6
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Author Intro: This is the last in my Heiress series, which starts with the Twelve Zodiac Coins and also has this other puzzle. Checking out these two may be nice for the storyline but will not be required to solve the puzzle that follows. And now...

"I am so sorry about this. This is the last time, I promise!"

You groan inwardly. F.Y.I., the famous and eccentric tycoon, obviously really loved his puzzles. The family fortune left to his daughter, Gwen, was protected behind so many layers of riddles and puzzles that you wonder if it is really worth the effort. Nonetheless, you're the only one Gwen can turn to now...

All that stands in your way now is a 3x3 keypad ('Enter' button unseen and not relevant) and a series of haikus.
enter image description here

Haiku 1:
First impressions count
On the square stage of the world
Play out your answer

Haiku 2:
The parts of the whole
Reveal the whole of the parts
Enter as they go

Haiku 3:
Unity is key
Divergence is also key
Note well this advice

Haiku 4:
Crimson is this clue
And piscine its nature true
Yet needed as well

"So, let me confirm what your father told you," you say. "We have to enter 4 sequences into this keypad, and all we have to go on are these haikus?"

"Yeah, that's pretty much all he told me," Gwen replies.

"And you've tried every string of numbers you can think of that is relevant to yourself?"

"Yes, I have. Nothing works!"

"Okay, let me think." Your annoyance gives way to intrigue as you ponder the haikus... then slowly, but surely, enlightenment dawns. Surely, it couldn't be that simple..!

Is it, really? What are the codes needed?

Added for clarity:
1. The sequences are not necessarily of the same length.
2. You can assume each sequence is entered x-x-x-x-x-'Enter' if it helps. It isn't really important, just a helpful divider between sequences.
3. Only the text within the block quotes are needed, the rest is purely for story.

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  • $\begingroup$ Crimson piscine = red herring... Ignore the haiku's and just use the digits from the titles: 1-enter-2-enter-3-enter-4-enter $\endgroup$ – Alconja Sep 27 '16 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, those two lines ARE a red herring... but only because I ran out of legitimate clues to give! $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 27 '16 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I posted the answer because it seems like no one is interested in solving this anymore. Do let me know if the puzzle was a good one (after checking out my logic behind it) so I can improve on future attempts. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 30 '16 at 2:09
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This is not an answer - instead it is feedback on the puzzle itself (as requested by the author).

Note that the following text will necessarily contain spoilers both direct and indirect.


Since you're asking for feedback, here are my thoughts (hopefully constructive not critical - for the record, I liked your previous two and +1'd them)... The core idea is sound, clever and arrives at a neat solution, however the clues are no where near enough to get you there (in my opinion).

I think the core issue is that there are multiple steps required between the haikus and the solution (adding, splitting, adding again differently, etc) but with:

  • lots of ambiguity
  • no way to verify any of those steps
  • a solution that's not unique (eg. why skip 3 & 5 in haiku 1, and not 2 & 6, or 1, 3 & 4?)

Even knowing the solution, there's still no way to verify if it's correct unless (as you say) you squint and happen to notice the pattern.

So improvements I'd suggest are:

  1. make the clues a little more explicit and remove some ambiguity
  2. make each haiku be a step in the clues so that you can feel a logical progression
  3. include some sort of hint that allows you to verify the solution that you finally arrive at

A reworked version, that still retains the soul of the puzzle, may look something like this:


[preamble text]

Keypad [note: flipped vertically out of necessity... see below]:

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

Haiku 1:
Your first impressions
Now combine to create it:
The whole of the parts

Haiku 2:
Cover all bases
Avoiding parts of the whole
Don't repeat yourself

Haiku 3:
As they come, they go
Dancing on the world's square stage
An answer appears

Haiku 4:
But now you can see
The rightful owner is found
Clearly, truth takes shape


In my opinion* this would provide a somewhat cleaner solution because:

Each haiku follows a distinct step:
Haiku 1 - indicates to add up the first letters - same "first impressions" and "whole of the parts" clues (giving 59, 8, 6 and 25).
Haiku 2 - tells you to find a code that uses every digit (without repeats), whilst avoiding the digits found in the sums, giving the same patterns as your solution (this is what necessitated the flipping of the keypad, because otherwise the second haiku would have needed summing to 2, also required the n to be squared off to avoid a triple digit sum)
Haiku 3 - tells you to sort the digits and enter them as they appear on the keypad
Haiku 4 - allows you to verify your solution by looking at the shape of the codes entered, hinting vaguely towards "GWEN"

* To be clear (and to repeat myself), this is all just my opinion and intended as constructive feedback, so take it with a grain of salt. I don't claim to be all knowing, just sometimes another perspective helps clarify things. Hopefully you at least find something in my ramblings to take away, learn from, and carry on making more great puzzles. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the effort taken, it really is helpful. I'll be trying my hand at another puzzle over the weekend, hope that one avoids these problems. :) $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 30 '16 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Xenocacia - No worries. Best of luck with the next one. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Sep 30 '16 at 5:44
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Partial answer:

Haiku 3

Perhaps "unity" means 1 and "divergence" means 9 because it is the furthest apart from 1 on the 3x3 grid.

Haiku 4 (damn, I just noticed Alconja's comment from 5 hours ago so scratch this one)

Sounds like a "red herring" (crimson and piscine) to me but the last line says it's needed too.

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My guess:

1-2-3-4-5-7
1-2-3-5-8
1-4-7-8-9-6-3
3-2-1-4-7-8-9

This is based on

"First impressions count" which I took to mean the first letter (impression) of each haiku

"On the square" which means overlay the letter on the square keypad

"Play out your answer" means type the numbers required to create that letter on the keypad
"That simple" this is quite a simple answer!

But I'm not sure how the unity/divergence stuff would fit in with this. Perhaps it has to do with tracing the number in a continuous stroke?

So

F is the first letter of the first haiku
enter image description here

Which gives 1-2-3-4-5-7 (or 1-2-3-5-4-7)

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  • $\begingroup$ It clearly says that anything outside the blockquote has nothing to do with the answer. So "that simple" has nothing to with it. $\endgroup$ – TrojanByAccident Sep 27 '16 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Saiid Yes, I didn't mean to suggest that "that simple" was in any way required to solve this, but it would be ridiculous for the OP to put that quote there and have it be misleading. That is, I'm guessing the answer will really be "that simple" when it's discovered. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Sep 27 '16 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ It could have just been simple to the character $\endgroup$ – TrojanByAccident Sep 27 '16 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ @DanRussell: this is the closest answer yet, and definitely on the right track! However, there are still a couple more clues you haven't teased out from the haikus. Also, I apologise if the quote on "that simple" was misleading - Saiid is right in saying that it is only to the character, and it is in no way meant as a clue. $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 28 '16 at 1:13
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Partial answer:

Haiku 4

BLOOD. Blood is red, the phrase "pools of blood" is common when referring to large quantities of it, and it's necessary for human life.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid that's not even close to the meaning of this haiku. Try again! :) $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 27 '16 at 6:21
1
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Partial answer:

Haiku 2:

338

The parts of the whole

you can use two 3's to create an 8

Reveal the whole of the parts

you can create an 8 of two 3's

Enter as they go

from low to high: 338

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  • $\begingroup$ Good try but it says it's in the sequence 'x-x-x-x-x' $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Sep 27 '16 at 6:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil see line 1. The sequences are not necessarily of the same length. $\endgroup$ – Meta45 Sep 27 '16 at 7:01
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Partial answer:

Haiku 1

The series of numbers '1-4-9-1-6'

First impressions count

its the first numbers...

On the square stage of the world

...in a sequence of square numbers

Play out your answer

The first numbers in the square numbers sequence

So

'1-4-9-1-6'

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  • $\begingroup$ Imaginative, but sadly quite the wrong track. :) $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 27 '16 at 6:57
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Based on "Surely, it couldn't be that simple..!" and that the last clue is thought to be

a red herring (which could suggest there is really no meaning behind the haikus)

I'm guessing the sequence is simply

the parameters of a haiku 5-7-5 entered once for each haiku, or the word counts: 3-7-4 (enter) 5-6-4 (enter) etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ To set the record straight, the text outside the block quotes has absolutely no bearing on the puzzle and is for story ONLY. Also, the clue you speak of refers only to that one haiku, not all the others. Try again! $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Sep 27 '16 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Wow my reading comprehension is lacking. I read something like text outside the quotes. $\endgroup$ – jstnthms Sep 28 '16 at 0:56
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Partial Answer

Haiku 2

1-2-3-4

The parts of the whole

Each Haiku is part of the whole thing

Reveal the whole of the parts

All the answers together give the final solution

Enter as they go

Enter them in order, or "as they go" in order.

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Given the lack of interest in the puzzle, I suspect I might have either omitted crucial information required to solve it (not on purpose, of course), or committed some other shortcoming. I am posting the answer here in hopes of getting feedback on whether the puzzle could be improved. Thanks!

Analysing the haikus

The haikus should be taken in totality - there is nothing that says each refers to a separate item. The hints in each should be applied to all - is this something I should have made explicit?

Haiku 1:
First impressions count

The first letter of each sentence is needed. Count the numbers correlated to the letter (A = 1, B = 2, etc).

On the square stage of the world/ Play out your answer

Refers to the 3x3 keypad, and that the answer should be entered there (duh).

Haiku 2:
The parts of the whole

Parts refer to the counts obtained from the first letters (haiku 1). Sum them up.

Reveal the whole of the parts

That sum will have to broken down into parts again. What parts?

Enter as they go

This was meant to suggest that those parts are related to what needs to be entered into the keypad - numbers on the pad?

Haiku 3: Unity is key

Kind of a repetition of haiku 2 in that you need to "unite" (i.e. sum up) something. Also tried to insert "key" as a reminder about the link to the keypad.

Divergence is also key/ Note well this advice

Same as above, after summing up you need to diverge the sum.

Haiku 4:
Crimson is this clue/ And piscine its nature true

As pointed out, this is simply a red herring.

Yet needed as well

The first letters of this haiku are still required!

Taking a cue from those hints, we find that:

Haiku 1 has F + O + P = 6 + 15 + 16 = 37
Haiku 2 has T + R + E = 20 + 18 + 5 = 43
Haiku 3 has U + D + N = 21 + 4 + 14 = 39
Haiku 4 has C + A + Y = 3 + 1 + 25 = 29

Now, DanRussell was actually very close with his idea! The clues above simply point to the sequences needed.

Starting with the most obvious, haiku 2: on the keypad given, the only way to get 43 is to press every button except '2'.
Haiku 3: We could either drop 1 and 5, 2 and 4, or 6. The last option gives us a sequence that looks kinda like an 'E', so let's go with that.
Haiku 1: Dropping 3 and 5 gives us a total of 37.
Haiku 4: Dropping 3, 5 and 8 gives us the total of 29.

So, the answer is...

Sequence 1: 1 ,2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, ENTER
Sequence 2: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ENTER
Sequence 3: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, ENTER
Sequence 4: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, ENTER

which will give:

Puzzle 3 solution
...which is the way to spell out GWEN on a 3x3 keypad. (some squinting may be required)

I really hope this answer is not in anyway a let-down to those who tried to solve this puzzle, and by the way I really appreciate all your efforts! Thanks everyone!

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel like there wouldn't have been a way for us to get combinations 1 or 4, or even 3. It would've required us to spot a pattern from one member (the second one). Plus, nothing really seems to hint at summing except "unity", which is tenuous at best. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Sep 30 '16 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ Since you requested it, I wrote some feedback, but it rapidly grew beyond a comment, so I posted it as an "answer". Hope you find something of value... $\endgroup$ – Alconja Sep 30 '16 at 4:58

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