1. Junior Twelever Copper
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
33

## get ready to attack me...

you people have mistaken hard and clever and difficult for time consuming!!
solving a calculus problem is HARD. solving the riddle of the sphinx is clever because the solution makes sense. you can say 'oh yeah now i know WHY it means that.'
but(a big but to a math teacher) if i pull 6 numbers from a box of 40 numbers and have you try to guess the 6 numbers - well thats just number crunching! pure brute force and luck!
you have to try all 2,763,633,600 combinations... eventually you will stumble upon the right COMBINATION.
there is no skill or problem solving involved. just crunching numbers into a 5 by 5 grid until they spell a word!
dont get mad but please dont tell me that anyone used anything to solve these puzzles other than filling 100s of pieces of paper with 1000s of number pairings and 5x5 grids! i know because I have been doing it myself!!! ;o)

2. Ah, but as we find the solutions, we realize that it wouldn't be so time-consuming if we just thought logically. We are making these way harder than they are! Everything is in order (for the most part). Take the Ant for example, I was trying all sorts of combinations (as were we all) but in the end it was a logical array from 1-5 and then in order from top to bottom. Sure, looks easy now, but you're right, we are going so crazy with all of the combinations, most of us fail to just try it in order.

3. It's difficult to respond to this, since in a way you are correct - most of us HAVE been number crunching thousands of different variations, but only because we haven't bothered to find the key. So in other words, we haven't been MISTAKING difficult/clever for time-consuming, we've just been SUBSTITUTING time-consuming for difficult/clever

For example, I did not work on the snail puzzle before the Dragonfly solution came out. Once it did, I sat down, and within about 5 minutes noticed the key on the stalks and figured out the solution. There was no number crunching involved; just skill. (It was only my abysmal knothole searching capabilities that caused me to miss the token).

If you read the solution to how the Firefly token was deduced, you'll see that it wasn't number crunching of several thousand sequences; instead some very keen observations allowed him to reduce the number of potential sequences to a very small number. So although there was a small amount of number crunching involved, it was mostly skill that solved it. The key was right there for the hummingbird the whole time, only people weren't looking at the right sequence. Etc.

So to say this isn't a contest of skill, but instead is just time-consuming number crunching isn't really accurate, nor fair to the finders, who usually seem to have used very fine logic to solve the puzzles.

You mention above the Riddle of the Sphinx being clever, yet look how many people missed it (mythically speaking, that is). No one accused that society of randomly guessing words from a clay-urn dictionary until they got it right!

And solving calculus problems is not hard!

Based on your post, with statements like:

please dont tell me that anyone used anything to solve these puzzles other than filling 100s of pieces of paper...
I'm guessing you haven't looked closely at the detailed solutions that have been posted so far. If all of the tokens that have been found so far were nothing more than the result of random number crunching, such detailed solutions would not exist!

Like I said above - your statement about number crunching probably applied to most of us, but it is really not fair to the token finders to make this kind of blanket statement, as they all used their noodles more than their abacus(es?).

"Take it back!!! (twisting arm behind back) - take it back!!!"

Steve

4. Junior Twelever Copper
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
33
i agree but i think that most of the 'keys' or 'methods' are probably stumbled upon or worked out in retrospect. believe me i have read every solution in detail. the snail and butterfly are probably the best examples of using a key... but not sure about the rest. even ants 'key' seems very arbitrary. now if the ants key was based upon the number of times he appeared in the story or from his quotes. or if the orientation of the seeds was represented by the ants position on the page. or by the blocks on page 45. or maybe if the word 'ant' was a key used in some cipher or ceasar shift or cryptoquote... im sorry - im missing how arbitrarily hiding a sequence of pairings of numbers in pictures equates to clever. to be honest i find the companion book to be more interesting than most of the puzzles in the actual book.

5. You've changed the subject. I never said the puzzles were clever, I just said it took skill to do the solving. There's a big difference between stating that Stadther's puzzles are not clever and stating that the people who solved them did so by random number crunching.

I don't really see how making the key be the number of times the ant appears in the story is any more clever than the way it was done, although I admit that the solutions would be much more interesting if the text were involved.

I think the only solution that was probably worked out afterwards was the Ant. Most so far have either been straightforward (i.e. the objects contain the axis number itself, like in the Dragonfly puzzle), or the keys are obvious (Snail, Hummingbird). The Ant is the only one I can see someone stumbling upon, and then working out how the numbers on the sleeve corespond to the border seeds. Once again, I think you're being overly unfair to the token finders. If you want to discuss that the solutions/puzzles are boring, that's fine. But you seem to have an agenda to take something away from the token finders, and I'm not sure why.

Steve

6. Junior Twelever Copper
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
33
im not taking anything away from the token finders... if i found a token i would be the first to admit that some skill is involved along with a whole lot of luck, as Edison said "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and perserverance"

7. Junior Twelever Copper
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
33
...and maybe im hoping that JUST ONE of these puzzles will be solved with more than just a 5x5 grid cipher...

8. Maybe you're not intentionally taking anything away from the token finders, but statements like:

[quote]there is no skill or problem solving involved

and
i think that most of the 'keys' or 'methods' are probably stumbled upon or worked out in retrospect[quote]

ARE taking something away from the token finders. I understand the desire to have the text be involved in some clever way, and I understand the desire to have solutions be other than 5x5 grids (although being at 10/10, I think that's unlikely, with the possible exception of Pook). But that does't change the fact the the token finder's noodles were used just as much, if not more than, their luck (and you don't need to find a token to admit that).

Steve

9. Junior Twelever Copper
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
33
most of the solutions ARE gotten through repeated trial and error and then the locations are so vague that it takes days before someone pokes their hands into the right tree. the token finders are to be commended for their persistence, perserverance and their noodle but I would say that the original token finder (dragonfly) should be commended for being ingenious. since then we have all followed in his footsteps. He could have had all of the tokens if he had never divulged his methods!
didnt stadther say that the tokens would be gound using DIFFERENT methods??? im still waiting...
back to the woodgrains/celtic knots...

10. Junior Twelever Bronze
Join Date
Feb 2005
Location
Virginia
Posts
71
I see where you are coming from as someone who has run through 10s of thousands of combinations of spider.

But the two puzzles that I solved on my own, without forum assistance (though I don't have tokens to show for them!) were done on paper, with a pencil. When the "magic" struck me, it was obvious. I literally wrote down the answer on the first try.

True, I have thrown away many pieces of paper, and have a little spiral bound binder with my thoughts and attack ideas on it which all help me get to the point of discovery.

Either way is legit in my view. Brute force, or finesse, or both.