GC to update day-of-game.
Teams receive a laser-cut wooden frame and a set of 12 wooden diamonds which are identical in shape but have a combination of symbols, numbers, and word blanks on them.
Video runthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvXN_vM7NNo
Teams need to find a way to assemble the diamonds into the frame to make a single consistent shape. An early insight should be that each diamond has two symbols, one number, and one word blank.
With some playing around, teams should discover that they can arrange the pieces such that nearly all intersections of the shape have three adjacent pieces - two symbols and one word blank on three different pieces. The exception is the intersection in the center.
The asterisk engraved onto the frame is an indication that six of the diamonds should meet in the center at a single point. To meet the three-intersection constraint above, this center section is only numbers. Likewise, the outside corners with no adjacent pieces are also numbers. If teams figure out this constraint, it will geometrically eliminate some false positives and limit their options.
The teams determine which symbols and blanks go together by finding definitions for the words that when paired together make a single compound word. Such as KEY + BOARD = KEYBOARD. The correct word will fit in the word blank that is concurrent with the pieces. This can also be used to help fit pieces into place (say, you know that BUTTER + FLY is BUTTERFLY, and there are only certain pieces with blanks of the right length that can fit there). Some of the compound words are formed phonetically, such as an icon of a BEAR and an icon of a FOOT cluing BAREFOOT.
The fully assembled grid looks like this:
The correct compound words to make are:
Break + fast = breakfast (teams may find BREAKTIME, which is an acceptable alternative)
Bear + foot = barefoot
butter + fly = butterfly
T + pot (marijuana leaf) = teapot
Fire + arm = firearm
key + board = keyboard
cross + wok = crosswalk
Four (4) + cast = forecast
>Box + car = boxcar
pass + port = passport
>pick (guitar pick) + up = pickup (truck)
son + flour = sunflower
They should then take the boxed letters and arrange them in the order of the number that is on the same piece as the compound word, like this:
This arrives at the answer KALEIDOSCOPE.
The hardest thing in this puzzle seems to be finding a solid connection to build off of. Successful teams often start by just attempting to arrange pieces in the frame to see if they will all fit. Some teams find a different configuration of diamonds that fits; these teams need to pay attention to the asterisk engraved on the frame.
Once teams have a few words that lock and work together, it helps eliminate possibilities and get some of the harder words. Smart teams will realize they can mostly assemble it and crib the answer without all definitions.
Really, the best help you can give the teams is to confirm their process/thinking, and then confirm or deny word pairs.
Visio docs of the cut-out diamonds: