. By that time, enough work had been done on building the glowing Frisbee that we needed to find yet another disc golf course closer to Seattle. We were surprised to discover a handful of possible locations, but Mineral Springs was the best fit - being able to tie the puzzle to the nearby “Cloud Stones” artwork was an added bonus.