Annie Answer

My second Strava puzzle Annie Are You OK? was a little more difficult. That’s by design. I’m trying to make each puzzle a bit harder. Let’s see where we go from here.

This was a team effort solution by Neil and Jevan. Applause on the teamwork, much like the way we solve the weekly wsj meta crossword puzzle.

  • Step one: The single use of 👀 in all the titles was intentional. It drew your attention to the title “Third in Third”. Jevan at first said, “I know this title is important, I just don’t know what to do with it.” Neil added, “Well, the third letter in the third word is ‘i’.” I made an encouraging sound.
  • Step two: The last title tells you the length of the answer, but again there is another intentional number usage: five. Notice that all of the titles are between one word and five words long.
  • Step three: Neil said, “What if one-word titles use the first letter?” He then started spelling: R, E, M, E, M, B, E, R; Remember.
  • Step four: “Ah, okay, so then two-word titles form the second word by taking the second letter of the second word.” T, O; To.
  • Step five: Jevan jumps in, “Is it ‘Remember To Drink Your Ovaltine’?” Jevan knows my love for movie quotes, and Jevan is also a fan of A Christmas Story. I smiled and said, “Bingo.”

Another hint in the puzzle that they didn’t need to get them started. The ride titled simply “Be” is a one-word title that also makes the sound of the first letter in the word.

And then, post-solution connections were incorporated into this puzzle. This refers to connections that you can’t possibly make in the solving process, but once solved, you can look back on and see the connection. There was day 103’s title: “Frageeelay. It must be Italian!” which is another quote from A Christmas Story. And then there is the puzzle title “Annie Are You Okay?” a reference Little Orphan Annie, which is the club that Ralphie gets the decoder ring for and decodes the same message as this puzzle delivers: Remember To Drink Your Ovaltine.

Major Blunder: I embed this scene to tie the story together, and when I watch it, I discover I had remembered the line wrong 😮. It was “Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine.”