The puzzle case (How well do you know MEL?)

03/05/2015

One of MechSE’s secrets is the puzzle case sitting in the Mechanical Engineering Lab. A MechSE professor designed and built it with the goal of creating something challenging for students to solve. (Which professor?  That’s another secret, one you’ll have to find out for yourself.) Time and again alumni have lamented that as a student they walked right by the puzzle case and didn’t realize what it was. Others have tried to solve it only to be stumped.   

The puzzle case in MEL.
The puzzle case in MEL.
The puzzle case greets you with the following message:

PLEASE

Large forces, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, etc. are not needed and will damage me. Gentle pulling and probing, thinking, and exploring, those actions might unlock my secrets.

First one to open the case can rescue this dollar bill.
First one to open the case can rescue this dollar bill.
If you successfully open the puzzle case, you can write your name on a piece of paper and leave it behind the glass for all to see. What’s really fun is when people decide to leave more than their names.  Currently there’s an unmarked key hanging on the balance and a dollar bill that says, “Rescue me!”  Back in December, someone put a bowl containing a live goldfish in the case with a sign that read, “Please help me!  I’m hungry!” The fish was soon saved by another student. I think you all should try it, if only because it’s there—where else will you find anything like it?

Also, here’s a hint: have two.

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