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PCC#18 "You Have Died of Dysentery"

· By Philip Chow · Published 2023-12-03T03:29:41.516Z

Meta Prompt
[Level 3.5] Meta prompt: The answer to the meta is a four-letter word for something you might encounter on your journey to the Willamette Valley
Hint #1: the meta will be easier if you've played the computer game "Oregon Trail"... if not, then lean heavily on the google machine
Hint #2: 68-A "I'll be crossing you in style"... but what are we crossing?
Hint #3: we are crossing rivers, the four rivers that appear in the game "Oregon Trail" in order are: Kansas River, Big Blue River, Green River, and Snake River
Hint #4: in the game, when you cross a river, you have several options to choose from such as taking a ferry, or hiring a Native American guide...
Hint #5: find the letters of intersection between the entries with the river names in them and the entries with the crossing methods in them
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Mr Tex solved 2023-12-03T03:47:05.573Z
  • Abide solved 2023-12-03T04:35:59.355Z
  • Hector solved 2023-12-03T05:31:18.567Z
  • FrankieHeck solved 2023-12-03T13:57:00.151Z
  • Neathery solved 2023-12-03T15:14:56.622Z
  • Brian Callahan solved 2023-12-03T20:08:48.552Z
  • merlinnimue solved 2023-12-03T20:28:24.492Z
  • Sendhil Revuluri solved 2023-12-04T00:04:53.246Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2023-12-04T01:41:53.929Z
  • kurtalert solved 2023-12-04T02:00:17.984Z
  • Taylor solved 2023-12-04T04:02:22.416Z
  • GamingGuy907 solved 2023-12-04T04:39:16.148Z
  • kieranjboyd solved 2023-12-04T10:38:32.798Z
  • AxelPlays solved 2023-12-04T17:19:54.709Z
  • emmie solved 2023-12-04T21:28:33.353Z
  • Ellie L solved 2023-12-05T02:46:17.189Z
  • Jimmy James solved 2023-12-05T04:13:06.828Z
  • Darrell solved 2023-12-05T07:06:38.083Z
  • LCC17 solved 2023-12-05T11:08:05.835Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2023-12-08T16:40:48.411Z
  • LarsCaine solved 2023-12-09T15:33:39.136Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-12-11T21:52:50.534Z
  • hoover solved 2023-12-12T00:28:01.626Z
  • Flora Wynn solved 2024-01-22T06:24:28.114Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2024-02-25T03:26:54.431Z
  • Anonym00se solved 2024-03-19T15:29:47.051Z

Comments

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  • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-03T04:10:00.042Z
    Answer explanation: The title of the puzzle and the meta prompt are about the educational computer game "Oregon Trail" that you may or may not have played when you were a kid in school... If you did, I hope the nostalgia factor is strong and brings back delightful memories. The clue for 68A hints at "crossing rivers in style 😎" and that we will have to do this four times in the puzzle.
    The four rivers that you cross in the game are in order: Kansas River, Big Blue River, Green River, and Snake River. These rivers all begin the four longest across entries: 17A, 26A, 47A, 59A. The next step of the puzzle is to identify the different river crossing methods in the game. You can take a ferry across, ford the river, caulk the river and float across, or hire an Indian tour guide... you can also wait and see if conditions improve (hinted by 1A) but this option isn't actually crossing the river.
    FERRY crosses KANSASSTATEFLAG at "F"... FORD crosses BIGBLUEOX at "O"... HIRE crosses GREENHORN at "R"... and CAULK crosses SNAKEINTHEGRASSS at "K"... making our meta answer FORK (as in fork in the road). In the game there are some decision points where the trail splits and you need to decide which route to take.
    An inelegance that I was not too thrilled about this puzzle is that the river crossing option of "hiring a tour guide" is ONLY available for the SNAKE river in the game... but here I have it crossing GREEN river. The other thing I'm not too thrilled about is you have to dig pretty deep to find the "hire" option when you do Google searches... it's not on the Wikipedia page and Googling "Oregon Trail river crossing options" only lists ford, caulk, ferry but also takes you to "Oregon Trail (Apple Arcade)" which differs from the classic computer game... these two websites include the "hire" option: https://www.died-of-dysentery.com/stories/crossing-rivers.html and https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/mac/564877-the-oregon-trail/faqs/30964
    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-03T22:32:05.574Z
      Typo: “should read caulk the wagon” not caulk the river
    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-03T04:22:29.069Z
      I messed up a bit with my research - I wanted to release this puzzle on the anniversary date of the when "Oregon Trail" first came out, which per the wiki page is Dec 3, 1971 (52 years ago). I realize now that the 1971 version of the game is purely text-based strategy with no graphics... The 1985 version of the game is the one that added graphics and is the most well-known entry in the "Oregon Trail series"... you can play it here: https://oregontrail.ws/games/the-oregon-trail/
      • Abide 🤓5:51 · 2023-12-03T04:37:09.072Z
        Nice fill! Took three hints
        • Neathery 5:21 · 2023-12-03T15:15:21.956Z
          Thanks!
          • Brian Callahan 🤓3:11 · 2023-12-03T20:11:27.304Z
            Loved this!
            • merlinnimue 🤓4:06 · 2023-12-03T20:36:22.401Z
              my first instinct was methods of death in oregon trail ("snake" bite etc), but i was lucky in looking things up to chance upon the names of the rivers, and it was smooth rafting from there (besides, i was rather young when i played it and never really paid attention to the names of the rivers... i always drowned anyways)... great puzzle, jealous as ever of you geniuses and your amazing ideas and your abilities to make such gifts and share them with us
              • Sendhil Revuluri 🤓2:54 · 2023-12-04T00:07:15.071Z
                Fun! I got there thanks to ALL of the hints. (I'd recommend the Apple Arcade version, actually — not a full nostalgia value but some good updates to historical accuracy and perspectives and richness, more strategic gameplay, and of course radically better graphics and animation.)
                • kurtalert 🤓4:12 · 2023-12-04T02:01:09.029Z
                  Very nice! I bought the game for my (kids...?) Switch but we haven't played it a ton yet. Really need to sit down and play more with them. Such good memories from my youth.
                  • hoover 8s · 2023-12-12T00:32:06.640Z
                    I have only played the text-only version on a paper-based TTY connected via acoustical coupler modem to the university mainframe across town. I may or may not have the code on a roll of paper tape somewhere (or maybe I just have HUNT THE WUMPUS or STAR TREK.)
                    • HeadinHome 🤓9:23 · 2024-02-25T03:29:46.614Z
                      When our family got its first computer (about 1992? 93?) Oregon trail was one of the first games our children played… over and over (I can still hear the music). Good nostalgia!!
                      1A
                      Take a break (and wait to see if conditions improve)
                      1
                      2
                      3
                      4
                      5
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                      8
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                      63
                      64
                      65
                      66
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                      68
                      Across
                      1. 1A
                        Take a break (and wait to see if conditions improve)
                      2. 5A
                        "___ Hope" (old soap opera)
                      3. 10A
                        President who said "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country": Abbr.
                      4. 13A
                        Chopped down
                      5. 14A
                        More spooky
                      6. 16A
                        Soccer stadium cheer
                      7. 17A
                        It features a sunflower above a seal that says "Ad Astra Per Aspera"
                      8. 20A
                        CPR specialist
                      9. 21A
                        "Curious George" creators Margret and H.A.
                      10. 22A
                        Materials for soft hats and pool tables
                      11. 23A
                        ___ Alto (City near Stanford University)
                      12. 24A
                        Tinker Bell from "Peter Pan," for one
                      13. 26A
                        Paul Bunyan's Babe, for example
                      14. 29A
                        Reading, Pennsylvania, B & O, and Short Line, in Monopoly: Abbr.
                      15. 31A
                        Punishment-related, as a law or colony
                      16. 32A
                        To and ___ (back and forth)
                      17. 33A
                        The "sun" in sunny side up
                      18. 35A
                        Route
                      19. 36A
                        Egg-laying mammal
                      20. 40A
                        "We all ___ little mad sometimes" (quote from "Psycho")
                      21. 41A
                        Gator relative
                      22. 43A
                        Feel under the weather
                      23. 44A
                        Spike on a baseball player's shoe
                      24. 46A
                        "Levitating" singer ___ Lipa
                      25. 47A
                        Novice
                      26. 50A
                        Currency of India
                      27. 52A
                        Sacred wading bird of ancient Egypt
                      28. 53A
                        Hunter's weapon
                      29. 55A
                        Obsessive fan, in modern parlance
                      30. 56A
                        ___ Maria (coffee liqueur)
                      31. 59A
                        Lowdown dirty backstabber
                      32. 63A
                        Grammatical case used to give a direct address: Abbr.
                      33. 64A
                        Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a ___"
                      34. 65A
                        Parts of a play
                      35. 66A
                        Opposite of post-
                      36. 67A
                        Steers off course
                      37. 68A
                        "___ River" ("Breakfast at Tiffany's" song with the lyric "I'm crossing you in style," which you'll have to do four times in order to solve the meta)
                      Down
                      1. 1D
                        Gardening tool that Sideshow Bob from "The Simpsons" frequently steps on
                      2. 2D
                        Reason for a cram session
                      3. 3D
                        Shipped off
                      4. 4D
                        Reasons for end-zone dances: Abbr.
                      5. 5D
                        Put back on the market
                      6. 6D
                        Response to "Who, me?"
                      7. 7D
                        Word after "martial" or "visual"
                      8. 8D
                        Actress Vardalos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
                      9. 9D
                        Good to go
                      10. 10D
                        Pirate's black-and-white banner
                      11. 11D
                        No longer fizzy
                      12. 12D
                        Gunpowder containers
                      13. 15D
                        Mortgage payment-lowering strategy, briefly
                      14. 18D
                        Suitable for growing crops
                      15. 19D
                        Bryan of Roxy Music
                      16. 23D
                        Tour group for Phil Mickelson: Abbr.
                      17. 24D
                        Harrison who played Indiana Jones
                      18. 25D
                        Neural transmitter
                      19. 26D
                        Facial feature often sported by wizards
                      20. 27D
                        "Ha! Take that, loser!"
                      21. 28D
                        Submit tax returns online
                      22. 30D
                        "McSorley's Bar" painter
                      23. 31D
                        One of the Big Four accounting firms: Abbr.
                      24. 34D
                        Kit ___ (candy bar)
                      25. 37D
                        Protective enclosure for shark divers
                      26. 38D
                        Bring on board
                      27. 39D
                        In need of a massage, perhaps
                      28. 42D
                        Seal, as a crack
                      29. 45D
                        "Angeles" or "Lobos" starter
                      30. 48D
                        This or that
                      31. 49D
                        Pro hoopsters such as the Cavs and the Mavs
                      32. 51D
                        Baby bird's sound
                      33. 53D
                        "Let us know if you're coming to the party" initials
                      34. 54D
                        "Are You ___ Out?" (song from "Aladdin and the King of Thieves")
                      35. 55D
                        Eyelid afflication
                      36. 56D
                        Enchilada alternative
                      37. 57D
                        "That's all there ___ it!" ("Easy peasy lemon squeezy!")
                      38. 58D
                        The first "A" of NASCAR: Abbr.
                      39. 60D
                        Burt Baskin's ice cream partner, ___ Robbins
                      40. 61D
                        Scottish refusal
                      41. 62D
                        Headbutt, or an animal that headbutts
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