Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: when she was overcome with the strangest sense of deja vu, and saw a 7x3 grid of letters in her mind's eye.
'Why', she declared, 'I can spell out my name, ALICE, moving orthogonally from cell to cell!' Orthogonally was an exceptionally long word, and Alice felt quite pleased for having used it.
'I could also spell out MARCH, HARE, WHITE, HEARTS, and CHESHIRE in the same way!'
Alice tried to focus on the 7x3 grid, but could only remember a few letters:
Alice, thinking herself very clever, managed to recreate the grid of letters. 'That was a fun adventure,' she muses, 'but whatever am I supposed to do now?'
All of a sudden, the Red Queen appeared, and broke the grid into pentominoes, leaving behind a single square.
'Yes, yes,' she tittered to the knave accompanying her, 'these pieces are fabulous. The letters on each piece can be rearranged to spell out a common 5 letter word... well, one actually spells out a 5 letter male name, and this name does ring the strangest of bells. I wonder where I have heard of him. Let us away!'
The Red Queen and her knave began trotting off, and Alice felt very angry that they had taken apart her grid of letters! Pocketing the letter they left behind, Alice began to run after the Red Queen and her knave.
Alice finally caught up with the Red Queen, rather out of breath. The Knave had built the Red Queen a new palace out of the pieces, a majestic 6x4 building, without even flipping any of them! Alice couldn't help but notice that the 4 pentominoes the Red Queen stole were not enough to build the house; the knave had also procured a piece called 'ROOF', which was positioned like so:
'Excuse me,' Alice yelled, 'but those are MY letters! I would be ever so grateful if you could give them back!'
The Red Queen shouted back, 'Nonsense', and before Alice could work out what on earth was going on, she found herself in the middle of a dark hedge maze.
Alice was beginning to feel very lost and hopeless, when she came across a blue caterpillar smoking a pipe.
'Excuse me, good sir, but do you know the way out of this maze?'
The caterpillar handed a map to Alice, not once taking the pipe out of his mouth.
'This makes no sense!' Alice proclaimed.
With a sigh, the caterpillar stopped smoking. 'You are here.' He pointed at the circle. 'You want to get here.' He pointed to the line leading away.
'But what are all these numbers?'
The caterpillar grumbled. 'On top of each hedge (each white square) is a jubjub bird. Now some of these jubjub birds are angry, and are on the lookout for prey (the arrows tell you which directions the angry ones are looking). If a jubjub bird does not see you pass through paths in the directions they are looking EXACTLY the number of times specified, they will gobble you up before you can leave the maze!'
'So, to make sure I understand, I can't pass through the path right above the jubjub bird marked zero? And I will pass through seven paths in the same row or column as the jubjub bird marked seven?'
'Sounds good... just don't reach the same intersection more than once...' He put the pipe back into his mouth, and Alice knew it was up to her to get out now.
Upon exiting the hedge maze, Alice found herself by the river once again, her boring sister still engrossed in a rather uninteresting book.
'How curious', thought Alice, 'That my adventure has led me back to this bank... hold on, what's this?' Alice picked up a book floating in the river.
THE JUBJUB BIRD
The jubjub bird is a curious thing
Jubjubs are not pretty, nor can they sing
They shan't fly over the path of a girl
Who has come from another world.
Jubjubs that fly far east tonight,
Are out of mind and out of sight.
The 8 jubjubs that can't fly far east,
Are quite important at the very least!
These important places each
Will take a letter from the Red Queen
Remove (just one of) what you have pocketed away
And rearrange to find the most curious name.
Curioser and curioser, thought Alice, as she wondered about the poem. As her sister called her to come home, Alice solved the riddle and found the most curious name.
'Golly gosh!' She cried in alarm.
WHAT IS THE MOST CURIOUS NAME? WHY WAS ALICE ALARMED BY IT?