Friday, August 12, 2005

I guess "Dream Mints" sure are Popular

After some wait, we are allowed to climb Percival Tower, a small two story high look-out sort of place. It's a lot less impressive than it sounds, but the view is beautiful, since you can see the capital building.

This "puzzle" is to lift a pyramid-shaped box from the center of the tower to the top. The trick is twofold: first, it's too big to pull to the stairs, we have to stick our hands through the space between wood and lift to a higher teammate. Second, it's on a wire, so when it reaches the top, we still need to clear some space. We manage to do this whole thing in a matter of seconds (one teammate didn't even know what happened) and we get the real puzzle!

While atop the tower, we offer the box-master an offering from our bag we received from the Western Inn. He takes a flag-stirrer thing. I see how it is. Patriotic, aren't we?

We look at our loot: A new story pyramid and what appears to be a girl scout cookie order form. There's a couple immediate observations we can make about the order form:

1) It has two post-it notes on it. One says "I guess 'Dream Mints' sure are popular!" The other says "Good job reaching your goal in four tries!"

2) On one side (Dream Mints), there are 6 orders. All final costs are composed entirely of 1s. On the other there are 4 orders (Four tries), following the same pattern. Some of the 1 patterns include decimal points (e.g. 1.11)

3) All of the quantities are composed of the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. No number ever occurs twice on a line.

Some of us ponder if the problem is in base 5. Perhaps there are linear equations to solve? We spend fruitless time on these angles, and it grows dark. At one point, I actually make the suggestion that the 1s are unary. We don't know how decimal points work in unary. Meanwhile, a light goes on in the heads of one of our teammates. We had been wondering why "Dream Mints" was in quotes. He types it into his anagram machine... and we find out the trick.

"Dream Mints" is an anagram for "Mastermind" The second we hear this, at least three of us yell "Aha!" and start cracking on the side with more than four tries (the four try side shows a complete game, and the final price is $1111, or four correct guesses). We eventually solve the answer, and look at the first letter of each cookie:


Cute. We call up the Illumine Hotline, and get our next location. A nearby fountain, still in Olympia. We hop in the van, energized for the next puzzle!


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