7.14.2010

Winning Builds…Something Something

Differing personalities can periodically have unexpected effects on a clubhouse. Sometimes they are complimentary, and other times they...well, other times they break their hand punching a concrete wall or get injured "washing their truck". Still, it can't all be magic, can it? Are there some elements of a team that can be scientifically isolated and proven? Yours Truly was testing a hypothesis, but the secret laboratory was left in disarray when I fled the country following the previous VORP puzzle debacle. See if you can run the numbers and recreate my findings based on the items that were abandoned on the table in the rush.

  • A medical journal from the year Watson and Crick made their famous discovery. (date)
  • A novel featuring the adventures of an Assyrian-American WWII bombardier. (title)
  • A 8x10 glossy of the Pope, signed "To Mr. C - Keep up the good work!" (ordinal)
  • A set of architectural plans for the top floor of the Empire State Building. (ordinal)
  • A copy of the official MLB rule book from the first year the DH was used. (date)
  • Edmond Halley's Synopsis Astronomia Cometicae. (time)
  • A psychological treatise on the origins and causes of triskaidekaphobia. (numeral)
  • A Torah. (count)
  • The transcript of the Quayle/Gore/Stockdale Vice-Presidential debate. (date)
  • A guitar tab from the Beatles' "White Album". (title)
  • The infamous inaugural address of the first president to die in office. (ordinal)
  • The book Lost Moon by Kluger and Lovell. (title)
  • Eliot Asinof's baseball scandal retrospective. (title)
The answer to the puzzle is a current Dodger. Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:
  • email me with the first and last name of the Dodger who is the answer, along with your reasoning (answers arrived at via luck or the wrong reasoning, even if correct, count for participation credit only). Please include your screen name somewhere in the email.
  • Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I may confirm correct answers there.

You have until 11pm PT tonight to submit your answer. Solution will be posted tomorrow. Good luck!

Hint 1: Clues to the first step in the solution are highlighted in blue. Once you have "run the numbers on the table" you'll need to convert them somehow into a coherent message.

Hint 2: Added a clarification after each the clues for step 1.

Hint 3: Highlighted additional clues in the description that might be helpful for step 2. The title is also a hint regarding step 2.

48 comments:

Josh S. said...

Is the word "made" missing from the description of the first item?

Mr. Customer said...

@Josh

No, why do you ask? (I keed)

Fortunately, I can assure you that has absolutely no bearing on the result.

I guess that confirms there's no letter counting required (thank the gods)

Mr. Customer said...

I'll continue the typical 2 hour hint schedule (10a, 12p, 2p) as necessary, so long as anyone is still working.

J. Steve said...

I didn't expect this to be a puzzle day! For some reason, I thought you just did Thursdays. You may want to have the Sons put out an APB!

J. Steve said...

Never mind... I just saw that they did.

Mr. Customer said...

@J. Steve

Orel just posted on the Wednesday announcements. The All-star break is the only oddball off-day, and there won't be another until Thursday Sept. 2 (for the grand finale)

rbnlaw said...

OK, I'm along for the ride. Just need to finish a couple of things.

Josh S. said...

I'm so close, but I think I've got a few numbers wrong.

Mr. Customer said...

@Josh

If you have enough of the step 1 clues correct, you should still be able to infer what the message from step 2 should be.

Josh S. said...

Progress sent.

Dusty Baker said...

*cryptic notes scribbled; coffee obtained*

Mr. Customer said...

1st Hint posted to the main text.

You're on the right track Josh.

Josh S. said...

Answer sent!

Mr. Customer said...

Per J. Steve's question to me on a progress check, It's the Quayle/Gore/Stockdale debate.

Josh S. said...

Good thing I'm so awful at history. (Even recent history!) That didn't even register as wrong to me.

Mr. Customer said...

Belated confirmation, but Josh has successfully defended his lead.

1. Josh S. (10:27a)

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Progress sent.

Mr. Customer said...

Stockdale definitely what everyone remembers from that debate.

Dusty Baker said...

Jack shit sent, but I am enjoying chuckling over some good Admiral Stockdale quotations.

Dusty Baker said...

HAH. I posted ^that^ before seeing your comment, C.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Current Pope?

Mr. Customer said...

MLASF

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, yes.

Dusty Baker said...

The famous Man United went to Rome to see the Pope,
The famous Man United went to Rome to see the Pope,
The famous Man United went to Rome to see the Pope and this is what he said:
FUCK OFF!

rbnlaw said...

Funny because I have written a bunch of numbers on the newspaper on my table.

After that, it is no longer funny.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

More progress sent.

Jason said...

Progress sent.

Mr. Customer said...

It's been a question for all those who have sent progress. The clues will typically refer to the year if that is the "number" to be used, the debate being the exception.

J. Steve said...

Answer sent!

Mr. Customer said...

J. Steve is in.

1. Josh S. (10:27a)
2. J. Steve (11:48a)

I think everyone has the right idea on Step 2. I'll try to clarify the clues with the noon hint.

Jason said...

Answer sent.

Mr. Customer said...

Jason continues the "All J, all day" pattern.

1. Josh S. (10:27a)
2. J. Steve (11:48a)
3. Jason (11:57a)

I'm heading to lunch. Be back in a flash.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

More progress sent.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Answer sent.

rbnlaw said...

Uh. Answer withheld to save embarrassment.

Mr. Customer said...

MLASF is in at 12:33p

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Damn. I'm dropping to fourth.

Mr. Customer said...

For housekeeping purposes.

1. Josh S. (10:27a)
2. J. Steve (11:48a)
3. Jason (11:57a)
4. MLASF (12:33p)

Mr. Customer said...

^housekeeping porpoises?

Mr. Customer said...

@MLASF

Actually, it looks like the top 4 in the standings are going to be unchanged, since this one was solved a bit earlier in the day.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Oh. Well hooray!!!

Mr. Customer said...

A third hint has been posted to the main text. That will probably be the final hint unless there are more of you still working.

Dusty Baker said...

I picked the wrong day to still be in the office when my boss returned from his trip chock full of new assignments and projects.

Josh S. said...

Lincecum may check out your blog when he hears about how many Js are rolling here.

rbnlaw said...

Progress sent, because my step two is very cryptic.

Mr. Customer said...

You're closer to the answer than you think, rbn.

rbnlaw said...

Answer sent. I'm pretty sure it's right.

Mr. Customer said...

The court finds in your favor, rbn.


1. Josh S. (10:27a)
2. J. Steve (11:48a)
3. Jason (11:57a)
4. MLASF (12:33p)
5. Rbnlaw (6:36p)

rbnlaw said...

Sweet! I love any puzzle I can stumble my way through. I'm a lot like Chas Pickles; I call the 900 number for help on all the clues of crossword puzzles.