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Disclaimer :
This is not my puzzle, and it may not even be a puzzle. But it does look like a puzzle to me. If it has to be closed for this, so be it. But let's see first if someone can come up with something (unless the author just wrote utter nonsense).

This is one of the many "shifts" SCP-507 did, according to one of the anonymous authors of the site. The list of all shifts can be found here, including the following one. I don't think you have to know the context and others shifts to solve this puzzle (if it can be solved), but it's a fun read anyway.


Dimensional label : YTF-5N2-Q00
Retrieval: Uneventful

Subject arrived in a crowded casino-like area. Subject noted that the only type of machine available was something similar to slots, but they apparently required no money to play and gave out nothing upon a "win."

Upon actually sitting down in front of one and trying it, the subject discovered that the machine dispensed a small slip of paper with writing on it upon every pull of the lever and spin of the symbols it displayed. Subject could discern no real pattern to what symbol would produce what type of note, but wrote down a list of its attempts and what it received from each just in case.

List of results :

  • Jewel/Crescent/Claw: "If given a slice of death, could you tell how large it was?"
  • Hammer/Crescent/Crescent: "A poor base leads to rushed patch-jobs."
  • Crescent/Hammer/Jewel: "Déjà who?"
  • Claw/Circle/Hammer: "There are things worse than death. For one: Not dying."
  • Crescent/Hammer/Crescent: "There will always be someone to look after you."
  • Crescent/Jewel/Crescent: "They’re not that jolly; it’s just stuck that way."
  • Hammer/Crescent/Hammer: "There will always be something to look after."
  • Claw/Claw/Claw: "The future's looking bright."

Now the question is : does it have a hidden meaning, an actual logic ?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there any particular reason that you think this is a puzzle? I don't see any reason to believe it is one. It's strange and not entirely explained, but "unexplained strangeness" is the point of SCP, no? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 31 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Unexplained strangeness is indeed frequent in SCP stories, but this one struck me as puzzle-like for some reason. I can't really tell what, but some sentences ("Déjà who?", "They’re not that jolly; it’s just stuck that way.") are close to what can be found on PuzzlingSE. They seem random, but it's a strange randomness. Don't know how to be explain this better. Anyway, as I said, i'm not sure it is a puzzle either. $\endgroup$ – Keelhaul Aug 1 at 8:14
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I'm not sure there is a solution, but I'm going to write until I figure something out.

There are three types of outputs; questions, predictions, and statements. I am classifying predictions as statements that assert something about future events.

The questions always appear after a set of three unique symbols:

 Jewel/Crescent/Claw: "If given a slice of death, could you tell how large it was?"
 Crescent/Hammer/Jewel: "Déjà who?"

Predictions always appear after either a pair or three of a kind:

 Crescent/Hammer/Crescent: "There will always be someone to look after you."
 Hammer/Crescent/Hammer: "There will always be something to look after."
 Claw/Claw/Claw: "The future's looking bright."

There is no discernible pattern to the statements:

 Hammer/Crescent/Crescent: "A poor base leads to rushed patch-jobs."
 Claw/Circle/Hammer: "There are things worse than death. For one: Not dying."
 Crescent/Jewel/Crescent: "They’re not that jolly; it’s just stuck that way."

The statements also show that the first two rules are not reflexive; a question can only be output after a set of three unique symbols, but not all sets of three unique symbols will output a question.

When Claw appears in a statement or a question, it always concerns death.

Claw/Claw/Claw is our only example of three of a kind. It is also the simplest, most unambiguously optimistic prediction. In slot machines, three of a kind is winning result. So, I think one of the rules is: When you win, you get an optimistic prediction.

Let's look at all the pairs:

 Crescent/Hammer/Crescent: "There will always be someone to look after you."
 Hammer/Crescent/Hammer: "There will always be something to look after."
 Hammer/Crescent/Crescent: "A poor base leads to rushed patch-jobs."
 Crescent/Jewel/Crescent: "They’re not that jolly; it’s just stuck that way."

When Hammer appears in the first position, the output is concerned with responsibility; there will always be work to do, and you should do it right the first time. There are three examples of X/Y/X. The first two return predictions. Perhaps that combination is a semi-win; not as good as a three of a kind, but not a total loss. So, you get a prediction, but not necessarily an optimistic one. The third X/Y/X, however, returns a statement. It is the only one that contains a Jewel. It is also the most...useless? "A poor base leads to rushed patch jobs" is at least good advice. But "They’re not that jolly; it’s just stuck that way." is so utterly without context that the reader can't even learn anything from it. I propose that an output like this represents a "loss." So, I posit two more rules: A pattern of X/Y/X is a semi-win. A Jewel is an automatic loss.

Given this, let's look at the questions again:

 Jewel/Crescent/Claw: "If given a slice of death, could you tell how large it was?"
 Crescent/Hammer/Jewel: "Déjà who?"

These are also pretty useless. The reader learns nothing. What is a slice of death? They also both contain Jewels. This reinforces the idea that Jewel is a losing result.

There is only one output that we haven't examined.

 Claw/Circle/Hammer: "There are things worse than death. For one: Not dying."

This is the only set of three unique symbols that does not contain a Jewel. What can be said of its usefulness to the reader? Well, it's not quite advice, like the statement about the poor base. But it is sort an interesting thing to ponder. So, I have one more rule: A set of three unique symbols is a semi-loss; the reader will get something interesting to think about, but no predictions or advice.

So, I think there are five possible outcomes to this game:

 Win: Three of a kind.  You will receive an optimistic prediction about the future
 Semi-win: X/Y/X.  You will receive a prediction, but it may be optimistic or not.
 Draw: Two in a row.  You will receive a piece of useful advice
 Semi Loss:  Three unique symbols.  You will receive some meaningless, but possibly philosophical or poetic statement.
 Loss:  Any result with a Jewel.  You will receive meaningless gobbledygook.

Given that the Jewel creates a loss in the X/Y/X pattern, I assert that even three Jewels in a row would be a loss; it overrides all other rules.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting... One can wonder if there is a deeper meaning to individual symbols, like the claw/death relationship. And by the way, welcome to Puzzling.se ! $\endgroup$ – Keelhaul Aug 1 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Keelhaul! I think we'd need a larger sample to determine meaning to the individual symbols particularly bc, if they do have meaning, then those meanings would have to interact with each other. Like, we can see that Claw is related to death, except in predictions, and we can see that Hammer is sometimes, but not always, related to responsibility; what would happen if Claw and Hammer appeared in the same set? Would it be a statement about responsibility AND death? Or would one symbol "outrank" the other? I don't think we have enough information to identify a pattern. $\endgroup$ – IAntoniazzi Aug 1 at 13:53

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