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The Duchess (Runaround)
Authors: Erin Rhode and Usman Akeju
Objects curated by Alice Shrugged, led by Jonny Surick
Record made by

During the final runaround, teams entered the room to find the Duchess sitting around a table full of clutter, a "crying baby" (which looks suspiciously like a member of Alice Shrugged oinking like a pig), and a record player, which is unplugged from the wall, along with a sewing needle, some tape, and a piece of paper. The Duchess reads (or perhaps ad libs a variant of...) the following dialogue:

Hello there. I am the Duchess. I believe you met the White Queen earlier. She's my sister you know. Now, ever since the beast came through, my baby has been crying. She's such a bad, naughty little child. I've tried throwing pepper at her, but it hasn't helped. My sister used to have something that quieted the baby down sometimes. Did she happen to give you any such thing?

At this point, teams should pull out the object given to them by the White Queen -- a plastic square with the solution to the White Queen meta on it. If they haven't already, they should realize now that this is a record. Upon producing the record, the Duchess continues:

Oh, that's perfect! If you could just play that for me so that I can hear it, that would be lovely. There's a record player. However, you can't plug it in and you can't use the needle arm. There are some objects here that you can use, however. [Motioning specifically to the sewing needle, tape, and paper.] See if you can figure out how to make the record play with these.

Solving the Duchess's Problem

Teams need to play the record using no electricity. As this puzzle can't be reproduced on the web, please enjoy this YouTube video of Mr. Wizard demonstrating how it might be done. Upon playing the record, teams should hear the following audio track:

The track consists of two voices talking over each other with a twist: one of the voices is talking backwards. (Thus teams will have to play the record in both directions to fully understand what's being said on the track.) The audio is all a list of multi-syllabic objects, with both halves of the object spoken simultaneously -- but one half spoken backwards. For example, the audio track starts with the male voice (Usman Akeju) saying base at the same time the female voice (Erin Rhode) is saying ball backwards, indicating that teams should look for a baseball amongst the clutter on the table. A full list of all of the objects can be found here.

All of the objects on the clutter table have a letter stuck to them somewhere. Reading the letters in the order that the objects are listed on the record gives the phrase: SING I AM THE WALRUS AS A LULLABYE. After singing The Beatles' classic as a lullabye, the "baby" stops crying (oinking!) and falls asleep, making the Duchess happy. As thanks, the Duchess offers the team any object they want from her table of clutter. Since the beast was found to be EISOPTROPHOBIC (afraid of her own reflection) by Humpty Dumpty, teams should strongly consider taking the mirror (and if they don't, the Duchess and the Cheshire Cat will make sure they do). The Cheshire Cat then directs teams to the next stop on the runaround.