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ID: 8237


August 2, 2015, 6:10 pm

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25 Horses


A new twist for a classic puzzle. There are 25 statues of horses around a chessboard, and need to be arranged properly to proceed.

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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Comments ( 10 )
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Voted Murometz
August 1, 2015, 22:12
Neat. Had to reread a bit to get it, but yeah, this is a clever puzzle. Image nice too. Good one!
August 2, 2015, 1:58
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.
Voted Mageek
August 2, 2015, 0:04
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.
August 2, 2015, 1:54

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.

Voted Moonlake
August 2, 2015, 3:43
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.

August 2, 2015, 17:16

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.

Voted Strolen
August 2, 2015, 9:37
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.
August 2, 2015, 17:24
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.
Voted valadaar
January 12, 2016, 14:24
Great puzzle! Good use of graphics! Nice Job!
January 14, 2016, 13:38

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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