## 1.5: Battleships In Space! (Solution)

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Author: Brian Tivol

Solving the battleships grids shouldn't have been too difficult.  The
best method would be to consider the five slices of the grid parallel
to the alphabetic ground.  You can get a foothold in almost all of the
six regions at the start by noticing that there is a slice with so
many zeros in one direction that one row with ship segments will be
completely determined.  Whenever a cell has a ship segment in it, the
twenty cells diagonally adjacent to it must be empty, so that helps
you trim down the space left for other ships.  Eventually, there will
be very few cells that can accomodate the 4x1x1 ships, and things
slowly fall into place.

Once the battleships are found, the solvers need to find out which
letters the 1x1x1 "surveillance pods" are each spying on.  When these
letters are arranged by the pods' altitude, highest to lowest, you
get-- in most cases --a word.  This is somewhat clued in the story, a
bit hard to find out, but obvious when stumbled upon.  The first row
is WISE and FISH; then LIST and KISS; then VGWK and VISA.

Solvers should notice that the five words are all of the form "one IS
two", and use this to substitute letters in the sixth non-word.  Yup,
this leaves two of the regions completely unused.  The answer is AGES.

(Many teams realized that the surveillance pods are spying on letters,
but didn't catch on to the fact that their altitude gives the sequence
of the letters.  This resulted in some people calling in saying "We
have five English words, and then we have GKVW.  Is that right?"
called in saying "It's either SAGE or SEGA or AGES", and we told them
that there was a clear way to order the letters.)

Here are the regions:

ABCDE                      WISE  FISH
FGHIJ
KLMNO                      LIST  KISS
PQRST
UVWXY                      VGWK  VISA

Top --------------------------> Ground

01004   31100   01010   01010   21201
1x#xxx  1x#xxx  1x#xxx  0xxxxx  3#x#x#
1xxxx#  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  2#x#xx  WISE
1xxxx#  1#xxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx
1xxxx#  1#xxxx  0xxxxx  2x#x#x  1x#xxx
1xxxx#  2#x#xx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx

10111   01020   12010   01010   31102
3xx###  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  2#xxx#
1#xxxx  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  3#x#x#  FISH
0xxxxx  0xxxxx  2##xxx  0xxxxx  1#xxxx
0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx
0xxxxx  2x#x#X  1x#xxx  1x#xxx  1x#xxx

12110   10010   22010   11020   02101
1#xxxx  1#xxxx  1#xxxx  2#xx#x  0xxxxx
0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  LIST
1x#xxx  0xxxxx  1x#xxx  1x#xxx  1x#xxx
0xxxxx  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  1xxxx#
3x###x  0xxxxx  2##xxx  0xxxxx  2x##xx

31011   10010   40010   10111   02010
1#xxxx  1#xxxx  1#xxxx  4#x###  0xxxxx
0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  KISS
1#xxxx  0xxxxx  1#xxxx  0xxxxx  1x#xxx
0xxxxx  0xxxxx  2#xx#x  0xxxxx  2x#x#x
4##x##  0xxxxx  1#xxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx

01012   01012   10112   21101   00200
1xxxx#  1xxxx#  1xxxx#  2x##xx  0xxxxx
0xxxxx  1x#xxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  VGWK
1xxx#x  1xxx#x  1xxx#x  1#xxxx  0xxxxx
0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  1xx#xx
2x#xx#  1xxxx#  3#x#x#  2#xxx#  1xx#xx

02040   01000   21010   20010   30111
0xxxxx  0xxxxx  2##xxx  0xxxxx  1#xxxx
1xxx#x  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx  3xx###  VISA
2x#x#x  1x#xxx  0xxxxx  1#xxxx  1#xxxx
1xxx#x  0xxxxx  0xxxxx  1xxx#x  0xxxxx
2x#x#x  0xxxxx  1#xxxx  1#xxxx  1#xxxx

This inspiration for this puzzle came from two failed puzzles.  The
first failed puzzle was a 3D paint-by-numbers, and I saved what I
thought was the most important part from that: having a logic puzzle
where the difficulty lay in managing the different layers on paper.
The second failed puzzle was a possible metapuzzle idea, with answers
like WISP, LISP, and LOWLY yielding a password.  I think that the two
ideas worked well together in this puzzle; hope others feel the same.