Puzzle #017: “Da Vincent" Code
Difficulty Level: medium

It’s almost time for Vincent the Bear to go into hibernation for the winter. In order to protect his food stash he’s hidden it somewhere deep in his cave that no one will ever find. It’s a hiding place so diabolical that Vincent is afraid even HE won’t remember where it is when he wakes up! To help jog his addled brain he cleverly hid the location on an innocent looking To Do list. Can you figure out where the food is before Vincent wakes up and mauls you?

The puzzle consists of two main images, made to look like old note paper or memo pads, with fairly large, sloppy handwriting (supposedly Vincent’s). There are a couple different samples of notebook paper in the design guide that could work for this. The two pieces of notepaper could have some doodles on them – perhaps using line art samples of the characters from the design guide – and maybe smudges from food or paw prints too. The exact number or type doesn’t matter and won’t affect the puzzle. No additional text should be added to either image, however.

Here is the text from the first “To Do List”:

To Do List:
- hibernate in 3 days!!
- sleep (at least 3 hours)
- eat berries
- nap
- rest
- gather food
• find 3 berry bushes
• eat 1 berry bush
- nap 2 hours
- dinner
- rest
- dessert – 7 berry pie
- check on food stash - 2 times!
- bed

Here is the text from the second “To Do List”:

To Do List: - 1 day to go!
- hibernate tomorrow – 1 more chance to gather food
- sleep
- eat 1 jar of honey
- rest
- gather food
• find 5 berry bushes
• eat 1 berry bush
- nap
- dinner – 1 lb of roots
- rest
- dessert – honey bread
- check on food stash - twice
- early bed

Puzzle Solution: The secret to figuring out Vincent’s hidden message and where his food is stashed is to use the numbers that are sprinkled throughout the text on both To Do Lists. Each time a number appears, it tells you to use the letter in that position from the same line as part of Vincent’s hidden message.

For example, “hibernate in 3 days!!” tells you to pull out the third letter or the “b” from hibernate. It only counts if the number is shown as a number (2) and not spelled out in any form (twice, first, etc.) The resulting complete hidden message and where Vincent has stashed his food is: beneath the bed.

Puzzle Production: This is predominantly a text puzzle but requires graphics that deliver it in the tone and look of the overall campaign. It could be either a simple static web page with an entry form for the answer, or it could be animated slightly, perhaps to show Vincent’s cave den in total, and then allowing the player to notice and click on the two To Do Lists that might be hanging on a bulletin board or something. They would then enlarge into focus, enabling the player to try and solve the puzzle.