December 26, 2020

Puzzling Escapes Haunted House Corrections

I'm absolutely thrilled with the number of Puzzling Escapes books that people picked up this holiday season! I've also had some astute puzzlers point out errors in The Terrifying Haunted House on Mystery Lane. Although these typos have been corrected, some people received the early version of the book. First of all, my sincerest apologies for not sussing out these mistakes before I brought the book to print. Here are the two corrections that have been made.

1. In the introduction, the book instructs the reader to try looking up the answer 123 with the keyword latest. The keyword for this example should be ratty.

2. The piano puzzle with the keyword steer points to the wrong keyword. I did need to rework the puzzle a little to make it work, so I've reproduced the updated puzzle below. If you haven't played through Haunted House, feel free to try the puzzle here!



Almost immediately, Bang gravitates toward the piano. “Wow, this thing is old,” he exclaims. “I wonder if it still works.” You suspect not since the cabinet is all banged up and every bit of wood appears to be swollen and warped from water damage.

“Doesn’t matter,” you comment. “It’s locked.” The fallboard is down hiding the keys, and it doesn’t budge when you try to lift it. Instead of having a keyhole, there’s a set of three dials to input a code.

“Let’s try to open it,” Bang says.

Hint (Click to Reveal)

“All we’ve got to go on is this piece of music,” you say.

“Right,” Bang says, “but look—it has three notes and the combo has three dials. I bet each note gives us a number. In fact...” He grabs the paper to get a closer look. “The notes are B, G, and F. B is the second letter, G is the seventh, and F is the sixth. Let’s try it!”

You move the dials until the code two- seven-six is displayed and then try again to lift the fallboard away from the keys. It refuses to budge. “I don’t think that’s the answer.”

“Maybe we need to look at the scale.” He points to the empty space between the clef and the first note. “I’ve got some musical references in my toolbox. They might help us solve this.”

Solution (Click to Reveal)

“Why would you keep this in a toolbox?” you ask as you look through the music notation guide.

“It must have been with some other papers I shoved in there,” Bang says. “I noticed it a while ago, but never actually took it out.”

You find the scale listed on the guide which doesn’t have any flats or sharps. “Looks like our paper is in the key of C.”

“Right, so C is the first note, or tonic. D is the second. E is the third. That must be it! We need the positions of the notes in the scale, not the positions of the letters in the alphabet. Since B is the seventh note in the C scale and G is the fifth note, our code must be seven-five-four.”

Conclusion (Click to Reveal)

You adjust the lock so that the numbers showing matches your answer. This time, when you attempt to lift the fallboard, it begins to rotate back and reveal the yellowed keyboard. The inside looks just as beat up as the outside, and some of the keys are missing or chipped.

With no bench to sit on, Bang crouches a bit and starts playing a tune. You know he enjoys playing classical pieces and jazz, but the cacophony the piano makes sounds like neither. You cover your ears. “Make it stop!”

A sudden knocking sound comes from inside the instrument and he jumps back. Even though some of the strings are still vibrating off-key, you can clearly make out scratching noise from the base of the piano.

“You think there’s an animal in there?” you ask.

“I don’t care what that is, I’m not getting near it again!”

After a minute of quiet, you approach the instrument to get a better look at something taped on the back of the fallboard “What’s this?”

“Looks like a map. I don’t think it’s important.”

“You’re just scared,” you tease. You reach out to grab the map, but another knock startles you. You immediately retract your arm and take a step back. “You know what, I think I can see it just fine from here.”

“Yeah,” he says. “I agree.”

Answer Check (Click to Reveal)

The answer 754 leads to cell Q1. The keyword in Q1 was originally annoying but has been changed to steer to match the puzzle.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

also a problem with ablaze? right answer should be 367, i think. it is a 2 inch candle, not 1 inch.