Back to previous post: Goin’ Back To Hogwarts

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Gingrich’s presidential campaign moves from delusion to dementia

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 16, 2011

King, Queen, Knight, and Lady Puzzle
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 07:00 AM * 59 comments

Popular Culture Edition.

Here’s the standard puzzle.

The Royal Family is in trouble and they need your help!

The sun has set as the King, the Queen, the Knight and the Lady arrive at the bridge right outside the castle walls. They have just returned from a long and dangerous trip across the realm. Scouts have spotted the King’s arch enemy closing in on the castle. It is estimated that the King’s foe will arrive accompanied by merciless troops in 17 minutes. That means that all four member of our Royal party must cross the bridge and rest safely together on the bridge’s other side before disaster strikes!

It’s not as easy as it seems. Only two people can cross the bridge at once (it’s not as sturdy as it used to be) and those crossing the bridge must carry the torch (so that they can see!). The torch can’t be thrown across the bridge… it’s windy tonight and the torch would probably blow out… leaving our Royal friends to stumble in the dark.

To make matters worse each person takes a different amount of time to cross the bridge. If two people cross the bridge together it will take them the longer of the two travel times to cross. In other words, the Knight can cross the bridge in one minute, but the Queen requires ten minutes. Therefore, if the Knight and Queen cross the bridge together a precious ten minutes will have past.

Remember that the clock is ticking… there is only 17 minutes for us to figure this little problem out… GOOD LUCK!

The Knight needs one minute to cross the bridge, the lady needs two minutes, the king needs five minutes, and the queen needs ten minutes. There’s only one torch and the bridge can only support two at a time.

Here are some Game of Thrones solutions:

If the Knight is Ned Stark:

  • Arq gnxrf gur gbepu naq thvqrf gur xvat npebff. (Svir zvahgrf rkcraqrq.)
  • Arq ergheaf jvgu gur gbepu. (Bar zvahgr rkcraqrq, fvk zvahgrf gbgny.)
  • Arq tvirf gur gbepu gb gur ynql gb thvqr gur dhrra npebff gur oevqtr, vafgehpgvat gur ynql gb frg gur oevqtr ba sver nf fbba nf fur’f npebff. (Gra zvahgrf rkcraqrq, fvkgrra gbgny).
  • Arq qenjf uvf fjbeq naq cercnerf gb svtug ol gur yvtug bs gur oynmvat oevqtr. (Whfg bar nezl? Whfg bar Fgnex.)

If the knight is Jaime Lannister:

  • Wnvzr gnxrf gur gbepu naq thvqrf gur dhrra npebff gur oevqtr. (Gra zvahgrf rkcraqrq.)
  • Wnvzr naq gur dhrra ragre gur pnfgyr naq chyy hc gur qenjoevqtr, yrnivat gur xvat naq gur ynql fgenaqrq va gur qnex ng gur sne raq bs gur oevqtr. (Fhpxf gb or gurz.)

If the merciless troops are Dothraki:

  • Vg qbrf abg znggre jung gur xvat, dhrra, ynql, be xavtug qb. Xuny Qebtb jvyy svyy gur enivar jvgu gur obqvrf bs gur qrnq gura evqr npebff gb grne qbja gur pnfgyr fgbar sebz fgbar naq fynl gurz nyy.
Comments on King, Queen, Knight, and Lady Puzzle:
#1 ::: Sarah M ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 07:20 AM:

If the Knight is Tywin Lannister:

1. Take the torch and escort the Queen across. (10min expended)

2. Return with torch. (11min expended)

3. Inform the Lady that said king was responsible for executing father/son/pet wolf. Cross bridge as fight breaks out. (12 min expended).

4. Watch merciless troops kill both. Blame troops for king's death.

5. Marry queen, proclaim himself king.

Lannisters aren't fools.

#2 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 08:38 AM:

If the Knight is Gimli, Aragorn throws him across the ravine. Time expended: .5 minutes.

#3 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 08:39 AM:

(Well, dwarves see in the dark pretty well, don't they?)

#4 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 08:47 AM:

Why am I reminded of small boats, goats, cabbages, blind men, children, wolves, and large cheeses?

#5 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 08:57 AM:

Janet Brennan Croft@2

Sorry, that solution is not allowed.

No one tosses a dwarf...

#6 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 09:07 AM:

I don't watch, and have never read, GoT, so that part I can't comment about.

I feel really dumb for being utterly unable to solve the underlying puzzle. I'm not quite to the iterate-though-every-possible-solution stage yet, but I'm getting there.

#7 ::: DawnOfMinstrel ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 09:25 AM:

@Carrie at #6:

Here's a quick tip: zbirxavtugnaqynqlsvefg.

#8 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 09:26 AM:

The knight piggy-backs the king and queen across the bridge first while each one of his "passengaers" holds the torch. Then the knight goes back and escorts his lady across.

Elapsed time... 6 minutes. Plenty of time left to fire the bridge.

#9 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 09:35 AM:

DoM @7 -- Why does it matter who accompanies the xavtug first?

Can the final two crossers burn the bridge behind them while they are crossing?

#10 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 09:42 AM:

Why does it matter who accompanies the xavtug first?

To set up the frpbaq erghea wbhearl.

Can the final two crossers burn the bridge behind them while they are crossing?

Sure. If the king is Aerys Targaryen.

#11 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 09:50 AM:

DoM: I have both been there and done that. Gung'f gjb zvahgrf. Gnxrf bar sbe gur xavtug gb trg onpx, and from there, you're screwed no matter what. I cannot make it come out to less than 19 minutes--with the knight acting as ferry for the other three--and all the other solutions are worse.

#12 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 10:01 AM:

Here's the thing I needed to notice in order to figure out the answer:

Vs gur xvat naq dhrra pebff frcnengryl gung'f svsgrra zvahgrf tbar naq bayl gjb zvahgrf yrsg gb pbzcyrgr gjb erghea gevcf naq n guveq gevc gb cvpx hc jubrire'f yrsg oruvaq. Abg tbaan unccra. Nyfb, arvgure bs gurz pna pebff onpx, fvapr gura gurl jbhyq arrq gb qb guerr pebffvatf va gbgny, naq gung'f svsgrra be guvegl zvahgrf evtug gurer.

Fb gur gevpx vf gb svaq n jnl gb trg gur xvat naq dhrra gb pebff gbtrgure juvyr nyernql univat fbzrbar ba gur bgure fvqr jnvgvat gb oevat gur gbepu onpx.

#13 ::: Dave ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 10:01 AM:

Carrie: Gurer'f abguvat va gur ehyrf fnlvat gur xavtug unf gb pebff rirel gevc.

#14 ::: Andrew T ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 10:07 AM:

(minor Book 2 spoiler is in plaintext, major spoilers are ROT'd)

If the Knight is Tyrion, the Lady is Shae, and the King and Queen are Lannisters:

The puzzle turns into a fox-sheep-grain puzzle, because Tyrion won't leave Shae alone with anyone. Although this seems to make the puzzle impossible, Tyrion devises a clever plan to satisfy all puzzle constraints and yet get the family across. However, when it's time for him to make the last move, the conflicts of family loyalty, ancient trauma, and the irresistible urge for mischief cause him to fubbg gur Xvat va gur onyyf jvgu n pebffobj and jump over the bridge into the perilous ravine, never to be heard of again (ng yrnfg abg va Obbx Sbhe).

#15 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 10:23 AM:

A Clue: Sbetrg nobhg gur erghea wbhearlf jvgu gur gbepu, naq zvavzvfr gur pebffvat gvzr (gjb pbhcyrf).

If it were to happen in the Lymond Chronicles

1: Senapvf Penjsbeq qentf Cuvyvccn npebff gur oevqtr, nyy gur juvyr orjnvyvat ure sbbyvfuarff.

2: Senapvf Penjsbeq ergheaf jvgu gur gbepu, na nccbvfgr naq fyvtugyl fpnaqnybhf dhbgr (va Pynffvpny Terrx) ba uvf yvcf.

3: Senapvf Penjsbeq fraqf gur Xvat naq Dhrra npebff gur oevqtr, qrpynevat uvf vagrag gb qvr orsber nal rarzl znl cnff.

4: Cuvyyvcn, fpernzvat va shel, tenof gur gbepu naq ehaf onpx npebff gur oevqtr jvgu vg.

5: Ylzbaq naq Cuvyyvcn, frrzvat gb nethr ng svefg, erghea npebff gur oevqtr gbtrgure, snyyvat vagb n svg bs urycyrff ynhtugre nf gur ernyvfr gung Nepuvr Noreangul vf chyyvat gur fhccbegf njnl jvgu uvf ryrcunag. Gur rarzl neevir, sehfgengrq. Cuvyyvcn gnxrf n cvfgby sebz Jvyyvnz Fpbgg naq gevrf gb fubbg Fve Tenunz Ervq Znyrgg.

Uvynevgl rafhrf.

#16 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 10:59 AM:

Clue #2: Bar pbhcyr pebffrf gur oevqtr gjvpr.

#17 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:08 AM:

Chris @12 -- aha! Thanks for pointing that out.

#18 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:20 AM:

If the Knight is Maximus from Gladiator:

Ur'f n Ebzna trareny. Ur xabjf ubj gb eha n yrtvba. Znkvzhf betnavmrf gur fpbhgf (rirelbar nyjnlf sbetrgf gung fpbhgf ner zragvbarq va gur frg-hc), unf gurz ercnve gur oevqtr, naq rirelbar pebffrf. Ab ceboyrz.

#19 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:22 AM:

Chris @12 -- this solution still falls down, however, when we consider the non-zero amount of time that will be needed to cogitate, to come up with it.

#20 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:35 AM:

Lady shoots the orange portal onto the flat rock at the bottom of the gorge, and the blue one onto the sloped path approaching the bridge. Knight holds the torch aloft while King, Queen and Lady jump through orange portal and fly from the blue one across the river, then jumps through himself.

Elapsed time: 11 seconds. Afterwards, there will be cake.

#21 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:47 AM:

@19: Anyone that's played D&D knows that one has infinite time to devise a solution.

(That is, until the DM says "The monsters are getting impatient" and starts rolling dice.)

#22 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 12:10 PM:

#19: True, but in real life, being 8 minutes into a 10-minute bridge crossing would probably suffice, too.

For that matter, in real life the knight could pick the queen up and carry her. Even if the extra weight increased his crossing time by a factor of 8, it'd still be a net win.

#23 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 12:32 PM:

The King and Queen cross together, leaving the knight and lady behind. That's monarchy for you.

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 12:50 PM:

Lucky Jack Aubrey disguises them all as itinerant musicians. When the Army of the King's Enemies arrives, Jack says, "The king, guv'nor? Bloke came past half an hour ago. Went into the castle, he did." At this point Maturin disputes the point, saying it was more like forty-five minutes.

All four walk off, still arguing.

#25 ::: jnh ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 01:00 PM:

If this takes place in the Great Underground Empire c. 1979, the Knight inflates the raft, has everyone else embark, deflates the raft, nonchalantly carries it across the bridge, then re-inflates the raft and has the Royal party disembark.

This didn't work in the later versions of Zork, where lifeboats were not usable as bags-of-holding.

#26 ::: TrashedMyCookies ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 01:25 PM:

First, light the other torch.

#27 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 02:06 PM:

It's quite interesting that the mathematically feasible solution is feudally infeasible. The only feudally feasible solution I see gets the Knight what Horatius got... but that's Chivalry for you.

‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,
#28 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 03:32 PM:

And if the king is left alone with the lady, then he--wait, wrong puzzle.

I think if the merciless troops are Dothraki, gura gbb onq, gurl'er nyernql urer. (Gurer'f pninyel, naq gura gurer'f fcrag-arneyl-rirel-jnxvat-frpbaq-fvapr-ovegu-va-n-fnqqyr pninyel.)

Tip: Vg'f grzcgvat gb hfr gur xavtug bire naq bire, ohg erzrzore gung jung znggref vf gur ebhaq gevc gvzr K ahzore bs gevcf.

#29 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 04:11 PM:

DawnOfMinstrel @7: Thanks for that - I worked it out (then felt a bit silly for not having worked it out previously - I claim overwork, unplanned freezer-defrosting and a visitor arriving today for taking up large parts of my brain power).

#30 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 04:14 PM:

The bridge problem becomes a lot simpler if the idiots in the castle make a second torch ready to be carried back across in the first return trip.

#31 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 04:32 PM:

If the king is Leonidas from 300 then he, the queen, the knight, and the lady hold the bridge for three days, until they're all killed. And damn look at their abs!

#32 ::: Steve C ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 04:42 PM:

If the knight is the Doctor, he dismantles the bridge with his Sonic Screwdriver, then faces the oncoming army and announces, "I AM the DOCTOR!" He then leaves with the Lady in the Tardis after the King and Queen bite the big one.

#33 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 04:49 PM:

If this is a Suzanne Vega song, the Knight crosses the bridge with the Queen. She sends him back to rescue the others...and then pulls the drawbridge up and lets them all die.

It's just easier that way.

#34 ::: Mark Z. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 05:46 PM:

Hey, this is fun!

If the King is Viserys Targaryen:
- Gur Xvat frrf ab ernfba gb pebff gur oevqtr. Ur'f xvat bs guvf fvqr bs gur oevqtr gbb, qnzzvg.
- Vafgrnq, ur nggrzcgf gb onegre gur Ynql gb gur vainqvat ubeqr, va rkpunatr sbe n cyrqtr bs srnygl.
- Sbe fbzr ernfba gurl ershfr.
- Gur Xavtug, jub vf fgvyy Wnvzr Ynaavfgre sebz gur frpbaq pnfr, fgnof gur Xvat va gur onpx sbe orvat n sbby.

If the Lady is Arya Stark:
- Gur Ynql cvgpurf gur gbepu vagb gur evire, naq gura oryyl-penjyf npebff gur oevqtr va gbgny qnexarff.
- Gur nezl neevirf naq xvyyf rirelbar ryfr: gur Xvat, gur Dhrra, gur Xavtug, gur Gvpxyre, gur Ubhaq, Fre Tertbe, Fre Zrela, Fre Vyla, Cevapr Wbsserl.
- Inyne zbetuhyvf.

If the Knight is Beric Dondarrion:
- Gur Xavtug rfpbegf gur Xvat npebff naq ergheaf jvgu gur gbepu.
- Gur Ynql rfpbegf gur Dhrra npebff.
- Gurl ybbx ba va ubeebe nf gur Xavtug vf phg qbja ol gur vainqref.
- Arkg jrrx, gur Xavtug pebffrf gur oevqtr ol qnlyvtug.
- Jnvg, jung?

#35 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 06:49 PM:

if the knight is Obelix, he charges the entire approaching army, defeating them and removing any time constraints.

#36 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 07:40 PM:

Abi at #33: But one false move changes her into a pawn.

#37 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 07:46 PM:

Would this thread be easier to follow if I had the slightest idea what Game of Thrones was?

#38 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 08:19 PM:

Ken Brown @ 37: Dunno, maybe you should ask Jeeves.

#39 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 08:59 PM:

Mark Z, I was trying to come up with one for Arya, but yours is much better than the one I had in my head so far. Very nice. (The one for Beric made me snicker, too. Though also blink at first, because the first time through I thought the name it was for was Barristan, which would be a very different setup indeed.)

#40 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 10:13 PM:

If the Lady is Ekaterin, she grabs the grav-control of the bridge, lights it on fire with the torch, bangs it around a bit, and drops it on the invaders.

#41 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:01 PM:

When I first read the title of this post, I assumed that Lady Puzzle was the heroine of this tale (juvpu vf gehr, sebz n pregnva cbvag bs ivrj). Perhaps she is related to Lady Mondegreen.

#42 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2011, 11:36 PM:

Ken @ 37: Yes. It would be.

Heresiarch @ 38: Asking Jeeves is so 1990's. Let me Google that for you.

#43 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 02:29 AM:

Paul Duncanson @ 42: That is too perfect.

#44 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 02:38 AM:

If the Queen is Danaerys: Svefg gur xavtug pebffrf jvgu gur xvat, pbzrf onpx naq srgpurf gur ynql, naq gura Qnanrelf unf ure qentbaf gbepu gur oevqtr nf fur evqrf vg--n erny qentba pnaabg or ohearq. Gung vf, nffhzvat fur qbrfa'g whfg unir ure qentbaf ebnfg gur vainqvat nezvrf.

#45 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 04:37 AM:

"No arguments, your Majesty, take the Queen and get across that bridge."

"But your wife, she'll..."

Wolf Baginski thrust the torch into the old King's paw. "Fly, you fool!" For a moment the Rain Coast anarchist broke through in a half-snarl, but he didn't break contracts.

Freya pulled the King's sword from the scabbard and gave him a hard push onto the bridge. The firelight glinted in her feline eyes and she smiled with her teeth. "I've come through worse scrapes," she said.

The Queen smiled for a moment. "Good luck," she proffered.

"Thanks." Wolf grinned for a moment. "We try to make out own." He turned away and the Knight and the Lady vanished like ghosts into the shadows of the night.

When morning came, the General, looking from the battlements of the Castle, rather fancied that the enemy army looked nervous...

#46 ::: mds ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 09:01 AM:

Paul Duncanson @ 42:

Asking Jeeves is so 1990's. Let me Google that for you.

While the lead-in is indeed sweet, I still have to give the edge to heresiarch's suggestion, because "Might Jeeves Suggest?" comes up with "Where Can I Hire Thrones for My Wedding?"

#47 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 09:02 AM:

If the Knight is played by Harrison Ford:

"Seventeen minutes, you say?" asks the King, lookng back.

The Knight squints at the horizon. "No, your Majesty," he says soberly. "Just over eleven."

The Knight pushes the ailing Queen towards her husband, and thrusts the torch in his hand. "Go!" he shouts. As the King and the Queen
slowly start over the bridge, the Knight looks down, and leaps into the gulf.

Seconds pass, and a splash is faintly heard. Then nothing.

A minute later, the water churns as the Knight surfaces, locked in fierce combat with a sinuous reptilian creature. The fight rages for a couple of tense minutes, until the foes disappear under the surface, now darkened with blood.

Then a hand comes out of the water on the other side, and the Knight slowly pulls himself out, up the cliff on the castle side. A tentacle rises from the depths, wraps itself around his leg, and starts dragging him back down. The Knight hacks away at it, eventually freeing himself.

He slowly claws up the sheer cliff face, eventually reaching the top. Deftly taking the torch from the King, who has just reached the end of the bridge with the Queen, he heads back across, dripping profusely as he runs.

At the other end, he hands the torch to the wide-eyed Lady, and then picks her up, sprinting back towards the castle as arrows fall around them. Some fleet-footed pursuers follow. As they slowly close on the Knight and the Lady, the bridge shudders, and pieces fall off, but it does not collapse.

The Knight reaches solid ground just ahead of his pursuers. He sets down the lady, dislodging a now-empty bottle from his side. Taking back the torch, he turns around and drops it onto a damp spot on the bridge. And the entire bridge goes up in flames...

#48 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 09:17 AM:

Gur Xavtug pebffrf gur oevqtr nybar jvgu gur gbepu, pelvat bhg gb gur yblny fhowrpgf va gur pnfgyr "Va gur anzr bs gur Xvat, tvir zr gjb zber gbepurf!" Ur ergheaf jvgu gur gbepurf (2 zvaf), tvivat gur frpbaq gbepu gb gur Dhrra, jub vzzrqvngryl frgf bss npebff gur oevqtr. Jura fur vf unys-jnl npebff, gur Xvat frgf bss jvgu gur guveq gbepu, ernpuvat gur bgure fvqr ng gur fnzr gvzr nf uvf fcbhfr(12 zva). Gur Xavtug naq gur Ynql gura pebff va 2 zvahgrf jvgu gur svefg gbepu, neevivat n tbbq 3 zvahgrf nurnq bs gur rivy ubeqr.
(I don't think this will work in the online version.)

#49 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 09:17 AM:

Dunno, maybe you should ask Jeeves.

"If I might venture a suggestion, sir," Jeeves said respectfully, "the essential aspect of any possible solution must involve Mr Fink-Nottle and Miss Craye, being the two slowest-moving members of the party, crossing the bridge together; however, it is an ineluctable aspect of the situation that either yourself, sir, or Mrs Travers must have crossed prior to their (I mean Mr Fink-Nottle and Miss Craye, of course, not yourself and Mrs Travers) setting foot on the bridge for the first time, and furthermore it is a concomitant necessity for one or other of the latter to have crossed back in order to convey the torch to the former pair, allowing them to cross in their turn."

This made the old head spin a bit, but I could see there was much rugged good sense in what he said. However, I couldn't help thinking that Jeeves was taking all this rather too calmly, given that both Spode and Sir Watkyn Bassett were even now bearing down on us like two separate hordes of Midian, with their arrival due in a mere seventeen minutes, after which I had no doubt that they would carry out their pre-arranged plan of tearing us asunder and dancing up and down on our remains in golf spikes. Getting us over the rustic bridge to safety in the summer house seemed a question meriting consideration that was both deep and rapid.

I mentioned this to Jeeves with some asperity.

"The danger to you all from Mr Spode and Sir Watkyn, sir, is, I would venture to suggest, largely nugatory. If you will look in the direction of the rose pergola, you will observe that Mr Spode and Sir Watkyn are not the only guests at Hoddling Hall who are at present moving in this direction."

I cast a hopeful eye on the bearing indicated. A bobbing pumpkin-shaped head loomed, like a breaching whale, over the box hedge and subsided again into the depths of the greenery.

Stinker Pinker, bless him, was about to join the fray.

#50 ::: Ken ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 10:17 AM:

I've looked around the site and haven't found the answer...how do you translate the coded spoilers? For instance: "Arq gnxrf gur gbepu naq thvqrf gur xvat npebff. (Svir zvahgrf rkcraqrq.)"

Thanks :)

#51 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 10:28 AM:

Ken (50): The spoilers are in ROT13. www.rot13.com will decipher them for you.

#52 ::: Ken ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 10:35 AM:

Thanks...been re-reading the books in anticipation of the 5th coming out next month, could use a little humor at this point :)

#53 ::: Ken ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 10:50 AM:

Glad I asked, well worth the translating :)

#54 ::: Chris Lawson ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 11:46 AM:

ajay @49:

Great pastiche. Has there been a greater villain in all of literature than Roderick Spode? I think not.

#55 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 12:14 PM:

ajay @49, spot on. Of course, with Spode in the mix, it would be a thing of the simplest for Bertie (or Jeeves, if he has not yet shared the magic word) to turn him against Sir Watkyn and stroll across the bridge at his leisure, adjusting his cuffs.

#56 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 04:41 PM:

ajay @ 49:
Lovely -- but is Jeeves then volunteering to stay behind and face the barbarous hordes?

#57 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 06:25 PM:

The trouble with the Magic Word is that there comes a point in the canon where it stops working.

#58 ::: jnh ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2011, 06:56 PM:

Coming up with the "standard" answer should take negligible time. Running sufficient trials so that you actually know the transit time for each member of the party runs the clock out way to soon.

"Your Majesties, can we perhaps have a little less gravitas and nobility and a good deal more speed?"

#59 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2011, 08:51 AM:

is Jeeves then volunteering to stay behind and face the barbarous hordes?

Jeeves is advising Bertie and the others in a respectful shout from the safe side of the bridge. He foresaw the entire situation.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.