Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

Solution for 3.4 Pedigrees (Answer = WILLIAM GOPALLAWA)

Each of the dates and places at the top of the puzzle refers to the birth of a person with a well-known fictional work, suggested by the first and second hints "Dates and places. Could they refer to someone important?" and "These people are all well known for their creative sides. Who are they known for creating?".

The majority of the puzzle consists of a set of family trees or "Pedigrees". By examining the pedigrees you should be able connect them to fictional works by each of the creators given above, with the most well-known member of the family indicated by an arrow. The families are given in the following table:
Date of Birth and BirthplacePersonFictional WorkPedigree ChartArrowed Character
3 January, 1892, BloemfonteinJ. R. R. TolkienThe Lord of the RingsCElrond
8 October, 1920, TacomaFrank HerbertDuneAPaul Atreides
15 October, 1920, New YorkMario PuzoThe GodfatherBMichael Corleone
14 May, 1944, ModestoGeorge LucasStar WarsGLuke Skywalker
15 February, 1954, PortlandMatt GroeningSimpsonsFHomer Simpson
5 April, 1955, NagoyaAkira ToriyamaDragon Ball ZDGoku
17 January, 1959, CheltenhamRand MillerMystEAtrus

As the third hint "<>It looks like names could go in the grid, we just need to use the right family relationships to find them" the final step is to use the family trees to fill in the names of selected people in the grid on the first page.

EARWENC's grandmother in law
VICTORB's nephew
MIGUELD's daughter in law's mother
KAHLISE's great grandfather
JESSICAA's mother
FARADNA's son in law
MONAF's mother
LINGF's niece
JOBALG's grandmother
PAND's granddaughter
FINARFINC's grandfather in law
CLANCYF's father in law
NIMLOTHC's grandmother
TIANAE's grandmother
OWENG's step uncle
MARYB's daughter

The central highlighted column then spells out the answer WILLIAM GOPALLAWA, the last governor-general of Ceylon and one of the founding fathers of modern Sri Lanka becoming it's first president in 1972.

Note: There is a small error in pedigree C which indicates Elrond's family. Both Elrond and his brother and Elrond's two male children should be shown as twins but the children aren't. This was due to difficulties in the web page used when first preparing the diagrams and was not picked up during testing as it did not affect the solvability of the puzzle. However it should have been corrected before the start of the hunt, apologies to Lord of the Rings fans.