Lots of Luck

Lots of Luck was an extravaganza (an interconnected set of puzzles designed to be solved by teams over the course of an evening) presented at the 2010 National Puzzlers'  League convention in Seattle. It was created by Kevin Wald (Ucaoimhu), Todd McClary (T McAy), Dan Katz (Spelvin), and Mike Selinker (Slik).

The event was presented as an auction of the estate of Nerissa P. Lottington, a fictional member of the NPL who had amassed an eclectic collection of treasures with assorted values in the categories of art, history, science, pop culture, and weirdness. Solvers were given letters from five relatives banned from the auction, each of whom was interested in a different category. Each team had to choose a relative to aid and pursue two objectives: determining the name of Nerissa's most prized possession (an item kept in her attic), and successfully bidding on other items desired by the chosen relative.

Each puzzle had three solutions, corresponding to the three items from that room that were up for auction. When a team submitted all three solutions, they received an appraisal card which told them the values of each of the three items to each relative. At any time, a team could submit a preference ranking (their bid) for the items in that round and receive the next set of puzzles. Teams had to use strategy in deciding when to bid; teams that bid early were likely to get the items they wanted but might not have information about all the items, while teams that bid later might have more appraisal cards, but some of their top-choice items might already be gone. The appraisal cards and item cards are attached below. The information on the appraisal cards is necessary to solve the Attic puzzle; the item cards are not necessary for puzzle solving, but we think they're hilarious and worth browsing after you've solved the puzzles.

If you'd like to solve the extravaganza in the privacy of your own home, you'll want to find 170 other solvers ruthlessly trying to outbid you; if that's not an option, you can just solve the puzzles in Rounds 1 through 4 at your leisure, and then solve the Attic puzzle. (Note that to solve the Attic puzzle, you'll have to look at the appraisal cards, which will contain solutions to the other puzzles... so do this last!)

Most of the puzzles are self contained, except for one Round 3 puzzle, the Library, which required teams to walk around the room and observe tables with books on them. To simulate this experience, we've provided photos of each of the five tables (helpfully taken by NPLer 42itous); if you find it difficult to read the text, there is also a list of titles and authors provided.

We hope you enjoy the puzzles, and we suggest you experience your next NPL extravaganza in person! (2011's convention will be in Providence, and 2012 will be in Portland, Oregon.) You can find more information about the League here.
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