Ransom

Owner:

Lavanya Sivakumar

Solution:

Person's name, different per team.

#CouchPotatoes: Nilesh

Blood Red: Rachel

Configuration Wizards of FantaC#: Bridget

Dark BSOD: Lukasz

Donut Devouring Dinosaurs: Cesar

Fa Fa Away: Reynis

Her Majesty's Van: Discovery: Spriha

IILF: Jacob

ISMETA: Taylor

Jasmines' Revenge: Arvind

Let Them Eat Cake: Hanbin

Maptastic: Kelsey

Marvelous mold: Angelo

Muggles Who Notice: Vanessa

NO TOUCHING: Artur

One Pineapple Under The Sea: David

Queen's Emerald: Gordon

Return of the Awesome Avocadoes: David

The Order of Magnitude: Evgeny

The Fineapples: Graham

The Pink Goats: Carrie

The Shepherds: Alisha

Turquoise Turtles: Jordan

Yes Whale!: Jordan

Your Mom: Vishal

GC Notes:

GC to update day-of-game.

Presentation:

The team receives a baggie containing a piece of paper (ransom note) and a Bicycle card box. The ransom note has 25 random looking letters on it, and the card box contains an entire deck of cards, minus the queen of hearts. They will also receive a sheet of paper with the following hint text:

The Queen of Hearts has gone missing! All that was there was this unreadable ransom note and a deck of cards… put everything in order, and this will help you shift the message into place. Hopefully you will figure out the culprits, or it’s off with your head!

Walkthrough:

All the cards are in standard order and placement, except the queen of hearts is missing (surprise).

Each non-heart card has a line on one of the shorter sides (indicating the bottom of the card). 25 of the number cards have dots around the edge of the card that make a braille letter (the other 5 number cards and all the face cards just have the line at the bottom). Looks like this:

If those number cards are ordered by their braille letter, you get a list of 25 numbers.

Each number is used to shift the corresponding letter in the ransom note (there are 25 of both), and the puzzler ends up with the phrase "The heart cards speak in morse"

Each heart card also has a line on one of the shorter sides (indicating the bottom) and each card contains two outlined hearts. Each of these outlined hearts is either filled in (a dot), striped (a dash), or blank (end of letter) - if ordered K, Q, J, 10,……, 3, 2, the puzzler will end up with the name of a member of their group.

Hinting:

I found that teams noticed the braille easily, but didn't know what to do with the letters immediately. If they are struggling at this point, they should be told to "think about things you can order by" or "what is special about the letters that you have found". With some puzzle adjustments and some playtesting, it looks like it's only ever the people that brute force everything with an excel sheet that run into this issue.

Data:

Braille hint data for this puzzle here

The ransom note and flavortext