The Great American History Puzzle from Ken Jennings wrapped up today. Sadly, I bombed out of the running on a tough (and, frankly, pretty irritating) puzzle involving the museum's presidential portraits, but from what I understand, quite a few solvers managed to solve the final acrostic with much of the information still obscured, deduce the final answer, and backsolve the answer to the last regular puzzle! Thus, as soon as that last puzzle opened up today, these people were able to enter the solution, get the email address for submissions, and send in their results in well under a minute. I'm not sure what's going to happen with a tiebreak, but it certainly seems like there needs to be one, rather than determining the winner by the email that popped through the fastest.
This isn't the first public puzzle contest in which the organizers underestimated the participants. I'm sure the final puzzle was intended to be unsolvable until today, but this clearly didn't happen. It's unfortunate, but we'll have to see how it plays out. In the meantime, the puzzles are still mostly clever and fun, so give it a look if you haven't already.
In other hunting news, tickets for the fourth Real Escape Game are now on sale! I've already snagged Early Bird tickets and look forward to this experience, which will be on board the historic SS Jeremiah O'Brien in Fisherman's Wharf!
You might be puzzled, remembering my harsh words for the last game. There is an update there. In the aftermath of that, a teammate and I received a message from the game's designer, apologizing for the incident and describing a mistake Game Control had made during our session, which may well have affected our fortunes. It's clear that the organizers genuinely care about the quality of their game and that the players enjoy it whether or not they succeed. So, for me, coming back to play again is an easy decision. You should do likewise!