Bob’s 2015 Christmas Puzzle Card

Elves of the Round Table Puzzle

The elves have gathered for their annual pre-Christmas organizational meeting. The first order of business is the Ritual of the Hats.

Every elf announces the colors of the hats worn by the five elves he can see. Since elves have very poor periperal vision, they can only see the elf directly across from them and the next two on either side of that elf.

There are only two colors of hats, red and green. Two elves would like more color choices. While they are bound by tradition and only wear red or green, they have closed their eyes — and shut their mouths — as a symbolic protest.

Your goal is to color each elf’s hat, consistent with the hat colors the elves have reported.

Each elf can see the five across from him — for instance Bowan can see Eddle, Ewina, Feach, Garou and Gnote, and she says they’re wearing three red hats and two green ones.

Solution (don't look if you don't want to see it!)
Step-by-step solution

Additional Challenges

(1) The elf names all come from the classic poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas”. Can you find their names in the poem? Note that they may start in one word and end in another.

(2) What hidden message is encoded by these elves?

(3) What musical significance is there to the arrangement of the shapes of hats the elves are wearing in the puzzle?

Solutions (don't look if you don't want to see them!)