Making_Magic

Welcome to Puzzle Week!

Walk Softly And Carry A Big Acrostic

  • Boards
  • Print
Author Image

The letter W!elcome to Puzzle Week! This week we've decided to try something way, way off the beaten path and try a very untraditional theme. (Puzzles if you didn't catch the subtle hint in the title.) So I thought long and hard about what kind of puzzle would allow me to interweave Magic design stories. And then Mark Gottlieb suggested doing an acrostic. You see, Mark has a bit of a past with puzzle-making (way too extensive for me to summarize here, but if it involves puzzles, Mark's probably done it).

For those unfamiliar with acrostics, here's how they work. The goal of the puzzle is to figure out a quotation. (This one is by me as there's not a lot of historical quotes about Magic design as it relates to puzzles.) Each letter of the quotation is assigned a chronological number. The letters from the quotation are then broken up and rearranged to spell a number of words (twenty-three for this puzzle). Each word is then given a clue. Solve the clues and you can start piecing together the quotation. Sound simple enough?

To try to provide the weekly dosage of Magic design material, I've tried to choose as many words as possible that pertain to Magic design. (I was shocked by how many I was able to get. – Hey, maybe that Gottlieb does know a thing or two about puzzles.) If you need some extra help (or just want to double-check your answer) the solution has been posted in the message board for this article.

Note that for most systems you should be able to actually enter your answers in for each question and the acrostic will automatically populate with the letters in their correct spaces. However, some system configurations may not work this way, in which case you can usually just enter the answer and then transfer the letters to the acrostic by typing them into the puzzle yourself. (Here at the office we found this was the case with Macs running Internet Explorer, but Macs seemed fine with Firefox or Safari.) In a real pinch, you can also just print the puzzle out and have at it with good old pencil and paper. But enough of my non-puzzle yapping. Let's do some acrostic!


1G

2A

3T

4I

5V

6J

7B

8W

9F
 
10N

11P

12R

13M

14G
 
15A

16L
   

17D

18E

19F

20V

21B

22I

23P

24K

25L

26M

27A
 
28W

29V
 
30M

31F

32T

33W
 

34V

35A
'
36D
 
37O

38M
 
39S

40D

41R

42U

43A

44N

45Q

46H

47J
     

48L

49A

50E

51D

52P

53V
 
54G

55S

56N

57M

58A
 
59W

60I

61L

62F

63V

64A
 

65D

66P
 
67T

68G

69C

70D

71O

72P

73U

74M

75J
 
76W

77C

78D

79Q

80I

81H
 

82M

83K

84D
 
85A

86G

87C

88S

89B

90M

91H

92R
 
93I

94M
         

95I

96T

97M

98D

99Q

100B

101V
.  
102I

103P

104U

105C
 
106B

107M

108G

109V
   

110J

111A

112O

113R

114D

115L

116U

117G

118P

119F

120D
,  
121A

122M

123E

124W

125J
'
126G

127N

128O

129J

130B

131M

132L
 
133P

134F

135A

136V

137I

138G

139Q

140D
         

141G

142K

143I

144S

145U

146W

147V

148C

149T
 
150A

151M

152R
 
153V

154H
       

155A

156K

157P
 
158O

159A

160P

161V
.                      


64

155

49

111

58

135

2

121
 
43

150
 
85

15

27

159

35

A) This is an artifact that I really liked and always wanted to bring back in a revamped form. The trick to solving this design puzzle was to recreate it as a multi-colored enchantment.



106

7

21

130

100

89

B) This marquee artifact's original card power inspired a white enchantment in Unhinged.



69

148

105

77

87

C) This reprint in Mirrodin spent its entire time in design as a strictly inferior version of the reprint. And design still believes to this day that the strictly inferior version would have seen constructed play.



120

84

17

78

51

40

98
 
70

140

65

114

36

D) The key to solving a Sliver design problem in Tempest was to simply obsolete this card.



50

123

18

E) If a Magic designer wishes for enlightenment, he could turn to this school of Mahayana Buddhism.



119

62

9

31

19

F) This black instant gives -1/-1 to target creature.



126

138

68

86

117
 
14

54

108

1

141

G) The inspiration for this mechanic was the Unglued card B.F.M.



46

154

81

91

H) The 2004 Magic World Champion, for example.



60

102

93

143

4

95

137

80

22

I) In its cycle, this card could best be called "the red artifact boon".



129

75

47

6

110

125

J) Slang term for a small creature.



142

156

24

83

K) Word that comes after "splice".



132

48

25

61

115

16

L) The key to solving the design puzzle that this mechanic presented was to realize that these creatures needed to be able to use their ability on any creature, not just on each other.



82

107

134

26

30

97

13

38
 
151

94
 
131

90

57

74

122

M) This artifact was tweaked years later by adding three to its mana cost and subtracting two from its activation cost.



10

127

44

56

N) This card's art was not commissioned for a Magic set. The current art director saw the piece at an art show and bought the rights to the image.



112

71

158

37

128

O) A mathematical term, a breakfast cereal, and a word used in Magic (although most often following another word).



133

118

66

157

23

52

11

103

160

72

P) This card (which was first almost printed in a black-bordered set, then almost printed in a silver-bordered set, and then finally was printed – in a black-bordered set) was the answer to the design puzzle of how to capture the essence of a popular but rules-troubling rare instant from Alpha.



79

99

45

139

Q) The enthusiastic devotion that a good Magic designer should have.



12

113

41

152

92

R) This group of cards was the result of trying to solve the puzzle of making connected cards that didn't reference one another by name in their text boxes.



55

88

144

39

S) It believes that humans are born as a blank slate with the potential to do anything.



3

67

32

96

149

T) This mechanic was the result of solving the puzzle of "how can an instant not be an instant?"



42

104

73

145

116

U) Slang term for something you have to deliver if you hope to win.



5

53

153

101

136

147

63

109
 
161

34

29

20

V) This nonbasic land was created to solve an age-old puzzle of Magic design: What penalties can nonbasic lands have other than “comes into play tapped”? Incredibly, this card ended up appearing in a set released before the set it was originally designed for! (When the card was designed the development team at the time stole it away from the design team to fill a hole in the set they were finishing up.)



146

59

76

124

28

8

33

W) This mechanic was created when the designers solved the puzzle of how to make a number of seemingly different cards into one mechanic.

And that, my faithful readers, is my column for today. A little different, I know. I'm curious to hear any feedback on what you thought of it.

Join me January 3rd when I get into the mindset of an ass, and next week when the first of the two Best of 2004 weeks begins on magicthegathering.com.

Until then, may you enjoy the puzzles in your life.

Mark Rosewater

  • Planeswalker Points
  • Facebook Twitter
  • Gatherer: The Magic Card Database
  • Forums: Connect with the Magic Community
  • Magic Locator