Sunday, April 17, 2016

Double You, Not Why

Recently, I tried my hand at solving a puzzle from our daily newspaper. The directions for the Celebrity Cipher stated, "Each letter in the cipher stands for another".

I've worked on the Crossword and Sudoku puzzles but I've never tried the Celebrity Cipher because I really had no interest in what celebrities had to say. This time though my interest was piqued since I was reading Sue Grafton's latest book "X" and her puzzle-solving landlord, Henry, was helping Kinsey decipher a bunch of numbers and turning them into words. I thought I'd give it a try.

So, sitting on the couch, pencil in hand, Annette Bening's quote took a mere 20 minutes to solve. "I picture myself as an old actress doing cameos in films with people saying: 'Isn't that that Bening woman?'"

Whoa, quick, easy, and fun.

The next day when the newspaper arrived I eagerly turned to the puzzle section. I stared at the cipher and noted the single letter, two letters, and three letter groups and noticed these standouts:


Easy, right?

I solved the quote: "My grandfather Frank Lloyd Wright wore a red sash on his wedding night. That is glamour!" But I couldn't figure out the name of his granddaughter, Anne BA_TNR. The next day looking at the answer to the puzzle I saw the reason: the puzzle had an error. Yes, a typo. That's why it didn't make sense.

Instead of W (W = E) the puzzle had an incorrectly placed Y (Y = N). The last name should have spelled Baxter. Of course, the puzzle could not be solved with a typographical error.

Sheesh, if you can't trust the newspaper who are you going to trust?