Groan Hour Solution

How It Works

The CD consisted of thirty tracks, each of which comprised half of a pun. Matching the halves of the puns and adding the trailing numbers left them with numbers in the 1-26 range, which when converted to letters and sorted by whichever came first gave the instructions FIRSTWORDOFEACH. Taking the first word of each track then revealed the message WHEN YOU HAVE ARRIVAL YOUR DESTINATION YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR STEREO TO FREAK WHEN SEE MOD YOU LATE SHUN NINE OH ONE LISTEN TO FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS WITH THE CODE UNFORTUNATELY. Teams then traveled to the predetermined destination and tuned their radio to FM 90.1, to (hopefully) hear a radio transmission, which you can hear a simulation of here.

This radio transmission was a sequence of numbers, followed by a beep. By decoding the numbers into letters, teams got ADDTHECODE, followed by gibberish. By adding the code UNFORTUNATELY to the gibberish (mod 26), they got the meaningful phrase ANSWERRIMSHOT, and submitted the answer, which was RIMSHOT.

Design Notes

This puzzle barely managed to fulfill Andy's original design: a CD puzzle with absolutely no paper component. It was originally planned that the numbers be pregaps on the tracks (you may have seen a pregap, if you've seen a CD that will count negative space before a track plays), however, some quick work determined that, though all car CD players will honor pregaps, they will also all display the numbers differently: some not at all, some as negative time, some as negative time minus or plus one second... it was completely random, and we had no guarantees about how the CD would be played.

This puzzle was originally encoded as AM PIT DUDE MOD YOU LATE SHUN NINE ONE OH, before it was discovered that the AM transmitter purchased for this purpose was really crappy. (I mean, you think the FM transmitter was crappy... holy cow.) The puzzle was revised the night before the beta and re-recorded to FREAK WHEN SEE (much to my chagrin, as I had to rerecord and revise some of the puns.)

If you want to blame someone for this puzzle, you should blame Jamie Eckman, even though the puzzle was completely conceived and implemented by Andy. You should blame Jamie because his love of bad puns is what gave Andy the idea for the puzzle.

The code at the end of the CD could have been just about anything, but Andy really liked the idea of the whole CD ending with the phrase "unfortunately, no pun intended."

GC Notes

This puzzle was at Joe Hamel Beach in Bay view. Because this was told to people when they called in 'unfortunately', and this was a transit puzzle, people were told to "start driving towards bay view." What we didn't realize at the time was that there are two bay views. There's Bay View, a reasonable drive north from their current location, and Bayview, somewhere down in tacoma, about 2.5 hours south of their current location. Some teams went towards Tacoma and got a considerable distance on their way before GC corrected them. That was... not good.

Team P.I.N.K. apparently REALLY likes puns. They kept calling into GC to share their puns with us.