This was a really close battle.  First puzzles were solved at (if I remember correctly) 18 guess for Tools, and 22 guesses for Synergy.  Next guesses were at 30 and 31, with Tools having the narrow lead.  By the time the third puzzles had gotten solved, Tools led by 7 guesses (I forgot to note the exact numbers).  And then Synergy hit big.  It took them something like 5 guesses to nail the fourth puzzle.  Tools, meanwhile, kept hammering away at a series of short dead-ends on the last puzzle, never even looking at the true path.  Both teams chased some wrong paths, but in the end, the fact that Synergy devoted almost half a puzzle to a dead end turned out to be the thing that saved them, as Tools spent far too many guesses figuring out that one long path.

So Mike Rivet’s Tools For Winning must eliminate their first player.  Please submit your elimination votes to me by 9 p.m. Monday evening.  If that proves too short a time line for some reason, let me know.  I’ll consider adjusting it as appropriate, since this is going up so late.

Meanwhile, there’s another piece of business to attend to, as Synergy Through Chaos is losing a member as well.  After attempting to get his team to vote for him last elimination (and casting a self-vote, at that!), Jake “Skunk Bait Jones” Jantzer has to bid us adieu.  Real life is taking its toll on Jake, which is too bad, because I specifically recruited him for this game, knowing full well that he could be an awesome competitor.  At least Mike Rivet’s Tools can take some comfort in knowing they’re not down a player.