Massively Happy

This is a mystery puzzle in video form. By mystery puzzle, I mean a problem in which the player infers its rules from the activity itself, and its answer is (usually) in the form of a word, or short phrase. Mystery puzzles are typically “scored” on the basis of time you take to solve them; in this one, you can also choose to solve with less information, and use observation in lieu of logic, or vice versa. Please do not spoil the solution in the comments section.

This puzzle's video format provides for pacing, as additional information is gradually revealed. The video pace is rather hectic for all but the most experienced individuals (or teams, if you can get them), so feel free to pause whenever you feel you have enough information to work with; skipping ahead risks confusion.
  • Supersolvers are likely to have sufficient information at about the time the square tiles appear.
  • Typical solvers will require the chevrons.
  • The rest of us may need to wait until a minute or so before the end.
  • Recognising the centerpiece is neither neccessary nor expected; it merely provides a way to verify your answer.

This puzzle was inspired by this MSIG 2008 puzzle, although it does not follow the recipe to the letter. Unlike that however, this one is ugly. Distractingly ugly. I always wondered how presentation / aesthetics affects solvability, and this blog aims, among other things, to let me find out. In other words, some puzzles are going to be hideously ugly, and I'd like to hear all about it.