Friday Foxer #24

Every Friday at 1300 hours, Tally-Ho Corner’s cleverest clogs come together to solve a ‘foxer’ handcrafted by my sadistic chum and colleague, Roman. A complete ‘defoxing’ sometimes takes several days and usually involves the little grey cells of many readers. Don’t be shy. All are welcome to participate.

When is a cluster foxer not a cluster foxer? When it’s a chronodungeon! In Roman’s latest foxer type a grid of 25 pictures doubles as the floorplan of a dungeon/cave network. Your task is to enter the dungeon, explore it, gathering jewels and slaying monsters as you go, then exit with as many precious stones as possible.

Deciphering the floorplan is the first step. The date a picture was taken (all of the pictures are from Wikipedia) tells you what it represents. Photos taken in December represent doors – your way into and out of dungeons (there’s always at least one of these on the edge of the grid). January, June, and July pics are jewels (the precise date indicates the number, so a Jan 14th pic, for example, contains 14 jewels). March and May images are monsters (Entering these squares for the first time costs you Health Points. A May 12th pic would reduce your HP total by 12). September squares contain salve, a one-time boost to your HP (The pic shown above would restore 19 HP). October squares are obstructions – impassable squares. Lastly there are abysses, squares that you can only traverse if you have sufficient HP (For example, to cross an April 27th or August 27th pic you’d need at least 27 HP). As it’s impossible to change direction on an abyss square and diagonal movement within a dungeon is forbidden, an abyss square in a grid corner is effectively impassable).

Pics taken in February (flip-all) and November (nowt) represent ’empty’ areas.

Once the floorplan has been deciphered, work out a route through the dungeon that a) bags you as many jewels as possible, and b) doesn’t cost you your life! Routes must start and end at door squares. Visiting every accessible square in a dungeon is not necessary.

You enter today’s chronodungeon with 50 HP.

* * *



Last week’s hive foxer theme: elephants (defoxed by ylla)

babar (phos)
bastille (Viscount)
clock (Viscount, Nutfield)
forty (ylla)
gop (Viscount)
graveyard (Viscount)
gun (alison, Viscount)
hanno (phos)
howdah (ylla)
khartoum (alison)
kumki (ylla)
loxodonta (ylla)
merrick (ylla)
mahout (Nutfield)
matriarch (Viscount)
musth (ylla)
pink (alison)
polo (alison, ylla)
rumble (Nutfield)
surus (phos, ylla)
tuffi (phos)
white (Viscount)


  1. Y68 – Marta Bohn-Meyer – photo taken in 1992, not sure which month but Wikipedia says “created” 1 January.

  2. I have a meeting in 10 mins and then house hunting this afternoon, so i’ll check later, good luck!

  3. Someone managed to neatly line things up the last time, but I’m not sure if it’ll work for me…


    I think the moral of that story is that question marks are unreasonably narrow…

    OOO = obstruction
    Mx = monster costing x hit points
    Ax = abyss requiring x hit points to cross
    Jx = x jewels
    Sx = salve which in our case we do not have
    D^D = door letting us in

  4. V70 – Start of 100K unicycle race (Unicon 16) – 31 July 2012 = The maximum 31 Jewels

    Z66 – Mk 47 Striker Automatic Grenade Launcher – 5 September 2002 = A paltry 5-point Salve

    • W67 – SpaceX “Starman” suits as worn on Crew Dragon Demo 2 (mission/launch) – 30 March 2020 = Nasty Monster bleeds you for 30 HP

    • Z70 – Historical osteotome, a medical bone chainsaw (on the Chainsaw page) – 1 July 2007 = Piffling 1 Jewel

    • W68 – Holyland Model of Jerusalem (though Herod’s temple makes me think it’s a Serious Sam level) – 9 November 2008 = Empty square

  5. Z68 – Pitons, 1950s–1960s mild steel (mountaineering aid) – 4 January 2006 = Barely worth it 4 Jewels


    • X67 – Dakar Rally trophy for trucks (2011) – 10 March 2011 = Monster doing 10HP of damage

      Y70 – Kachin Independence Army cadets – 1 October 2016 = Obstruction


      So far it looks doing a P shape:
      Enter door, go up (collect 26 jewels) and up again twice more: crossing the abyss and fighting the monsters – 26 jewels, 22 HP
      Right twice, picking up more jewels and salve – 51 jewels, 27 HP
      Down across the abyss to get yet more jewels – 55 jewels, 27 HP
      Then left, pick a single jewel and across the abyss…
      – ending up in the Empty square with 56 jewels and 27 HP

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