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Solutions for Act II Scene 1 - Back to Basics

We are presented with a picture which has an arrangement of telephones, ranging from the modern day iphone, to an ancient looking contraption. We first note the arrangement is similar to a mobile phone key pad, and the ages of the phones give us an ordering.


The phones are: iPhone, Nokia 3210, Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, Western Electric Sculptura, TouchTone, Western Electric Type 500, Western Electric Type 300, Western Electric Candlestick Phone, 1896 Sweedish Telephone and the Bell Centennial. The image below shows the phones in order.

Now attempting to form a text message by pressing the keys in order should give the phrase "alex's uni". This refers to Alexander Graham Bell.

This and the title should hint at the solution: University of Edinburgh. Note that there is some ambiguity in the final answer and based on the guesses, it seems Edinburgh would be a more fitting answer. It has been proposed that our answer checker should accept multiple answers or should hint that we want an almost correct answer in a different form. We are looking into this for use in next year's hunt. There was some unforeseen erroneous reaosning in this puzzle. If one confuses the order of phones 6 and 7, and ignores phone 5 as not contributing anything, we can obtain the phrase "alex rung", which leads to unfortunate guesses such as "Thomas Watson". It is unfortunate that erronous reasoning leads to such a nice phrase and appropriate answer, but it isn't a flaw in the puzzle. This puzzle was adapted from an earlier puzzle idea (ordering objects chronologically) of Duncan Sutherland's.

The answer is: universityofedinburgh