Well done! You've worked all 36 questions, and – with assistance from the how-to pages we drip-fed to you en route (they're here and here) – you have twelve letter-pairs ... the so-called 'page values'... and a prize is within your grasp.
All you have to do now is convert those twelve letter-pairs into a three-word answer
There's a simple method ... no surprises there,
we're sure ... which brings you face-to-face with the
pirates' gold, as some might say.
Draw a clock-face, cut up some paper into twelve pieces each the size of a postage-stamp, and write one of your 'page-values' on each. Underline each letter-pair so you won't get confused and try to read them upside-down.
Arrange the 'postage stamps' on the clock face in such a way that the letter-pairs spell out a line from a Procol Harum song. (You don't have to start at any particular clock-number, by the way ... but you should try reading from various points on the clockface to see where recognisable words suggest themselves.)
Here's an example. Imagine for a moment that your page-values were ...
AS AY EN ES EV IC KD ON SE TH TH UP
We offered this little puzzle to a real, live volunteer, whose progress is recorded in the photographs below ...
The clockface and the postage-stamps. Underline the letter
so that ON doesn't get mistaken for NO
Start with something ... anything ... that resembles a word. 'SONIC'?
Clearly some of the letters don't go too well together. 'THAS' isn't very promising
That KD is puzzling ... the letters are not likely to occur together,
so it's probably the meeting-place of two words
A SICK DAY! Looks like progress ...
ON A SICKDAY?
(At this point, a bit of Googling would have helped)
'UPON' seems promising
All these 'TH' 'ES' 'EV' 'SE' things ... all rather similar
It's better to keep to the clockface ... chains of letters
reveal themselves better on the curve than they do
in a straight line
'EVEN' seems to be the breakthrough!
Done! 'UPON THE SEVENTH SEASICK DAY', from A Salty Dog.
The key thing to notice is that the two letters in a page-value don't necessarily occur in the same word: they could be the end of one word and the start of another. Identify the unlikely pairs ('KD' for example') and you'll reach your destination in no time
But even that would not be the end of the puzzle. We'd then ask you to send in the last three words of the previous line.
So in this example, 'our captain's eye' would be the answer!
So you'll now solve the actual puzzle and send your answer:
use this special link ...
Remember: you're sending us just a three-word answer!
And you're also sending us your choice of prizes, in the form of a twelve-letter string (like MRBANGLEDISC or MRSBIGCANDLE) using the reference-letter for each prize as listed here.
The senders of the first three correct answers, on a beat-the-clock basis, will receive their first choice of available prizes. The names of senders of all subsequent correct answers, received in the next 48 hours, will be placed in the BtP Homburg, and nine winners' names will be drawn by – let us hope – a Glamorous Assistant (subject to availability). Winners' names will be published at 'Beyond the Pale' once the draw is completed and verified.
Very best of luck to all you thinkers and lateral thinkers!
Many thanks as ever to the vigilant Jane Clare of Perth, WA, who has worked all these puzzles through to make sure they cohere, and contributed a lot to their careful wording; also to Peter Clare of Bristol, UK, for a magic database
In the unlikely event of there being fewer
winners than prizes this year, early claimants will get more than their fair
Prizes will of course be awarded at the absolute discretion of Roland and Jens, who run 'Beyond the Pale', and whose decision will be final; their families are not eligible to enter.
Back to the how-to-play page for the 2018 'Beyond the Pale' Christmas puzzles | The fab prizes | Resources and links | Twelfth puzzle
How to play | The solution | Winners | First question