First of all, a little bit of a spoiler regarding book two of the Altcastle Series (title still being debated!). The Countess, ever wishful to improve the hearts and minds of Altcastle's citizens, has asked Mr Zenodotus (the chief librarian) to introduce a weekly puzzle for all residents. She explained to him that she wants more people to use the library and to read more books, so he is instructed to base the puzzles on literature, myths, music, history (nothing unpleasant naturally - you know the Countess doesn't like that type of thing), poetry, mathematics and maybe even a little science (but only a little, mind you... she won't approve of any technological progress or anyone inventing anything - such things just won't be tolerated in Altcastle).
The Countess explained to Mr Zenodotus that the puzzles should be rather cryptic in a similar way to those produced for the members of ACES and MOAB, and that he might find it useful to have a meeting with Mr and Mrs Pod, chairpersons of MOAB and ACES respectively. In fact, we learn in the second book of the series that puzzles and quizzes have been standard fare at the various Altcastle societies for quite some time. Each week a puzzle is given out, and all those who solve it are rewarded with a ticket for their society's next prize draw; the first to solve it is rewarded with multiple tickets (even as many as 10) so has a greatly enhanced probability of winning - if you want to win, it pays to think quickly, you see!
Accordingly, Mr Zenodotus set to work: he had a meeting with the Pods, as the Countess had suggested, and determined that the best way forward would be to have not one but two prize draw puzzles each week. One offered by AULPS (Altcastle-under-Lyme Poetical Society) and one by AULBC (Altcastle-under-Lyme Book Club) - in that way the widest possible audience could be catered for!
So it what was that he set about designing and getting his tickets printed...
... once that was done, he only had to consider the best method of delivering the puzzles. After some careful thought, he determined that it would be fairest to read out each week's two puzzles from the balcony of the Municipal Hall, the AULPS puzzle every Thursday at noon, and the AULBC one every Sunday at noon. That way, anyone super keen to hear the clues could wait at the appointed times in Ironmarket below the balcony and hear the puzzles straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
After the puzzles had been read out, they would be posted on the Library bulletin board. Additionally, for the benefit of the villages and rural areas, Mr Summoner, or one of his assistants, would take copies of the puzzles and post them outside each village hall.
Well, dear visitor, you will no doubt be delighted to hear that some of these very same puzzles are being made available in your reality as well! Yes, there will be no need for jealousy, no need at all to envy the lucky residents of Altcastle: you too can take part! Further, you may also be eligible for both the ACES and MOAB puzzles and prize draws from time to time - "may be" you ask? Well, all will be revealed in the fullness of time!
Dr Anton Corvus has been appointed by the Countess as quizmaster for your reality! What an honour! Of course, he will only be able to obtain puzzles when he visits Altcastle, so in your reality the puzzles will only be posted as and when - make sure to subscribe to be notified, or could miss out!
In addition to the Altcastle puzzles, Dr Corvus, will be adding his own prize draws on behalf of his new magazine, The Corvus Magazine & Miscellany, so do go over to Patreon and have a look out for those! https://www.patreon.com/antoncorvus
Regular prize draws will be offered by:
Altcastle-under-Lyme Poetical Society
Altcastle-under-Lyme Book Club
The Corvus Magazine & Miscellany
Additional Puzzles and Prize Draws may also be offered on special occasions (e.g., The Countess's Birthday, Zeen Day, Fairground Weeks, et cetera) by:
Altcastle Close Eye Society
Mooses of Altcastle Borough
The Cheshire Cat Society
The Rules! i.e. Terms & Conditions.
1. Anyone may enter for any puzzle completely free - that's right, no charge at all!
2. Each person may enter only one answer per puzzle.
3. Persons who solve the puzzles agree (AND DO VERY HONURABLY PROMISE MOST FAITHFULLY) that they shall not post the answers anywhere until the puzzle has reached it's expiry date (usually stated when the puzzle is posted). Remember to keep your notifications turned on to find out when the answer is posted!
4. By supplying your email address, you agree that we can email you about matters which may be of interest to you, such as new publications and other puzzles. There is no charge and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Prize Draw Information & Entry Process.
1. Subject to his availability and/or presence in this reality and time period, Dr Corvus will post the clues on Patreon with a short video. Once the video is live he will announce it (or post it) on other platforms too, e.g., TikTok. An email will be sent to anyone who has subscribed to the website (do that here) so subscribers will always know first that a puzzle has been being posted.
2. The puzzles will be based on a broad range of subject matters but will very often link to matters mentioned in The Lyme Brook Mist book, so if you don't yet have a copy, better get one (Amazon links are in the footer - just £4 (UK) $5 (US) for the Kindle version) or you'll struggle to find some of the answers.
3. Occasionally, some clues may be given out by Dr Toad (or maybe Dr Corvus dressed up as, and pretending to be, Dr Toad - you decide for yourselves) as and when he has time. These will come via the Patreon feed mainly, but you know Dr Toad's methods... he might reveal clues via any channel or means.
5. The prizes for the correct answers shall be Prize Draw Tickets for the issuing groups next Prize Draw. So, if it's an AULPS puzzle, the winner will get tickets for the next AULPS Prize Draw; if it's a TCCS puzzle the tickets one will be for the TCCS Prize Draw, et cetera.
6. When the puzzle is announced, Dr Corvus will also reveal the prize for the first correct answer (usually between 5 and 10 tickets depending on difficulty) and the prizes for runners-up (usually 1 ticket but could be higher if the puzzle is very difficult). Each puzzle will have an expiry date after which no tickets will be awarded. Dr Corvus may post the correct answer and also offer an explanation if appropriate (e.g., it was a question that involved some math) once the expiry date has passed if he fells like it!
7. The prizes for each Prize Draw will be announced by Dr Corvus, well in advance of the draw. They will typically consist of antiquarian books or other antique items and will be posted to the winners by Castle Tower Consulting Ltd.
8. When the Prize Draws are actually drawn, each ticket that has been issued will have an equal chance of winning, so whoever has the most tickets will have the highest statistical chance of winning the prize.
Remember, it's completely free to play and some of the antiquarian books we give as prizes are worth quite a lot of money (i.e., £100 plus) so please join in the fun and tell your friends and family to come along too! We are trying to get as many people interested in Altcastle as possible, so please help us by spreading the news of this competition.
Thanks & Good Luck!
Castle Tower Agency Team.
All of the current (still open) Prize Draws are listed below as well as those that have been drawn and are now closed to entries.
All of the posts are in reverse chronological order (i.e., newest listed first) of being announced.