Fellow Trovers,

I took a break from ATT a few days ago and picked up Dar in earnest. I was looking at page 3 ("Well Begun Is Half Done") while reviewing your earlier posts about the morse code solutions. Maybe I overlooked the post, but this puzzle's inclusion next to "A Treasure's Trove" floored me. I believe it's Clue 3's solution, minus the mechanism naturally.

There are 19 letters in this "message" - same number of stem pairs in Clue 3 - and the layout is unnervingly similar (rectangular). I believe we just received a big nudge, MS style.

Why? He's frustrated with our progress on ATT (yes, I believe there's more; actually, my conviction exceeds belief), and Clue 3 isn't for a token. It fits with its predecessors, Clues 1 and 2.

Essentially, he gave nothing instructional away and there's precedence too; MS' not posting Clue 5 either - data and solution were right, mechanism was wrong (it's not an anagram). Clue 5's mechanism is in the colored squares of the crosses. Otherwise, they're needlessly complex and MS didn't "waste" material in Clues 1 and 2. It's a matter of pride (no intentional red herrings), I believe.

I must say I'm posting with mixed feelings. I felt I needed an ATT break and Dar seemed interesting. Now, I'm back in the thick of ATT again.