GC SF Sp WH BV YL BT CP SA CB CC Back to puzzle

Storybook Forest

Rumpelstiltskin's Cottage

by Larry Hosken


  1. The funny-looking things are letters in a strange typeface. If you're having trouble reading them, you might try copy-paste.
  2. You want to re-order the letter-triples to spell a message. Within each triplet, the order is already correct. But you want to move the triplets around. (E.g., if the message was ANAQUOTES, the puzzle might look like TES QUO ANA.) LOBBY is a word in the message.
  4. It's not obvious how to get into the Dreyfus building! If the exterior doors at the south end of the building are locked, approach it from the north on the third floor.
  5. In the lobby is a piece of paper taped to a wall. It has some strange rectangle thingies. There is some art in this lobby, which might help you interpret the rectangle-thingies.
  6. The paper has something like a rebus. Each rectangle is a chemical symbol from the lobby's periodic table artwork. E.g., the first row is Ga Co - Ac: GO
  7. The rebus-message is GO TO EASTMAN LOBBY PERIODIC TABLE
  8. In Eastman Lobby there's a piece of paper that tells you to feel around a nose. It also has some trivia questions. Once you look up the trivia answers, their first letters spell out a message. When you feel around the correct nose, you might have an idea how to interpret that message.
  9. That first-letters message is CATEGORIES AS BRAILLE DOTS.
  10. At the top of the lobby steps is a plaque of George Eastman; his nose is shiny because people rub it for good luck. Around him are six mini-plaques depicting his interests: drama, medicine, big game hunting, cameras, music, chemistry.
  11. Interpret each group of trivia questions as a Braille letter, using the question's category as a dot. E.g., the first group has a drama question (play title) and a music question. Using the positions of the mini-plaques, that gives us ⠑ , Braille E.

How to Solve

There are many steps; mostly covered by hints.

Details on the chemical-symbol rebus in Dreyfus lobby:

             ga co - ac : GO
             ti no - in : TO
      fe - f + as tm an : EASTMAN
     li no - in + b b y : LOBBY
p er i o dy bi - yb + c : PERIODIC
        ta b li ne - in : TABLE

Details on the Eastman Lobby trivia questions (where text like C drama means "first letter of answer is C; category is drama"):


    C drama
  • What word is missing from the play title You Take It With You? ("Can't")
  • A music
  • What's another word for "squeezebox"? ('accordion')
    T medicine
  • What does a doctor call ringing in the ears? ('tinnitus')
  • E big game hunting
  • What was Dumbo, Horton, or Babar? ('elephant')
  • G camera
  • What Anne famously photographed babies in flower pots? ('Geddes')
    O drama
  • In the line "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on," who is that "lord"? ('othello')
  • R big game hunting
  • Which animal's name translates as "nose-horn"? ('rhinoceros')
  • I music
  • Which Enrique sings "Bailando"? ('iglesias')
    E medicine
  • What tube connects the throat to the stomach? ('esophagus')
  • S big game hunting
  • What was Roy John Dugdale Salmon's nickname? ('Samaki')
  • A camera
  • What does f-stop measure? ('aperture')
  • S music
  • What's a ♯? ('sharp')
    B drama
  • Which Samuel wrote Waiting for Godot? ('beckett')
  • R music
  • What did Chuck Berry command Beethoven to do? ('roll over')
    A drama
  • Who wrote about Cloud Cuckoo Land around 414BC? ('Aristophanes')
  • I medicine
  • What "Spanish" disease was behind the 20th century's worst pandemic? ('influenza')
  • L big game hunting
  • What carnivore was a big-game hunter's "mane" target? ('lion')
  • L music
  • What musical instrument sounds like it should guard a door in a logic puzzle? ('lyre')
    E medicine
  • What joint is in the middle of an arm? ('elbow')
  • D camera
  • What do you call the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects that are in acceptably sharp focus? ('depth of field')
    O drama
  • What Eugene wrote The Iceman Cometh? ("O'Neill")
  • T camera
  • What process did Adolphe-Alexandre Martin invent around 1853? ('tintype')
    S drama
  • What Tom created the character Thomasina Coverly, student of math, nature, and physics? ('Stoppard')

The Braille letters spell out the puzzle's solution: ESOTERICA.