Border Patrol by Thomas Snyder
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This is a puzzle-hunt style puzzle, prepared for an evening event at the World Puzzle Championship. There are no instructions; finding out what to do is part of the puzzle. Some US cultural knowledge may be required.
Author/Opus: This is the 288th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.
Answer String: Enter the final answer of the puzzle, a single word, in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
I don’t have a clue where to start. I’m going to need a hint or several… but you won’t/can’t give any until after the Championship, I suspect?
My first problem was that the map didn’t load in the PDF the first time. This is unlikely to be your problem, but I thought it was worth mentioning just in case.
Anyway, on second viewing, the map was there. So for a hint in that situation, might I suggest (rot13) sbphffvar ba ubj gur juvgr obkrf ner neenatrq. That should tip you off to the structure of the puzzle.
Fascinating puzzle but no idea what to do. A close up view of a map was no help
Decode as rot13
Hint 1: Abgvpr gung rnpu jbeq unf rknpgyl sbhe juvgr obkrf. Vf gurer nal cnggrea gb ubj gurfr obkrf nccrne?
Hint 2: Gur ahzorerq obeqre pebffvatf ba gur znc jvyy tvir lbh gur sbhe yrggref va juvgr sbe gur jbeq jvgu gur fnzr ahzore.
Hint 3: (instructions?) Sbe rnpu “obeqre pebffvat”, n jbeq pna or sbezrq sebz gur gjb 2-yrggre fgngr cbfgny pbqrf sbe gung obeqre, naq bar frg bs gur funql punenpgref nqqrq va fbzr beqre.
Hint 4: (example for clue 3) Ivetvavn naq Abegu Pnebyvan tvir inkkapk be apkkink. Gur svefg vf gur bayl neenatrzrag gung ybbxf yvxr n jbeq. Nqqvat va gur npl frg tvirf inpnapl.
Hint 5: Sbe gur svany nafjre, chyy bhg gur vaqvpngrq yngre sbe rnpu frg bs nqqrq funql punenpgref (vs A vf va cneragurfrf, gnxr gur Agu yrggre). Gur svany nafjre vf na rvtug-yrggre jbeq znqr bhg bs sbhe fgngrf’ cbfgny pbqrf.
Brilliant puzzle! I’m putting together a puzzle-hunt for our local area next spring. Can I borrow the structure of this puzzle for our hunt? I’ll create my own US map with different numbers and clues.
Thanks for the comments; sent a PM on your question.
I’m in the same situation as David. I’m an engineering student in Brazil and I’ve been wanting to do a Puzzle Hunt event in my university for a long time, as I don’t think there has ever been one around here. This was super fun, so I’d love to do a puzzle with the same structure, but using the Brazilian map and in portuguese. Would that be OK? If so, how should I credit you?
I got the 25 letter, What to do next to get the indicated eight letter word? I need help on the last step.
The twenty-five letters spell out a clue phrase in the given 1 to 25 order. If you have a reasonable clue phrase, you just need to find the answer to it.