Events: The Midway
In this event, players found themselves in a full fledged carnival midway, replete with mini-games and free snacks - hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy, generously provided by our event sponsor Grandmaster Puzzles. Players circulated among 6 carnival games, earning tickets for prizes and, if they were paying attention, answer words that would allow them to solve the final meta.
Players found a 6 x 4 grid of squares covering a picture. Players take turns picking two squares to reveal the images underneath and attempting to make a match - when they uncover two matching symbols, those squares are removed from the board to revealing parts of the underlying picture. Any successful match resulted in player gaining a prize ticket. When there are only four uncovered squares on the board, the entire board reset.
Ring Around the Bottle
For this puzzle, players had to toss rings around the necks of bottles that were painted various colors. Each time the player successfully landed a ring on a bottle, they received a slip of paper (although over time, we just ended up giving players slips any time they hooked a bottle, regardless of color).
Ball In the Bowl
In this game, players had to toss a ball into bowls floating in a tub of water. If they succeeded, they won tickets and, depending on what color bowl they succeeded in landing the ball in, a slip of paper with some text on it. Dave Tytell does such a good job explaining the rules and the key information for this puzzle, that we'll just let him do it here as well:
The following bowls yielded the following text on white slips of paper:
|Bowl Color||Paper Text|
|red||MITSUBISHI 3 5 |
|orange||NEW ERA 9|
|yellow||CAPITAL ONE 6 |
|green||AUTOZONE 7 |
At this booth, player tossed bean bags at wooden blocks with pictures on them. Each block that was knocked over flipped down to reveal a second image (see the photo to the right above). Hitting a block earned also earned a ticket. The sets of images were:
|Block Picture||Knocked Over Picture|
At this booth, players went fishing in a paper pond - with a catch (heh), players were blindfolded and relied on the guidance of a partner to steer them to a particular fish. Along with many fish, there were also junk items like boots, tires, etc, as well as ‘treasures’ that would net them tickets. If you caught the full range of available fish, along with tickets, you would find the following information printed on each fish:
|Fish Size||Fish Weight||Text|
|1||1 LB||STAGGER CLUMSILY|
|2||2 LB||BOTTOM OF SHOE|
|3||3 LB||BIRDCAGE FEATURE|
|4||4 LB||KIND OF BOARD|
|7||2 LB||SINGING VOICE|
|9||4 LB||MEDIEVAL WEAPON|
Upside Down Croquet
At this booth, the players had to play croquet upside down (bending over & hitting the ball back between their legs toward a target, as you can see in the second image above). The booth had nine targets in all, three for each of three ‘stations.’ The first station is “beginning,” the second is “middle” and the last is “end.” Hitting a ball into any of the nine targets results in a circular piece turning upside down to reveal a 4-letter word. For post-event solving purposes, we've displayed all 9 words below, roughly formatted as the players would have seen them, had they managed to hit all 9 targets in one round.
Players that earned tickets via the midway games could trade them in for a variety of prizes such as candy, bouncy balls, Penny Park-branded highlighters and Rubik's cubes, but eagle-eyed puzzlers would have spotted the shelf of limited edition heart-shaped shells on the top shelf (and for the top shelf ticket price of 1000 tickets, although this was lowered throughout the evening). Upon opening the heart, teams found a sheet of paper with the following information on it: