Bobs 2010 Christmas Puzzle Card
(If you are looking for the 2011 card, please
55 Elves Flexagon Puzzle
This years puzzle makes use of a flexagon a device with
several layers of paper that can be folded in certain ways to reveal faces
other than the those that are initially visible. The two initially visible
faces are shown below.
Two pdf files are provided for constructing the flexagon. The
single-sided one can be printed on one
side of an ordinary piece of paper. The
double-sided one should be printed on
both sides of paper, or card stock, and makes two copies of the flexagon.
Construction instructions are included in the last page of each document.
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There are three puzzles in this years cardtwo mazes and a
word puzzle. The mazes both involve stepping from elf to elf until you reach
the North Pole. All steps will move to an elf next to the one you are moving
from, and the direction of your step will be completely determined by the elf
you are leaving. However, depending on how you have folded the card, you may
have more than one choice of elf to step to.
Before attempting the mazes, play around with the card to understand
how folding it can reveal elves hidden inside. Depending on how the card is
currently folded, you will be able to fold one of the edges of the card, either
toward you (in) or away from you (back).
If you see Arplu, Hacla, Istof and Thedo across the top edge of the
card, and fold the top and bottom edges into the middle, Yalla, Hadju, Rawnu
and Hemoo will now be along the top. If you then fold the left and right edges
into the middle, you'll have a shape like a plus sign with Hoofa and Ralon at
the top. Folding top and bottom in then brings Ikero, Hesno, Tumpo and Herke to
the top. And folding left and right in brings back Arplu and his gang.
Puzzle 1. The Eyes Have It
Starting at Okeno (the elf with the stylish gray hat), step elf-by-elf
to the North Pole. The direction you must step is shown by the elves
eyes. If an elf is looking left, you must step left, if he is looking down, you
must step down, and so on. If an elfs eyes are closed, you have reached a
For example, if you were visiting Opest, who is looking left, you could
step to Vealu. But instead, you could fold the left edge back, then step from
Opest to Spack.
When an elf directs you to step off the edge of the card, you must fold
the card so that there is an elf ready to be stepped to.
The solution visits seven other elves, and uses three edge folding
Puzzle 2. Hats Off To You
Starting again at Okeno, again step elf-by-elf to the North Pole. This
time your direction is determined by the direction of the ball on each
elfs hat. Elves without hats are dead ends.
The solution visits thirteen other elves, and uses thirteen edge
Puzzle 3. Have Your Elf a Merry Little Xmas
There are 55 elves on the card. Their names all appear in the classic
poem A Visit From St. Nicholas, written nearly 200 years ago by
Clement C. Moore.
While many people can recite the eight reindeer named in that poem (and
recite them in order), few realize the names of 55 elves are also hidden
within. For example, the phrase like a bowl full of jelly hides the
name Keabo (but he isnt one of the elves on the card).
The first challenge is to figure out the words each elfs name
comes from. The second challenge is to list the 55 elves in the order they
occur in the poem.
- How does Santa deliver to all those houses in one night?
- How does Santa deliver gifts inside houses that dont have a chimney?
- How does Santa eat all those cookies and not get sick?
- Does a Partridge in a Pear Tree really make a good Christmas Gift?
- Do Partridges eat pears?
- Why do sugarplums have their own fairies, but candy canes dont?
- Why isnt Keabo on the card?
(don't look if you don't want to see em!)
Solution to The Eyes Have It
Solution to Hats Off To You
Solution to Have Your Elf a Merry Little Xmas
Answers to Conundrums