BANG 21 Puzzles
We ran BANG 21 was run in Menlo Park on May 2 and 3, 2009. (The Linguistic Geographers ran SNAP 21, based on many of the same puzzles, in Seattle on May 9, 2009.) We've collected the puzzles, solutions, and other material from the game here.
This is a SPOILER-FREE version of the hunt. For a full description of the puzzles, including answers and commentary, please see this page.
Welcome to BANG 21! - Rules, hint system, scoring, and so on
BANG 21 Map - Teams used this to find the next location after solving a puzzle
BANG 21 Answer Sheet - Teams would record their answers here, to be turned in at the end
Puzzle 1, Twenty-One (Quiz Show)
The 1950s game show Twenty One had a scandal, dramatized in the 1994 movie Quiz Show, where it was discovered that contestants were given the answers ahead of time. We used the look of the 2000 version of Twenty One (the original version didn't really have onscreen logos or text).
Burgess Park/Recreation center (start location).
During intro, teams received a hand-written note explaining that they have been selected to win (i.e. the game is rigged), and that they have accordingly been given a list of answers. The note is attached to a typewritten list of 21 answer words:
When the game started, an MC (Wei-Hwa Huang) read 21 trivia questions, while members of GC flip through poster boards showing the questions. After the 21 questions are done, we repeat through the list indefinitely (as long as anyone is watching). GC never paused for answers, nor did anyone attempt to call them out.
Here are the questions:
- What is the full name of the company that removed the word "Computer" from its name once it started making music players and phones?
- In the Harry Potter novels, an agent whose job is to pursue and apprehend Dark wizards is called a what?
- What R&B artist, nicknamed the "Beale Street Blues Boy", won a Grammy in 1970 for performing "The Thrill is Gone"?
- On the TV show The Simpsons, Maggie Simpson is Bart's what?
- What brand of caffeinated root beer with "bite" is sold by The Coca-Cola Company and comes in a silvery can?
- In mathematical analysis, what is the verb used to describe how an infinite series approaches a specific finite limit?
- The 1946 book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" was renamed in 1998 to "(Who)'s Book of Baby and Child Care"?
- What Sunday occurs two days after Good Friday and can be celebrated by signs of fertility such as bunnies, eggs, and marshmallow Peeps?
- When one celestial object, like the moon, moves into the shadow of another, like the earth's, the visual phenomenon is called a what?
- What traditional Swiss communal dish comes in the three varieties of cheese, meat, and chocolate?
- What chess term for "a ruse or risky stratagem" is also the name of a card-throwing mutant who appears in the new X-Men movie?
- In the Street Fighter games, what is Ryu's spinning move, literally "Tornado Whirlwind Foot," more commonly known as in English?
- What peninsula in Europe, forming the majority of the nation of Denmark, does not actually get its name from the fact that it sticks out?
- What food company replaced AIG on the Dow Jones Industrial Average but is probably better known for its Macaroni and Cheese?
- What computer peripheral was invented in 1969, paradoxically one year before the dot matrix variety and 7 years before the inkjet variety?
- An Austrian composer numbered his tenth symphony his "9th" in an attempt to avoid a curse. His first name was Gustav; what was his last?
- What is known in slang as a "biffy," "kybo," "thunderbox," or "long drop," and often has a crescent on its door?
- The suits in a standard Rider Tarot deck are swords, wands, cups, and the five-pointed discs called what?
- What Swiss cough-drop is known for using an alpine horn and yodeling in its commercials?
- What farmed fish is often fed artificial colorants to give its meat the same pinkish hue found in the wild variety?
- What '90s TV science-fiction series, starring Jerry O'Connell as Quinn Mallory, shares its name with White Castle hamburgers?
Puzzle 2, 21st Letter
A sheet of paper with some crossword-style clues. Also at the end has a list of blanks with ordinals.
- A bunch of cut-out letters in a bag.
Here are the clues:
- It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end.
- Place of worship.
- Puffy type of cloud.
- A lever's little good without it.
- It lives amungus.
- In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge calls Christmas a _____.
- In desire of food.
- _____ Panda.
- A type of tax in Monopoly.
- Speak softly or indistinctly.
- Lack of vitamin C leads to this.
- Residential area outside a major city.
- To give in to.
- Stay in the shade to avoid getting one.
- Something you do with a board or browser.
- An excess.
- What you need in order to hitchhike.
- What a flag does after being hoisted.
- What you become after getting a hint.
- "Z" by radio.
The blanks at the bottom looked like this:
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
1st 5th 3rd 4th 2nd 6th
Here are the letters that were in the bag:
- 8 B's
- 9 C's
- 1 D
- 5 F's
- 5 G's
- 6 H's
- 2 K's
- 6 L's
- 7 M's
- 9 N's
- 1 P
- 14 R's
- 10 S's
- 2 T's
- 1 V
- 1 X
- 4 Y's
- 1 Z
Menlo Park Caltrain.
We had a periodic table on display at this location. We didn't explicitly point it out to teams but it should have been pretty obvious.
There are 21 consonants in the alphabet, and 21 pips on a die. There are 6 faces on a die, and 6 vowels. (Y counts a both consonant and vowel.)
In front of the Chase Bank along Santa Cruz Ave.
Each team receives an envelope that contains 21 pieces of card stock (1
Each piece is shaped like an omino. The largest is a 3x3 square.
Each piece has a grey dot in one of the omino cells.
Puzzle 5, 21 Years
21 is the legal drinking age in most states, and the 21st amendment repealed Prohibition.
Santa Cruz & Chestnut St. in front of Le Boulanger.
Each team gets a "fun activities" place mat for kids
and a foofy cocktail menu
(Note, depending on your PDF viewer, the kiddie menu may show a solution on it. This has to do with how it renders invisible layers.)
Puzzle 6, 21 (Blackjack)
The game is about getting as close to 21 as possible without going over.
Each team arrives to a dealer at a blackjack table at the park. They are encouraged to sit down and play.
Posted is this sign
Minimum Bet ....... 2
Maximum Bet ...... 2
Bailout Money ........ 3
Win Pays ............ 5
Blackjack Pays .... 7
The dealer has a rack of chips in front of him, in the denominations 1, 5, 10, and 21.
Players receive starting money to start, and play blackjack. If they do not have enough money to bet, they can ask for a bailout, which will give them 3 more. Each team can only have one player at a time.
Teams should figure out two things pretty quickly:
Procedure notes for the dealer:
- Deal to all players first, then hole card, then second player cards, then up card.
- Then dealer should check for blackjack.
- Stand on all 17s, including soft.
- Fancy stuff like splits, doubling-down, surrender, and insurance are allowed, but only if the player asks.
- Splits: As normal per Vegas rules.
- Doubling-Down: As normal per Vegas rules.
- Surrender: Normal (player loses half the bet).
- Insurance: Player does side bet of 2; insurance pays 4.
- If the player has blackjack and the dealer doesn't, don't play out the hand.
The stickers are:
- Twos: V
- Threes: ING
- Fours: M
- Fives: TE
- Sixes: ER
- Sevens: T
- Eights: ION
- Nines: AT
- Tens: P
- Jacks: LE
- Queens: ST
- Kings: NT
- Aces: UN
- Chip Ones: TO GET ALL THE TIPS, COLLECT ALL FOUR CHIPS.
- Chip Fives: IT'S USEFUL TO KNOW THAT ACES AREN'T LOW.
- Chip Tens: THE LETTERS YOU MINE WILL FILL IN THIS LINE: _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ - _ _
- Chip Twenty-Ones: THE LAST STEP'S NOT HARD: USE EVERY PRIME CARD!
Puzzle 7, 21 equals
There are 21 ways to have three unordered operators, if you allow "no solution".
Jack W Lyle Park
Teams receive two letter-sized pages of paper (1
Puzzle 8, Meta
The smallest way to build a square out of smaller squares of distinct size -- "Squaring the Square
" -- requires 21 squares.
21 squares of different sizes (1, 2). The top and bottom of the squares have green, the left and right have blue. Each square has a number that represents its side length, and a symbol at the top corresponding to one of the other puzzles.
21 convex quadrilaterals (3). The corners are colored alternating green and blue, and the diagonals are drawn connecting opposite corners. A number is at the intersection of the diagonal.
A large 10x10 inch square grid (4), clearly to put the squares on. The 33 (upper-left) square is given faintly. There are numbers printed next to the edge.
A large diamond (5), with a dotted-line border, and green and blue dots at opposite corners.