Solution to Clues and Coordinates

by David Speyer

The 42 triples of real numbers should be interpreted as three dimensional coordinates. Plotting them in space, solvers will see that they lie on a unit sphere, at regular positions.

More precisely, 12 of the points lie at the vertices of a regular icosahedron, and the remaining 30 points are at the midpoints of the edges of that icosahedron. In the vocabularly of those who build geodesic domes, this is a 2V/L2 geodesic sphere. Taking the convex hull of the points, one obtains a polyhedron with 42 vertices and 80 triangular faces, and a clue associated to each vertex.

Write the answers to the clues in the triangles surrounding the corresponding vertices. Solvers must determine whether each clue cycles clockwise or counter-clockwise, and which triangle it starts in. Here is the resulting grid, shown in a Mercator projection.

Clue (0.2629, 0.8090, -0.5257) reads "What you'll find right above z=0", with the solution ANSWER. Looking a litle above the line of lattitue z=0, solvers will see the word BETELGEUSE.

This puzzle was constructed with the aid of Crux. The author is grateful to Mark Owen (Quinapalus) for his assistance in obtaining and installing Crux.

A complete list of clues and solutions:

About to cryTEARY
"According to me, an experienced internet user"IMNSHO
Accustomed to hardshipINURED
Albany or Portland, for exampleSTREET
Basket maker?SCORER
Bug blockerSCREEN
Creations of YakubWHITES
Determine massWEIGH
Expression of contemptSNEER
Farming toolSEEDER
Federal law regulating pensions ERISA
Filling out I-9 formsHIRING
Fur, wool, hair, etceteraPELAGE
Gruesome and sensationalLURID
Harvard humor magazine:              VSATIRE
"I concur"AGREED
Less likely to appear in a Mystery HuntEASIER
Like San Marino?SERENE
Mystery prizeEDGAR
One likely to carry a KhanjarOMANI
One or the otherEITHER
Positively charged layer in a plasmaSHEATH
Potent cigarette (British)GASPER
Puff, for example PASTRY
Register (two words)SIGN UP
Roman helmetGALEA
Silent magicianTELLER
Small, pus-free, skin inflammationPAPULE
Spanish manHOMBRE
Suit measurementINSEAM
Type of showerBRIDAL
Type of testPURITY
Type of windowORIEL
Weasel relativeMARTEN
What you'll find right above z=0ANSWER