Town Hall Meeting
by Jan Chong, Doug Zongker
The Town Hall puzzle is meant to be a short, lightweight interactional puzzle. The puzzle requires a minimum of three players (folks who cannot rustle up three players can make use of incognito mode on their browsers).
As each player enters the room, they are randomly assigned to be one of three speakers, each with their own speaking logic. The room also contains the Town Mayor, a chatbot who will periodically offer up trivia questions for the players to answer. The trick lies not only in identifying the correct answer to each trivia question, but also which player can actually answer the question.
Any text entered by the players will be transformed according to the following logic:
Speaker 1: All of their text is translated into French (via Google Translate)
Speaker 2: All of their text is converted, character by character, into a numeric index (a=1, b=2, c=3, etc), summed together and then used as an index into the Declaration of Independence. Multiple words can be generated via separate sentences.
Speaker 3: All of their text is reversed, word by word.
As an additional twist, speakers are not shown their own transformations and only valid English words (err, at least as so deemed by the pyenchant dictionary) are accepted for transformation.
The correct answers for each of the trivia questions are:
Anyway, the first agenda item! Last Wednesday, Miss Elizabeth over at the Rusty Nail performed one of my favorite ditties, “If I Could Turn Back Time”. How would you describe exactly what it is that she did? [4 4]
SANG CHER must be entered as EXPENSIVE BLOOD by Speaker 1
Second item -- the schoolhouse is gettin’ a new shipment of books in. I think a bunch of ‘em is by that Russian fella -- Doc Tolstoy, I reckon? What was that famous one that he published in 1869 [3 3 5]?
WAR AND PEACE must be entered by Speaker 2 (Declaration of Independence). A sample set of sentences that could work (using the term sentence somewhat generously): CONSTITUTIONAL AWARENESS ZOOLOGY ENTERPRISING ASTROLOGICAL CONFIRMATION AND G. Y. CRYPTOGRAPHY AND INTERMITTENTLY PHILOSOPHICALLY WAR X. The letter sums of all the words in each sentence total to 861, 25 and 641 respectively.
Third item. Our sheep is gettin’ rustled and eaten by that big grey furry son-of-a-gun that lives up there by them hills. I got a right mind to go over there, fill him with some buckshot, and throw him into a pot and enjoy some of what? [4 4]
WOLF STEW must be entered as FLOW WETS by Speaker 3
Fourth item -- Madame Zoosa, over in the fortune teller’s booth, says that she can see a future with movin’ pictures, where people will give awards for the best movin’ pictures around. She says in 1997, this one might get that award... [3 7 7]
THE ENGLISH PATIENT must be entered by Speaker 2 (Declaration of Independence). A working input: C. BIOLOGICALLY UNFATHOMABLE GREAT WHITE WHALE WITHIN WHICH THE BOLD HARPOONER SEEKS. TO SLAY WITH AND NO OBSTACLE A. These sentences sum up to 3, 744 and 278.
Miss Jenkins over at the General Store got a shipment of ladies underthings last month, but they are not flying off the shelves the way she had hoped. She’s trying to clear inventory, so what would we call what she is running now? [4 4]
BRAS SALE must be entered as DIRTY ARM by Speaker 1
Sixth item. We got some rascals from the Cutler Gang messin’ up our dogs and cats, those no-good varmints. They done came into town and took a knife to poor Mr. Walter’s dog’s feet! And Miss Kent’s cat, too! What would y’all say that they do? [4 6 4]
STAB ANIMAL PAWS must be enetered as BATS LAMINA SWAP by Speaker 3
On the grapevine, it looks like Old Tom and the widow Jensen are gettin’ mighty close. I wouldn’t say they’re a couple, but more like they like to hang out, and take advantage of each other’s company, if you get my meanin’. What would you call an arrangement like that? [7 4 8]
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS must be entered by Speaker 2 (Declaration of Independence). A working input: CAN DETER HIM FROM SUCH FOCUSED PURSUIT NEITHER RAIN NOR SHINE NOR IMMINENT RUIN IMPERILS S. W. THE UNWAVERING FOCUS WITH WHICH THE MAD CAPTAIN PLOTS HIS REVENGE UPON THE B. These sentences sum up to 949, 23 and 752.
The scouts we sent out gone and done somethin’ stupid. They spilled a pot of coffee all over them constellation charts they’ve been usin’ to navigate. Now what does poor Lettie the Cartographer got to do? [6 4 4]
REDRAW STAR MAPS must be entered as WARDER RATS SPAM by Speaker 3
Over at the bank, they’ve been lookin’ to mint some new money. I can’t say I really agree with them -- they want to mint money that’s twenty-five to the dollar! You ever hear of somethin’ as crazy as all that? What would you even call those? [4 4 5]?
FOUR CENT COINS must be entered as OVEN HUNDRED CORNERS by Speaker 1
Once all answers have been submitted correctly, the Mayor will tell players what the final answer for the whole puzzle is: BAZOOKAS.