26 April 2018

Jumpman's Grand Puzzle - Stage 3, Level 2

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Stage 3, Level 2

Contents of the box
A pox upon the damned, unopenable box! We spent all of Wednesday evening trying to figure it out. My wife pulled out our Scrabble set and tried to unscramble the letters. There are plenty of words one can make, but you always have leftover letters you can't do anything with. Meanwhile, I was trying to find code to create a Perl script to spit out all the possible permutations of the letters. My plan was to then take that file and run it through spell to weed out all the lines that weren't words.

It took forever to find one and make it work, but I eventually did. But I was running it on my ISPs *nix server because I didn't have Perl installed locally on a Windows box. Once the output file crossed 100 Mb, I stopped the script. If I left it going, I would have exceeded my file space quota. So that was a dead end.

At some point either my wife or son unscrambled the letters to spell "gunter." I took the remaining letters and, using the blank as an M, spelled "asylum." Well, almost. I had used an extra U and was left with an extraneous S.

We figured the absence of Mrs. White was significant. Local businesses containing the name, other than attorneys and accountants with that surname, were in short supply, though. U. G. White Mercantile, which occupies the bottom two floors of the building that Pints & Pixels is in, seemed like an obvious choice. In fact, I realized there was a Steve sticker on their door and then another in the elevator to Pints & Pixels. So where we first thought Steve had been welcoming us outside on our first trip to battle the lich, now I wondered if that's not what it meant. Also, we had Scrabble tiles and it was Mercantile. Was that a stretch?

We talked about it at church dinner Wednesday night. I went to bed thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it. I made a post in the morning on Facebook asking if anyone would help. One friend did. I gave him the info without sharing any of my theories. He went off on a tangent, and I reined him in a bit. Then he came up with another interesting theory: Mrs. White could be Vanna White and the tiles could be a Wheel of Fortune clue. That seemed brilliant, but didn't help us on where to go and neither Vanna nor Wheel were links on the Facebook page.

Another possibility came to me. Mrs. White had escaped the box. Or did it represent a room full of people? An escape room. I pulled up the web site of Huntsville Escape Rooms. One of the rooms they offer is The Psych Ward. The backstory mentions Dr. Gunter! In the Ready Player One story, "gunter" is short for "egg hunter," which is short for "Easter egg hunter" because they're seeking "Easter egg" style clues hidden in documents by the contest creator. My "Gunter's asylum" guess didn't seem to far fetched any more, but once again, the letters weren't quite right.

I sent a message to the contest official asking whether maybe one of the letters in the box was wrong. He said no, they were correct. But I'm still convinced its not a coincidence. Maybe we'll pick up more Scrabble tiles in another clue later and spell a longer phrase including those words.

So at lunch, I have two targets: U. G. White Mercantile and Huntsville Escape Rooms. The latter doesn't open until 3:00 PM, so I opted to just drive by and see if there was a Steve sticker. There was! Then I went to White Mercantile and walked through the entire store. I saw nothing.

Meanwhile, Walter was stuck babysitting and couldn't go out. His co-worker had nearly caught up to us, so we decided to meet him at Huntsville Escape Rooms after I got off work. Miscommunication had them show up early and be told that while they were a location in the puzzle, we didn't have the necessary piece to do their puzzle yet.

We met them back at Toy Bistro. They were already looking over the box. After stewing over it for 45 minutes or so, Walter's co-worker's wife called Haven Comics, Etc. for reasons I don't remember. Probably because we all figured if the Deep and Lucky Dice are participating, Haven would, too. Haven confirmed they were a participating location, so without other prospects, off we went. Steve was out front, but once again, we didn't have the piece needed to do that puzzle. The puzzle was a word search set up as a poster, so I went ahead and took a photo. However it also said "Ask for a handout!", so I figured there was probably more to it than just the poster. I planned to return.

One of the words we'd gotten out of the tiles was "Saturn," although once again there were letters left over. So we decided to try the U. S. Space and Rocket Center. Out in the parking lot were scale models of the solar system, also spaced to scale. Maybe Saturn held a clue. But it didn't.

Next stop, cuing off the cassette tape, was Vertical House Records in Lowe Mill. We got there only to discover there was no Steve. Beaten at this point, we decided to head to Pints & Pixels to see if maybe that's where we were supposed to be.

We arrived and spoke with the officials. They were still set up waiting for anyone that still needed to play the lich at Joust. They asked where we had been and said we weren't ready to be back there yet, offering no hints other than to examine our clue some more.

We started going through the letters again when a couple with a red key showed up. After they spoke to the officials and started to leave, Walter's co-worker asked if they would help us. They started off with the woman telling us the letters on tiles weren't important. She said that's all the help she would give, but we wound up sitting down with them and talking. Eventually I gave my theory about U. G. White Mercantile and said I'd already searched the place. (Although I still knew I might have missed it.) He asked, "Did you talk to the lady at the front?" I hadn't!

We thanked them and rushed downstairs. I told the cashier we were looking for Mrs. White. She told us to look around. We started to explore and it came to me. The cassette amongst the weapons. There was a case full of knives and axes. I rushed over to it, calling to what was now my gunter clan. There was a cassette player with a Steve sign sitting on it. How had I missed it??? We'd wasted hours because I'd overlooked it during my lunch trip.

We got an employee to come over and take it out of the case for us. We cued up some of our phones to record it and hit play. After what seemed like a long silence, it began playing the opening organ chords of "Faith" by George Michael. Just as the guitar part started, it stopped. After a brief silence, another song clip played: "It's the End of the World as We Know It" by R. E. M. There were more after that. I eventually went and retrieved my iPod from the car to try to help identify some of them. Here's the list we ended up with.
  1. "Faith" by George Michael
  2. "It's the End of the World as We Know It" by R. E. M.
  3. (One we couldn't identify, but I mistakenly thought was ABBA.)
  4. "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins
  5. "Thriller" by Michael Jackson
  6. "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart
  7. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
  8. "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna
  9. (Another we couldn't identify.)
  10. (What sounded like another clip from the song #3.)
Walter wondered if there was anything on side 2. He took the cassette out and we discovered side 1 was labeled "Konami - Side 1." The back was labeled "Available Sun, Tues, Wed, Thur 6-8." The same times as the Joust, which we assumed meant it had to do with the Fix-It Felix machine that was next to it. We'd seen the sign on Tuesday saying both machines were unavailable at those times.

If you're particularly astute, you may have figured out something by now from the song titles. We were not particularly astute. We went back upstairs and tried to give Konami as the password, but that wasn't it. We went to the stairwell where it was quieter and tried to identify the last three songs.

I quickly went through all the ABBA songs. None of them matched. I thought song #9 might be "Invincible" by Pat Benatar, but Walter and I both listened and it didn't seem to match. We tried to make out what little lyrics there were. I should mention that none of the snippets were anywhere near long enough to use an app to identify. (Probably on purpose.) Walter's co-worker's wife searched YouTube.

Eventually the couple that had helped us came through on their way out. They didn't help us much more, saying we'd get it. We said we were trying to see if the songs spelled something. They were non-committal. We wondered how many Konami games were in the arcade. He said four, but that they didn't matter. Walter and I checked anyway and only found three. And eventually, 8 o'clock came and we were out of time. There was nothing to do but go home and puzzle over it there.

We got home and enlisted my wife. She thought maybe the song I thought was ABBA was Olivia Newton-John and started listening to her hits on YouTube. Finally, after another hour or two, we figured out that songs #3 and #10 were, in fact, the same song: "Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John and ELO. Then, even though we'd ruled it out, I pulled up "Invincible."  The version on YouTube matched what we'd recorded from the tape. Apparently the version on my iPod was a slightly different mix.

So, for you non-astute readers who haven't figured it out, I'll tell you what my wife came up with first at this point. The first letter of each song spells out "Fix-It Felix." We also discovered that most of the songs on the playlist were featured in films, but possibly not all. This probably explains the movie ticket. So now we think we're stuck until 6:00 PM Sunday when we can play Fix-It Felix. Walter and I assume we need to enter the Konami code into the machine for the next clue. We'll see.

In the meantime, the scoreboard was updated again. I'm now down to #9. The good news is only one of the people ahead of me has added anything to their score. It was two people behind me jumping ahead that pushed me down. I hope we can make up some ground in the next portions of the contest.

For additional entries, see the Jumpman's Grand Puzzle label.

25 April 2018

Jumpman's Grand Puzzle - Stage 2, levels 2 & 3; Stage 3, level 1

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Stage 2, Level 2

So I joined my family for lunch at Supper Heroes this day. As expected, Steve was at the front greeting me. They'd already found the clue by the time I arrived and the two little ones couldn't help but point me to it before I even had a chance to look around. It was a laminated card with a clue printed on the back standing next to a small Doctor Strange figure. Doctor Strange's cloak of levitation is well known, particularly since the movie. The clue was printed in reverse so it could be read in the mirror behind the figures.

The Sapphire key will fit the gate,
Where beany brews your palates sate.
To spring the lock you'll need to know,
What honestly with starfish go.

We figured beany brews meant coffee. A Google Maps search for coffee shops revealed many, but the one called Honest Coffee caught my wife's attention due to the word "honestly" in the clue. My son tried to argue for another shop, but I figured her reasoning was sound.

So now we knew where, but it appeared we needed a password. While I was doing my own Google searches, my wife happened to do one for "starfish coffee." The first result was a music video of Prince singing "Starfish and Coffee" on The Muppet Show. I remembered the Muppets were one of the links on the Jumpman's Journal Facebook page, so I figured that was it. The chorus was:

Starfish and coffee
Maple syrup and jam
Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine
And a side order of ham
If you set your mind free, baby
Maybe you'd understand
Starfish and coffee
Maple syrup and jam

So I figured "maple syrup and jam" was the password. Thank goodness that was online or I never would have gotten it. Before we left, I moved seats to let my six-year-old sit in my lap. Unfortunately, I had the sapphire key in my back pocket and I felt it break in two. I hoped that wouldn't be a problem.

Stage 2, Level 3 (First Gate)

I left ahead of them to check out Honest Coffee, which was more or less on the way back to work. Steve greeted me once again, so I was in the right place. There were no more Steves inside, so I went to the cashier and told them I was looking for the gate. She accidentally asked me the wrong question, "What goes with coffee?" instead of "What goes with starfish?" Her fellow employee corrected her. My answer of "maple syrup and jam" was acceptable and I had to sign a log.

Unfortunately, there were six people ahead of me. Five of them had gotten there at 7:00 AM, which appeared to be when the shop opened, so they must have managed to make it to Supper Heroes last night. (The other had signed in less than an hour before me.) This was my wake-up call that it was time to get serious. I'd been rather casual about the contest, but now I saw others were not so casual.

I was handed a giant movie ticket and sent on my way. I had completed the first gate! This was also the first location where I didn't buy anything. In part because I was in a hurry and in part because I'm not a coffee drinker. However, I found out later my wife bought herself a cup of coffee while she was there, so our record of buying at least a little something at each place was intact so far.

Stage 3, Level 1

I didn't look at the ticket closely until I got back to the car. One side had the same number on both ends and said "Cinema" and "Admit One" on it, with five crowns in between. The other side was a certificate for 10 free tokens at Pints & Pixels. But more importantly, at the bottom, it had a URL: http://www.curse.com/whatever. Curse is a local web site developer specializing in the video game community. Walter says they've been bought by Twitch lately.

There was also a QR code on the ticket. It turned out I didn't currently have a QR scanner on my phone, so I downloaded one later. All the code said was, "Keep this with you at all times!", so I was glad I didn't worry about it right away.

So the URL led to a graphic. I didn't immediately decipher it, so went back to work. I saw my family's minivan in the mirror as I was about to pull out, so I skedaddled to let them have my parking place, as they were in short supply. My son made the connection to Toybox Bistro faster than I did. The background was the same as their web site, but the words on their logo were replaced with Egyptian hieroglyphics. That, combined with the Nike swoosh made me realize it was saying "Walk Like an Egyptian" (by the Bangles), which was a link on the Facebook page. My son had gone deeper and figured out the hieroglyphics were O-A-O. That sent him off on a virtual wild goose chase. (A wild Google chase?) It was only after I told him to watch the video that he realized those were some of the lyrics in the song. I knew that, but hadn't thought of it until he said it. So off he went to Toybox. I had to wait until after work.

After work I went straight there and danced like an Egyptian for the hostess. She led me to the box. Walter had already told me about having to dance and the box. The clear, plastic box contained five of the six player pieces from the Clue board game (all but Mrs. White), all the weapons from Clue, 13 Scrabble tiles (A, E, G, L, N, R, S, S, S, T, U, Y, & blank), and a small cassette tape charm. I was told I could not open the box or take it with me, but I could take photos. The box also had a transparent Steve decal on one side and a smaller Steve sticker on another. And a note reiterating what I had been told, "Do not open box." Walter had managed to miss one letter when he wrote them down, so I made sure I got photos of them all. He'd missed the third S.

This was another occasion where I didn't buy anything. We'd already had lunch at Supper Heroes and were having dinner at church. I told the hostess we'd eaten there before and were sure to be back.

Meanwhile, this cursed box caused it way too much trouble. We spent all evening trying to decipher it, but I'll save that story for the next entry. Also that evening, the scoreboard was updated on the Facebook page. We were already falling behind. I was down to 7th.

For additional entries, see the Jumpman's Grand Puzzle label.

24 April 2018

Jumpman's Grand Puzzle - Stage 1, Level 3 & Stage 2, Level 1

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Stage 1, Level 3

Today was the day to duel the lich! Eating dinner and dressing for the part put us a little late. I wore my Liberator T-shirt, as in the rather obscure Atari coin-op featuring Atari Force, and my original Sony Walkman. It didn't work any more, but I just wanted it for looks. Walter wore his vintage, leather Members Only jacket and my newer Walkman (from the 1990s).

Walter vs. Lich
My two older boys and I headed out just before 6:00 PM, when the lich challenge opened. When we showed up at Pints & Pixels, someone was already playing Joust against the lich and there were several more waiting. The lich was a man wearing a skeleton T-shirt and half-skull mask, covered by a brown robe and topped with a steel crown. We stepped over to the registration table, where Walter and I gave our real and gunter (egg hunter) names and contact info. Then we waited for our turns to play against the lich.

Just as in the book, we had to beat him two games out of three. I lost my first game against him. In the second game I barely came out ahead. In the third game I was victorious and claimed my prize, the blue key. Unlike the book, I didn't ask to trade sides with him to see if that gave me advantage. Walter was annoyed that I'm that good at Joust.

Walter was next. He only won one game, and so had to go back to the end of the list for another chance. Thankfully we didn't have to go back to Sugar Belle to get the coin again. His brother and I played some games while we waited. On his second attempt, Walter did ask to switch sides, which apparently did make the "lich" essentially throw the game, and Walter won two games in a row and claimed his key.

On the registration table was a large photo. On the corner was a sign that said, "You may study this image but DO NOT REMOVE." So I asked to take a photo of it and they obliged. We later figured the photo had something to do with The Princess Bride. Two (poisoned) wine glasses, swords for Westley and Montoya, and the bellows used to somewhat revive Westley. We weren't sure where this was going yet, but I hoped we didn't have to repeat lines from the movie verbatim like Flicksynchs in the book. I didn't see The Princess Bride back in the day, so I was nowhere close to being able to repeat any but the most well-known lines. We watched it again when we got home and I noted that one of the T-shirts Richard Moss wore in the game's starting video was the quote about not going in against a Sicilian when death was on the line.

Next to the Joust at Pints & Pixels was a Fix-It Felix Jr. coin-op from the movie Wreck-It Ralph. And I couldn't help but notice the sign saying the games were available to play, except Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 6:00-8:00 PM. Those were the same days and times on the gold coin, so it appeared we'd be playing Felix in the future.

Stage 2, Level 1

We played a few more games before getting in the car, originally planning to go home, but Walter and I both read the clue on the key and started thinking about it:
Unfathomable an object lies,
Its magic six to draw you nigh

I searched Google for "unfathomable synonyms" and stopped near the end of the list when I saw "deep." The next clue was probably at The Deep, a local comic book store and the biggest one in town. I'd texted my wife the clue and she came up with the same answer on her own. We spent the trip there pondering what the "magic six" meant, but didn't come up with any good answers.

We arrived at The Deep right behind a couple we'd seen at Pints & Pixels. And there was Steve the Space Invader waiting to greet us by the door. We started searching the store and eventually I came across a Rubik's Cube in one of the display cases with a Steve sign next to it. A cube has six sides and it was originally known as the Magic Cube, so mystery solved. Unfortunately, there were about five other players in the store and one of them thought to ask to see it before I did. We had to show our key(s) in order to do so.

They spent a long time unscrambling it. Then another couple got it before we did, but they gave up after a little while. In the meantime, my wife texted me a link to a Rubik's Cube solving site. That came in very handy once I got the Cube. I went ahead and solved one side without help before setting up the virtual cube on the site to match. It then took it a while to calculate the solution, but the interactive way it presented it, letting me step through one step at a time and showing me how it should look as I went, was immensely helpful.

The actual P didn't quite live up
to the planned P
shown in the diagram below.
Unfortunately, we'd already heard the employee tell the other players that the pictures drawn on the sides had faded off from being handled. Once I got it solved, we could make out the Superman logo, an outline of the USA, Batman's cape, a P or igloo shape, and a circle. The image that was supposed to be on the yellow side was completely gone. There were some other markings, but we didn't understand their significance at the time. I took photos and we left.

Once we got home, I sent a message to the Jumpman's Journey page stating the trouble, but got an auto-response, so I made a public post to the page giving little detail. That elicited a response, but it looked like we weren't going to get the photos of the Cube I was hoping for. But then later Mr. Moss sent me a diagram of the cube.

Using the dots to break the images into groups, we quickly came up with "super + P = supper." Then "Greatest American Hero - grate - America = hero" and "cape". So "Supper Heroes cape". Supper Heroes was a local, comic book-themed restaurant we eat at once a year or so. That's only because it's way over past the other side of town, about 13 miles away. (Over twice as far as Pints & Pixels from our home.) But the "cape" part had us confused. Well, I guess we knew where we were going for lunch the next day.

As promised, they updated the scoreboard that evening. I made the "High Five" at #4.

For additional entries, see the Jumpman's Grand Puzzle label.

21 April 2018

Jumpman's Grand Puzzle - Stage 1, Level 2

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stage 1, Level 2

We had a ton of stuff do to on Saturday, but we decided to check Vertical House first. I was convinced what record Belle was holding in the clue is irrelevant because they made it so small and hard to see. How wrong I was.

Unfortunately, we didn't get out of the house until almost lunch time, so we headed out planning to stop for lunch first. We ate at Local Taco, not too far from Lowe Mill, when I remembered they're doing Huntsville Comic Con there this weekend, so the place was going to be packed!

About this time, my oldest son, Walter, who was at work, texted me. "So I asked one of my co-workers for their ideas and the clue, and he just pointed out that the background is sugar cubes." I read this to my family.

My wife said, "Sugar and Belle. Sugar Belle Cupcakes?!?" Yeah, she was on to something. So after lunch, we headed back in the direction of home to Sugar Belle. We arrived and there was Steve by the door again to greet us.

We walked in and looked around. No clues were immediately obvious, although the Super NES Mini system set up in the corner seemed suspicious. It sat on top of a cardboard fireplace with "bricks" printed on it. The TV screen made up where the opening for the fire would be.

I finally approached the man behind the counter with the Super NES still in mind. "I'm looking for a place to put a record. Or maybe set a record?"

"No, nothing like that," he replied.

We went back to the corner and pondered and looked around some more. Then I ordered a cupcake for the two sons who were with me. Everyone else was still full from lunch. Out of ideas, I approached again, asking aloud if I needed to ask him where I should put a clue. He told me he needed a certain phrase. I went back to ponder some more.

Finally, I used Google to search "Simon and Garfunkel lyrics cupcakes." My big duh moment came when it showed me the lyrics of "Mrs. Robinson":
Hide it in the hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes
I knew that song. I should have thought of that!

The man had stepped out, so I asked one of the remaining employees, "Put it in your cupboard?" Yes, it turns out "cupboard" was the word they're looking for. They pulled a large, plastic, yellow "coin" from the cupboard, etched on one side:

In the Ready Player One novel, the first clue led to a virtual reality re-creation of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module, Tomb of Horrors. The tomb was home to a lich (an undead wizard). The hero was challenged to a game of Joust, the coin-op by Williams Electronics, by the lich.

So, it appeared I had to go to Pints & Pixels on Sunday or Tuesday through Thursday between 6:00 and 8:00 PM to be challenged to a game of Joust. At least, I hoped that was what it meant because while I was nowhere near world record level, but I wasn't too bad at the game. But, Sunday is Easter and Pints & Pixels was going to be closed, so I could relax the rest of the weekend. There was nothing to be done until Tuesday. For once, I was finally grateful this was starting Easter weekend.

Later, while we were driving, I realized the guy in the skeleton costume in the background of the initial video must be the "lich". I laughed out loud at this realization and then had to explain to my wife why I was laughing.

While we were at Sugar Belle, I remembered to ask the employees how many others had come through. They told me less than ten. I knew one person had already mentioned a yellow coin on Facebook. Later Walter's coworker came by and got a coin. Walter told me that the Sugar Belle employees told him he was the third person. I think what they told him must just be the number of people that day. There had have been more on Friday.

At the time, I wasn't too happy with Walter about this. His coworker was able to jumpstart his quest, skipping the first clue entirely. Although his coworker also pointed out the sugar cubes that got us there, so I supposed it was a wash. Walter said he'd already planned to not give his coworker any more clues. He also went to get his own coin. He was 18 or over, so he could compete. I didn't give him the password, but did tell him how to figure it out.

So when Walter got home, he drug out one of our old computers, got Joust running on it via MAME, and hooked up my X-Arcade joystick. I hadn't used the X-Arcade in years and I had to admit, it was better than playing Williams Arcade Classics on the PlayStation controller. By Sunday afternoon, I'd managed to get over 100,000 points in a couple games. I hoped that was enough.

For additional entries, see the Jumpman's Grand Puzzle label.

20 April 2018

Jumpman's Grand Puzzle - Stage 1, Level 1

Friday, March 30, 2018

Stage 1, Level 1

Today was the day Ready Player One premiered in theaters. I had been catching up on Twitter at work while compiling code and saw this tweet.
So I watched the video. Holy cow! This was awesome! I could win a cabaret Pac-Man coin-op, not to mention 10 tokens a day for a year and an autographed copy of the book. (But would I really have to go in each day to get my tokens?) It's like a combination of the book's story and the Great All-Nighter from the movie Midnight Madness, one of my guilty pleasures.

I'd read Ready Player One, the novel by Ernie Cline, years ago when it first came out and liked it a lot. I was of the right age -- having spent my teenagehood in the 1980s -- to get so many of the video game, movie, and music references. I wanted to see the movie, even though I understand many things have been changed. My oldest son, Walter, had read the book recently and wanted to see it, too, but this now would take priority!

So I texted my two older boys and wife and started mulling over the first clue:

To start the quest you need to go,
Where Fortuna's favors flow,
On ivory bones and heroes spin,
To battle hard and sometimes win.

"Fortuna's favors flow on ivory bones." I look up Fortuna and find out she's the Roman god of luck. Ivory bones makes me think of dice. Lucky dice. OMG, the first clue is at Lucky Dice Cafe!!! And maybe "heroes spin" refers to Asylum Comics, a comic book store which recently moved in there. Remember the old spinner racks comic books used to be sold from? Or maybe it refers to HeroClix.

I texted this to them. My wife suggested dinner there, but it's Good Friday, so we had church at 7:00 PM. Given that the Cafe was in the opposite direction from church and south Memorial Parkway was a construction nightmare, this was unfeasible. But the place was open until 11:00 PM, so I'd have to suffer through until after church. I silently cursed whoever decided to have the movie debut on Easter weekend.

So, after chuch, my two oldest boys and I headed to Lucky Dice Cafe. I'd learned of the place's existence in just the past couple months and had yet to actually go there. We arrived and there was "Steve the Space Invader" by the door. We were indeed at the right place.

We went in and there was an employee arranging a display. I told him I'd been wanting to come and the contest, indicating Steve, had given me good cause. He told us to look around and that he couldn't provide any hints. So we did. As I was looking at the racks of comics, I came to the end and saw this on the wall:

So we had Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast holding a record asking where she can put it. The Steve on her skirt confirmed this was the clue. My immediate thought was about where one would put a record. Vertical House Records in Lowe Mill seemed like the obvious answer. There was also Maxwell's Music, but it wasn't nearly as well known and had only recently reopened. (Another place I needed to visit.) Vertical House didn't open until noon tomorrow, so we were done for the night, we thought. We also noted the record was The Concert in Central Park by Simon and Garfunkel.

A Dire Wraith, Ikon, and another
Spaceknight walk into a bar...
I looked around some more and discovered they sell individual Heroclix figures for a quarter. I'd been meaning to pick up the ones related to Rom, Spaceknight and discovered they had three of them: the Dire Wraith, Ikon, and a generic Spaceknight. I picked up those and a fifty cent copy of Fish Police #1, just because it was fairly well regarded back in the '80s and I wasn't sure I'd ever read an issue. Just as I was checking out, my boys decided to play a game of Yu-Gi-Oh! Really? My second oldest son had gotten the cards to complete his deck, thanks to Walter, in the mail today. Okay, so I ordered three cookies, too, while I waited, one for each of us. I forgot to ask the employee how many others had come by for the clue.

After finishing my cookie, I looked around in the other room, set up with tables for gaming. There I discovered another copy of the clue on the wall. But now I noticed, "What they say will lead the way." How had I missed that before? Okay, so it sounded like the clue might be in Simon and Garfunkel's lyrics.

I sat back down with the boys and pulled up the album's track list. They finished their game and we headed out. I used my iPod to start playing an album of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits, because I don't have the Central Park album. Walter started reviewing the track list himself and noted we have both "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The 59th Street Bridge Song." Maybe the clue is at Bridge Street?

That's not far from our house and there was still some places open there, so why not? We walked Bridge Street. No Steves to be seen. We even checked Barnes & Noble since they sell records. Nope. So we called it a night.

For additional entries, see the Jumpman's Grand Puzzle label.