BANG 22 Solutions

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These are the solutions to each of the puzzles in BANG 22. To view them individually, use the Bang 22 page.

Journal Solution[edit]

Many of the words are in the long, rambling journal entry are contracted, both normally ("can't") and poetically ("e're"). Paying attention to the apostrophe in each contraction reveals that it's pointing different directions. Taking the letter that each apostrophe points to reveals GET NOTES AT END OF PALM TREE PATH. The only palm trees in Albert Park are at the entrance path. At the end of the path was a staff member who handed a set of photos and the solution word for the puzzle: CENSORSHIP.

Graffiti Solution[edit]

The text accompanying the puzzle mentions "elements" and "Mendeleev", hinting at using the periodic table. Dividing each word up yields periodic symbols as follows:

  • closes - Cl O Se S
  • passe - P As Se
  • at - At
  • fosse - F O S Se
  • briar - Br I Ar
  • poise - Po I Se
  • son - S O N
  • seasons - Se As O N S

Noticing that all the elements for each word fall with in a 2x3 grid in the periodic table and making use of the "blind" hint in the puzzle's text, the next step is to treat the element locations as a Braille pattern, each graffiti word as a single letter. This results in the puzzle's solution: RHAPSODY.

Calendar Solution[edit]

The appointment times are never set for after the 26th of each month, indicating to treat each day in the month as a letter. Using only the dates the appointments fall on and taking them in time order for each month reveals a holiday:

  • January - LUPERCALIA (2/15)
  • February - INDEPENDENCE EVE (7/3)
  • March - YOUTH DAY (8/12)
  • April - ENVIRONMENT DAY (6/5)
  • May - APRIL FOOLS (4/1)
  • June - AFL-CIO DAY (12/5)
  • July - MARTIN LUTHER KING (1/19)
  • August - UNITED STATES DAY (9/9)
  • September - VICTORIA DAY (5/18)
  • October - GEOGRAPHY DAY (11/19)
  • November - GIRL SCOUT DAY (3/12)
  • December - WORLD FOOD DAY (10/16)

Looking up each holiday on the calendar reveals a date. Each date falls on a different month. Taking the month as the ordering and the day as a letter gives SOLAR ECLIPSE.

Chessboard Solution[edit]

The solutions to the across clues fill in the grid. The solutions to the snake clues fill in the shaped pieces, with the first letter where the clue number is.


  • A. Lawyers have passed it; City in Montana - BARBUTTE
  • B. Saddened by the loss of a loved one - BEREAVED
  • C. Serious; Quiet! - SOMBERSH
  • D. Actress Winger, familiarly; Ineffective bullet - DEBBLANK
  • E. Dr. org.; Subsidiary rule - AMABYLAW
  • F. ER worker; Go back on a promise - RNRENEGE
  • G. Competitor of Marvel; Long step - DCSTRIDE
  • H. Crossed the English Channel the hard way; Sigh of relief - SWAMWHEW

Snakes: (Some of the snakes contained a chess piece as part of the solution. The chess piece name fits into a single square.)

  1. Egyptian cross - ANKH
  2. Borough that was once home to the Dodgers - B(ROOK)LYN
  3. Shepherds carry these - C(ROOK)S
  4. Over-reactor - DRAMA(QUEEN)
  5. Roof edge - EAVE
  6. Type of fund - HEDGE
  7. Pestering - IR(KING)
  8. Metallica drummer - LARS
  9. More to Juan - MAS
  10. Homer’s bartender - MOE
  11. Hocked - (PAWN)ED
  12. Autumn chore - RA(KING)
  13. Countered - REBUTTED
  14. Offspring (e.g. of Satan) - S(PAWN)
  15. Seabird - TERN
  16. Monday or Thursday evening, for example - WEE(KNIGHT)

The snakes can be assembled to make a chessboard that overlays the across answers. The snake squares with chess pieces overlayed either a "B" or a "W", indicating which color the chess piece is. Placing the white knight given with the puzzle on the appropriate square, the next step is to perform a knight's tour so that the piece is never in danger of being taken. The tour ends when black is in checkmate. The squares that the white knight passes over during the tour spell out GRANDMASTER.

Gridworks Solution[edit]

Treating each color as its own nonogram/paint-by-numbers puzzle shows some overlap, which is why teams were given two copies. Using both sheets to fill in a complete nonogram for each color gives several separate sections (See graphic). Using the dotted lines of the grid as in indicator, the next step is to cut out each section. Fitting them together and rotating where necessary, gives a 5x13 grid which reads A FAMOUS EQUATION FROM THIS MATHEMATICIAN EQUATES E TO M MULTIPLIED C SQUARED (the "J" is not used - see graphic). The famous equation is, of course, for energy-mass equivalency, developed by EINSTEIN.

Symbols Solution[edit]

This puzzle took place at Boyd Park in San Rafael. Looking around the park (with a little imagination perhaps) shows that the symbols match an item in the environment. In front of each is a sign showing a set of numbers and two numbers, one with an circle-slash near it and the other with a checkmark. Thus, each site is a set determinate operation: If the input number is in the set, perform the operation near the checkmark; otherwise, perform the operation near the circle-slash. Using the number in front of each group of symbols as the starting value, the operations are as follows:

  • 1 -> is a square -> add 4, giving 5 -> is prime -> multiply by 3, giving 15 -> is not 13 or less -> divide by 5, giving 3
  • 2 -> is not odd -> multiply by 5, giving 10 -> is not 14 or more -> add 6, giving 16 -> is even -> subtract 1, giving 15
  • 3 -> is not a multiple of 7 -> multiply by 4, giving 12 -> is even -> subtract 1, giving 11 -> is not a cube -> add 2, giving 13
  • 4 -> is a square -> add 4, giving 8 -> is a cube -> subtract 7, giving 1 -> is 13 or less -> multiply by 2, giving 2
  • 5 -> is not even -> add 10, giving 15 -> is a multiple of 5 -> subtract 4, giving 11 -> is not a multiple of 3 -> subtract 2, giving 9
  • 6 -> is not prime -> add 5, giving 11 -> is not 14 or more -> add 6, giving 17 -> is odd -> subtract 3 giving 14
  • 7 -> is a multiple of 7 -> add 1, giving 8 -> is not a multiple of 3 -> subtract 2, giving 6 -> is not a multiple of 5 -> subtract 5, giving 1
  • 8 -> is not a multiple of 7 -> multiply by 4 giving 32 -> is not a multiple of 5 -> subtract 5 giving 27 -> is a cube -> subtract 7, giving 20
  • 9 -> is odd -> subtract 3, giving 6 -> is not a square -> divide by 2, giving 3 -> is prime -> multiply by 3, giving 9
  • 10 -> is 13 or less -> multiply by 2, giving 20 -> is 14 or more -> subtract 8, giving 12 -> is a multiple of 3 -> add 3, giving 15
  • 11 -> is prime -> multiply by 3, giving 33 -> is not a multiple of 5 -> subtract 5, giving 28 -> is not a square -> divide by 2, giving 14

Changing the final numbers into letters yields COMBINATION.

New Arrivals Solution[edit]

[Note: This puzzle took place in the Marin Library]. Reading the descriptions as puns or synonyms reveals titles of different magazines.

  • Monday through Friday - Business Week
  • Bill S. Preston... - Esquire
  • Reclusive woman's diary - Ladies Home Journal
  • Belt wearer - Orion
  • Over-caffeinated - Wired
  • Good times with the wife and kids - Family Fun
  • Phantom headlines - Opera News
  • Moss-less bolder - Rolling Stone
  • Board where quantum researchers post want ads - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
  • Tusk partner - Ebony
  • Late letter delivery before Easter - Saturday Evening Post

The first letters shows to take the name of the magazine BELOW FORBES. The magazine below Forbes on the periodical shelves in the Marin Library is (The) FUTURIST.

Word Salad Solution[edit]

Half of the strips of paper have crossword-style clues on them, while the other half have seemingly random letters. The ingredients in the bowl hint at using a Caesar shift. Shifting the letters by the appropriate amount yields a salad matching a clue.

  • Half of a heckling duo - KOZRCFT -> WALDORF (14) [Note: Waldorf is one of the grumpy old guys in the box seats in the Muppet Show]
  • Mary Mary’s concern - ZTKWXG -> GARDEN (19)
  • Mercury dosage - IJCP -> TUNA (15)
  • Oft-questioned road-crosser - KOZRCFT -> CHICKEN (7)
  • The beginning of vodka - YXCJCX -> POTATO (9)
  • Uttered “Et tu” - QOSGOF -> CAESAR (14)
  • Frequently re-gifted cake - KWZNY -> FRUIT (5)
  • With nectar, a holy meal - JVKAXBRJ -> AMBROSIA (9) [Note: Ambrosia is the food of the Greek gods, according to Homer]
  • Yankee Doodle’s feather - GUWULIHC -> MACARONI (20)

Counting the shift amount for each salad (shown in parentheses) and alphabetizing by salad name yields INGESTION.

Cipher Solution[edit]

The puzzle is divided into two parts, the top half and the bottom half. The top half has crossword-style clues that have answers written in the strange 37-symbol cipher. Solving the clues shows that they are in alphabetic order. It also helps determine the cipher. [Note: Two version of the puzzle were handed out. The solutions were the same, only some of the clues were easier in one version. This solution process uses the “easy” version.]

  • Philosopher Russell - BERTRAND
  • Flexible Cirque du Soleil performer - CONTORTIONIST
  • Lavish show - EXTRAVAGANZA
  • Boxing class - FEATHERWEIGHT
  • Like sharks and classic cars - FINNED
  • Mischievous merrymaking - HIJINKS
  • Gobstopper - JAWBREAKER
  • A geometer is one - MATHEMATICIAN
  • Make exclusive - PRIVATIZE
  • Four times a year - QUARTERLY
  • Smelling salts or a spa, for example - RESTORATIVE
  • Public speaking for dummies? - VENTRILOQUISM
  • Child’s instrument – XYLAPHONE

Solving these clues shows that some symbols in the cipher represent two letters. [Note: The non-ASCII symbols are represented by numbers.]

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)

This cipher is then used to decode the lower half, which also turn out to be crossword clues needing answers:


The solutions to these clues, however, don't match the number beside each. However, encoded they do:

  • Abbreviate – EWW(9)MJAX
  • Atkins – AQ(8)N
  • Buckwheat – HO(2)QBIA
  • Father – GAI(7)
  • Hexagon – IVEL(3)
  • Hyphenated – DP(10)IWAXZ
  • Illustrative – JTTONSAJ(11)
  • Joker – CRQ(1)
  • Manifesto – FYJGXN(4)
  • Quartz – KOE(5)U
  • Watt – BA(6)

There are two things to notice at this point: a) All the encoded solutions have a single strange character in them; and b) Each encoded word begins with a progressive letter of the alphabet. Using the letters the strange characters stand for and ordering alphabetically gives INTERPRET OR CONVERT. This describes the word TRANSLATE, which is also an instruction. Translating it using the cipher gives SYNTAX.

Poetry Solution[edit]

One thing to note is that there are three stanzas of three lines each. More important to note is that there are now three different types of apostrophes (instead of two in and always three per line. Treating them as a ternary encoding reveals REWRITTEN.

Questions? Solution[edit]

The letters and symbols above the grid of the periodic table are dropped down to form several question, all of which have numeric answers. The circles around the question marks indicate to index the number into that element:

  • TURTLE DOVES? -> 2 on silicon -> I
  • IS ENOUGH? -> 8 on manganese -> S
  • A CROWD? -> 3 on bromine -> O
  • FOR THE ROAD? -> 1 on tin -> T
  • HIT WONDER? -> 1 on osmium -> O
  • HORSEMEN? -> 4 on francium -> N
  • AMIGOS? -> 3 on roentgenium -> E

Taking them in order, gives ISOTONE. (Two nuclides are isotones if they have the same number of neutrons.)

Inbox Solution[edit]

The specific text of the messages is irrelevant. The first letter of each name spells ORDER BY TIME. Putting each message in time order regardless of the day and taking the first letter of the text message spells INDEX NAMES (with an extraneous colon). Keeping the messages in the same order and indexing into the names based on their order gives TRUSTWORTHY.

Chessmen Solution[edit]

The chessboard shown isn't a legal setup without any kings. The text of the puzzle mentions "rank and file" and "offset". Taking each chess pieces' rank (the column letter) and offsetting that letter by the file (the row number) gives the following results:

  • White pawn on A2 = C
  • Black bishop on C2 = E
  • Black queen on D8 = L
  • White rook on F6 = L
  • Black pawn on G7 = N
  • White Knight on G8 = O
  • White queen on H7 = O

Ordering the chess pieces value - pawn, knight, bishop, rook, queen (first of white then of black) - results in COLONEL.

Rebus Solution[edit]

Three mini-rebuses are presented. Solving each line separately:

  • (Oneway sign) - 1 = WAY
  •  ! (heart image) - H = ATE [Note: The ! operator indicates "not".]
  • < - THAN = LESS

Taken phonetically, the solution is WEIGHTLESS.

Sets Solution[edit]

Each symbol stands for a set, and only one number can be a member of all three sets:

  • Square, even, and between 14 and 26 = 16
  • Multiple of five, multiple of three, and between 14 and 26 = 15
  • Even, multiple of five, and between 14 and 26 = 20
  • Prime, multiple of five, and odd = 5
  • Even, multiple of 7, between 14 and 26 = 14
  • Prime, multiple of 3, 13 or less = 3
  • Odd, square, and between 14 and 26 = 25

Converting to letters, the solution is POTENCY.

Rags Solution[edit]

A series of images are shown down the left side and a series of suffixes down the right. In the area between are many numbers. Connecting an image to the appropriate suffix yields a word synonymous with "magazine", while crossing a single number:

  • ANN-UAL (3)
  • WEEK-LY (1)
  • DIG-EST (5)
  • GAZE-TTE (7)
  • REV-IEW (3)
  • QUART-ERLY (6)
  • FAN-ZINE (6)
  • BOOK-LET (7)

Using the number crossed as in index into the word gives NEWSEVENT.

Alphabet Soup Solution[edit]

A group of alphabet soup cans were physically available. On the top of the can was some letter in alphabetical order; on the side were ingredients. Using the ingredients as clues, the letters on top could be rearranged to make soup names plus one letter:

  • Beets, vegetables, and sour cream/BCHORSST = BORSCHT + S
  • Fish, crab, mussels, tomatoes/CEIINOOPP = CIOPPINO + E
  • Tomatoes, onions, cucumber, served cold/AACGHOPS = GAZPACHO + S
  • Potatoes, mollusks/AACCDEHLMORW = CLAM CHOWDER + A
  • Rice, andouille sausage, shrimp/BGMOOU = GUMBO + O
  • Soy paste, seaweed, tofu, green onions/DIMOS = MISO + D
  • Chicken stock, bread, dumplings/AAABHLLMNTZ = MATZAH BALL + N
  • Zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, beans, Parmesan/EEEIMNNORST = MINESTRONE + E

Taken alphabetical order by soup name, the extra letters read SEASONED.

Paraphrases Solution[edit]

A plain list of words, but the last one, TRANSLATE, was also used in the Cipher puzzle. Translating each work using the cipher gives:

  • BATH -> HAD
  • UNA -> OWE
  • ASH -> END
  • LATE -> TAX
  • HEM -> IF

Reading the first letters of each word reveals PHONETICS.

Meta Solution[edit]

The echoes and the main puzzles are paired by theme and by the symbols on the clues. Each of the solutions to the Echoes has a number hidden in it (REWRITTEN -> TEN).


Using the hidden number as an index into the main puzzle answer gives the Meta answer of PROGNOSIS.

Ransom Note Solution[edit]

When teams submitted the Meta answer, they were handed the ransom note with a message made from letters that could be found on each of the photos that teams had received throughout the day. Sorting the photos by time stamp and then assigning the appropriate letter from the note gave: READ PHOTO TIMES ENDING IN A FIVE AS SEMAPHORE. Using the times ending in a five and converting them to semaphore results in FLATIRON SECOND AND B which was the end location.