You Are Games:
Letters In Boxes #16


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You Are Games

Letters in Boxes #16

ArtbegottiNo one ever said school would be easy. Running from one end of the building to another for your next class, stopping to grab a book along the way, dodging the bullies in the hallway... Oh, and the classes are pretty hard too! Math, science, geography, language... And the older you get, the more they frown on you using fingerpaints in art class! School ain't no cakewalk.

For this Letters In Boxes challenge, you've got to go back to school, do a bit of research, and fix one student's silly slip-ups. (The name is a coincidence, I swear.) Click on the image below to open up your first puzzle. When you think you've found an answer, change the filename in the address bar (in this case, "classofsixteen") to your answer, making sure you stay in the same directory and keep the same file extension. If you're right, you'll graduate to the next puzzle! If you're wrong, check your work and try again.

Letters in Boxes #16 - Puzzle 1This batch of puzzles contains four puzzles to solve. On the fourth puzzle, you'll find the email address for sending your final answer. We'll hand out a prize to the first correct entry we receive, plus one additional randomly-selected correct entry. Please include your Casual Gameplay account display name with your entry. You must be at least 13 years of age to enter. Only one submission per participant, please. Offer void where prohibited. Your deadline for submitting your answers is Monday, October 3rd at 11:59 PM (GMT-5:00). Can you fix the mistakes and graduate with honors? (Really, any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!) Good luck!

Update: Congratulations to the following winners! :D

  • Ajslama ...First!
  • dsrtrosy1
Both winners were given a choice of prizes. Congratulations and thanks for playing with us! Look for another Letters in Boxes again soon!

148 Comments

First one was alright, but I honestly have no clue where to start with the second one.

Do we have to actually read Brave New World?

Is the second one involves

searching in the Wikipedia ?

I'm stuck on the second. I've tried

-comparing to wikipedia, almost nothing in common
-looking for spelling mistakes, found mike instead of mic and lover instead of love
-looking at capitalized letters

got me nowhere

This is the first time I've ever made it to the final puzzle. I take it there's no way to know whether you have the right answer for the final puzzle other than sending it in and winning? :P

Tenzhi:
Yeah, you pretty much have to just hope you got the right answer and go for it.

I'm much to insecure about my final answer for that. Especially since I was expecting a coherent word. I'll be content with having gotten to the final puzzle - usually I get stumped on the second or third when I give one of these a go.

well, the first one involves finding out what's missing from each (incorrect) answer...

Need help with #2:

I am trying to understand the references:
Hotel on mars

is it total recall

Orc

is it warcraft?

Medics, Heavies

is it team fortress 2?

karaoke and detroit i don't know.
am i even in the right direction with trying to understand these?

donhuando:
Yes, those are correct, but not important.

Some of the words have something in common. When you figure out what that is, your answer will be obvious

I can't for the life of me figure out the last puzzle. As a Canadian I know all of the answers, but I don't have a clue what to do with them.

Well, I've noticed that four of the words are in the Phonetic Alphabet, but phonetics isn't the answer.

I solved #2 with the help of someone's clue:

it was ThemePark

But I have no idea why it is the answer.

there is one letter I used to make a sensible word that has nothing to do with what ThemePark wrote

Also:

There is another word with the same letters that doesn't let me move on to the next puzzle, so I assume that somehow the order of letters is to be deduced, and I have no idea

donhuando:
Thanks for that!

At first I was surprised I had helped you because obviously I was on the wrong track. But actually the last letter makes sense too. It's in the second of the seven lines.

donhuando:

Oh, and the order is determined by the order of the words in the text, so that too actually makes sense.

ThemePark:

I was missing the middle letter, which should actually be the most obvious

Finished! not sure about the answer, but this is the first one i did until the end.

I am completely blanking out on number four. I can't imagine it's just the right answers to the questions, right?

Could use a nudge on the first one.

More to the point:

I get that there's a single missing/wrong number on each line, but I have no idea what to DO with that information.

LordSaturn--

The first one is pretty straightforward, as this puzzle series goes.

Make a note of the answers given, then

look up the right answers, then

compare the two. Spot the difference?

I sure can use any help on number three...

I have tried finding the difference of the numbers and convert those to words, but that doesn't seem to work

Cooler, I think you're on the right track. Maybe check your math?

I'm still stuck on the last one, I'm assuming it's not as straightforward as it seems?

The method for solving #3 is very similar to solving #1. Poor Stephen missed them all; you should give him a hand so he can see what he did wrong.

Cooler--

It's not unlike the first puzzle.

Obviously I did #3 wrong, because I got

a gif about Easter eggs

.

Augh! I was doing so well, sailing rather smoothly through this week's installment. But here I am now on #4, scratching my head. Finding the correct answers was trivial, but unlike the previous puzzles of this one, figuring out what to do with them is a little less obvious.

Also, I've yet to suss out what to do with

that 4x4 from the first puzzle.

cendare--
I am intrigued. Can you hint me to that?

@cendare:
Thanks for pointing that out, that was FUN-NY! :D

ray9na:

Pay attention to the problem itself, not its solution.

cendare, ThemePark, and of course, Steve--

Love it. :)

There's also a rather obvious easter egg hidden in level 4. At least that's something when the real solution is eluding me.

I need help with #2

Has it something to do with capital letters?

Rgandrum, you're on the right track. Use Wikipedia (despite what the puzzle says!)

to look up the phonetic alphabet

I'm having issues with #1...

I looked up the correct answers

and compared them, & found the differences

and can't figure out how it works into the boxes

sigh.

Finally! I caught on to what cendare, ThemePark, and rayna were talking about! For a laugh,

submit an Easter egg as your answer.

From the clues you guys have given on #2, I can almost figure it out...just one question:

Is it only the capital letters I should be looking at? A couple of the non-capitalized words fit the theme as well.

ThemePark, you and me both. #4 is completely opaque to me. I'm open to hints.

Is it just me, though, or did the ovoid of spring look a mite familiar?

An Onyx Mouse--

Disregard caps. Acquire code. Roger that, over.

I'm stuck on puzzle 4.

If you make the answers correct, the questions might be:

What's the capital of Manitoba?
What's the biggest city in Alberta?
What is the newest territory?
What is the capital of Nevada?
How many provinces and territories were there in Canada?

ray9na:

Got it! Thanks.

You'd think all those years I spent in the military would've had that code burned into my head...

Hint for #2, because I spent way too long thinking on the wrong track.

Yes, it's the common NATO version. Do not be looking for words in obscure phonetic alphabets.

You should have 5 letters.

Oh good grief...just found

the easter egg in #4.

Gonna need a few minutes to quit laughing before I continue working on this...

Any hint on #4?

I guess we need one letter from each question/answer so the answer should be a 5 letter word.

Found right answer to all questions

DCACD

but can't make anthing out of it.

Something to do with capitals (letters) maybe?

about #4:

I noticed some pattern of the correct answers. But couldn't find a way to use it to solve it.
Also, for the last question, maybe having one answer which can't be correct is some sort of clue for what the solution to the puzzle should be.

also, can someone give a hint for the easter egg there (I found the one in #3 but can't find it in #4).

donhuando, about the Easter egg in #4:

That one impossible answer... does it look familiar?

Unfortunately, the real answer to #4 is eluding me.

I was hoping that if I walked away and came back to this I'd have some new insight re: #4. Nope!

does the answer have anything to do with the 4x4 from puzzle #1???

and about the Easter egg in #4

it kind of rhymes with Easter egg

nerdypants:
thanks, i thought i tried it already, but maybe i had a typo earlier.

Strange things in #4:

notice that on the right it says: "(Deadline 13 October 3rd)", maybe the "1" is an "i" but the "3" doesn't look like an "s".

Also, the grade is different from #2

donhuando:

Maybe these are all from different teachers? (In which case,good grief, Steve!)

donhuando,

if you look at the word "this" in the first puzzle you'll find that he just writes "is" like "13".

I may never finish Number 4, arrrrggghh!

In #2 I couldn't believe that

a Heavy Metal group, The Grateful Dead, has an album called "From the Mars Hotel". There is a track in the Album that has never been played live. The song is called Pride of Cucamonga.
The lyrics of the song have two references to the puzzle. It refers to the Mack diesel truck, which is built in Detroit, and also refers to "I am the pride of Cucamonga" which led me to try the singers name as a solution.

Was this made on purpose? or were there a million monkeys writing the essay?

Still stumped on #4. I've found all the correct answers, but can't think of anything that could connect them. Or anything that could connect the incorrect answers.

Can someone please help me out with #1....I still don't get it. I understand that

there's a difference of 1 in each equation. I've tried adding the letters together, adding the numbers together, etc. How stupid can I be?

Sorry, but still about #2

I found 5 words that belong to the phonetic alphabet, but I cannot make a word out of it...

Am I in the right track?

Organic Nut, about #1:

There's one element in each formula that is wrong. Focus on those five elements, and remember that some elements have two letters as their symbol.

Rgandum, about #2:

You're on the right track with the phonetic alphabet. Just put those words in order and look at them carefully.

Can't seem to find the Easter Egg in puzzle 3. On a side note, anyone have any hints on how to solve puzzle 4? I got the right answers for the multiple choice.. but have no clue what to do from there.

do we use the box from puzzle 1?

The Easter egg in #3:

Notice how the second row of numbers (3, 15, etc.) doesn't go above 26?

Organic Nut:

You've already found out what element from each compound is in the wrong amounts, right?

And you know the symbol for each one, right?

Try looking at those again.

Rgandrum, all that's left for you to do is (pretty major spoiler here, but I think it was posted earlier)

come up with a five letter word

I haven't seen any real hints for #4 (other than about Easter eggs). Can anyone help a poor puzzled girl out?

I would if I could zoz, but I think we are all completely stuck on #4. :(

Same here, stuck on #4. Found all the correct answers to the questions, but no clue where to go from there.

#4: since the correct answers form a

palindrome (dcacd) I looked up palindromic place names in Canada.

Didn't work, in case anyone else was going in that direction.

zoz:

Interesting. I tried looking for palindromes in the clue itself, and didn't find any.

I'm so lost. :(

totally stuck on number 4

Found some strange things concerning the 4x4 block in number 1.

there is a brig named fame, and here is the info about the ship: http://www.immigrantships.net/v2/1800v2/fame18321015.html

I'm still stumped on #4.

I keep thinking that the grid from #1 must be related. It's 4x4, so it's possible one of those fours corresponds to the letters a-d. I tried using the wrong and the right answer as coords to pick letters from the grid, but what I got are nonsense words that do me no good.

There's not much to go on here. It doesn't seem like it can be a permutation of the words in the solution, given the last answer is a number and not a word. I'm positive it has to be from the grid, and I just need to pin down the method.

Also stuck on #4.

Regarding matrix from puzzle 1, I tried

using the letters of the wrong circled answer and correct answer as coordinates in the matrix, resulting in a 5 letter word. I tried it for all combinations of axis orientation, giving me 8 words. None of them were actual words.

NIBIE
SAOAC
HM...
TRURW
SAEA.
NICIO
HM...
TRG..

Argggh

@meiyas:

That also seems to be a "class" of sixteen characters, as the image name suggests. None of them are repeated.

I tried

mapping the answers from the first four questions and finding relative positions in the grid

to no avail.

Has anyone actually finished #4? Not asking for a hint (thought that would be welcome), just curious to know if anyone's actually finished.

@nerdypants
I hope not. That would mean I actually have a chance this time! :D

Thought I had it for a second, typed my answer in to see if I could get a confirmation...wound up getting one of the previous LiB's last puzzles instead.

I'm gonna take that as a "no."

Concerning 4x4 grid on puzzle #1

Don't know if it means anything, but...

I found the words "thumb" and "fingers" in the grid. Removing them leaves four letters O-W-A-C which could be "Waco" like the Texas city or " A Cow".

...does it give anyone any ideas.

@blinks Not me.
But seriously, guys, nobody solved it and won yet. Let's keep the competition up, okay? Some of us actually have a chance this time...

Given that we're all completely stumped, Orange Duck, I'd say we've all got precisely the same chance...zero. XP

What I can't figure out is how

a 4x4 grid correlates to a 5-question quiz.

Yay! solved #4!
Anyways, turns out:

I gave a hint earlier, without knowing it.

@donhuando:

So, what was the hint?

And by any chance, am I right in guessing that each question eliminates two letters from the grid (16 - 10 = 6)?

An Onyx Mouse:

Or for that matter, how do you combine a four-by-four letter grid and a five-question quiz to get a six-letter word?

Maybe it's supposed to be a progression?

@nerdypants:

Run the numbers. Like I said, it can work if each question eliminates two letters. 16 letters in the grid - 10 letters eliminated by 5 questions - 6 letters left.

Ryusui:

I think this is kind of a big hint:

I commented on the grades from puzzle 2 and puzzle 4 being different

Also, regarding your question:

no, you don't eliminate 2 for each question

@donhuando:

The grades are the same - both got an "F." Or do you mean how the "F" for #4 is circles instead of underlined?

i'm back now (I wish I could quit you, @LIB!) and I must send congratulations to donhuando! Now, if I can just follow your clues...

donhuando: You gave me a bit of a theory there.

Each question corresponds to 1 letter in the grid. Add in the F Steve got on the quiz for 6 letters to form the answer.

Am I on the right track?

AnOnyxMouse & Ryusui:

yup

thanks zoz.

donhuando:

I've been on that track for about an hour now. Any other hints?

I'm just not seeing anything on #4.

Am I supposed to be focusing on the correct answers, the incorrect answers, or both?

I've tried converting the letter answers (correct and incorrect) to numbers via hex code and using corresponding letters from the grid. I tried using the number of letters in each answer for similar purposes. I tried various other means of positioning.

Before I knew the grid was important, I even went so far as to look into semaphore (with the correct and incorrect answers representing flag positions) as a possibility.

My brain feels like delicious monkey pudding.

More hints for #4:

notice the difference between the wrong answers and the extra letter you get

the letters in the grid are various, but the wrong/correct answers are just a,b,c,d, so you can't just take them as you see them.

On the other hand, there is something very visual about the solution

remember the name of the game and try to put the student back on track

@donhuando:

I assume the correct and incorrect answers are important, as before?

And I guess the question bears repeating again: how do five questions translate to a four-by-four grid?

Lucky you, Tenzhi. Mine just feels like a brick. :[

Ai-yi-yi, monkey pudding bricks pretty much sums up my little zoz-brain cells right now. I think donhuando is my hero (and with that, I'm going to bed).
Good luck everyone!

Ryusui:

Sorry I'm being vague, I just don't want to give a hint too big at one time so it won't ruin the puzzle for anyone.
I can't think of a way to actually say how 5 questions translate to the 4x4 grid without giving away too much.
anyways, both are important.
do you see a connection between the wrong and right answers?
And remember, think visually.

@donhuando
Do you have to use both the incorrect and correct answers? Or just the incorrect answers?

For number 4:

how you get to the correct answer is important

*sigh* Finally got it.

Together, the wrong and right answers form a map. There's no direct indication of where to start, but there's only one place that works.

@Ryusui
How are you supposed to map it without a 'd' in the table?

Oh yes there is, Ryusui.

Donhuando alluded to it earlier.

Side note: GOT IT. :D (Finally... X_x )

Mr. Boomp:

both. but see ajslama'a clue

Still confused. So very, very confused.

I thought maybe I was supposed to be tracing letters onto the grid (like we've done in puzzles before), but there's no way to get a B in there.

So.. I know where you have to start. But I still have no idea how to fit in the 'd'

Nevermind. That was pretty tough

Got it.

I was moving in the wrong direction.

nerdypants:

you need to point the student in the right direction

@donhuando

There is actually only one place where you can start from.

Okay, I'm going to bed now. Hopefully that will recharge my brain and I'll figure everything out tomorrow.

MrBoomp:

i didn't say there was more than one place to start from

Wow, bravo to donhuando. There's no way I would have gotten #4 without his hints.

Well, I finally made it. Shame I still couldn't get it first, but thanks for your help, everyone!

Even with all these hints I'm still stuck on #4 :(

I can only see two ways of using the correct and incorrect answers with the 4x4 grid.

1. The letter by each answer is a coordinate, i.e. A=1.

2. Drawing a line between the letters for the correct and incorrect answer shows you how to move in the grid. I.e. AD would be to move one square to the right and one square up. And F is the starting point.

Sadly none of these methods have yielded a solution. :(

ThemePark:

Take a second look at the directions you're moving...

Wow, #4 was hard, but might be my favorite puzzle yet.

O. M. G., got it at last! The tipping point for me was

drawing an arrow for each wrong-right combination and following that path. Just be careful where you start.

ThemePark:

You're on the right track, but maybe you are going in the opposite direction.

Yeah, turns out I must've made a mistake when trying it out earlier because I got the answer now.

Wow. These are getting way more complicated, but at least there's verification for a right answer.

Finally got #4. That's definitely something I wouldn't have gotten without numerous hints.

Thanks to everyone who helped!

Really stuck on #3, please can you help?

I have worked out the differences but I don't know what to do with the numbers to get a word.

*facepalms*

Oh, for Pete's sake. You're right; the puzzle does give away where to start. But that doesn't change the fact that the directions only fit into the grid one way.

@Vogonviking:

A=1 Z=26

Get it now?

*slaps forehead*. D'oh! Thanks.

Hints for all:

#1

Each of these formulae has one thing wrong.

#2

You're looking for a special alphabet, November Alpha Tango Oscar, to be specific.

#3

Poor Steve got all these wrong. Maybe you should correct them for him, and note the difference.

#4

Something's missing here, namely the grid from the first puzzle. But first, you'll need the right answers, and to point Steve in the right direction. Draw your own conclusions, but if you're looking for a starting point, you've Failed.

Easter Eggs:

#3:

Those numbers in the second row (3, 15, etc.) don't go above 26.

#4:

There seems to be a recurring theme here...

I just got it now thanks to donhuando's hints. Not sure if there is anything else I can say to give hints that won't completely give it away.

The most helpful hint was

remember the name of the game and try to put the student back on track

Still struggling on #4, although now I think I have something to work with and am no longer merely bashing my head against the wall.

I'm not sure I'm doing this right, though.

My efforts only leave me with "a sac of" questions. Am I ill-coordinated?

@ray9na:

Start with the wrong and end with the right.

AB = S
AC = E
AD = SE

And so forth.

Failure is the beginning of success.

I gotta say Steve, I don't like the direction you're headed with these. I know not everyone agrees with me, but one of the things I really enjoyed about your puzzles was how intuitive they were. The answer, while not obvious right from the start, was arrived at in a logical way, and you knew you were right because it made sense, not just because it made a word. I feel like some of your puzzles are taking the approach where we're forced to try any possible solution until one just happens to work. This last one seems like just that: unless I missed it, there's no kind of indication that the method of solving it is the one to use, and frankly, its a pretty big stretch. I don't see how anyone would get it other than guessing.

But that's just my opinion. I don't know how many other people feel the same way. Regardless, I hope you keep doing this man, and doing it the right way, because you've been doing a great job. Thanks.

Made it up to #4 without too much trouble, but now I'm stumped. Donhuando's hints are helping, but I can't figure out how to

fit 12 wrong/right combinations onto the 8 main compass points.

Help!

@bubblecamera, where did you get

12 wrong-right combinations? You should only be able to get 5; one for each question on puzzle #4. Add in an extra letter and you'll have a six-letter word.
I found it helped to draw the arrows for each wrong --> right and then follow the path the arrows make.

@Ryusui:

Thanks! I was putting Descartes before the horse. :-P That and I was focusing on the wrong aspect of failure. But now I am no longer [redacted].

I did like #4, though I felt like the clues could have all been on the same page. Having to schlep back and forth while I worked just added some busywork.

Puzzle 2 was amusing, but contained a lot of distracts. It probably would have been better as puzzle #3 because I felt it was a lot trickier. Puzzle 3 was very simple by comparison.

I really liked the non-standard presentation of this week's puzzles. It provided an extra bit of incentive to find the next since I wanted to see the jokes.

bubblecamera:

i think i understand why you are getting 12 possible combinations, but remember you don't have a point of origin so some of the combinations are exactly the same direction on;y shifted so they should be regarded as exactly the same. this will leave you with 8 real possible directions.
anyways, as zoz already mentioned, you don't really need to find all the possible directions, you just need to see which directions are needed.

Augh, still on #4. I did #1 pretty easily, needed the hint for #2, #3 was super easy again and then #4 was impossible. To be honest, I have to agree with what DAM said only for #4; I feel like LiB should be more intuitive, but still difficult. The type of method that takes a long time to figure out, but after you're done, it all makes sense. Elegant is the word I'm looking for, I guess.

I'm pretty sure I've done most of #4, just a little stuck on

how exactly the 5 letter combinations translate into directions,

and to be honest it seems a little overly complex to me. There's no way I could have come up with anything close to

turning the answers into right-wrong combinations of letters and then mapping them to a grid

by myself, and it doesn't really seem like the type of elegant method that almost all other LiB puzzles follow.

But then, I'm probably wrong, mostly because I'm not the best at these puzzles at all, and the fact that someone obviously COULD solve it without any hints probably means that it can't be too hard.

Anyway, as I said earlier, still stuck on #4.

I know where I'm supposed to start, and know that I'm supposed to move spaces one letter combination at a time, and the letter combinations tell me what direction to go in. But I don't know how I'm supposed to turn

AD, AC, etc

into directions. I'll keep trying things, but could anyone give me the slightest nudge?

I have the feeling the answer's staring me in the face but I still can't see a thing.

Someone above me said that

AB=S,
AC=E
AD=SE

and I cannot for the life of me figure out how they got that. From that, though, and what donhuando said directly above my last post, I think I get the other directions but doing something like

BA= N
BC=E
BD=NE

or something along the lines of that. But I still have no idea how I'm supposed to work out what goes where at all, and how I'm supposed to how I'm supposed to know if it couldn't be this either:

BA=N
BC=W
BD=NW

Argh, I feel like I'm within touching range of the answer, but this is eluding me.

Pixelated: It's much more simple than you might think. In fact, you could almost say that it's

COMPLETELY STRAIGHTFORWARD.

#4 isn't really straightforward at all. It's extremely convoluted and unintuitive.

Pixelated, just keep in mind:

You're drawing a line, pointing in the right direction.

I think that's as much of a hint as I can give without straight up telling you the answer.

Wow. That was... odd. And unintuitive. I got the answer, but... Honestly,

the answer pretty much sums up how I (and Steve's teacher) feel right now.

Ah, well. At least it's my birthday.

As a former college English teacher, I so appreciate the note on #2! This one is fun!

Out of curiosity--someone above said that at least there was verification for the correct answer. What verification is there?

@dsrtrosy:

Put your answer in the URL the same way as with any other puzzle. If you're correct, you'll get a small image with a positive statement.

I STILL can't get it. Really haven't made much progress from last post, and not starting to doubt that I was right with that thinking anyway.

Am I at least right in thinking that

the letter that we start on is the first letter of the word? And then the five letter combinations give five additional letters?

Aaaaaaaand finally, epiphany hits.

And yes, "that" is a little how I feel right now.

Re-reading through all the clues now, and of course, they don't seem so cryptic now that I've got the answer.
I think the main clue which helped set off the epiphany for me was ajslama's clue on the previous page.
Because what I'd done a couple hours ago was

memorize the five simple letter combinations and closed the tab, going straight back to #1,

believing that was all I needed to know to solve it. Admittedly, stupid of me. Anyway, still don't want to give away too much, so I'll leave it there. Thanks everyone, and thanks Steve, for a very challenging LiB.

Finally figured out

I needed to "map" the solution.

None of the other hints helped me, so maybe this one will help someone else.

I still have no idea. I've spent 3 days on #4. I've tried

mapping it

. I get where to start but soon as I start nothing seems to make sense anymore. I'm just lost.

sunney444:

Okay, this is really giving away a significant amount, but...

Imagine that you are Steve's geography teacher. You want to correct his quiz. Show him which answer he should have circled by drawing an arrow from the answer he gave to the correct answer. Now map the arrows onto the grid.

Ha! Last night at about 11 I was staring at #4, and a thought hit me:

Not much of a spoiler, but I thought, "What would things look like if I circled the CORRECT answers?" After doing so, I immediately realized how one could get a six-letter answer out of five questions, if only you knew the first letter.

...and I realized the first letter is actually GIVEN to you. Or at least, it was to Steve, you might say.

Delighted that I'd found the answer, I went to open a tab for my e-mail...and my Internet connection was down. Poo. I guess the deadline hasn't passed, though, so I'll send it in now.

Great puzzles, Steve! Especially the last one, which, as I solved it, I commented to the person that I was with that it was typical of what I consider to be a good puzzle: It's incredibly difficult, but once you figure it out, you think, "Oh, of course, that makes sense!"

Frankly, Steve, I disappointed that you didn't begin that last comment with 'Pens down!'

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Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death

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