# Solution to Get On with It

The puzzle consists of three 9x9 grids of cards from board games, pieces of cereal, and partial magazine covers. The one thing all three of these have in common is Life (that is, Hasbro's Game of Life, Life Cereal, and Life Magazine). After identifying which items are Life and which are non-Life, you get the following three grids (where * is Life and - is non-Life):

```-*---*-**
**-----*-
**----*--
--*****--
**-**----
---*--***
--*--**-*
---*--*--
--*----*-

**-*---*-
-*-**-**-
-*---*---
-**--*-*-
-------*-
--*---**-
**--**---
---*--*--
**---*-*-

**---*-*-
-***---*-
-**--*---
*-*----**
---***-*-
*--**---*
----*-*--
--**--*-*
---***-**
```

These grids actually represents states in John Conway's famous cellular automaton the Game of Life. Evolving these states forward on an infinite grid until they spell out a letter yields:

The first, after 7 steps, becomes

```---*---
--*-*--
-*---*-
*******
*-----*
*-----*
*-----*
```

The second, after 6 steps, becomes

```*-----*
**---**
*-*-*-*
*--*--*
*-----*
*-----*
*-----*
```

The third, after 12 steps, becomes

```*-----*
-*---*-
--*-*--
---*---
---*---
---*---
---*---
```

These spell out the answer, AMY.

2006 MIT Mystery Hunt