Nord and Bert couldn't make Head or Tail of It - Solution
1 Introduction, Shopping
2 Playing Jacks
3 Buy the Farm
4 Eat Your Words
5 Act the Part
6 Manor of Speaking
7 Shake a Tower
8 Meet the Mayor, Endgame
NORD AND BERT COULDN'T MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF IT
Poor Nord and Bert. Some sort of disharmonic convergence of linguistics
has left their town of Punster in chaos. You've been traveling the countryside,
passing Muster, going through Changes,and now you find yourself in inveterate
Punster, where your generous offer of help has been accepted. To set things
straight, you'll need to leave no phrase unturned, no cliche unmined, and no
There are eight scenarios in NORD AND BERT COULDN'T MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF IT.
But it's not as if Infocom has up and left you without a clue. During any of
the scenarios, simply type the word "hint," and you're offered a menu of
topics related to the scenario (which, in themselves, can tip you off to
puzzles you may have missed). By choosing a topic, you're given anything
from a mere drop of a hint to a saturated solution.
The first seven scenarios can be completed in any order, but the eighth
requires, randomly, one of the seven passwords obtainable only at the ends of
the preceding seven. Some can be played through without scoring all the
available points; others must be completely solved before the password is
Let's take the scenes in the order in which the game presents them. The first
is GO TO THE SHOPPING BIZARRE. Designed to make a basket case out of the player,
this segment utilizes homonyms (words that sound the same as other words) as
solutions. You start off in the Dessert Aisle. Health codes notwithstanding,
there is a moose in the aisle.To change an item into its homonym, just type
that homonym: type MOUSSE and the moose will become just that. Then you might
notice some frozen numbers in your grocer's freezer: a 22 over 7. Using simple
division, even gamers of the lowest common denominator will take only a
fraction of second to realize that this is 3.1416 (and so on), or "pi." Type
PIE, and the frozen pi becomes frozen pie.
Proceed to MISC, or Musselaneous. Change TACKS to TAX, SAIL to SALE, and
MUSSELS to MUSCLES. You're going to want the tax and the sale for later, so
Moving to your Write (I'll Write), you'll find flour, a clause, some
stationary reams of paper, and a stack of quartz. Change them, respectively, to
FLOWER, CLAWS, STATIONERY, and QUARTS. There's a door behind the quarts, so
take a quart. You still can't access the door until you've changed the LOCKS to
LOX and the JAMB to JAM. Take the lox. Smell the flower. Notice the wonderful
scent, which you then change to a CENT. Find the penny. Pick it up. Now you can
open that door and go down into the cellar. Change it to SELLER, but don't
buy anything from her yet.
At some point (it's not important when), you'll run across a pesky little
girl. Examine her and read the ribbon she's wearing. It's an award for being
the "worst brat." Change her to BRATWURST and take her along.
Head over to the Meets. Here you'll find mince and steak. You'll need them
both, but not before you change them into MINTS and STAKE. Now run over to
the British Aisle. The sign above the box boy informs you that this is the
putting section. Change it to the PUDDING section. Before you know it,
ants will be crawling in the muck. Change them to AUNTS. They'll be milling
around, looking for their niece. Change the bratwurst back into WORST BRAT, and
they'll be out of your hair.
Now for the big game. Go to the Manicotti Aisle where a cereal murderer
is tearing the stuffing out of boxes of cereal and pasta. Notice those fangs?
You could attack him with the stake, but his lousy breath drives you back. Give
him the mint, and though he won't eat it, he will taste it enough to improve
that halitosis. Now ATTACK MAN WITH STAKE.
Go back to the Cellar. If you try to buy something, you'll find you can only
buy it if it's on sale. We're using lox in this example, though there are other
items you can buy as well. Since you've got a sale with you, PUT LOX ON SALE.
Now BUY LOX. As long as you've got the cent and the tax, you've done it! Upon
receiving the code phrase "Super Saver,"you leave the Bizarre Bazaar and go
back to the opening menu.
In PLAYING JACKS, all the solutions are in some way connected to the word
"Jack." There's a wooden house; go inside. Here you'll find a contraption
with an electric switch, a furry ball, acrank, a piece of metal, a faucet, and
sleeves. You first want to try all the different gadgets in the
Jack-of-all-Traits. PULL the BALL, and a jackrabbit jumps out. TURN THE SWITCH,
and the contraption turns into a jackhammer. TURN OFF THE SWITCH, and
you've got your contraption back. PULL METAL, and it's a jackknife; CLOSE
JACKKNIFE and the contraption returns. TURN CRANK and the Jack-in-the-box comes
out; CLOSE BOX and (surprise) the Jack-of-all-Traits is whole again. TURN
THE FAUCET, and you've got a jacuzzi! PULL THE PLUG, and before you can say
"Jack Robinson," you're back in business. Now WEAR THE SLEEVES and the
contraption transforms into a jacket (one of those Lumberjack jackets, no
Now you're ready to hit the road, Jack. Wearing the jacket, head out into the
forest until you start getting snippets of a vaguely familiar song. Who nips at
one's nose? Type JACK FROST, and suddenly you're near a pond, and Jack
himself is there, looking frightfully unhappy. And he won't let you out on the
ice until you cheer him up.
TAKE OFF THE JACKET and TURN THE CRANK. Jack Frost is easily amused, isn't he?
CLOSE THE BOX again and notice the mermaid. She's tangled in fishing line.
Since you can't untangle her, PULL METAL, CUT THE FISHLINE, and CLOSE
KNIFE. TURN THE FAUCET and go for a swim with the grateful mermaid. Lastly,
PULL THE PLUG, and you hit the jackpot.You're given the code word "Jackster."
You're back at the beginning, and you're ready to BUY THE FARM. Here,
cliches are taken literally. You start out on the road again. Notice the old
dog? TEACH OLD DOG A NEW TRICK. He comes to life, runs about, and brings you a
stone. Take the stone and go to the Barn. The dog'll follow you in and knock
over a canister of milk. DON'T CRY OVER SPILT MILK, you've got more important
things to do if you're going to save the McCleary's farm. Go up to the loft.
You'll notice a grindstone and a hammer.PUT NOSE TO GRINDSTONE, TAKE THE HAMMER,
then go down and to the Field.
There's a molehill here. Given your circumstances, you'll naturally want to
MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF THE MOLEHILL. A couple of birds begin hovering about.
(Here I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get them into a bush,
so I could get one in the hand.) Take the bloodthirsty approach: KILL TWO
BIRDS WITH ONE STONE. And before you leave for greener pastures, LOOK FOR A
NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK.
Now go to the Barnyard. Swords are definitely inappropriate implements;
fortunately, you've got the hammer which enables you to BEAT SWORDS INTO
PLOWSHARES. They were resting against the broad side of the barn, an
irresistible target. HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF THE BARN. TAKE THE TAIL and the
SOW'S EAR. With the needle, MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF SOW'S EAR. Open the purse,
and you've got pretty penny.
Head over to the stable. The horse has a ribbon tied around it; you can tell
it's a gift by its very "presents." LOOK THE GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH. Since
it's apparently quite dry, LEAD THE HORSE TO WATER. MAKE IT DRINK.He trots off,
but don't go anywhere yet. If you examine the trough, you'll notice it's
divided into two parts, one of which is full of wild oats. Here's your big
chance: SOW THE WILD OATS. How anti-climactic!
Get your act together and take it on the Road. There's a wooden cart here.
PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE. GET IN THE CART. Now, and only now, can you
proceed to the Market.
Get out of the cart and take a good look around. The applecart looks ripe
for picking on: UPSET THE APPLECART. EXAMINE THE PEPPERS. PICK A PECK OF
PICKLED PEPPERS. Now, this last item can be solved in two different ways. You
can, with the pretty penny, either BUY THE PIG IN A POKE, or PAY THE PIPER.
Either way, you're left holding the bag. Not really, though, you have to be
sure to take it. Get in the Cart and go back to the Road. Get out of the cart
and go to the Stable. PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY. And remember those pesky
mice you couldn't seem to do anything with? While the cat's away, the mice will
play. And since you can tell by the mewing that the bag's got a cat in it,
LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG. And you've done it, you've saved the farm. Your
code word is "Sodbuster."
EAT YOUR WORDS is the next item on the menu. In this little adventure, you
again use cliches to alternately antagonize and placate the waitress.
Most of the game can be played right at your table. The description of the room
points out the shadowy umbrage. You're a bit piqued already, so you might as
well TAKE UMBRAGE WITH WAITRESS. Examine her, and you'll find she's got a
woolen headband, making it a cinch to PULL THE WOOL OVER HER EYES. Once you've
blinded her, TAKE THE SIGN and examine it. It says "Comeuppance." And so you
GIVE THE WAITRESS HER COMEUPPANCE.
Her shoulders also seem to be littered with paraphernalia; KNOCK CHIP OFF HER
SHOULDER and GET HER DANDER UP. At some point, she'll be serving you food,
despite your persistent annoyances. When she gives you the collective of
lions' meat, follow your "haunch" and SWALLOW MY PRIDE. Eventually, you'll
also need to EAT HUMBLE PIE.
And, as the table seems to wobble, perhaps you can TURN THE TABLES ON THE
WAITRESS. Do an inventory, and you'll find you have many items you can use on
her. That pain in your spleen will subside if you VENT SPLEEN ON WAITRESS
(which sounds messy). You should also GIVE WAITRESS THE EVIL EYE and LOOK AT
WAITRESS WITH JAUNDICED EYE. TAKE THE HATCHET, you'll need it later.
Examine your tablecloth, and you'll find you've gotten the short shrift.
TAKE it and GIVE IT TO WAITRESS. By now, she should have served you a fortune
cookie with a salt shaker. SHAKE THE SALT SHAKER and you'll get a grain of
salt; OPEN THE COOKIE and READ THE ADVICE. TAKE THE ADVICE WITH A GRAIN OF
SALT. If she's served you any crow, you can (of course) attempt to eat crow,
but you'll find it's too nitty-gritty. So GET DOWN TO THE NITTY-GRITTY. And
when she serves you the unevenly cooked rump roast, TURN THE OTHER CHEEK.
She'll also provide you with a small, white napkin. Take it and WAVE THE WHITE
FLAG then go upstairs.
Perhaps you'll get some satisfaction if you'll HIT THE CEILING. But probably
not. There's a carpet here. The waitress should have followed you. What better
time to CALL WAITRESS ON THE CARPET? Take the rake, break off and take the
olive branch, and take the desserts somebody has thoughtfully left. Read the
sign -- it's the riot act. READ THE WAITRESS THE RIOT ACT and RAKE WAITRESS
OVER THE COALS.
And as if that weren't enough, GIVE WAITRESS HER JUST DESSERTS. Now, be
nice. OFFER WAITRESS THE OLIVE BRANCH. At last, you can say ciao to the
waitress for good. Head downstairs and into the kitchen.
Note that the red curtain comes off in your hands. Once you've entered the
kitchen, you'll see that there's a lot of bad blood between you and the cook.
CLEAN BLOOD WITH CAPE. The grindstone is there. No use putting your nose to it
anymore, but you do have an axe to grind with the cook, so GRIND AXE. WAVE THE
CAPE. A couple of beasts will enter: a goat and a goose. Presuming they belong
to the cook, COOK HIS GOOSE and GET HIS GOAT.
The cook's got a can he seems to be concerned with. Examine the can and
notice that it's Laughing Stock. MAKE COOK A LAUGHING STOCK. About now, the
floor will start getting hot, so JUMP INTO FRYING PAN, then JUMP FROM FRYING
PAN INTO THE FIRE. The cook will by now be fiddling with his devices. Best, of
course, to LEAVE COOK TO HIS OWN DEVICES. Before you know it, an ox
storms into the room. Fortunately, you've got an axe; GORE THE OX. And at
last, you've quelled the tempest in the Teapot. Your code phrase is "Satisfied
In ACT THE PART, you take over the role that Brad Watkins used to play, and
the game requires you to "play along" with the gags. In this segment, offstage
voices prevent you from doing much that's off the track of the game. Since
you need to perform ALL the tasks before the game will let you continue, you
can do them in just about any order.
First, go along with the "Knock, knock" joke. You don't need to use a say
command, just type WHO'S THERE and BOB WHO? You're going to have to shake his
hand whether you want to or not, then follow Bob into the kitchen. Once you're
there, TAKE THE GLOVES and WEAR GLOVES. Also, TAKE SPONGE and TAKE BOTTLE. It's
used like a whoopee cushion, so before you do anything else, BLOW INTO BOTTLE
so it'll be ready when you need it. TAKE SCALPEL.
Go back out into the Living Room. Bob will set you up with a riddle, and you
have to provide the punchline: THE BACKSTROKE. Understandably, he'll get up
and head into the (otherwise locked) bathroom. While he's gone, PUT THE
BOTTLE UNDER THE CUSHION. He'll come back in, sit down, and the audience will
See that live wire? TAKE THE CORD. TOUCH THE CORD TO BOB. We've come a long
way since that kind of humor was in style, haven't we? Notice that you're
wearing a coat and that the coat contains a match. LIGHT THE MATCH and
PUT THE MATCH IN THE HOLE in Bob's shoe. He'll get a hotfoot.
About this time there'll be a knock on the door. Again, play along: WHO'S
THERE and GORILLA WHO are the obvious, and correct, responses. For a painfully
predictable gag, EXAMINE LADY. Now, do anything with the sponge. For example,
THROW SPONGE. The game will prompt you to clarify which sponge you mean, the
blue sponge or Bob. Say BOB, and the audience will hoot at the merry mix-up
of which sponge is which.
There's a lamp with a lampshade on it. Go on, cut up: WEAR THE LAMPSHADE. Bob
goes back into the bathroom, and there's a third (3 is, after all, the funniest
number) "Knock, knock" joke. WHO'S THERE, and DWAYNE WHO for those who
haven't caught on yet. Lastly, remember how the bottle in front of you gave you
ideas? The old joke, to which the punchline is "I'd rather have a free
bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy," is the solution. GIVE BOB A
FRONTAL LOBOTOMY. That's a wrap! You get the code name "King of Comedy" and
return to the beginning.
The MANOR OF SPEAKING isn't really a wordplay puzzle, it's much closer to a
typical Infocom scenario. The main problem here is to fix the attic, which
has reversed itself. To do so, first go to the Pharmacy and OPEN THE MEDICINE
CABINET. If you examine it, you'll find an intricately decorated old bottle.
TAKE THE BOTTLE and go back to the Interior Decorated. You're going to need
the chair, so PUT BOTTLE ON MANTEL. The room will ask you if you think the
bottle makes the right statement there. YES. When the room asks you what it can
give you in return, say CHAIR. TAKE THE CHAIR (you can't be carrying
anything else) and move it to the Kremlin. Drop it there and proceed to
the Doldrums. In here, you can't use any word more than once; you need to find
synonyms for every word you use once you've used it. So don't mince words
here. TAKE CLOCK. Go back to the pharmacy and TAKE BOX. PUT THE CLOCK IN
THE BOX, WIND CLOCK, and CLOSE BOX.
Proceed directly to the Kremlin. The portrait of Karl Marx, assuming you've
got a bomb, will dislodge itself from the wall, revealing a safe. You can only
open the safe with a key, and the only key around is the one in the clock. Now,
you can't remove that key from the clock, but that doesn't matter. OPEN
BOX, TAKE CLOCK, and OPEN SAFE WITH WINDING KEY. Inside the safe is a
revolution. TAKE THE REVOLUTION.
What around this house really needs to go through a revolution? The attic, of
course. Go to the attic and REVOLVE THE ATTIC, get the code phrase "Honored
Guest," and you'll be turned out of the house and back to the beginning.
SHAKE A TOWER utilizes Spoonerisms (the interchange of the beginning sounds of
words in a phrase) as solutions. Thus, the title might really be TAKE A SHOWER.
Get it? Then gear we hoe.
You start in a Clearing, and can go nowhere from here until you solve the
first couple puzzles. Turn the lead house into a HEAD LOUSE, which will stay
with you for quite awhile. Also turn the gritty pearl into a PRETTY GIRL, who
will "shine on the door." Turn that to DINE ON THE SHORE, and you find yourself
on the shore!
She's holding a pan of keys. Transform it into a CAN OF PEAS, and when it does,
one single shining key will be left, as well as the can of peas. Take them both.
The pretty girl dives into the river. Try to dive after her, and the game will
tell you that you can't until you shake off your toes. Now you need to TAKE OFF
YOUR SHOES. You'll automatically dive into the water and retrieve the pretty
girl, who's somehow returned to the gritty pearl state.
Your path is blocked by the rocks. Examine the rocks, and you'll see
they're just hungry. FEED PEAS TO ROCKS and you wind up with fed rocks. Switch
that to RED FOX (no relation), and the scenery changes. The next sight you'll
see is that of a queer old dean and a shoving leopard. These two Spoonerisms
(and several to come) are attributed in histories directly to the Reverend
Spooner himself. Change the former to DEAR OLD QUEEN and the latter to LOVING
SHEPHERD. As the shepherd departs, he'll scrawl a message in the sand -- a
message that's unreadable (perhaps because it's written in Sandscript). As
he "leads between the Rhine," change that to READ BETWEEN THE LINES. You'll
be advised to follow your shepherd. Do just that.
Now you're in the Old Factory. Here you see the shepherd trying to pull a habit
out of a rat. PULL A RABBIT OUT OF A HAT. TAKE THE HAT and WEAR IT. The head
louse jumps onto the hat, an important detail. Your "oldfactory" senses lead
you to a pile of burning foam underneath an icicle, and a book of riddles. TAKE
THE BOOK and RIDDLE WHILE FOAM BURNS. The icicle, by now well-boiled, drops to
the ground. TAKE IT and change it from a well-boiled icicle to a WELL-OILED
BICYCLE (another supposedly authentic Spoonerism). You can drop the book if
you want, but TAKE THE BICYCLE and head into the Stock Room.
See the Jean Client? Turn him into a CLEAN GIANT. He'll climb up the large
pile of jeans. The long description of the room holds the key to the correct
Spoonerism here: Back of the Jean Stock must be reversed into JACK AND THE
BEANSTALK (though simply BEANSTALK is sufficient). If you're carrying
anything, drop it (except for the hat, which you need to be wearing).
You'll hear a mare's squeal, which should be turned into a SQUARE MEAL,
which you may remember hearing the pretty girl lament about. The blushing
crow must be made a CRUSHING BLOW. Leave them both there and go up.
On Cloud 673, the Clean Giant will pour melted butter on the beanstalk, making
escape impossible for the moment. Notice how the clouds are sagging underneath
the giant? TAKE OFF THE HAT and GIVE IT TO THE GIANT. Now change the head louse
(which is still in the hat) back into the LEAD HOUSE, and the giant sinks
slowly in the west. To get back down the beanstalk, there's a shed of beets
which you must rename BED SHEETS. Now TIE SHEETS and go down.
Immediately upon your descent, the Giant will attempt to sew you to a
sheet. SHOW ME TO A SEAT. He'll attack you with the needle. Quickly, pick up
the crushing blow, and DELIVER THE CRUSHING BLOW TO THE GIANT.
Change the sold elf to your OLD SELF. He was trying to make a tall smock, so
change that to MAKE SMALL TALK WITH OLD SELF. He'll tell you that you need
transportation to get to the Clearing. Before you go anywhere, be sure to take
the gritty pearl, the shiny key, and the square meal. Then get on the bike and go
to the Clearing.
Turn the gritty pearl back into the Pretty Girl. GIVE SQUARE MEAL TO PRETTY
GIRL. Turn her back into the gritty pearl, take the pearl, and UNLOCK DOOR
WITH SHINY KEY. And for all your hard work, you're given the code spoonerism
Now you've got the seven codes, and you're ready to MEET THE MAYOR. If
necessary, provide the codes to the first seven scenes, and you'll end up in
the Public Square.
Here again, cliches are applied to a sensitive situation. This time you're
trying to put the mayor and his administration back on the right track.
Look around. Apparently, somebody's already been stumping for the mayor and
has left with one-tenth of the laws of the land. You can't simply take the town
crier's horn, but since possession is nine-tenths of the law, TAKE POSSESSION
OF THE HORN. Around the Town House are laurel bushes, so BEAT AROUND THE BUSH.
You'll find a ticket "redeemable" for a blessing. Leave it outside. But do TAKE
A BRANCH from the laurel bushes.
Go inside and notice the six-pack of politicians, made older, Budweiser by
the ravages of time. Read the document above the six-pack -- a number of false
pretenses. Like the horn, you can't just take the beer; you have to TAKE BEER
UNDER FALSE PRETENSES.
Upstairs in the bathroom, there's a lame duck in the bathtub. TAKE LAME
DUCK. The duck turns into the mayor, who'll be glad to hear somebody else
(namely you) TOOT YOUR OWN HORN for a change. There'll be a jar in the room,
so say AJAR. Suddenly, there's a closet door ajar. In a puddle on the floor,
there's a fine-tooth comb. TAKE COMB and SEARCH CLOSET WITH FINE-TOOTH COMB. True
to form, the Mayor's got a skeleton in the closet. TAKE THE SKELETON and GIVE
THE SKELETON THE DEEP SIX (Wouldn't it be nice if it were all that simple?).
There are two more things you have to do in the bathroom. Number one, TAKE THE
LINEN. Number two, TAKE THE DISGUISE (it'll fall out of the linen while
you're doing Number One). As you leave, you'll want the mayor to come with you,
and as he's unlikely to get out of the bath without your help, just THROW THE
BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER. Head down and out.
Once you're outside again, take the blessing. Now PUT THE BLESSING IN
DISGUISE. Perfect! AIR THE DIRTY LINEN. Go back inside and GIVE BLESSING TO
MAYOR (he seems to need a lot of positive reinforcement). Now you can at
last GIVE DECREE TO MAYOR. He'll sign it, and when he does, you get that warm
glow of satisfaction, knowing that you've restored the natural order of
things in Punster. So REST ON YOUR LAURELS and be prepared to have honors
heaped upon you, the hero of the day!
NORD AND BERT COULDN'T MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF IT is published by Infocom, and
distributed by Activision.
This walkthru is copyright (c) 1987 by Joshua Mandel. All rights reserved.