In the center of the room there's a 25x25ft depression in the floor, with a 5x5 checkerboard in it. Around it, perfectly aligned to the grid, there are 24 statues of different horses, twelve white and twelve black, and an additional white statue in the center of the board.
In the forehead of each horse except the one in the center there is a series of line and dot markings.
On each of the horses there are between 0-4 dots and 0-4 lines, in every possible combination.
A more minute observation would reveal that every line is actually made of 5 dots etched very closely together, so in fact every statue actually has an amount of dots between 0 and 24.
Under each statue with no single dots (0, 5, 10, 15, 20) there is an inscription:
(No lines): Keep away.
-: The straight line is anathema
=: 10ft is not enough
≡: 15ft is too much
==: Start in the beginning, finish in the end
Each of the statues are pretty heavy, but once moved onto the board it will hover weightlessly an inch or two from the ground. If released, it will center itself in the square it's floating on top of.
To complete this puzzle they'll have to place every statue, in order, a knight's move from each other (a distance between 10 and 15 feet, away from each other, but not in a straight line, thus the hints), starting in the upper left ('Start in the beginning') and ending in the bottom right ('finish in the end').
If you want to make it easier on your players, make it so the square under the first statue (0) lights up when you place it in the top left, the same happens when you place the second (1) a knight's move from it, and so on. If they ever place all the statues correctly but not ending in the bottom right (can be done), you can make the last square light up in red.
Here's one of the possible solutions:
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? Responses (10)-10
Neat. Had to reread a bit to get it, but yeah, this is a clever puzzle. Image nice too. Good one!
Thanks! If you don't mind, could you tell me what made you have to reread it? I'd like to see if I can improve readability.
Really nice presentation.
I really like the imagery that goes along with this, and that you staggered the knights instead of just having them in increasing numerical order. The 25th in the center is a nice touch too.
Thanks! The knights are laid out clockwise, each one exactly seven statues away from the previous one. There is no specific reason why I chose that order except it was aesthetically pleasing to me. I briefly considered changing it after a friend saw the pattern and thought it was part of the riddle, but he was the only one to do that, so I left it as it is.
Like Muro, I didn't get the solution at all upon first reading. Specifically, as the sub currently stands, it somehow read as if the dot and lines on each status should have sth to do with the distance of 10 and 15 feet requirement you talked about in the solution but they didn't so that confused me. On 2nd reading now, I get it now. Suggestion for improving readability: either put in a pic showing all the horses on the chessboard (the solution) OR put in brackets that a distance of between 10 and 15 feet corresponds to two squares distance away diagonally. This's also a slight readability issue with the sentence 'To complete this puzzle they'll have to place every statue, in order, a knight's move from each other....' I completely glossed over the 'in order' bit on the first read which was another reason that I didn't get the solution at all.
Sure, I can add a picture showing a solution (there are many possible). Thanks for the tip. As for the 10-15 thing... maybe it would work if I actually add 'ft' to the hints (i.e., '10ft is not enough, 15ft is too much')? Maybe with that it's a little less misleading, though I'm trying to come up with a way to leave that out entirely without negatively affecting the aesthetics of the whole puzzle.
Had to reread it, and the comments. But once it clicked it made perfect sense. I would dump the 10-15 feet reference all together and actually describe what a knight's move is just to clear any ambiguity. When you say they have to be a knight's move from each other on each move, that is pretty clear then.
The dots and lines forcing an order are fun too. Good puzzle!
Doesn't have to be life size either, just as good on a table to open a secret door.
Interesting. I'd have to think a sufficiently vague hint that would put them in mind of a knight's move without having to actually come out and say it. Preferably one that I can split in two, so I can maintain symmetry (failing that, I'd have to come up with a new hint to give).
And yes, this is a pretty adaptable puzzle. I made it life size because it seemed to me it would be more fun in character, but it can work in a lot of different configurations.
Great puzzle! Good use of graphics! Nice Job!