Sunday, September 30, 2007

Solution: Replaced

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Placeholder solution post. Solution to be posted soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hints: Replaced

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1. Each column has a series of 4 and then a translation pair.
2. Each series of 4 boxes has an opening, two adjustments, and an ending.
3. Each translation pair has a set of five shapes that match up with a set of five letters.
4. Once organized, translate all shapes and read the openings and endings.

Big Hint: The title of the puzzle is spelled out in the lower left corner.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Solution: Big Hands

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This is a set of 25 playing cards. Each trio of letters gives the rank (2-9,T,J,Q,K,A) and the suit (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades), followed by a letter or "*" which will be used at the end of the puzzle.

As the title and instruction imply, these 25 cards can be arranged into one each of the top 5 poker hands (Royal Straight Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, and Flush) as follows:

AC, KC, QC, JC, TC (royal straight flush)
7S, 6S, 5S, 4S, 3S (straight flush)
9H, 8S, 8H, 8D, 8C (4 of a kind)
AH, AD, 4H, 4D, 4C (full house)
KD, QD, JD, TD, 3D (flush)

Note that within each hand, cards are kept in the same descending order as in the original puzzle listing. Now, by reading off the third letter (or "*") associated with each card in this new order, we get:


By filling in the vowels, we get "Total of ranks in four of a kind." The cards involved in the four of a kind are four 8s and a 9, which total up to 41, a number between 33 and 52, and the solution to this puzzle.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hints: Big Hands

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1. Ignore the 3rd letter or * in each trio at first.
2. These are 25 cards.
3. Form one each of the top five hands (Royal Flush, Straight Flush, etc.).
4. Keep each 5-card hand in descending card order (like the original layout), and read the previously-ignored 3rd letters.

Big Hint: The top hand is a Royal Flush in Clubs.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Solution: Undercover

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The list of letters forms a sentence with some letters removed. Each line break indicates at least one missing letter. The full sentence reads:

asnWer HIdes itSelf unTiL assEmBLing 13 cOWardly lettERs

By assembling the missing (cowardly) letters (capitalized above), you will spell out an appropriate 13-letter word, and the solution to this puzzle, WHISTLEBLOWER.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hints: Undercover

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1. Some things are missing.
2. Try putting things in one line.
3. Read the first 5 letters. What could be missing here?
4. Look for the word "cowardly".

Big Hint: Thirteen letters were removed from the sentence, and the remaining letters have been re-chunked. Read the "cowardly letters" for the solution.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Solution: Four of a Kind

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Each of the 16 images leads to a four-letter word. The 16 words are in alphabetical order:

acne, bulb, dial, glue
hula, kiss, note, pita
salt, test, thor, tool
tray, vane, well, wink

As suggested by "1xxx, x2xx, xx3x, xxx4", the 16 words can be grouped into sets of four, where the first group shares a common 1st letter, the second shares a common 2nd letter, etc. The four groups are:

Test, Thor, Tool, Tray
dIal, kIss, pIta, wInk
buLb, huLa, saLt, weLl
acnE, gluE, notE, vanE

Reading the four common letters in order (bolded above) spells out the four-letter solution, "TILE".

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Hints: Four of a Kind

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1. Identify the pictures.
2. They are in alphabetical order.
3. The identifying words all contain the same number of letters.
4. Look for commonalities among sets of the words.

Big Hint: Group the words into four sets of four, using the pattern given: "1xxx, x2xx, xx3x, xxx4", then read the answer as "1234".

Monday, April 30, 2007

Solution: Typo

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The list is a list of nine 5-letter words, typed on a standard keyboard, where the typist has positioned his fingers some number of keys to the right or left. For example, the first word "awyvh" decodes to the word "drink" if you type it after moving your fingers 2 keys to the right. Note that two words use some of the characters to the right of the letter keys, like "[" "." and ";", and one word uses the "Tab" key ("rxq [TAB] t") on the left. Here is the list of the decoded words and the key transformations used to decode each:

2R drink
2L shave
3R lofty
3L hyena
0- pasta
4R intro
4L eight
1L cargo
1R usher

Stacking the words from "left to right" by key transformation gives:

4L eiGht
3L hyEna
2L shAve
1L caRgo
0- paSta
1R usHer
2R drInk
3R loFty
4R inTro

Reading the center letters down the stack spells out an appropriate 9-letter word, and the solution to this puzzle, "gearshift".

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hints: Typo

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1. This is a list of nine 5-letter words.
2. They are typed incorrectly...
3. a very specific way that is slightly different for each.
4. Note the characters used in the 4th, 6th, and 7th words.

Big Hint: Make sure you are on a standard QWERTY keyboard.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Solution: Searching in the Amazon

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As clued by the title, each row of numbers (and one letter) can be read as a 10-digit ISBN number for a book. Searching with something like turns up the 6 books identified by the ISBN numbers:

Be Your Own Boss At Your Current Job
We Are All Fine Here
Why New Orleans Matters
S is for Silence
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook

Each of the titles contains a letter:
"Be" "Are" "Why" "S" "Oh" "'N"
Strung together, the letters form BRYSON, which (when combined with the clue that the solution is a "bill") is the last name of author Bill Bryson, the solution to this puzzle.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hints: Searching in the Amazon

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1. What could the numbers represent? (Reread the puzzle title)
2. Use a full line of numbers at a time.
3. What do the things you find have in common?

Big Hint: This is a book puzzle.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Solution: Number Line

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The numbers can be arranged to form a number line from "1" to "26", with a few numbers missing:

1 234 578 910 111 213 141 617 192 122 232 426
1 2 3 4 5 _ 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 _ 16 17 _ 19 _ 21 22 23 24 _ 26

The number line represents the 26 letters of the alphabet and the missing letters are F O R T Y, which spell "FORTY", the missing number and the solution to this puzzle.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Hints: Number Line

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1. Try to form a line of numbers.
2. Start with 1.
3. What's missing?
4. What could the full set represent?

Big Hint: The second number is "234".

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Puzzle: Number Line

New Home of Puzzles Without Rules

After a number of years at geocities (, I'm moving Puzzles Without Rules to blog format. Hopefully, less overhead will inspire me to not wait so long before posting a new puzzle. We'll see.