by Joseph DeVincentis



Clues in the flavor text and words in the instructions point to the game Lost Cities (in particular expeditions and investment cards, which are used in the rules to describe the suits and "handshake" cards).

Complete rules and game details can be found online, but it is important to note that the game contains one each of numbers 2 through 10 and three investment cards in each of the five colors, the colors (all mentioned in the instructions) appear on the board in the order yellow, blue, white, green, red (in this order on one side and reversed on the other), and each expedition for each player is scored as the sum of the numbers minus 20, multiplied by 1 + the number of investment cards played.

The solution to the logic puzzle is:

          yellow       blue         white        green        red          
          xxx23456789T xxx23456789T xxx23456789T xxx23456789T xxx23456789T 
Betty    |------5-789T|-----456----|----34-----T|x-----567-9-|-------678--|
Alphonse |---23-------|---23---789T|x-x---5-7-9-|-xx23----8-T|x--2-45---9T|
hand     |xxx--4-6----|xxx---------|-x-2---6-8--|-----4------|-xx-3-------|

Clue 1 orients the board for the final reading. The scores per expedition, starting left-to-right for Alphonse (Yellow to Red) and then likewise for Betty (from her point of view, so from Red to Yellow) come out to -15 19 3 9 20 / 1 14 -3 -5 19. Taking the absolute values of these as suggested by the flavor text, and alphabetizing spells the answer, OSCITANCES.

For a detailed derivation of the logic puzzle solution, click here.