Bob’s 2022 Christmas Puzzle Card

Santa's Puzzle Rings

The North Pole has not escaped the specter of hacking and identity theft. Santa wants to set up a secret phrase his elves can use to prove they are who they say they are. But how can the elves be expected to remember yet another password?

To solve this problem, Santa has had special multi-layer rings made and given to every elf. A two-layer ring hides a low-security passphrase — used, say, when the elves order lunch in the North Pole cafeteria. A three-layer ring conceals the passphrase for higher security settings — for example to give the reindeer the “go” signal on Christmas Eve.

Sadly, the ringsmith's apprentice has posted copies of the rings' disks on wiki-leaks.

Print the puzzle image (above) on card stock. You can get a higher-resolution version of the image by clicking on it. Cut the outline of the figures using scissors or a craft knife (e.g. X-Acto). Do NOT cut any of the interior lines.

Arrange the disks for ring 1, top above bottom. You may find it helpful to poke a hole in the center of each disk and use the point of a pencil to keep them aligned. Try to find the proper rotation of the disks so the exposed letters spell out a Christmassy phrase.

Similarly, arrange the three disks for ring 2 and try to discover another Christmassy phrase.

Commentary It can be difficult for a puzzle designer to guage the difficulty of a puzzle. The ring 2 puzzle may be very difficult. Keep in mind that some herrings may be of the same color as Santa's suit.

Higher resultion drawing, better for printing
Solution for ring 1 (don't look if you don't want to see it!)
Solution for ring 2 (don't look if you don't want to see it!)
Cover art from the physical card