Written by Tom Weisswange
The small hex grid labeled "EX:" on the first webpage serves two purposes: it (1) hints at the rule that determines how the escape path meanders through the grid, and (2) hints at the method for extracting the solution word from a grid once the path is determined.
In order to deduce both of these, it is necessary to determine the number corresponding to each hexagon -- that is, the solution to the corresponding trivia question:
C: 5 ("Secant, cosine, tangent, sine,/Three point one four one five nine!").
D: 15. (He drops a tablet.)
E: 6. (This is, apparently, accurate cricket scoring.)
G: 19. (Specifically, it was patented in May, 1829, by Cyrill Demian.)
I: 8. (The full private name of Judiciary Pag, a character in Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe, and Everything, is "Zipo Bibrok 5 x 10^8".)
J: 11. (WPIX-TV is New York's channel 11.)
K: 2. (The band is the three-member "Ben Folds Five.")
M: 12, of course.
N: 24. (Success at this task is worth 250 points.)
O: 14 (Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood).
P: 23 (on Max Headroom).
S: 18. (The Hebrew numeral for 18 consists of the letters heth and yod as seen here; this is of great numerological import, because they also spell chai, meaning "life.")
When these numbers have been associated with their corresponding hexagons, the solver may notice that:
1) If a hexagon on the escape
path has associated number n, the path leaves that hexagon via the side which
is nth after the top, counting clockwise (and circling around the hexagon as
many times as neccesary). The last three sentences of Mr. Suda's notes additionally
hint that it is "the numbers" that indicate the "way out"
of a room.
2) The two hexagons which are not on the escape path are C and N, which have associated numbers 5 and 22, which (under the usual A = 1, B = 2 code) yield EX, the label for this particular hex grid.
On the second page (reached by clicking "Go to the full puzzle"), there is a larger hex grid. When the numbers associated to the hexagons are found, they will determine an escape path according to rule (1) above, and the unused hexagons will determine the solution word as per (2) above.
The answers to the trivia questions on the second page are:
E: 14 (in the Harry Potter books).
F: 9 (in "Piano Man": "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday . . .").
H: 11. (Of the 14 increases, the only one that aren't doublings are $200 -> $300, $300 -> $500, and $64,000 -> $125,000.)
I: 30. (The knights and bishop have none, the pawns and lances have one each, the silver generals have two each, the king and gold generals have three each, and the rook has six.)
J: 19. (One 0, and two each of the numbers 1-9.)
K: 3 (that is, all of them).
L: 1. (As it happens, 8675309 is a prime number.)
M: 37 (for all the aces, kings, and queens, and one jack).
N: 7. (The only move that is a winner for O is the center square.)
O: 31. (The numbers in the N column are all in the range 31-45.)
S: 21 (five miners, eight scouts, six bombs, the spy, and the flag).
X: 28 (in seven stacks, with one through seven cards respectively).
!: 24 (two regular rounds and two Winner's Circles, with six categories each).
@: 38. (It's the row from C to I inclusive.)
#: 29. (This occurs if the hand is J555 and the turned-up card is the five of the same suit as the jack.)
$: 26. (See Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the complete quote.)
%: 36. (The complete list is (0, +-65), (+-16, +-63), (+-25, +-60), (+-33, +-56), (+-39, +-52), (+-52, +-39), (+-56, +-33), (+-60, +-25), (+-63, +-16), and (+-65, 0).)
&: 18. (The film is 18 Again.)
*: 7. (That is, this is book #7 in the Hardy Boys series.)
(: 2. (One would not need mirror-image versions of the L and S pieces.)
): 6 (S, E, A, R, C, and H).
Thus, starting from the center hexagon (S) the escape path goes S -> Z -> # -> Y -> V -> O -> L -> I -> C -> A -> B -> H -> D -> G -> K -> R -> U -> @ -> ^ -> ( -> ? -> ) -> $ -> * -> % -> X -> ! -> T -> P -> M -> J -> outside. The unused hexagons are E, F, N, Q, W, and &, whose associated numbers are 14, 9, 7, 8, 5, 18, so the solution is NIGHER (which is additionally hinted at by "Oh, but you're getting closer . . . closer . . .").