In the final 72 hours of this Kickstarter campaign, we are locking up a last group of puzzlemakers. The Conundrucopia will be expanded by 8 pages and will contain these luminaries, should we make our funding goals:
- John Chaneski and Greg Pliska, the talented puzzlemaking duo for Public Radio's "A Way with Words" and collaborators on NPR's "Ask Me Another"
- David Ellis Dickerson, the puzzly host of the Greeting Card Emergency series
- Jeff Chen, a crossword constructor who just won one of this year's ORCA Awards
- Scott Weiss, the professor who caused the only three-way tie on Jeopardy!
- Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword editor and NPR Puzzlemaster
Yes indeed, that Will Shortz. Will plans to contribute a puzzle if we make it all the way to $170,000. Which we sincerely hope we Will.
Now you can smell like the Gatekeeper
One thing about the unexpected success we've had with The Maze of Games is that it makes amazing opportunities available to us. And when Lone Shark logistics manager Evon Fuerst suggested a Maze-related perfume from the highly respected company Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, we had to jump at the chance. BPAL is no ordinary perfume company; they've done series based on the Cthulhu Mythos, Alice in Wonderland, and Edgar Allan Poe, and limited edition scents for Neil Gaiman, Hellboy, and Fraggle Rock. They are the coolest and best smelling kid on the block. And now, they've announced this:
THE GATEKEEPER: A dry perfume, solemn and riddled with ancient, whispered secrets: brittle bones, the well-worn leather spines of forgotten books, crumbling papyrus, and the warm, strange scent of yellowed, crumbling manuscripts.
Wow, what an olfactory image! We're stunned that The Maze of Games has inspired something so awesome, and we wanted all our backers to have a chance to pick this up. This isn't going to be run on the Kickstarter site, though. When the perfume ordering goes live in August, backers of any Maze of Games book will be able to order this perfume on blackphoenixalchemylab.com. You don't have to do anything now except make sure that if you want a bottle, you have an ebook, hardcover, and/or Gatekeeper's Limited Edition reserved in your pledge. Details can be found in their Black Phoenix Gazette.
"Black Phoenix loves Lone Shark Games!" BPAL owner Elizabeth Barrial says, "Mike is a phenomenal puzzle-twister and a game designer beyond compare, and he is one hell of a good guy. We are thrilled to be a part of this amazing project!"
We're thrilled too, Beth. We hope all our backers like the Gatekeeper perfume when it comes along later this year.
How to get out of the maze
From all the updates so far, many of you have been collecting squares of a maze, and not being sure what to do with them. Here is your primer to get out of the maze. The final clue is:
24. "I am the duke's wife," she says. "I answer the cal1 2 1xplorers need help. Here is what you must do to leave…"
Assemble the 24 maze pieces like a jigsaw, such that all the walls match up and that the letters in all the pieces are oriented the same way. (That is, you can read all the letters normally without turning the pieces or your head; in the piece with the letters NOH, the H is on the bottom.)
Once the pieces are correctly assembled, you can do something such that you will be able to draw a path from one end of the maze to the other. That will spell a message using one letter per piece. Type the seven-letter written source of this message into the Puzzazz site, and you will get the Maze Breaker badge. As always, the full list of clues can be found in the @MazeofGames Twitter feed. Even if you haven't solved any of the clues, nothing stops you from starting now.
And then, we expect, you're going to want to know what to do with all your badges. More on that tomorrow.
Thanks for supporting The Maze of Games!
Mike and the Sharks