FOUND IN THE ALLEY

Greg Pliska

 

The ball-shaped array of symbols is in fact a sequence of characters taken from the score sheet of a four-player game of bowling. Entering the symbols, frame by frame, as they would be in a normal game, yields the following:

 

X

 

7

/

5

2

3

2

X

 

7

/

9

/

5

/

3

2

X

7

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

4

4

5

5

/

4

3

3

3

3

/

8

/

5

/

3

5

X

7

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

8

/

8

1

8

/

4

3

1

-

1

1

1

-

2

/

2

/

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

1

1

/

4

-

3

1

3

/

5

/

9

/

6

/

2

7

X

2

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The number of points scored in each frame, converted to an alphabetic character (A=1, B=2, etc.), gives this:

 

X

 

7

/

5

2

3

2

X

 

7

/

9

/

5

/

3

2

X

7

3

20

T

15

O

7

G

5

E

20

T

19

S

15

O

13

M

5

E

20

T

 

4

4

4

5

5

/

4

3

3

3

3

/

8

/

5

/

3

5

X

7

-

8

H

9

I

14

N

7

G

6

F

18

R

15

O

13

M

8

H

17

Q

 

1

1

8

/

8

1

8

/

4

3

1

-

1

1

1

-

2

/

2

/

2

2

B

18

R

9

I

14

N

7

G

1

A

2

B

1

A

12

L

12

L

 

-

1

1

/

4

-

3

1

3

/

5

/

9

/

6

/

2

7

X

2

8

1

A

14

N

4

D

4

D

15

O

19

S

16

P

12

L

9

I

20

T

 

 

which is the message:

 

TO GET SOMETHING FROM HQ BRING A BALL AND DO SPLIT

 

The expectation is that solvers will show up at HQ (calling ahead, of course) with a ball any ball, not necessarily a bowling ball and perform a split. Those unable to actually achieve a full split get credit either for admirable attempts or for doing some other action that creatively follows the instructions (i.e., making a 7-10 split in the hallway; putting the letters D and O really far apart; bringing us a banana split made up of bananas, ice cream, chocolate sauce, super balls and little cut-out musical notes [a ball-do split, get it?], etc.).

The answer is a red bowling pin (PIN for normal meta).