Clockwork Negg Puzzle Y14: Revisited in Y16
First of all, I would like to wish everybody a happy Y16 Negg Festival!
So hey, remember two years ago when we had a nice little mini plot involving a journal and finding the mysterious clockwork negg? When everybody was convinced that Selvin the wizard had the clockwork negg, but in actuality it was Rutu? I thought it would be fun to revisit that fun logic puzzle we got to do as it was something different amidst collecting neggs around the site.
Back then, I was on the Festival of Neggs Neoboard a lot trying to explain the facts of this puzzle as it was going on. There was definitely a lot of confusion as it went on, because each entry was released one day apart after the first three were released together. We were only able to get small pieces of information at a time. Let's revisit some old popular theories that had come up, and then let's try and use *gasp* logic to solve the puzzle again! This can be a fun little exercise in telling fact from fiction.
So in case you have no idea what I'm referring to, or if you would like to review it again, the old journal can still be located here on the site: http://www.neopets.com/neggfest/y14/logic.phtml. The objective was to identify the person who was carrying the clockwork negg and to figure out which land they went to. Additional information about each character's occupation was also given throughout the puzzle.
- Characters: Selvin, Voughn, Rutu, Hurok, Ricky.
- Neggs: Clockwork, Cloud, Glass, Sand, Plant.
- Locations: Lost Desert, Shenkuu, Brightvale, Altador, Kiko Lake.
- Occupations: Wizard, Knight, Explorer, Blacksmith, Botanist.
The first day available to submit a guess to this puzzle was on the 13th day of Eating (April) Y14. It was not possible to have all of the information to correctly surmise an answer, as only the first 3 entries had been released with barely any clues to go on. However, it was understood by TNT's disclaimer at the bottom of the Solve Puzzle page, that the earlier you made a guess, the better your prize would be if it was correct.
I think that because of the 'better prize' incentive TNT gave us, there was even more of a reason to try and reach for as much information as possible in order to arrive at the correct answer. This led to many wild theories as to how to identify each of the 5 people involved. Many of these theories started out with the cover picture for the journal. Some people thought that Selvin was female because it looked like there was a hint of a feminine eyelash in their picture. Because Rutu looked like she had some scrolls, it was believed that she was the explorer of the group (amongst other things).
Concluding these things solely from a picture was really wild speculation, to be honest, especially since it was only a logic puzzle. It was even more ridiculous because TNT made a point to not use any gender-based pronouns anywhere in the puzzle, obviously trying to make it more difficult.
After this was over with, in the 541st Editorial of the Neopian Times, the first question asked was about the genders of the 5 characters. TNT confirmed that they purposefully did this to make it more difficult, and that actually Rutu was the only female of the group and the rest were actually males.
Moving on, these logic puzzles are a common practice, and are typically figured out through the use of a chart. I personally did a lot of them in my 8th grade English class, but that was over 10 years ago now. The only statements that you can rely on are ones that say, "X took the Y negg to Z," or some variation of the sort. Typically they aren't done in a journal format as we saw, which made it a little more confusing for those who have done these puzzles before.
Because of this, many felt the need to try and deduce that because one decision had been made about a character (be it where they were going or which negg they had) it was thought that they would not be referenced to again in future entries under the guise of an occupation title, thus ruling them out from being that person. In doing so, many thought that the explorer occupation would be left to Rutu which would rule her out of carrying the clockwork negg. In the end it wasn't true because the answer was that Rutu did go to Shenkuu with the clockwork negg.
Entry 5 was probably one of the most hotly debated entries I saw on the Neoboards, so I'm going to quote it:
"Today was the day that we settled on who would be going to Shenkuu. One team member, Rutu, seemed particularly enthusiastic to be going, saying that it had been a longtime dream to visit such an exotic location. Another mentioned that now is an ideal time for stargazing, since the night skies are unusually clear this time of year. On the other hand, things got kind of awkward when the knight of the group stated that being the one to transport the clockwork Negg was absolutely out of the question. Nobody else had an issue with doing it, though, so it didn't become an issue."
Because of the wording on the sentence about Rutu going to Shenkuu, many wondered if that statement was actually true. It was believed that Rutu had only expressed interest in going to Shenkuu, but it was a possibility she never went there.
Actually, when somebody is enthusiastic to be going somewhere, it usually means they ARE going. It would have been different if it had said that she was enthusiastic to "maybe" go, or "possibly" go, but to BE going means that she IS going. Curse you grammar! You win again! :-)
The other common thought that occurred amongst people was about the sentence that came right after the one about Rutu going to Shenkuu. Up until this point, there had been no mention of Altador in the puzzle; however, it was a known possibility due to our options in the drop-down menu on the Solve Puzzle page. This led to an assumption that somebody was expressing interest in going to Altador, as it is famous for stargazing. It was then believed that Rutu or one of the other team members had only expressed interest in going to Shenkuu or Altador, and nothing was set in stone yet.
There was one other popular reasoning in this entry. It was about how Rutu and 'the knight' were referenced to individually. Many thought that Rutu and the knight couldn't be the same person in that regard. In the end, this was actually true, but to make an assumption like that at the time just wasn't possible. There were other instances like this, such as Entry 9 about Hurok and the explorer. However, it wasn't good to make assumptions like that because it honestly complicated everything 100 times more as each new entry came out.
Think of it this way: Sometimes writers like to reference somebody later under a different name (such as their occupation) so as to not be repetitive in what they're writing. This keeps things interesting to read.
I also believe that TNT threw in the occupations as more of a red herring to deviate people from figuring out the puzzle too easily. This was observed throughout many of the last entries, where the blacksmith had been called Rutu by mistake when in fact, their name wasn't Rutu at all! Could that statement really be that cruel where it was actually a joke, and Rutu WAS the blacksmith? In Entry 17, the same thing happened where the botanist did NOT like to be called Ricky. Was that too, a cruel joke, where Ricky was really the botanist all along?
Another great example of this was when in Entry 14 we found out the plant negg would be going to Kiko Lake. We then had this bomb dropped on us:
"Unfortunately, the next morning the plant negg's deliverer noticed that the wicker basket in which the negg was to be transported had a huge tear along one of its lower corners. There is currently no known culprit, but it's suspected that this is the work of Meepits..."
That was also the entry when we learned that Selvin did not have the clockwork negg, but that he had the plant negg in Kiko Lake! After that little gem, most were convinced that this was all a conspiracy at this point and that the puzzle was unsolvable. Many were determined to still prove that it was Selvin who had the clockwork negg in Altador.
Anyway, other miscellaneous information like the blacksmith hurting his hand, the knight having a lucky plush toy, the person who wrote the journal didn't like the explorer's snoring, and the person responsible for the glass negg had a lot of pressure: These statements were purely for amusement and to create a story. Nobody wants to simply read "Selvin is the wizard. He did not go to the Lost Desert. Voughn has the cloud negg," end of story. It was all fluff to help keep it from being a boring tale.
In regards to the numbered entries, Zaira was only showing us information that was useful in solving the puzzle. There was much anticipation to see if we would ever get the entries in-between each number, but we never did. That was because it probably contained more fluff like I just described. Unfortunately, after most entries had been released and people thought that the puzzle couldn't be solved, there were more conspiracy theories about how those entries probably contained contradicting information to the entire puzzle and that it was all a fraud. Clearly, the answer had to end up being Hurok with the clockwork negg in Brightvale?
I think that those were the most confusing parts of the story that I addressed. So you must be wondering, how did you actually SOLVE this darn thing? Well, here I will list the factual statements from each entry, and then we can use the process of elimination to figure out who had the clockwork negg and where.
- Selvin is the wizard. He is not going to the Lost Desert.
- Voughn has the cloud negg.
- Rutu is going to Shenkuu.
- The knight does not have the clockwork negg.
- Selvin is not going to Brightvale.
- The glass negg is in Brightvale.
So who has the glass negg in Brightvale?
We know Selvin does not go to the Lost Desert or Brightvale. Actually, because Rutu is in Shenkuu, we know Selvin can't be there too, so Selvin can only be in Altador or Kiko Lake. Since we know Voughn has the cloud negg, he can't have the glass negg too, so he is also out of the question. At this point, we know Ricky or Hurok have the glass negg.
- Hurok does not have the clockwork negg.
- The explorer does not have the clockwork negg.
- The blacksmith is not Rutu.
- The blacksmith has the sand negg and is not going to Altador.
So who is the blacksmith with the sand negg?
It was said Rutu is not the blacksmith, so it wasn't her. We know that Selvin is the wizard, so it's not him either. Since the blacksmith has the sand negg, we know Voughn can't have that negg too since he has the cloud negg. Again, that leaves only Ricky or Hurok to the job. We already knew one of them has the glass negg, and now the other one has the sand negg. With this entry, we were able to rule both of them out of contention for having the clockwork negg.
- The plant negg is in Kiko Lake.
After figuring out that Ricky and Hurok have the glass and sand neggs, and Voughn having the cloud negg, it's now down to Selvin and Rutu for the task of having the plant or clockwork neggs. Well, we know for sure the plant negg is in Kiko Lake, which leaves only Selvin left since we know Rutu is in Shenkuu. That left Rutu to take the clockwork negg to Shenkuu. This was when we knew for a fact that Rutu – Shenkuu was the answer.
- The botanist is not Ricky.
This last entry finally stated the 5th and final occupation and otherwise didn't really provide anything else since we were able to deduce the answer in Entry 14.
So with the answer explained, let's think back to how ridiculous all of the other assumptions were. Was it easier to only go by factual statements rather than trying to be creative? In this instance, I think the answer is definitely yes! It's hard not to channel that creativity into a logic puzzle though, especially in the format that it was presented to us, so it's completely understandable.
I thought this would be a fun thing to look back on, as I wrote most of this two years ago while it was ongoing. That is why there are a lot of details about what most people were thinking on the Neoboards and the wild theories and conclusions that everybody had at the time. I hope you enjoyed this article whether or not you participated in this event or if this was your first time reading about it! Have a wonderful Y16 Negg Festival! :-)