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Puzzles that baffle the mind and dazzle the eye. Designed by hand, cut from wood, acrylic, and felt. Because puzzles deserve better.
139 backers pledged $13,978 to help bring this project to life.
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    1. Rachel Happen Creator on

      @Adrian Bonet:

      Oh no!! Thank you for this feedback Adrian! That is very helpful for me to know. I will keep that in mind as I build future puzzles. I believe this puzzle was unusually tricky because the clues were hidden, too.

    2. Adrian Bonet on

      that is way too hard!

    3. Rachel Happen Creator on

      Hi John,

      Thank you so much for asking! You're absolutely right, an example is a great idea. I'll walk through the first stretch goal puzzle so you can get a feel for my clue style and the solving process.

      This puzzle was a bit harder than future stretch goal puzzles will be because the clues were hidden. Future puzzles will be in video format where all the clues you need are given in the video!

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Gathering Clues:

      The first group of clues was the riddle I provided: It's February and I'm fleeing over glassy waves at glacier speed. I wasn't made for this warring. So I cover my head and slink. Just one of 17,508. What am I?

      The second group of clues was hidden in my project video! There are two separate shots of me in front of a bookcase. In the second shot, some words in certain book titles are obscured by little branches (referencing the camouflage style of the Crijnssen!) Those titles were:

      Art of [War]
      Wildlife of [Australia]
      [The Tree]
      [Battle at Sea]
      [Japanese] Art: A Cultural Appreciation (this last one was tricky to see due to video compression)

      The bracketed words were the ones obscured by branches, marking them as relevant clue words. There is also a moment at the end of the bookcase shot where the audio and video are not synced and I mouth, “Dutch East Indies” while the audio says something else. That’s an extremely tricky clue and you don’t necessarily have to uncover it to solve the puzzle.

      I create all of my puzzles with discovery in mind, so I don’t ever expect you to know the answer off the top of your head! These puzzles require searching, so after you’ve gathered up the clues, trying using them as search keywords in different combinations. Here are the clues we have so far that are easy to search for:

      - February
      - warring
      - 17,508
      - War
      - Australia
      - The Tree
      - Battle at Sea
      - Japanese

      And there are a few that are not easy to search for. These are more like storytelling clues that you can check against possible answers to see if that answer makes sense:

      - I wasn’t made for this warring
      - fleeing over glassy waves at glacier speed
      - cover my head and slink
      - Just one of 17,508

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Solving process:

      Here’s how I would solve it! There are countless ways to get from clues to solution, so this is just one of many paths.

      1. 17,508 seems really specific so I’m going to start there. I just google “17508” and the first result is a Wikipedia page titled “List of Islands of Indonesia.” Turns out there are 17,508 islands there! Indonesia is near Australia and Japan so that seems like a good lead. I add “Indonesia” to my list of clues.

      2. I throw a bunch of clues together into a search, “february war Japan Indonesia Australia” and the first result is a Wikipedia page on the “Dutch East Indies Campaign” (if you got the tricky video clue then you have this bit already!)

      3. I scan through that page and see that the Allied forces, who had both ships and submarines at their command, really took a beating during this battle from Japanese air strikes. I go back to the storytelling clues and “cover my head and slink” sounds like it could refer to a submarine (in fact, a couple of backers guessed “submarine”, good guesses!), but “fleeing over glassy waves at glacier speed” doesn’t quite fit. I probably would have said “under glassy waves” if the answer was a submarine. So I believe the answer is a ship, perhaps one that is disguised or “covered” in some way?

      4. Now I draw in the last storytelling clue, “Just one of 17,508”. Just one of the islands in Indonesia? Could the ship be disguised as an island? I try some different searches:

      “"Dutch East Indies campaign" ship island disguise” turns up nothing. Just a lot of stories about ships disguised as other kinds of ships, which doesn’t fit with the “Just one of 17,508” clue.

      But “Japan Australia Indonesia ship island disguise” leads me to this:

      And “WWII ship island hidden” leads me to this:

      And “tree WWII ship island cover” leads me to this:

      All of these articles describe the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen and that’s our answer!

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      I hope that’s helpful! Let me know if there’s anything else I can provide. There are a bunch more video puzzles on my Youtube channel (every video whose title begins with “Solve This”) if you’d like some more practice:

      My hope is that the journey is entertaining and the answer is worth discovering! I would absolutely love feedback about any of my puzzles. What they were like to solve, what you liked or didn’t like, clues that were too hard are too easy, anything that comes to mind! Thank you for puzzling with me!

    4. John J. Walsh IV

      As someone who is still trying to wrap his brain around how these puzzles work, could you explain how one was supposed to solve the first stretch goal puzzle? It would be nice to see an example in action to get some context.