Tip: Keep Trying
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
If you think you have the solution to a lock, but it's not working, try looking at it from different perspectives. Maybe you're putting the numbers, letters, colors, etc. in the wrong order. Maybe you need to go right to left instead of left to right or from top to bottom instead of bottom to top.
If you think you have the right answer, but it's not working, ask someone else on your team to look at it. He or she might see something you're missing.
If you have an idea, but you’re afraid to try it because it might be a bad idea, try it anyway. Game designers work hard to make you try Nee things and think outside of the box. I can’t count the number of times (especially in high quality rooms) I’ve thought, “this can’t actually work,” and it did.
Is there a mirror? Maybe that means you should look at the solution backward in the mirror.
Is the room upside down? Then the answer may be upside down.
Is there an arrow by one digit? That often means is the beginning of the solution.
Are the puzzle pieces colored? Look for things in the room that are those same colors to find out what order to put the colors in.
Is it a generation two (electronic) lock/puzzle that requires you to place items in specific locations? Try moving the pieces around to make sure they are on the sensors. Talk about what you are doing. If the game master hears or sees that you have the solution, but it isn't working, he or she might give you a free hint about how to open the lock.
If you have all but one of the digits in a code, you can usually guess that last one. That's pretty easy when the code is a word like "hap-y, cloc-, or p-one," but it's also easy to just guess all the options on a number or letter lock. After you put in the digits you know, just spin the last digit until the lock opens. This is obviously not true if you're attempting to open a lockout safe/keypad (a keypad that causes you to fail or take a time penalty if you try the wrong code too many times).
With that said, there are dangers in trying too long to solve a puzzle. It can be detrimental to your game to try a puzzle for too long when you are stuck. I wrote another post called Tips: Urgency. In that post I wrote about the importance of taking hints early and often. Also, there are lockout locks, usually on safes or phones, that will lock you out or inflict a time penalty if you key in too many incorrect solutions. In those cases, you will have to be fairly confident before you attempt to open the lock. If you fail, it's probably a good idea to take a hint or go back to the puzzle and hope for a breakthrough.