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Games '09 (January-March)

Sorry this is so late.  Feel free to talk here.



Toni -
Congrats on the T-shirt for Key Ingredients :) I suppose there were few entries so that sending in anything with a few correct words got a shirt. Thanks for at least participating :) Was it that hard, less than 10 got the answers??

Posted by: Mark Mammel | Jan 5, 2009 11:21:46 AM


Believe it or not, I made several attempts to solve it. I researched decrypting after several bouts with decoding cyphers resulted in nothing but gibberish (or unfamiliar words). And looking up definitions left me with a bunch of unrelated subjects (unless I missed the connection, which is a possibility).

When all else failed, that's when I decided it was time to just....guess!

Posted by: Toni | Jan 5, 2009 2:06:52 PM

I received word today that I won a "snazzy" t-shirt fort the Key Ingredients contest. The grand prize winner must have sent in a thousand entries!! I solved it mathematically with the letters standing for the numbers they are assigned within the alphabet. Was that the intended procedure? I wonder...

Posted by: Konali | Jan 5, 2009 6:38:15 PM

Although I didn't enter the contest, I was able to solve the puzzle for "Key Ingredients" from reading the clues that were posted after the deadline. Prior to the deadline, I didn't have good instructions as to solve the Vigenere cipher. (I need to look for better cipher explanations in the future.) After using the Wikipedia instructions, it was easy to solve.

I got the following:


Posted by: Laurie | Jan 5, 2009 8:47:38 PM

Revisiting this board after a long while, I see the sad news of Bob Lodge's passing. I raise my glass in a toast to Bob, a stupendous puzzler and a great man. GAMES will never be the same without the constant hope of a new brain-busting contest from Mr. Lodge. What happy memories! We'll miss you, Bob.

Posted by: Kevin | Jan 5, 2009 11:28:09 PM

Mark, for me, it was. In my cipher research I had come across the Vigenere cipher explanation in Wikipedia, mentioned here by Laurie, but not knowing the keyword I'd have needed to solve it, I skimmed over it then dismissed it.

For ME to have squeezed into the winner's circle was a complete surprise to me;-), so there had to be only a few who solved it.

It was a good puzzle, Mark; one had to work hard for the top prize! That's the way it should be.

Posted by: Toni | Jan 6, 2009 9:05:12 AM

Right Laurie, you got it. Toni - the keywords were given :) The procedure is to encrypt the start word with one of the keywords below to get the next word in the chain. So GAMES encrypted by Vigenere using keyword GOLEM gives MOXIE. Them MOXIE is encrypted using PAREU to get BOOMY and so on till you get back to GAMES. Konali - sure, you can do it numerically where A=0, B=1. So G (6) + G (6) = 12 (M) for the first letter. I had made a list of several thousand 5-letter word triplets where one word encrypted by another word yields a third word.

Posted by: Mark Mammel | Jan 6, 2009 2:10:31 PM

Ahhh, now I see! I had been under the impression, there was only ONE key word for the entire chain, but your solution makes more sense.

Thanks for the explanation.

Posted by: Toni | Jan 7, 2009 10:28:55 AM


Congratulations! I also won a t-shirt. I should have sent in more entries; it sounds like this is one I could have won! I also missed the Vigenere hint and solved it mathematically.

Posted by: Sean Riddle | Jan 8, 2009 9:37:47 PM

Congrats to Toni, Konali and Sean. Logic tells me my correct entry MUST win something, but my mailbox remains sadly empty (of GAMES mail). My hope is that mail often takes a while longer to reach me in deepest, darkest Qu├ębec. My fear is that, as has happened at least three times over the years, my entry was not delivered due to the extra contest entry text on the (back of the) envelope being mistaken for the address I guess.

How do you folks format your entries to avoid postal confusion? Remember GAMES used to get weird/creative envelopes that still got to the magazine? I never came close to that style.

Posted by: John | Jan 9, 2009 7:00:15 AM

Thanks Sean and John,

John, I've gotten an entry returned once because I'd written my name and address on the back of a postcard along with the contest answer. Now, if the contest requires only a postcard (say, for a one-word answer)I'll write my return address on the same side as GAMES' address (or I'll write "from" and "to" to assure delivery)and only the answer on the back.

In the case of Key Ingredients, where you had to send in a list, it would have been just as easy (and at the same cost) to have written the list on a slip of paper and sending it in the envelope.

Whether envelope or postcard, don't write your address on the back along with your answer, and your mail SHOULD get where it's going....but you never know...

Posted by: Toni | Jan 9, 2009 7:52:02 AM

Does anyone want to compare answers, or discuss, GAMES contest "Mystery Word"? The deadline (Jan. 2) has passed so I believe it's safe enough to mention it here.

Posted by: Toni | Jan 10, 2009 8:18:40 AM

I solved the "Mystery Word" contest as "Word preceding show, point, or theory" The answer I got was "game" - seems fitting for GAMES magazine. I didn't identify the game with the letters "P" and "AP" and the game with the people and the word "buy" I just guessed that the letters were "o" and "e", respectively.

Posted by: Laurie | Jan 10, 2009 12:06:32 PM

Maybe we've discovered something that Quebec and Texas have in common - I also sent in the answer for Key Ingredients but haven't heard anything. I sent it in late September, with my South of the Border entry, so mail delivery shouldn't have been a problem. Maybe Mark Mammel has discovered how to create both a puzzle and a mystery!

Posted by: james mcclellen | Jan 10, 2009 3:00:58 PM

Laurie, the word "GAME" was my answer too.

The game with P and AP, is Pictionary. The game with "buy" was the only one I did NOT get.

Does anyone the "buy" game title?

Posted by: Toni | Jan 10, 2009 3:59:34 PM

Sorry...here's what I meant to say..."Does anyone know the title of the "buy" game?"

Posted by: Toni | Jan 10, 2009 8:53:06 PM

I also got the answer "game", but didn't figure out several games: 1,1 Joker letter "W"; 2,1 "opportunity knocks" letter "R"; 3,4 red, yellow, black pieces, die with "M" letter "S"; 4,2 Darth Maul letter "P", 5,1 orange blue robots? letter "N" and 6,2 "Buy!" letter "E". The "Buy!" picture looks very familiar, but I couldn't find it anywhere.


Posted by: Sean Riddle | Jan 12, 2009 3:42:19 PM

1,1 is a jester (not a joker) from the game Wizard.
Opportunity knocks is from Careers.
Darth Maul is from Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit
5,1 is Angel Wars featured in the December 2008 issue.

Posted by: Laurie | Jan 12, 2009 5:42:22 PM

Laurie, the red, yellow, and blue pieces is "Surf's Up, Dude!"

Sean, I saw the "buy" game, too(prior to this contest) while perusing a store's toy section, but because I wasn't looking for it at the time, I didn't take note of the title. Then, when I needed to find it, I couldn't!! (The contest is over, yet I continue searching the board game sections...haven't found it yet.)

Posted by: Toni | Jan 12, 2009 8:12:08 PM


Thanks! Looking closer, I actually had Angel Wars and Surf's Up, Dude, but I hadn't written the names down on my work sheet.


I swear I remember the "Buy!" game from an older Games magazine, but maybe I'm crazy. I've searched quite a bit on-line but have come up empty. Just looking at the picture, I'd guess and early 80s game (are those TRS-80s?) All I know at this point is that the 4th letter is E :)

Posted by: Sean Riddle | Jan 12, 2009 9:22:48 PM


I looked back through several years of issues, and found several of the game titles this way, but I didn't see (or I missed seeing) the "buy" game.

It does look like a dated computer...or something else familiar to me that I just can't place. (We're going to kick ourselves when the name of this game is revealed!)

Posted by: Toni | Jan 12, 2009 9:50:42 PM

"Buy!" game:

Toni - how recently did you see this game in the game store?

I just spent a while doing thematic searches on boardgamegeek.com and came up empty. I searched for "stock market", "money", "investor", "day trade", though I didn't follow up on every lead.

Even though the game pic shows an older-looking computer, I think the game has to be from the late 90s or later, since it's only since then that people have used computers to trade online. But I could be on the wrong track with stocks.

Posted by: Jim Miller | Jan 13, 2009 2:52:21 AM

We shouldn't assume that "buy" means "buy stocks", and we shouldn't assume that these clearly outdated computers have online access.

Posted by: Alan Lemm | Jan 13, 2009 4:45:42 AM


As recent as a few months ago, Sept? Oct?...2008

Posted by: Toni | Jan 13, 2009 6:14:17 AM

I think that the "Buy" game is from the 80's. I'm not judging by the computer, but the clothing and hairstyles. I think that it might be something that starts with "Money," which would have "E" as a fourth letter.

Not all board games are on Boardgamegeek.com. Also, many of the games on the site don't have adequate pictures to identify different cards. Does anyone remember Agvato from "All in the Cards"?

Posted by: Laurie | Jan 13, 2009 4:22:12 PM

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