by Rebecca Vessenes, Justin Werfel, and Setec Astronomy

After solving all five metas connecting the first five towns (Christmas Town, Halloween Town, Thanksgiving Town, Valentine’s Day Town, and President’s Day Town), the team received a visit to their headquarters from the Mayor of Your Birthday Town to help them celebrate.

The Mayor brought the team a birthday present—which was sealed with four locks: a 4-digit numerical combination lock, a 4-letter combination lock, a directional combination lock, and a key-based padlock.

The Mayor led the team in several birthday party games:

• Pin the Tail on the Donkey: The team was given a poster with pictures of four animals, and a set of tails marked with letters. They had to attach a tail to each animal such that the animal’s name followed by the “tail” provided by that letter formed a new word. (For example, BEAR + D = BEARD.) Those four letters, in the order given on the poster, gave the combination to the letter lock.

• Musical Chairs: The team played four rounds of musical chairs, in each of which the music stopped just before a number in the lyrics of the song being played.
• Round one: “Jenny don’t change your number / Eight six seven five three oh—”
• Round two: “Rubber Duckie, you’re the—”
• Round three: “And it’s all gonna roll you away / Workin’ nine to—”
• Round four: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me / When I’m sixty—”
The digits 9-1-5-4 gave the combination to the number lock.
• Hokey Pokey: The Mayor led the team through four rounds of the Hokey Pokey, in which they “put [their] right hand in,” their “bottom in,” their “head in,” and their “right hand in.” The sequence right-down-up-right gave the combination to the directional lock.

The fourth lock was opened by a key hidden inside “Assistant Mayor Wingding,” a small piñata introduced at the beginning and set aside.

With this information and key, the team was finally able to open the present, only to find . . . the box was empty!

The Mayor revealed themselves to actually be the APRIL FOOL! Gloating over another successful prank, they explained that the flood had occurred because they had stolen the manhole cover from the tank in Molasses Awareness Day Town. That major prank was a way to let them spread chaos in the other holiday towns, and to get back at the world for their having been demoted from once having been the New Year.