Puzzled in Mae Hong Son

On the first Friday of every month, the ex-pat community in Mae Hong Son organizes a “quiz night,” similar to the trivia nights you find at bars in the US. Janis, the unofficial social coordinator of Mae Hong Son and the driving force behind quiz night, depends on volunteers from the ex-pat community to help run the event.

In an attempt to do our part to help, six weeks ago Lauren and I offered to host a quiz night for our final Friday in Mae Hong Son. There was one condition to our offer – we wanted to have the evening be more puzzle-like, and less pure trivia. Janis said “sure” and we were on the calendar. Of course, although we had almost two months of advance notice, it wasn’t until last weekend that we started writing puzzles, so we spent most of our free time this week preparing material for the event.

We had two 45-minute rounds, separated by a 30-minute intermission. At the beginning of each round we handed out two puzzles, worth 10 points each with a bonus of 2 points for the fastest correct answer. The first round puzzles were:

Intermission was sourced from Peter Sarrett’s puzzle Googolplex used in Microsoft Puzzlehunt 123. The presentation format was an “all play” where Lauren and I would read a movie description and the first team to shout out the correct answer received one point.

Round 2 was slightly more difficult:

  • Is That a Banana – A honeycomb-formatted crossword, with clues referencing Mae Hong Son and Thailand
  • Mae Hong Son Social Network – our creativity highlight of the night, a logic puzzle presented as a Facebook feed

The puzzles are posted here. If you want to try them out, note that a few of the clues require local knowledge of Mae Hong Son. The answers are also posted if you get stumped.


Puzzlers at work

The winning team
Team Blink: Coming from behind to tie for first place

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