PUZZLE POTLUCK 2
Solution - Howdidit
ANSWER – SWORD, QUILL

The Clue detective sheet at the bottom can be filled out first, independent of the cryptex and the letter clues at the top. As described in the solution for The Professor metapuzzle, the suspects and the six colored rooms on the sheet can be identified from the story text in the six puzzles where Layton encounters a suspect (e.g. the red suspect is Carmen Sandiego, who was in the Office).

The six weapons are pictured in the cards on the right. Each weapon can be matched to a suspect thematically (e.g. Mystique is carrying the X-Acto Knife since she is a member of the X-Men).

Once the sheet is filled out, the letter clues can be solved and filled into the empty squares on the cryptex. For example, the first consonant that appears three times in the name of a single item on the sheet is P (from Pooper Scooper).

The 5 disks of the cryptex can then be rotated to a configuration where every row spells a 5-letter word. These letters can be overlaid onto the 5 columns of boxes on the detective sheet such that each 5-letter word is associated with its corresponding suspect/weapon/room.

SUSPECTSIIIIIIIVV
Sinestro
C
O
R
P
S
Waluigi
P
E
A
C
H
The Grinch
M
O
P
4
E
Y
Mystique
R
A
V
E
N
Carmen Sandiego
R
O
G
5
U
9
E
White Witch
C
16
U
R
S
E
B
R
O
W
N
WEAPONSIIIIIIIVV
X-Acto Knife
B
L
A
D
E
Elder Wand
L
U
M
O
S
ACME Anvil
B
18
L
O
C
K
Ball Machine
T
20
R
A
I
N
11
One Ring
P
1
O
6
W
E
R
Pooper Scooper
P
O
7
O
13
C
H
S
2
W
8
O
14
R
17
D
12
ROOMSIIIIIIIVV
Gallery
B
3
U
10
Y
E
R
Country Club
R
E
L
A
X
Restaurant
L
U
N
C
H
Bar
S
T
O
O
19
L
15
Dance Hall
T
A
N
G
O
School
C
L
A
S
S
Bowling Alley
T
H
R
O
W
Bookstore
N
O
V
E
L
Office
C
H
A
I
R
S
A
L
O
N
Clue (1986 Edition)

Each section of the detective sheet has one extra row at the bottom, because as we already know from the previous two puzzles, Salon, Dan Brown, and the murder weapon are not part of the standard set of rooms, suspects, and weapons. Sure enough, the extra room row spells SALON and the extra suspect row spells BROWN. The extra weapon row spells out the answer to this puzzle, SWORD.

But wait! After entering SWORD as the answer, the puzzle is not solved yet and a new answer box appears. Dan Brown tells Layton "Your world is fictional, but mine is real. The cryptex didn't open for you, but perhaps it will for me." In Layton's fictional world, the usual suspects are Sinestro, Waluigi, etc, but in Dan Brown's world, they are Col. Mustard, Prof. Plum, etc.

The detective sheet can be re-filled out with the suspects, weapons, and rooms from Clue (the 1986 edition, as specified on the bottom of the sheet). The items on the sheet appear in the same order as they do in the board game, but the ordering of the suspects and rooms can also be verified by the suspect colors and the room mappings in The Professor metapuzzle. After filling out the new items, the letter clues can be re-solved, altering some of the 5-letter words (e.g. Carmen Sandiego/ROGUE turns into Miss Scarlet/ROUGE). The ordering of the weapons can be verified by their 5-letter words (e.g. GLOCK uniquely clues Revolver).

SUSPECTSIIIIIIIVV
Col. Mustard
C
O
R
P
S
Prof. Plum
P
E
A
C
H
Mr. Green
M
O
N
4
E
Y
Mrs. Peacock
R
A
V
E
N
Miss Scarlet
R
O
U
5
G
9
E
Mrs. White
N
16
U
R
S
E
B
R
O
W
N
WEAPONSIIIIIIIVV
Knife
B
L
A
D
E
Candlestick
L
U
M
O
S
Revolver
G
18
L
O
C
K
Rope
B
20
R
A
I
D
11
Lead Pipe
S
1
E
6
W
E
R
Wrench
P
I
7
N
13
C
H
Q
2
U
8
I
14
L
17
L
12
ROOMSIIIIIIIVV
Hall
F
3
O
10
Y
E
R
Lounge
R
E
L
A
X
Dining Room
L
U
N
C
H
Kitchen
S
T
O
V
19
E
15
Ball Room
T
A
N
G
O
Conservatory
C
L
A
S
S
Billiard Room
T
H
R
O
W
Library
N
O
V
E
L
Study
C
H
A
I
R
S
A
L
O
N
Clue (1986 Edition)

Now the extra weapon row spells out the real murder weapon, a QUILL.


Author's Notes

  • The first version of this puzzle had a grid of letters with instructions that led the solver to draw out a sword. Some of the clues used to fill out the grid clued certain actors. For part 2, solvers had to replace each actor with their role and re-draw the picture, which yielded a pen. We ended up throwing away this idea for multiple reasons:
  • It didn’t feel like a great culmination puzzle since it didn’t reference back to Clue or any of the previous puzzles.
  • In test solving, we found that some people solved The Professor without identifying the suspects, so we wanted to make sure to require the suspects’ identities at some point in the hunt.
  • The puzzle right before this was also a clue-based grid-based puzzle.
  • PEN was an incredibly easy answer to guess (as many of you proved during the hunt!)
  • When brainstorming for the new version of the puzzle, we quickly realized that the Clue detective sheet would be the perfect thing to incorporate. We initially thought that extraction might involve shading in squares to draw out letters or using 5-bit binary on each row, but we wanted to come up with something more creative. We thought it would be cool to connect in something Dan Brown related, which is how we ended up using the cryptex from The Da Vinci Code.
  • We wrote this puzzle after The Professor and Whodunit, so we didn’t have much freedom to change the suspects or rooms. It took us a while to come up with the two sets of 5-letter words (it’s not as easy as it seems to find two 5-letter words that only differ by 1 or 2 letters!). We also got incredibly lucky that SALON and BROWN were both 5 letters long :)
  • For the second part of the puzzle, we had considered using WORDS as the answer, being an anagram of SWORD. However, that was nearly as easy to guess as PEN and thankfully we didn’t use it.
  • We put “Clue (1986 edition)” at the bottom of the sheet to disambiguate how to enter the names of all the items. We found that test-solvers would still write out “Colonel Mustard” and “Professor Plum” (instead of Col. Mustard and Prof. Plum), so we ended up rewriting some clues to make sure that they all worked in either case.
  • Some alternative weapons for the Grinch:
  • STUN GUN
  • BIG RIG
  • GRAB BAG (Curtis thought this rhymed for the longest time)
  • Best Wrong Answers:
    Wrong AnswerSubmitted by:
    MEDICAL MALPRACTICEKeep Puzzling and Nobody Explodes
    PEN PINEAPPLE APPLE PENThe Lexingtons
    PENIS
    Pot of Herrings
    Puzzling Group of /u/EliteCanadian
    SS Estonia
    Esketit Chuttiegang of /r/PictureGame
    Cardinality Rejects

Stats

Part 1
  • 128 solves
  • 288 incorrect guesses
  • Most common incorrect guess: QUILL (guessed 24 times)
  • First solve: Quarks and Gluons in 5 hours, 14 minutes, and 58 seconds
Part 2
  • 121 solves
  • 1658 incorrect guesses
  • Most common incorrect guess: WORDS (guessed 72 times)
  • First solve: Quarks and Gluons in 5 hours, 28 minutes, and 3 seconds
PUZZLE POTLUCK 2