Once again you evil geniuses provided a night of fun and
frustration. Thank you?
It's only taken me eight years to figure out how to tackle
the page of final instructions.
A twisted path, a tortured course. It would have been much
quicker to have made a guess. Enjoyable nevertheless! Thanks
to the compiler/s.
Thanks once again for the pleasantly torturous twelve days
of Christmas presents.
Thank you again for a very fun puzzle. I got to explore
Novum more thoroughly.
Devilishly clever ‘Yacht Funeral’ / Half a Century: so the
one letter answer you are looking for must be ‘L’. Was going
to go back to bed but the sun is coming up!
I guessed the response (about halfway through the contest)
based on the instructions concerning Roman numerals and
which numbers correspond to which letters. (Also the bit
about ‘little miniature answer’). But I still haven’t worked
it out the correct way (I wonder how many people did) and am
looking forward to seeing what that is. Thanks again for
running the contest. Happy New Year Jens and Roland!
FWiW the eBay auction was ingenious, whose price tag
informed my lateral thinking of my technical blind alley.
Well done Roland. This year I stayed sober and it made no
difference. I KNEW the answer would be ‘L’ but couldn’t
parse it for the life of me.
Personally I really enjoyed the quiz despite this being my
first attempt. At numerous turns I was amused and tearing my
hair out in frustration, particularly on the night of the
final clue, to be met with a bemused conclusion. It had
become no longer about a prize in many ways but a
sleuth-like battle of wits while being tormented with
nuggets of nonsense. Wonderful stuff! A massive ‘thank you’
for all your work on the quiz and of course the BtP site.
Congratulations, you outdid yourself again with the quizzes!
The final instructions were sheer torture! Happy New Year to
you and your family and thanks for the annual entertainment!
It did take three hours on and off, but I started at 4am and
was very sleepy!
Come on, man, I must say that this year you were especially
cruel in your final instructions, particularly to ‘thinkers’
and ‘lateral thinkers’. I don’t know if I am one of them but
I’m sure there isn’t enough lead in one #2 pencil to
calculate the answer. Keep up the good work.
Well I like the fact that I was temporarily thrown by the
fact that the fake CD had TWO world class musicians on it –
Charlie Chaplin, and I presume the bearded gentleman was
Johannes Brahms – both of whom have sold millions. Putin was
a little harder to explain.......Kremlin Rap?
Congratulations. You have earned the ‘Irwin Mainway Prize’
for developing a twelve-step program that will lead a man
to drink. You also take home the ‘Douglas Adams Ingenuity
Award’ for devising a Byzantine labyrinth of conundrumology
by simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57
Sub-Meson Brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a
strong Brownian Motion producer.
Enjoyed the puzzles very much. The final one threw me as I
was not prepared for the convoluted calculation at the end …
especially just beyond midnight. It later dawned on me that
the theme was the Fiftieth Anniversary but I had already
gone to bed. Only submitted correct answer next morning.
Great fun though. Keep up the good work!
Annual fun and games – an institution – but sometimes you
are just having a busy (or celebratory) night and just don’t
want to do the puzzle at midnight! I was convinced a
calculated guess might prove successful – but then no! It is
a very special subset of the population who can both run a
Procol Harum website and devise such fiendish puzzles! Never
give them up!
I write while listening to our great inspiration – no, not
that one – JS Bach < laughs>. Actually, I simply guessed
that the answer, being a single Roman letter, had to be ‘L
I have to confess that I solved the game just with the last
instruction (‘Send us only one letter with the Roman
number’). Since I couldn’t work out the anagram quickly, I
just went by intuition with the Fiftieth Anniversary concept
theme and tried the ‘fifty’ in Roman numbers ... after
sending it anyway I was able to work out the anagram and had
the confirmation that I was right!
I must admit, I struggled along the way. But fortunately the
words to the wise were there. And when the dodgy eBay-CD was
priced at £ 50 I began to see the light. Thank you and best
I’m very sorry to have answered with a kind of desperate
attempt, because in this minute I feel like the Hesperus,
I wrecked about the finale anagram. As every year I have to
admit that BtP Quizzes are one of my very favourite way to
spend my Christmas time. See you soon, and have a very good
I’ve tried in the past to do the solution while still
hammered – as you know we take New Year very seriously up
here – but this time around I was scheduled to work Friday
morning so was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (ish) when
Thursday turned into Friday. I changed my routine and didn’t
try and solve anything after day three until day eleven, so
I could get a feel of what was going on. A long sober
session on Thursday evening gave me answers 4–11, or so I
thought. I saw through some of your more obvious traps. But
some laziness or urgency (or panic) started to set in when
‘YACHT FUNERAL’ wasn’t immediately what appeared – like that
would have made a difference! But ONE wrong answer was
stopping me from getting the benefit of ‘anagram-solver’,
and eventually I gave up and went to bed at 1am. In looking
at the broader clue about time-periods, I had guessed the
answer around 00:30, but didn’t want to burn my bridges by
putting up a wrong response. I went to work and afterwards
met [a friend] for a drink Friday teatime, at which point I
predicted what the answer would be, before sitting down with
paper and pen and reworking the whole thing on Saturday
morning. I’ll be interested to hear when the first correct
answers appeared. Thanks again.
Record-breaking low temperatures and an officially-declared
blizzard led into the final moments of this year’s Christmas
Conundrums. That, and a visiting son, daughter-in-law, and
two grand-babies. Being at least half-optimistic, I
enlisted the help of my son and his wife – I mean, why
wouldn’t they want to spend hours of their visit to New York
helping me and TLC figure out a convoluted, twisting path of
clues? Oh, right. They’re normal people … and the babies
didn’t even try. Once again, an amazing, frustrating, fun
batch of distractions! And of course, yet another excuse to
re-hash the musical legacy of one of the finest groups of
I always enjoy these year-end puzzles. I must say, given
your instructions on how to play, I was left with a
preconceived answer of ‘L’. Had to be, fifty years, Roman
numerals, small answer etc., well before the first puzzle.
Regardless, I did the puzzles every night and seemed to do
well until Puzzles 11 and 12. I wound up with the short
message being ‘YACHTFUNERBS’. I knew I was off. So, went
back, and struggled and gave up after 45 minutes and just
submitted my preconceived answer. Got lucky. The next
morning, light bulb! Must be ‘YACHT FUNERAL’, therefore my
answer to Puzzles 11 and 12 were wrong. Quite cute that the
example was ‘where ships come home to die’. I’m on the right
track. Stumped again, though, with the anagram: must have
been brain dead by then. I spotted ‘YEAR’ in there, and then
figured it was ‘FAT LUNCH YEAR’. What is a fat lunch year …
Google would know? Google didn’t. So, I did consult with my
daughter Katie, who is on the rise of being a big PH fan.
Took her last year to Gary’s concert in New York City,
thanks to you guys. I explained where I was stumped and what
I thought the answer should still be: the elusive ‘L’.
Immediately she said ‘half a century’. That’s it!
I must have gone terribly wrong somewhere as the twelve
letters I was left with after my deliberations made no sense
whatsoever. Thankfully, I read the final instruction again
after thirty minutes had passed and realised the obvious
one-letter answer. Pity I didn’t read it sooner! Another
consummate, cunning conundrum to while away the long
Christmas nights. Many thanks to everyone involved in its
preparation and hatching ! Quite splendid! Already counting
down to this year’s.
Woohoo. Thanks for a great, and at times baffling, puzzle.
Now that I’m in the Homburg in my too-long overcoat and
badly-laced shoes, I can tell you this: I’m pretty sure I
missed a ‘Q or II’, and started to lose my way toward the
end of the Final Instruction. The ‘math’ was fine, but my
solution to the ‘little message / anagram’ was dubious, but
it made sense, sort of. Well! ... then came the ‘cumulative
visual / aural clue’ which I couldn’t sort for the life of
me. Then I thought ‘OK, this is Roland and Jens, whose
thinking I’m (only) starting to suss – where are they going,
wandering through their playing cards – what’s the Big
Common Thing here?). Bang. Anniversary!’ Since this tour and
year for that matter was all about the Lth Anniversary,
there’s my answer. What a great time! My third go, and my
favourite, so far. I’m going to guess the Boxed Set and
Print are already gone, but I got those covered. Excellent!
I sat down on the eve before the last day’s puzzle and tried
to figure out what you guys were up to, and if I could
anticipate your final clue. I had a great idea and I told my
wife and she liked it. I figured even if you had a long
answer to the puzzle, there might be a quicker and easier
solution that was from clues right in front of me: the Roman
numerals and the Fiftieth Anniversary of Procol Harum. I
thought of what happens in the movie The Last of Sheila. In
the movie, the answer was right there in the photo in front
of everyone. I first converted the letters in my correct
questions to numbers via the converter on your instruction
page. The eleven numbers I got added up to 48. So I said to
my wife if the last day’s correct question is number two
then that must be it! If it adds up to 50 and then just
convert it to Roman numerals since you hinted it was a
‘miniature answer’ and I figured it had to be maybe one
letter, ‘L’. The night your final clue was due to go online,
we got hit with a snowstorm. We actually lost power for
about an hour. When it came back online I checked the
website and found out the final question. But, I was under
the gun as I wanted to get outside and take care of the snow
before the power went out, and – just in case we lost power
again and lost the internet – I sent it out anyway. I was
outside for three hours. So there I was, content in my
answer even though I kept checking the posted way to the
final solution and not coming up with what I initially had.
But I was sure I was right in the Procol universe. The
answer found its way to me. Thanks for all your hard work on
the puzzle and website.
Have to say that ‘yacht funeral’ still means nothing and
various other clues simply flew over my head and didn’t
register in any remote shape or form. At times I thought I
may need medical mental intervention, such was the
frustration: particularly on the final clue where I
unfortunately went through the process of counting letters,
checking brackets, hyphenated words and still not getting
the necessary anagram letters in their totality. But all’s
well that ends well and I feel vindicated, but Thank You,
Thank You, Thank You for the enjoyment, entertainment and
This year I feel particularly sad because it’s the first
edition of Christmas Conundrums I play without my mother,
who sailed for parts unknown to man last 15 August, but
first of all because I feel guilty for having failed the
solution knowing that I have been a kind of fount of
inspiration. But, thinking about it, this was my prize, and
what a prize! I’m very honoured for this gift from you,
Roland! I add that as you can imagine this year it was more
important for me to spend my Christmas time with warm and
faithful friends than your puzzles are for me.
I can see why you like that first comment from the 2015 set.
Because, well, you are … :)