- I built on the discovery by others that the First Floor has a strong association with Washington, D.C.
- I found that a number of clues I already had in hand made sense in this context, and started mapping location based on these clues.
- The locations I mapped, starting with Westminster Church near Howard University at 12 o'clock, and including Fort McNair at 6 o'clock, start to form the outline of a clock. (I'm still missing numbers 1-4 but there are plausible candidates on my list and many clues yet to find.)
- I believe that "Venus Fly Trap" may be a clue for
NAVEL SPY TURF
and interpreted that as the Navy Yard (traditional headquarters for Naval intelligence and NCIS) which becomes 5 o'clock, if this map scheme is correct. Wikipedia says that the Navy Yard is the traditional "entrance" to Washington D.C., and I believe entrances are significant in this hunt.
- One of the Green-Yellow-Red (GYR=GEAR) clues (see Gus's notebook on the inside front page) is from the green telephone in the bathroom to the yellow lemon on the wardrobe to the red boxing gloves. On HitContests, someone identified these gloves as a match to those originally belonging to Muhammad Ali, but now on display in the Smithsonian. One of Ali's nicknames is "The Greatest". In connection with the telephone, the solution to this mini-puzzle could be "The Great Communicator," which is a nickname for Ronald Reagan.
New thoughts already this morning:
- An anagram of "the tape was still running" is
A GENERALS PLINTH UNTWIST
- Washington D.C., as you can imagine, has more than a few statues of generals displayed on plinths. (So far, I have found General Sheridan and Major General Nathanael Greene and I've only just started looking.)
- If we can find the correct statue of a general, maybe we can find the center point of the clock face that is coming together.
- Washington D.C. is based on a layout that draws lines connecting the seven hills (= major avenues) and then imposes a grid on top. There are circles at significant intersections. If the mandala notion (see the thread for "working theory", below) is correct and if it applies to this map, a center point will be found in a circle within a square. A statue of a general could be the perfect center point.
- The Washington monument might also be a candidate, of course, with the strong clue in Pupkin/Dodge's apartment. (I doubt there is a treasure buried there, however, as the mall security people would have had a fit if even a tiny package were hidden there.)
- Don't know what "untwist" could mean, except that the wound spring of an old-fashioned watch "untwists" as the hands progress clockwise during the course of the day.
I have a few more things for Floor 1 that I may post later. I already have more location clues than I would need for a clock face with 12 places along a circle, so there have to be clues for narrowing or identifying the purpose of the additional locations. My guess is the S/H/M on this solution will represent seconds/hours/minutes located on the mapped face of a clock.