Illumine Game Recap

Clue 8 Solution: Water Labyrinth

How the Clue Works

The manipulation of the boxes was the navigate through a small maze; the central unit had four buttons that allowed for movement, while the outer boxes would accept a number representing their current location (as output by the central unit) and show whether or not there was water in that direction or not. Falling into the water would result in a splash, followed by a reset to the beginning. The central unit would also cause a splash and reset after thirty seconds if teams had not completed the maze during that time.

The maze was laid out as follows, with teams beginning at the square marked 425:

        R {000,000,842,570,000} L
          {000, 45,257,864,000}

Once complete, the central box output the message, "Illumination is yours...use info to call me," a clue as to what to do with the ten numbers that they had gathered along the way. Treating the sequence of numbers as three ten-digit numbers yielded three phone numbers, which for the duration of the Game, had messages reading out the sequences of four NATO phonetic alphabet codes.

Converted to letters, these yielded the following four-character groups:

Rearranging these groups into the right order yielded the final answer. Good "hooks", or starting points, were "FIFT", "NKEY", and "GOWE", which pair up as "FIFTHTOT", "DAMONKEY", and "GOWESTON" respectively.

The Solution

The final message was to "Go west on Fifth to the man on the bench. Tell him, "You look like you need a monkey." This directed teams across the street, to a bench overlooking the WA County Trail.

Design Notes

This clue was born out of having found the Heritage Park Fountain and deciding that what we wanted to do was to get teams wet. Several iterations were tried, including a very simple Simon-like game that simply required teams to walk from the central unit to the outer units quickly to enter in a specific sequence before time expired, with the time allowed decreasing over time to the point where teams would be forced to go without regard to whether they would get hit by a water jet.

The intermediate design was a large maze, which unfortunately look too long for a singly-serial clue, and there wasn't sufficient time or space to make multiple copies of the clue. Explorations into how multiple people might be able to use the units at once were stymied by the lack of intelligence and inputs at the various units, and while we contemplated veering away from the maze idea entirely, shirts were already in process and we had locked ourselves down into building a "water labyrinth".

The final solution was the drastically shorten the maze and add a separate part of the puzzle, one that teams could work on without needing the units, which reduced the amount of time that teams would need to spend on the units to a manageable amount.

GC Notes

A few teams decided that it would be more efficient to simply brute-force the correct path in the center. Other teams managed to stay relatively dry, though a few got quite wet, which was not unwelcome given the heat of the day.

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