Zen

Owner:

Butters

Presentation:

A staff member is sitting at a table with a some circles and lines drawn on it that spins (lazy susan). When they begin, they are presented with a set of wooden tokens and asked to make a beautiful work of art.

The table (not to scale, pretend that all the small circles are of equal size and spaced equally)

Walkthrough:

Video runthrough: zen

This is fundamentally a rules derivation exercise. Teams place a chips on the board and whenever they want can ask the staff member to judge the board. If they violate a rule, the guide gives them a parable alluding to the rule.

The primary rules are, in order (that is, if multiple rules are broken simultaneously the first rule is read):

  1. "The core is weak" - Along each radius, chips must be ordered descending from inside to outside.

    1. Example: They have 200 in the center ring. They place 201 further out in the same radius. The guide says "The core is weak"
  1. "In a ring, those with the same head stay together" - Within a ring, numbers that start with the same digit must be adjacent. They can have blanks between them, but you can't have (for example) 3, 1, 2, 1.

    1. Example 1: The 100 token is placed in an empty ring. 200 is placed next to it (this is fine), and 1000 is placed on the other side of 200. Everything is still good at this point (100->200->1000->blank*5). However, 300 is then placed in any of the other spaces in the ring. At this point, this rule has been violated

    2. Example 2: The 100 token and 300 token are placed opposite each other in an otherwise empty ring. The 200 is placed in between them on one side (this is still OK). Then a 2000 token is placed on the other side. At this point, this rule has been violated.

  1. "All complete strands must be equal" - This rule kicks in once multiple radii are filled. Each full radius (that is, it has three tokens placed in it) must sum to the same value.

  2. If they try to "submit" or otherwise think they're finished when not every space is full, say "It must be more full"

These rules are sufficient to generate the unique solution. Other rules without as strict of an ordering include:

  1. "Tokens must be in their assigned locations" - placing anywhere other than the small circles

  2. "A location may be occupied by only a single token"

Following the rules, they should generate the following grid:

264132336P121
1853111730U210
12191008773R200
1462968570P121
1844717439O120
1700838462S201
2005809186E012
236154990D011
0
1
2

When they generate the successful grid, congratulate them and hand them a note which reads "Though there were two blue birds and a green one, zero red birds were found that day". This should cluebat them into ternary: read the colors of each strand, with the innermost number being the 9s place. Reading the board this way, they get the answer PURPOSED. They also get the Art Certification stamp.

(If they interpret the ternary backwards, they get PEBPGKUL)

Solution:

PURPOSED