[Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

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[Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:08 pm

This is Balin’s ‘woubit’s Christmas puzzle’ for 2019. Proceed.

Instructions & background: For several years in the 2000s, forum member ‘woubit’ would run an annual Christmas puzzle. This is my third homage.

This Christmas puzzle operates the same way as his did - the title provides a clue to what the actual puzzle is, and that puzzle has some sort of Christmas theme. (For example: the 2009 puzzle was called “There’s an old piano”; puzzlers first reasoned the continued lyric - “and they’re playing it hot behind the green door” - then deduced the green door was on an advent calendar.) To get an idea of how this will run, check out his puzzles: 2005’s, 2007’s, 2008’s, and 2009’s. They are very long (2007's is the shortest).

All forms of reference (and Internet searching) are acceptable.

At present, all you have to go on is the title. Good luck.
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby trebor » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:19 pm

Is Never Any Good by Martin Simpson relevant? Or the same title by Leonard Cohen? Does the title refer to a carol? Another holiday song? Auld Lang Syne? “No time like the present” relevant? Getting a clock as a gift?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:57 pm

Is Never Any Good by Martin Simpson relevant? Or the same title by Leonard Cohen? Does the title refer to a carol? Another holiday song? Auld Lang Syne? “No time like the present” relevant? Getting a clock as a gift? No to all
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:00 am

Does something happen at an inconvenient time? Are we looking for a sentence that follows this? Searching the title, does it refer to this quote by Margaret Mitchell: "Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them"? If so, Gone With the Wind relevant? Synonyms/related words for any words in the title relevant?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:45 am

Does something happen at an inconvenient time? See following Are we looking for a sentence that follows this? See following Searching the title, does it refer to this quote by Margaret Mitchell: "Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them"? Yes indeed! If so, Gone With the Wind relevant? No Synonyms/related words for any words in the title relevant? Yes, I'd say so
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby trebor » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:09 am

Is there a relevant synonym/related word for time? Thyme, possibly? Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, or rosemary?

Are the gifts of the magi relevant? Something else to do with Jesus' birth? Or the birth of a prophet from any religion, for that matter? Benjamin Franklin relevant? Or his quote about death and taxes?

Also, assuming we have a physical form, are we able to examine our surroundings? Or, will we be able to as we figure things out?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:06 am

Anything else about that quote relevant?

Synonym/related words:
Never - not, no, doesn't happen?
Convenient - useful, appropiate, suitable?
Never (any) convenient - inconvenient, inappropiate, unsuitable?
Time - a certain measurement of time? Seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am

Anything else about that quote relevant? No

Synonym/related words:
Never - not, no, doesn't happen?
Convenient - useful, appropiate, suitable?
Never (any) convenient - inconvenient, inappropiate, unsuitable?
Time - a certain measurement of time? Seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years? No to these

Is there a relevant synonym/related word for time? Thyme, possibly? Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, or rosemary? No to these

Are the gifts of the magi relevant? Something else to do with Jesus' birth? A lot of things to do with that. See below/b] Or the birth of a prophet from any religion, for that matter? Benjamin Franklin relevant? [b]No Or his quote about death and taxes? No

Also, assuming we have a physical form, are we able to examine our surroundings? Or, will we be able to as we figure things out? No worry, as you have just done so.

This is the LTPF Nativity Scene.

If you haven't seen one of these, a nativity scene consists of several pieces and figures set up in the traditional pose representing the birth of Jesus. Aside from Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, you'll usually see the shepherds and wise men with their animals crowded into the stable - again, the traditional depiction.

While some nativity scenes are incredibly large and some even use living performers, this is a small set, the kind that would fit on a coffee table. Or at least it will fit as soon as you can sort out which piece is which.

Whoever used this set last put the pieces back into their boxes, but didn't label them, instead wrapping them with unusual wrapping paper they must only have found on this forum. You'll figure out which box contains which figure before opening them.

The boxes are in a pile - maybe a dozen to fifteen of them - and since today is December 2, you grab two of them to start.

The first box is decorated with all the letters of the alphabet, each Z and A separated by a block of cheese.

The second shows pictures of a metallic figure of a person wearing a striped shirt.
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:03 pm

First box: Are the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order? Type of cheese relevant?

Second box: Is the metallic figure a specific character/person? Fictional character? Real person? Relevant how many stripes on the shirt?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:31 pm

First box: Are the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order? They are Type of cheese relevant? Yes

Second box: Is the metallic figure a specific character/person? Yes Fictional character? Yes Real person? Ergo, no Relevant how many stripes on the shirt? No
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:20 pm

Cheese: Parmesan? Mozzarella? Cheddar? Gouda? Swiss? Camembert? Brie? Gorgonzola?Blue cheese? Goat cheese? Puns/wordplay relevant? Relevant that the cheese is between Z and A specifically (for other reasons than dividing the A-Z rows?)? Something like Z[cheese name]A? Any specific letters relevant? Or is the fact that it's the entire alphabet relevant?

Metallic figure: a character who's usually metallic? A robot? Someone wearing metal armor? Do they usually wear a striped shirt?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:19 pm

Cheese: Parmesan? Mozzarella? Cheddar? Gouda? Swiss? Camembert? Brie? Gorgonzola? Blue cheese? Goat cheese? I see one block that's cheddar, another parmesan... going through, there are a lot of cheese blocks and wheels on the paper, but I cannot see any Swiss cheese. Puns/wordplay relevant? Not right now Relevant that the cheese is between Z and A specifically (for other reasons than dividing the A-Z rows?)? No Something like Z[cheese name]A? No Any specific letters relevant? Or is the fact that it's the entire alphabet relevant? This

Metallic figure: a character who's usually metallic? Yes A robot? No Someone wearing metal armor? No Do they usually wear a striped shirt? No
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby trebor » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:01 pm

Is any of the alphabets missing an L? Specifically, the first one? Any other letters missing from any of the alphabets?

The metallic character. Magneto? Joseph, Magneto's clone? Lin Beifong? Toph Beifong? Crystal from the Marvel Universe? Jerom? Korra? Kovira? Lucario? Meltan/Melmetal? Sailor Venus? Strange Visitor? Wenlock and Mandeville? (Thanks, Wikipedia!) What colours are the stripes on the shirt? Relevant? Relevant the pattern of the stripes? (Horizontal, vertical, diagonal?)
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:15 pm

Relevant that there are several different types of cheese? Are all the cheeses different? Relevant that there isn't any Swiss cheese?

Metallic character: A cyborg? Someone with a metallic-looking skin/surface? Since you called them a "person", are they human? Humanoid?
Is the character from a movie? TV series? Live-action? Cartoon? Comic? Video game? Anime? Book?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:03 pm

Is any of the alphabets missing an L? Specifically, the first one? Any other letters missing from any of the alphabets? No to all

The metallic character. Magneto? Joseph, Magneto's clone? Lin Beifong? Toph Beifong? Crystal from the Marvel Universe? Jerom? Korra? Kovira? Lucario? Meltan/Melmetal? Sailor Venus? Strange Visitor? Wenlock and Mandeville? (Thanks, Wikipedia!) None of these
What colours are the stripes on the shirt? They appear to be navy blue, but they're very thin so it's hard to tell Relevant? Yes Relevant the pattern of the stripes? Yes (Horizontal, vertical, diagonal?) They are vertical

Relevant that there are several different types of cheese? Not so much as... Are all the cheeses different? Relevant that there isn't any Swiss cheese? ...this is quite relevant.

Metallic character: A cyborg? No Someone with a metallic-looking skin/surface? Not just "metallic-looking..." Since you called them a "person", are they human? Humanoid? Yes
Is the character from a movie? This, most notably TV series? Live-action? Cartoon? Comic? Video game? Anime? Book?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:21 am

Something that Switzerland didn't do/join/participate in ect. relevant? Something about Switzerland relevant?

So a humanoid character with metal skin? And not "yes" to cartoon or live-action... CGI effects relevant? Stop motion? Puppet?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby trebor » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:28 am

To piggyback on Zanreo’s question, WWll? Is the NATO alphabet going to be helpful here? Or perhaps taking out the letters in “Swiss” or “Switzerland” and rearranging either them or the remaining letters in some yet-to-be determined way?

Did the character originate with a movie? Are they known from a movie from the 1900s? 10s? 20s? Etc.? Are they male? Female? Non-binary? Non-gendered? Are they the protagonist? Antagonist? A supporting character? Is it a sci-fi? Fantasy? Comedy? Action/adventure? Horror? Thriller? Drama? Is their shirt only two colours? If not, three? More? What colours other than the nigh-invisible navy is it?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby peter365 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:35 am

Thanks for running this Balin , great to keep this wonderful tradition going.

Is the fact that Swiss Cheese has holes in it relevant? Any play on the word Holy? I'm trying to avoid the old Cheeses of Nazareth pun?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:56 pm

Something that Switzerland didn't do/join/participate in ect. relevant? No Something about Switzerland relevant? No

So a humanoid character with metal skin? Yes And not "yes" to cartoon or live-action My bad! It is live-action... CGI effects relevant? Stop motion? Puppet?

To piggyback on Zanreo’s question, WWll? No Is the NATO alphabet going to be helpful here? No Or perhaps taking out the letters in “Swiss” or “Switzerland” and rearranging either them or the remaining letters in some yet-to-be determined way? No

Did the character originate with a movie? Yes Are they known from a movie from the 1900s? 10s? 20s? Etc.? 1930s Are they male? This Female? Non-binary? Non-gendered? Are they the protagonist? Antagonist? A supporting character? This Is it a sci-fi? Fantasy? This Comedy? Action/adventure? Horror? Thriller? Drama? Is their shirt only two colours? Yes If not, three? More? What colours other than the nigh-invisible navy is it? White

Thanks for running this Balin , great to keep this wonderful tradition going. Thanks!

Is the fact that Swiss Cheese has holes in it relevant? Yes Any play on the word Holy? No I'm trying to avoid the old Cheeses of Nazareth pun? Surprisingly, I have never heard that particular variant of the cheeses/Jesus pun before. But you can leave that pun aside
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:17 pm

You reach in and pull out a third box - if this is the LTPF, where one person can run three puzzles at a time, three boxes should be enough to work on at once. This one has blank wrapping paper but is held together with, not tape, but a sticker of a woman.
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:11 pm

Cheese: Is another word for "hole" relevant here? Pit? Cavity? Gap?

Relevant what kind of metal the character is made of? Relevant that the stripes are referred to as "navy"? Or would it still work if the color was referred to as dark blue? Does the shirt have long sleeves? Short sleeves? Relevant?

Is the woman on the sticker also a specific character/person? Fictional character? Real person? Relevant what she's doing? Wearing? Something else about her appearance?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby peter365 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:02 pm

Is the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz relevant? Hickory?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:36 pm

Cheese: Is another word for "hole" relevant here? No Pit? Cavity? Gap? None of these

Relevant what kind of metal the character is made of? See below Relevant that the stripes are referred to as "navy"? Only to help identify the shirt Or would it still work if the color was referred to as dark blue? Yes, see previous Does the shirt have long sleeves? Short sleeves? This Relevant? Yes, see earlier

Is the woman on the sticker also a specific character/person? No Fictional character? Not a specific person Real person? Not a specific person Relevant what she's doing? She's carrying a tray of glasses Wearing? She's wearing an apron Something else about her appearance? That's all that's notable about her

Is the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz relevant? Yes! Hickory? No
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:14 pm

Some kind of play on hole/whole relevant? Or other wordplay related to "hole(s)"?

Is the shirt (part of) an uniform of some kind? Work uniform? Sports?

Is the woman's job relevant? Is she a waitress? Would it still work if she was carrying plates? Glasses - drinking glasses? Eyeglasses? Relevant what type of glasses? Do they contain drinks? Relevant how many glasses? Are all the glasses the same?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Acridian9 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:07 am

I'm pretty sure in the metal man box there is a comet star (Tin Man --> Jack Haley --> Halley comet) .... but I still don't get the (baseball?) jersey clue.

Is the woman a waitress? the musical Waitress relevant?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby peter365 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:43 am

Is the shirt a Yankees jersey? If so is a particular yankee relevant? Babe Ruth - Baby Jesus? Di Maggio - Magi?

Is getting a new heart relevant? Did somebody called Newhart play for the yankees?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:29 pm

Some kind of play on hole/whole relevant? No Or other wordplay related to "hole(s)"? No wordplay in this clue

Is the shirt (part of) an uniform of some kind? Yes Work uniform? Sports? This, see below

Is the woman's job relevant? Yes Is she a waitress? Yes Would it still work if she was carrying plates? No Glasses - drinking glasses? This Eyeglasses? Relevant what type of glasses? Yes Do they contain drinks? Yes Relevant how many glasses? Looks like there are five, but I doubt the exact number is important Are all the glasses the same? No

I'm pretty sure in the metal man box there is a comet star (Tin Man --> Jack Haley --> Halley comet) .... but I still don't get the (baseball?) jersey clue. Star? No. Baseball jersey? Yes (see below)

Is the woman a waitress? Yes the musical Waitress relevant? No

Is the shirt a Yankees jersey? Yes If so is a particular yankee relevant? Yes Babe Ruth - Baby Jesus? Di Maggio - Magi? But not them and not these

Is getting a new heart relevant? OTRT, but not "getting a new heart" Did somebody called Newhart play for the yankees? Not according to Baseball Reference
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby gregoryuconn » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:30 pm

Derek Jeter = Cheater? Can I cheat to find the answer? Lou Gehrig = The Iron Horse = a horse?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:31 pm

Type of glasses: Any of them usually used for a specific type of drink? Do they include: Wine glass? Cocktail glass? Shot glass? Pint glass? Highball glass? Tall? Short? Wide? Thin? Are they all different from each other? Or are some of them the same?

Type of drink(s) relevant? Wine? Cocktail? Beer? Soda? Water? Juice? Milk? Smoothie? Milkshake? (Ice) tea? (Ice) coffee? Do all glasses contain the same drink? Are they all different?

Is the Yankees player someone currently on the team?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:28 pm

Derek Jeter = Cheater? No Can I cheat to find the answer? I don't know how that's possible, as all forms of reference (including and especially the Internet) are allowed Lou Gehrig = The Iron Horse = a horse? No

Type of glasses: Any of them usually used for a specific type of drink? Do they include: Wine glass? Cocktail glass? This Shot glass? Pint glass? Highball glass? Tall? Short? Wide? Thin? Are they all different from each other? Or are some of them the same? They all look like normal cocktail glasses

Type of drink(s) relevant? Yes Wine? Cocktail? They appear to be various cocktails Beer? Soda? Water? Juice? Milk? Smoothie? Milkshake? (Ice) tea? (Ice) coffee? Do all glasses contain the same drink? No Are they all different? They look different

Is the Yankees player someone currently on the team? No, FA
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby trebor » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:59 am

Getty Images has a photo of a different (I think) Jack Haley in a Yankees uniform? Relevant? Just so I’m clear, is it the Tin Man figure who’s wearing the uniform here? Is the FA that the man in the jersey denotes a player? Does it refer to a coach? Manager? Steinbrenner? Stengel? Casey At The Bat relevant? Is there a relevant Yankee who had heart issues? Or a pacemaker?

Is Buddy Ebsen relevant? Bill Skowron?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:19 pm

Getty Images has a photo of a different (I think) Jack Haley in a Yankees uniform? Relevant?No, I haven't seen that photo Just so I’m clear, is it the Tin Man figure who’s wearing the uniform here? Yes Is the FA that the man in the jersey denotes a player? Yes Does it refer to a coach? Manager? This - and actually you've skipped a step, as the jersey was of Joe Torre (if you'd asked about the number, I'd have said it has a 6 on it) but the important thing is that he was a manager Steinbrenner? Stengel? NeitherCasey At The Bat relevant? No Is there a relevant Yankee who had heart issues? No Or a pacemaker? No

Is Buddy Ebsen relevant? Bill Skowron? Neither
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby peter365 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:25 am

Ok so a Manager without a heart is a manger . So the first element of the nativity scene we've uncovered is the manger that served as a crib for the baby Jesus.

Very clever clue Balin .
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:55 pm

Ok so a Manager without a heart is a manger . So the first element of the nativity scene we've uncovered is the manger that served as a crib for the baby Jesus. Indeed, opening this package reveals a small sculpted manger, and we can begin setting the scene.

Grabbing another package from the pile, your hand snatches one up that is wrapped in clear paper with red and green spots. The paper appears to be fixed in place with a pin.


Very clever clue Balin . Thanks!
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby trebor » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:29 pm

Is it relevant what type of cocktails the waitress is carrying? Bloody Mary? Or a Virgin Mary? Martini? Manhattan? Margarita? Old Fashioned? Mojito? Daiquiri? Gin and tonic? Or what bar/restaurant she works for? Is she meant to be a Playboy Bunny?

Are the cheeses on the other parcel in alphabetical order? Does this parcel reference a movie? Song? Sport? Sports figure? Biblical figure? Christmas figure? An animal?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:44 am

Is it relevant what type of cocktails the waitress is carrying? Nope Bloody Mary? Or a Virgin Mary? Martini? Manhattan? Margarita? Old Fashioned? Mojito? Daiquiri? Gin and tonic? IrrelOr what bar/restaurant she works for? No Is she meant to be a Playboy Bunny? No

Are the cheeses on the other parcel in alphabetical order? No Does this parcel reference a movie? This, actually, but only as a step on the LTPF-logic path to a Nativity figure Song? Sport? Sports figure? Biblical figure? See prev Christmas figure? An animal?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby gregoryuconn » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:01 pm

Are the Cheeses Jesus? Or would that be too easy?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Zanreo » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:19 am

Clear spotted paper: relevant that the colors green and red are associated with Christmas?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:27 pm

Are the Cheeses Jesus? Or would that be too easy? The cheeses are not meant to signify Jesus - not saying Jesus isn't in this box, but the clue is not cheeses = Jesus

Clear spotted paper: relevant that the colors green and red are associated with Christmas? No, but it's very convenient for the clue
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Acridian9 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:34 pm

For the cheeses:
Is the frase "no holes" or "without holes" relevant? "no/without eyes"? bindness? Braille Alphabet?
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Re: [Balin] Never any convenient time (an homage)

Postby Balin » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:14 pm

For the cheeses:
Is the frase "no holes" This or "without holes" relevant? "no/without eyes"? But not this bindness? Braille Alphabet? And not these
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