35
$\begingroup$

Imogen was dog-tired, but excited! After 3 gruelling weeks of 16-hour work days imposed by an iron-willed boss, she was finally finished all her projects. She'd been processing (figurative) wheelbarrow-loads of tax returns, and tax season had finally ended. She now had some free time to spend with her boyfriend, Ronnie, whom she'd hardly seen in the last few weeks.

He'd been very patient with her work schedule, and had hinted at something big he had planned for the weekend, but she'd hardly been able to talk to him at all lately due to her work monopolizing her schedule. Darn this overdeveloped American work ethic, she thought to herself. If I were in Europe, this never would have happened!

She let herself into the apartment and slipped off her shoes, half-expecting (hoping?) to be greeted by balloons and streamers, or at least a doting boyfriend, but the place was silent.

"Hello?" she called out hopefully. "Anybody here?"

The place was as silent as a thimble on a dead man's finger. Had Ronnie shipped out on her without so much as a text? But no, she'd seen his car parked on the street before she entered the building, so he should be here.

"Hello..." she called out again.

As she walked toward the dining room, she noticed something unusual on the table. Moving closer, she realized that there were rows and rows of red dice neatly lined up in pairs on the table. Ronnie was sitting, expressionless at the table. When he saw her, he smiled.

Her heart leaped, partly in annoyance, and partly in excitement. Ronnie knew her love of puzzles, and board games as well. He had obviously created a puzzle for her to solve.

"Okay, I'll play your game," she said, in mock annoyance, her eyes already flitting over the rows of dice, looking for patterns. "What do I need to know?"

Ronnie only smiled wider, and gestured toward the table.

Typical, she thought to herself. He's not going to make this easy for me. She put on her (figurative) puzzling hat, and started poring over the dice:
























What is Ronnie's message to Imogen?


For those who can't view images, or want to try plugging this into a computer, here's a text version of the die array above:

31 66 33 34 55 52  
66 66 64 22 53 52  
13 54 51 26 62 54  
63 62 21 66 66 65  
15 16 14 24 55 55  
13 44 11 56 22 55  
56 24 23 45 53 66  
44 24 44 24 33 24  
33 22 46 55 44 35  
66 35 44 42 63 12  
56 66 31 51 66 66  
32 66 56 14 31 44  
15 66 41 66 65 44  
44 31 22 66 46 14  
63 26 66 66 41 66  
56 65 45 42 42 66  
13 66 66 35 12 66  
65 44 51 44 24 36  
66 32 44 32 66 66  
21 51 66 66 31 66  
65 66 65 44 42 44  
31 62 53 63 63 26  
66 66 13 66 31 66  
13 66 66 62
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ first things I notice are that there are WAY more 66s than anything else. 44 is uncommonly common as well. Also, are the names significant? Imogen Heap perhaps? Something to do with a heap? Not sure what Ronnie could be referencing though. $\endgroup$ – MMAdams Oct 11 '16 at 19:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In the interests of fairness, I will point people to this conversation in the Sphinx's Lair. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Oct 11 '16 at 19:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ that dude cheats. No one gets that many double 6. $\endgroup$ – njzk2 Oct 11 '16 at 20:38
22
$\begingroup$

Ronnie's message to Imogen is

IMOGEN IN LOVING BLISS
COVETING A GENTLE KISS
COMPLEMENTING ME IN LIFE
PLEASE BE TO ME A LOVING WIFE

Because

The board game involved is Monopoly. Starting at the space "Go", you have to read the first letter of the current monopoly space after performing the next dice rolls (if you roll dupes, you are allowed to roll again without staying on the space in monopoly).

The words in the story "dog, iron, wheelbarrow, shoes, thimble, shipped, car, hat" are all monopoly playing pieces. "monopolizing, red dice" are also additional clues. Furthermore Monopoly originated in the United States, and this puzzle only works when the solver uses the classical american board, which explains why this wouldn't happen in Europe, as there are many different versions of Monopoly worldwide.

Here's the runnable JavaScript version of what I did with OP's message as initial input.

List of all visited spaces in order:

Income Tax
Marvin Gardens
Oriental Avenue
Go
Electric Company
New York Avenue
Indiana Avenue
North Carolina Avenue
Luxury Tax
Oriental Avenue
Virgina Avenue
Indiana Avenue
North Carolina Avenue
Go
Baltic Avenue
Luxury Tax
Income Tax
St. Charles Place
St. James Place
Chance
Oriental Avenue
Ventnor Avenue
Electric Company
Tennessee Avenue
Indiana Avenue
North Carolina Avenue
Go
Atlantic Avenue
Go
Electric Company
North Carolina Avenue
Tennessee Avenue
Luxury Tax
Electric Company
Kentucky Avenue
Illinois Avenue
Short Line
St. Charles Place
Community Chest
Oriental Avenue
Marvin Gardens
Pensilvania Avenue
Luxury Tax
Electric Company
Marvin Gardens
Electric Company
North Carolina Avenue
Tennessee Avenue
Indiana Avenue
North Carolina Avenue
Go
Marvin Gardens
Electric Company
Indiana Avenue
North Carolina Avenue
Luxury Tax
Income Tax
Free Parking
Electric Company
Pensilvania Railroad
Luxury Tax
Electric Company
Atlantic Avenue
Short Line
Electric Company
B&O Railroad
Electric Company
Tennessee Avenue
Oriental Avenue
Marvin Gardens
Electric Company
Atlantic Avenue
Luxury Tax
Oriental Avenue
Virgina Avenue
Indiana Avenue
North Carolina Avenue
Go
Water Works
Income Tax
Free Parking
Electric Company

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That game exists in europe. With different labels, of course. $\endgroup$ – njzk2 Oct 11 '16 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ @njzk2 Thanks, I'll edit that statement. $\endgroup$ – user14478 Oct 11 '16 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Do you read the dice top to bottom (each column is a line of the solution) or left to right (we have to guess at the line breaks)? If you read them vertically, then you would have to go to jail after rolling three doubles in a row. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Oct 11 '16 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast Left to right. And yes, we have to guess the line breaks as well as the spaces between words. $\endgroup$ – user14478 Oct 11 '16 at 21:24
18
$\begingroup$

"monopolising"
"dog-tired"
"iron-willed"
"wheelbarrow-loads"
"thimble"
"hat"
Monopoly, a game of taxes and work ethic, and one with game pieces including red dice, a dog, an iron, a wheelbarrow, a thimble and a hat!

Imogen states that she and Ronnie live in America, not Europe, so we know we have to use the American version of the Monopoly board, not the European one (or UK one, or Canadian one, or Star Wars one or...)

Starting at Go and moving around the board according to the dice pairs (including the "extra turns" on doubles, which effectively just skips that space), we can take the first letter of each property we land on to make this stanza:

IMOGEN IN LOVING BLISS
COVETING A GENTLE KISS
COMPLEMENTING ME IN LIFE
PLEASE BE TO ME A LOVING WIFE

Something big for the weekend indeed!

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the tip, @ArbitraryKangaroo, that actually gave me the hint I needed to get the message! $\endgroup$ – monoRed Oct 11 '16 at 19:46

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