I was reminded of this story today, sort of the personal gazebo story
for a run I was in a couple of years ago. And now I have this place to post stories to the world, so here goes.
The party has, through mysterious circumstances, acquired a peculiar house. Then, through more mysterious circumstances, we get a package with a little silver hammer, and a code. It takes us about a run, and then we decode:
"Beat the clock at noon!" we exclaim to ourselves, and go hit all the clocks in the house with the hammer at noon. Nothing happens. Hmm. Well, how about the sundial in the back yard? We hit that at noon. Nothing. Well, actually, it's a moondial, so we hit it at lunar noon, whatever we think that is. Nothing. Hmm. Well, the hedge maze seems to travel around the back yard. If north is twelve, and south is six o clock, then over there in that part of the yard is noon. We go to the center of the hedge maze when it's over there and hit everything in sight with the hammer. Or maybe we should hit something else, when the hedge maze is over there. We hit the sundial again, and all the other clocks. We try again at midnight, just in case, because midnight is really the same as noon, as far as a clock is concerned.
We spend an entire run running about hitting everything we can possibly find with a hammer. Clocks, people pretending to be clocks, things that can't possibly mistaken for clocks. It's hopeless.
Finally, the GM can take it no more.
"Be *at* the clock at noon!" he shouts. "Be *at* the clock at noon."
Then he collapses into a little puddle.
Oh. We all look at mjp, who did the decoding. He looks sheepish.
So... ahah. The hammer must be what we're supposed to use to get through that mysterious glass wall (which, astonishingly, was probably the only thing in the house we didn't suspect of being a clock in disguise). We do. It shatters. We go through the opening, and look, there's the magic clock. It strikes noon and off we go. :)