Solution to The Game

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by Xander Hughes, Zack Chroman

The puzzle presents us with some brief flavor text and a series of images. Some of these images are groups of duplicated images with red circles around one of them.

We begin by interpreting the flavor text. It uses baseball terminology (innings) and provides some specific information (May 1st, Braves Field). We might therefore try to find a baseball game that matches that description.

Looking through historical baseball records, we find the date, location, and weather match a particularly interesting game: the longest Major League Baseball game ever recorded, with a total of 26 innings played! The inning count implies that each inning of the game could be mapped to a letter of the alphabet (with 1=A, 2=B, etc.).

We now turn to the images. We notice that the names of many of the things in the images are very close to the names of players in the game. For example, Mary-Kate Olsen's last name is similar to that of Ivy Olson, 2nd baseman for the Brooklyn Robins. The Hulk's name is similar to Holke, 1st baseman for the Boston Braves.

Each image alludes to a play in the game, and the inning of the play maps to a letter. The full list of correspondences is:

Image DescriptionCorresponding PlayInning of PlayLetter
Recently single Mary-Kate OlsenIvy Olson's single5E
Third of three walking Colin PowellsRay Powell's third walk14N
Thief caught in the act of stealingTony Boeckel caught stealing4D
Man walkingLes Mann's walk12L
Hulk holding buntingWalter Holke's bunt15O
Person choosing (picking) the first of six fliesCharlie Pick's first fly out1A
Children walking through wheatZack Wheat's walk4D
Person picking third of six fliesCharlie Pick's third fly out5E
Second of six cruise ships run agroundWalton Cruise's second ground out4D

Reading the resulting letters in order we obtain the answer, END LOADED (which happens to be a type of baseball bat).

Authors’ Notes

26 innings in the longest Major League Baseball game! Now there's a nice coincidence.