What a rip off! That is no help at all. I’ve already been through the rest of my inventory, and there’s no other item that could realistically open a... oh, it’s the can opener, isn’t it? That would be the most nonsensical solution, and so it’s clearly the correct one. I send Laverne the can opener that Hoagie is inexplicably carrying and, yes, it works. Vinegar acquired. Just the gold to go.
Elsewhere, I’m starting to understand what I must do in the other time periods. For Laverne, I need to lure away the tentacle guarding the grandfather clock that leads to the basement. To do that, I’ll need to free the prisoners by offering their warden the free dinner that can be won from the tentacle’s Crufts-like human beauty contest. Problem: I don’t know where to get a human.
In Bernard’s time, I engineer a situation that results in Fred sleepwalking to his safe. But every time I go to grab the contract secured inside, he sleepslams the door shut. What a sleepjerk.
Back in Hoagie’s time, I can’t find the gold. It’s probably the pen by the draft Constitution, but I can’t tell if the horse’s dentures are gold or grubby yellow. Oh, right, yes: there’s a talking horse. I can’t wait to discover what logical, grounded and not at all contrived puzzle he’s involved in.
I attempt to get some value for money by tricking Andy into revealing more than he should. “How do I get the gold?” I ask. “And, if it has anything to do with starting a rainstorm, how do I get the soap?” The latter has to do with a puzzle thread I don’t really understand, but I’m convinced will make me angry once it’s played out. I’m not even sure it’s relevant to my current situation. Mostly, I’m just frustrated that there’s an inventory item I can’t pick up. Every time I try, the cleaner scolds me and walks off with it.
My hope is that by my questioning a link between the two puzzles, Andy will be a bit broader in his hints. It doesn’t work. “You need to keep the maid busy long enough to grab the soap. As for the gold, the pen is mightier than the sword. $6.”
What a swindle! $6 for information I (mostly) knew! I’d already figured I’d need to keep the maid busy, I just don’t know how. The only interactive element in Washington’s room is the bed, and I can’t seem to use any item on it. In desperation, I try using the bed by itself. It works. Hoagie nudges against it, messing up the blankets. I call the maid and grab the soap.
As for the other hint, I suppose it at least confirms that it’s the pen I’m after. Also, now I have the soap I can clean the cart to trigger a rainstorm. Let’s not stop to consider how idiotic that last sentence is, and instead stop to wonder why I need to trigger a rainstorm. I have no clue. I do it anyway, and, as a result, Benjamin Franklin returns to the hotel. I guess that’s progress.
Using a letter from the past, Bernard gains access to a flag gun which I swap with a cigar lighter so as to pilfer an exploding cigar without blowing my face off. Perhaps, at times over the last two decades, you’ve wondered why adventure games died out. I’d argue that the answer lies within this paragraph. If you’re au fait with the genre, you should be able to puzzle out the answer. No? Here’s another clue: I then gave the exploding cigar to George Washington to blow out his false teeth.
Here I realise that I can use the chattering joke teeth from Bernard’s time. If I can give them to Washington, people will assume he’s cold and light the fire. I’m not sure how this will help, but I figure any puzzle to do with the founding fathers will get me the gold pen.
The trouble is I can’t get the chattering teeth. They bounce away whenever Bernard gets near them. Once again, I try everything in my inventory to no avail. Fine, Andy, you win again.
“Catching the chattering teeth? That would be grate. $3.”
As a games journalist, Andy’s idea of a cryptic clue involves puns. Still, I had previously tried to pry open the grate. Unless, that is, I can just open it. I tell Bernard to open it, and, of course, it opens. Stupid verb wall.