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The Alchemist

The Cauldron - image (not relevant to solution)

Solution: CHUCK WOOLERY

The flavortext suggests that several different methods of encoding are used here. It also suggests that the methods require excellent senses of sight, hearing and touch, in that order.

The first step is to take the positions of the clock hands at the given times as semaphore (a code that requires keen long-distance vision). This yields the following:
I
M
M
A
I
M
A
M
I
I
M
M
A
M
A
N
I
N
A
N
A
A
N
A
A
A
A
A
N
M
A
I
A
I
N
I

Next, solvers had to convert these letters into Morse code (a code that consists of long and short beeps, and thus requires good hearing).

..
--
--
.-
..
--
.-
--
..
..
--
--
.-
--
.-
-.
..
-.
.-
-.
.-
.-
-.
.-
.-
.-
.-
.-
-.
--
.-
..
.-
..
-.
..

Finally, taking dots for raised bumps and dashes for flat space, solvers had to decode this as Braille (a code that requires a good sense of touch). The result, and the final solution to this puzzle, was CHUCK WOOLERY.

Author’s Notes:

This was the fifth puzzle I designed for the Hunt. The idea came from the fact that many MIT Hunt puzzles involve solving a puzzle, and then using some common method of encoding to get the solution from the finished puzzle grid. This inspired me to create a puzzle that was nothing but that final step, repeated several times. Braille, Morse code, and semaphore seemed to pop up the most in the MIT puzzles, so I decided to use them. After that, the rest just fell into place.

After Solving The Alchemist:

“Chuck Woolery? The guy from the ‘Dating Game?’”
BWOMP!
“One and the same, my friend. Now let’s get to know…um, I mean, find the other Mages, shall we?”
"Why not? It can only get better from here.”

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