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Help with a puzzle - A novel I'm writing

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Postby NickyDude » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:45 pm

I need help for an ingenious way to solve a puzzle for a novel I'm writing. Here's the run up to the puzzle:

The knight looked down the long stone corridor and narrowed his eyes, may be it was the long slits either side of the wall, or perhaps it was the shaft of sunlight streaming in from high above that made him suspicious. He held up his left hand over his right shoulder which told the wizard to stay where he was then moved his hand down to his sword , which he pulled out slowly.

Moving forward slowly, he quickly waved his sword between the first two slits, then quickly took two steps back, when nothing happened he moved forward again and waved his sword between the first two slits, again nothing happened. Thinking for a second he turned his sword downward and stabbed it into the floor and crouched, nothing.

"Throw me the backpack."

The wizard removed the backpack and heaved it toward the knight who caught it and placed it on the ground. Removing the rope from around his shoulder he tied one end to the backpack and wound the other around his wrist. Stepping back from between the first two slits the knight grabbed the backpack and flung it across the floor down the corridor.

The backpack skidded and bumped along the ground and passed through the shaft of light, almost immediately there was a mechanical clicking sound and four large double-headed axes swung across the corridor from inside the slits, two from the left and two from the right chopping the rope and just missing the backpack, they disappeared back into the slits with a whirring sound and a click.

The knight straightened himself and stuck out his chin thoughtfully. Placing his hand over it and tapping his lips with his forefinger he turned to the wizard then back to the corridor...


How would the knight and wizard get past the swinging blades?
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Postby ralphmerridew » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:28 am

What else do the knight and the wizard have? What sort of spells does the wizard know?
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Postby NickyDude » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:43 am

This is why I've left it open. This is the start of the novel and the knight and wizard are of no importance to the story (this is why they don't have names). Imagine you were watching a film, it needs some ingenious way so the audience says "now that's a good idea!" It's hard to explain but who they are and what they are carrying only lasts for a couple of pages of chapter one, after that they are never referred too again.

Having said that I really don't want the wizard to whip up some great spell that will get them past with ease and leaving the audience saying "is that it?".

Sorry I can't make it any clearer. I don't just want them to get past it, but get past it in a clever way. I was thinking of having the knight's sword jammed somewhere, or perhaps having a statue that could be moved nearby.
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Postby ralphmerridew » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:02 am

- Dump glue or the like (or summon it with a spell) into the slits so that the axes get stuck.

- Try pouring sand into the slits. If it's a well-oiled machine, that may clog up the gears.

- The axes have to get their energy from somewhere. Keep throwing pebbles or somesuch until enough is drained.

- He could try holding something at the top of the slit, where the axe handle would pass.

- Whoever built this passage presumably left a way to pass it safely. Search carefully for that means.
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Postby Beanless » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:43 pm

So...hold on...what's actually triggering the mechanism here? Something about the shaft of light or...am I missing something?
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Postby KFAdrift » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:10 pm

How about that there is a large wooden table which they slide along so that when the axes swing they embed themselves in the wood of the table. Then the knight and wizard slip by.
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Postby NickyDude » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:07 pm

Thanks guys, some interesting stuff there. "- He could try holding something at the top of the slit, where the axe handle would pass.". That I liked and might have two suits of armour back along the passage holding pikes. The knight can place one of these over the slits as the axes come back. Thank you. :cool:
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