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Condition: Normal
ID: 1234


October 29, 2005, 2:08 pm

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The Sand Box


A Magical Puzzle Key for opening a door. Innocuous, somewhat simple, but fun to solve, if you like puzzles.

This is an item that is basically a magical lock to a nearby secret and impenetrable door. It’s a way to sneak an interesting puzzle into the game, basically.

In an otherwise empty room is a long, anvil-like piece of stone. The top is flat, and inscribed on the left half of the top are a sequence of figures. To the right of those figures is a small bowl filled with sand. The sand is level and unmarked.

Nothing bad happens if the sand is disturbed, and the sand can be returned to a state of “clean slate”, simply by flattening the sand. The “anvil” is stuck to the ground, and is immovable.

There is a nearby secret door that is found but can’t seem to be opened. The only thing in the room is this anvil-like thing with the figures on it.

The sequence looks like this(I hope the link works, cut and paste if you have to):
(Feel free to download and use that image if you want.)

Once the appropriate next symbol is scribed in the sand, the secret door pops open. Can you figure out the next symbol?

ANSWER: Draw two 8’s next to each other, like this 88. The symbols in the diagram are mirror imaged numbers from 1 through 7.

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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
November 8, 2005, 19:22
Good solid puzzle
Voted Zylithan
November 24, 2005, 11:16
ok, but i've seen it many times before. i like the idea of the bowl of sand.
Voted Drackler
April 30, 2006, 21:57
Good idea, but I think it's a little too easy to figure out.

-Drackler Wyrmdragon
Barbarian Horde
November 8, 2007, 5:50
"Good idea, but I think it's a little too easy to figure out."

I don't know, I've thought the same about some puzzles, but just watch my players tear thier hair out trying to work it out!
November 8, 2007, 13:39
Puzzles are easy, when you know the answer, and can be hellishly diffilcut if you don't.

I think we need more stories about the puzzles here. :)
Voted valadaar
April 22, 2008, 12:18
The external link is broken, so this sub needs reworked somehow.
August 29, 2010, 13:08
Only voted
Voted Cressida
August 29, 2010, 13:08
Only voted
March 29, 2013, 19:20
I think the OP means an illustration like this (my own work, feel free to use):

In my game I am going to say that there are faded writings on the walls which the party can't read... unless they don't get the puzzle, at which point I'll start saying they've "deciphered" a clue:

(roughly getting more obvious going down)

* The one eyed man is king
* If you stare into the abyss...
* Divide and conquer
* Think deeply, reflect
* Mirror, mirror on the wall
* We're into double digits
Voted sirgarberto
July 31, 2015, 18:14

Well... to me this was kind of obvious as soon as I saw the picture, even if I never saw it before. Then again, I showed this to three other people and only one of them got it, and had to think about it for a while. So... I guess it's actually a good puzzle, and I'm just wired this way?

Edit: Welp, I just tried to see how it turned out with my group, and they told me they saw this in The Simpsons. Guess it's probably not gonna be an easy puzzle to add without everyone knowing it beforehand.

Voted Mageek
October 27, 2015, 23:49
Thank you tobydjones for the link! The image is pretty important.
Post delivers on its promise: a simple, straightforward puzzle you can use pretty much anywhere. Use of sand as an input device is a nice addition.

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