by Jonathan McCue, Summer Herrick
15 line ransom note
137 puzzle squares (rebus artwork on one side, word missing a letter on the other)
Players receive a 15-line "ransom note," and 137 puzzle squares. Different letters of the ransom note are in different typefaces.
Solvers might be tempted to assemble the puzzle squares first (via the pictures), but this is daunting. Instead, solvers can focus on the words on the back of the artwork. They notice each word is missing a letter, which can be found within the ransom note.
If players group the puzzle squares by the missing letters, per the ransom note lines, they’ll have a complete rebus set, 15 in all. For instance, the first line of the ransom note is BITTER, which means there should be 6 puzzle squares to match these letters; together they create one set/rebus.
Once players have grouped the squares, they can flip them over & use the artwork on the back side to create a rebus puzzle. This rebus' answer is the title a Steven King novel, short story, or collection. (The completed rebuses are at the bottom of this document.)
Once the rebus is assembled, the pieces can be flipped over to reveal a sentence. Each sentence crossword-ishly clues a word; this word is the same length as the book title; this is also the same as the number of puzzle-squares assembled. For instance, the six squares that form the MISERY-rebus also form the sentence ABUNDANT AMOUNT OR NOT NEEDING MORE (cluing PLENTY).
The crossword-clue answer and rebus answer are the same length and share one letter in the same position (e.g., #6, Y). Extracting these same-position letters yields the phrase YOU'RE ALMOST DONE (shown below).
Players then realize that each rebus has the same number of squares as the title-length and pull out the appropriate square. For instance, PLENTY and MISERY match on the 6th letter, so the 6th square of the rebus needs to be pulled out.
Once they have pulled out one square for each rebus (15 in total), they can reassemble those squares into a brand-new picture, the face of Pennywise the clown. Now, flipping the squares yields the message YOUR PAPER BOAT COULD OFTEN FLOAT BUT THIS GIFT OF MINE IS MUCH MORE DIVINE.
Players should connect this message with Pennywise and realize that he’s referring to his iconic red BALLOON.
SOLUTION: 🎈, the balloon emoji.
Crossword Clues, Answers, Extraction
|ABUNDANT AMOUNT OR NOT NEEDING MORE||PLENTY||MISERY||Y|
|FAMOUS LINE FROM TEXT OR SPEECH THAT IS CITED||QUOTATION||THE SUN DOG||O|
|TRASHY PAPERBACK FICTION||PULP||CUJO||U|
|TO EXERT TOO MUCH EFFORT ON||OVERDO||CARRIE||R|
|TO BE TOTALLY FREE FROM MORAL BLEMISH OR IMPURITY; DIVINE||IMMACULATE||BLACK HOUSE||E|
|ENGINEER WHO STUDIES MINE ORE AND THE TECHNIQUE OF MAKING COMPOUND ALLOYS||METALLURGIST||DREAMCATCHER||A|
|RHUBARBS AND DINGERS MAY OCCUR WHILE PLAYING THIS||BASEBALL||APT PUPIL||L|
|STATIONERY SHOP SPECIALIZING IN GIFT WRAP AND CARDS||HALLMARK||INSOMNIA||M|
|FIRING EXPLOSIVE MISSILES FROM AN UNDERWATER BOAT AT AN ATTACKER||TORPEDOING||BAG OF BONES||O|
|GIVING SOMETHING YOUR MOST CAREFUL SCRUTINY PERHAPS FOR OFFICIAL APPROVAL||INSPECTING||ROSE MADDER||S|
|TENTATIVE PROPOSITION OR SET OF PREMISES TO EXPLAIN SOME PHENOMENA||HYPOTHESIS||NIGHT SHIFT||T|
|CARS AND PLANES ARE OFTEN DESIGNED IN THIS MANNER IN ORDER TO REDUCE WIND DRAG||AERODYNAMICALLY||FULL DARK NO STARS||D|
|LARGEST FLOAT PARADE WORLDWIDE OCCURS DURING THIS MONTH||NOVEMBER||ROADWORK||O|
|GROUP MEETING TO CONFRONT SOMEONE'S UNHEALTHY BEHAVIOR BUT WITHOUT THEIR PRIOR KNOWLEDGE||INTERVENTION||SKELETON CREW||N|
|DESCRIPTIVE WORD THAT COULD BE UTILIZED TO MODIFY NOUNS||ADJECTIVE||SALEMS LOT||E|
Assembled Rebuses with Answers
THE SUN DOG
BAG OF BONES
FULL DARK NO STARS
FINAL PENNYWISE PICTURE (made from one tile of each of the above)