Friday, April 10, 2009

Winner! Round 8 - Grand Prize and Short List

REVEALED !! The Grand Prize for Round 8 is the

"Let's Call It A Hexacycle - 'Figure on Unicycle' Prize Pack"

Yes. The box contains a set of two "Figure on Unicycle" wind-up toys. One has a red coat and blue hat and bow-tie. The other has a blue coat and red hat and bow-tie. One of them has slightly darker hair and mustache.


The actual Grand Prize will go to @jonathaneunice for his guess “When I use it, I hear whirring, humming, or buzzing.” which is spot on. He is in fact the runner up for Grand Prize behind Grand Prize First Place Honoree @BrianPike, who does not reside in the continental United States, who guessed “A novelty letter-opener modeled as an elephant wearing a top hat and monocle.”

Grand Prize First Place Honoree
WINNER @BrianPike: [A *real* guess? Sigh.] A novelty letter-opener modeled as an elephant wearing a top hat and monocle. [Real enough?]
- Novelty, circus-related, top-hat. There you go. And yes, clearly real enough.

Runner Up, First Place Grand Prize: @jonathaneunice: When I use it, I hear whirring, humming, or buzzing.
- I had originally anticipated treating this guess as a “What Some Might Think Is Closest to What Is in the Box,” but as I reviewed all the guesses I came around to this conclusion. Doodads like these Figures on Unicycle exist almost exclusively to be used to make their characteristic whirring, humming, and buzzing sounds.

@The_No_Show: It's a riddle hidden in an enigma wrapped in a mystery. And encased in bubble wrap. And then boxed.
- Certificate for First Guess. It would be difficult to find any sensible person who would disagree that these figures on unicycle (unicycle with three wheels and handlebars no less) are anything but an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Where the guess goes wrong is with the bubble wrap. The matching Figures on Unicycle are wedged in the box with a reasonable quantity of foam peanut-style packing material.

@icecolbeveridge: A precious knick-knack, traveling disguised as something much larger.
- This guess was a strong contender, containing both the concepts of “knick-knack” and “travelling.” Despite the silly outfits the Figures are wearing, however, they are anything but disguised. They do not travel far, and never as anything but themselves.

@1sjcorbett: An ostrich feather duster. You know, the old fashioned kind with real feathers. Perfect for a spring cleaning.
- This guess made the short list due to its invocation of old fashioned things. If you are anything like me, these Figure(s) on Unicycle are exactly the sorts of things that might turn up unexpectedly during a spring cleaning. Unfortunately, there is nothing actually natural, or even legitimately old fashioned, about these Figures.

@AndrewGent: Guess: paper constructions, possibly origami animals or the Taj Mahal in paper and glue.
- This guess made the short list thanks to a tenuous argument involving spectacles likely to include animals. These Figures are not paper, and you have to buy the animals in the same circus toy series separately.

@thewesterly: It's a very small model of the Fountain of Youth, in honor of Ponce De Leon Day. Or the actual fountain. Or a metaphor.
- Another tenuous argument, this one involving perpetual youth: the Figures have what I would expect to be an enduring child-like appeal. However, this guess is hedged with alternatives. Despite its otherwise excellent specificity, I cannot give it the win.

@AndrewLoeb: Alternatively, since my first guess was not "light and airy" : a dreadfully-coulored empty pinata shaped as a small goat.
- There are many things in this world that adults think can only possibly interpreted as charming by children that turn out to be utterly peculiar or alarming. Those things include many pinatas and these Figures on Unicycle. The Figures are at the more entertaining end of that spectrum, and I cannot give this guess the win.

@carterbob2: It gives the illusion of floating, as if suspended in air, evoking powerful emotions, leaving a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.
- There is certainly illusion of some kind going on here. There are three wheels, but the name on the packaging says “Unicycle.” Furthermore, the figure is raised up and propelled by a concealed mechanism. As to the powerful emotions and aftertaste, I can only speculate as to what others might feel upon viewing this Prize Pack.

: Guess #2! It is an improvised communication device.
- This guess makes the Grand Prize short list because I am very pleased by the mere suggestion that a pair of “Figure(s) on Unicycle” could become any sort of improvised communication device. It is not one now, and this guess therefore falls short, but perhaps in the right hands it could be.


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