# Thread: A Work-In-Progress for the Firefly Puzzle

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## A Work-In-Progress for the Firefly Puzzle

Greetings from a beautiful afternoon in Salt Lake City airport!

This is how I'm applying my steps to the firefly puzzle:

1. Create a 5 x 5 grid of letters using an A - Z alphabet minus the 'Q':

The firefly on p. 33 is associated with the series of acorns. The 'acorn grid clue' is on p. 52. Imagine the outline of the picture as being the outline of the 5 x 5 grid. That would place the acorn with the lower-case 'g' in the bottom row, middle box. This creates the following letter grid:

J....K....L....M....N
O...P....R....S....T
U...V....W....X...Y
Z...A....B....C....D
E...F.....G....H....I

2. Discover and solve a sequencing mechanism, and apply it to the 5 x 5 grid of letters.

The acorns around the picture on p. 33 are being shown pointing in specific directions. I simply use the single long branch that the poem is attached to beginning with 'Each'. These are the directions I obtained. (The diagonals are there for reference only--they show where the acorn branch takes a turn around the corner in the picture--it makes it easier to reference.)

NE W SW SE SE / SE SE NW NE NE / SE NW NW NW W / SE SE blank NE W SW / SE E SE

The firefly on p. 28 is associated with the 'W' as a starting letter. This is where I begin applying the series of directions to the letter grid. If you move off the grid, simply continue on the other side.

Begin with the letter 'W' in the grid. Move NE = S. Move W = R. Move SW = V, etc.

The letter sequence I obtained starting with the letter 'W':

S R V B H / J P J F B / H B V O T / U A A W V Z / F E K

3. Convert the grid of letters to numbers 1 - 25.

Once again, the firefly is associated with a beginning letter 'W'. I number my grids according to this sort of clue for each treasure. So, for the firefly, W = 1, X = 2, Y = 3, etc. Substitute these numbers into the 5 x 5 letter grid above:

14.....15.....16.....17......18
19.....20......21....22......23
24.....25.......1......2........3
4........5.......6......7........8
9.......10......11....12.......13

4. Apply the sequencing mechanism a second time to the grid, but in a completely different manner.

For the firefly, imagine the picture on p. 33 is an outline of the 5 x 5 grid and the acorns travel around it. The sequence of acorns starts in the lower left corner and travels counterclockwise around the picture, and the last acorn is in the bottom row, middle box.

Applying this to the grid of numbers above, I derived the following series of numbers:

9 10 11 12 13 8 3 23 18 17 16 15 14 19 24 4 9 10 11

5. Apply the series of numbers to the sequence of letters.

I took the 9th letter in the sequence, then 10 letters past it, then 11 letters past it, etc.

This is the final code I derived:

F W J A P T A A H B V H S V V K F W J

None of this is terribly difficult, but it's resulted in zero tokens.

Doc

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Doc, I totally follow what you are trying to do.

First thing I question is why you made the first acorn a value of 9 instead of 4? it's a row up from the bottom in the picture so why didn't you go up a row in the matrix? Am I making sense? This, in turn, would make your first five numbers 4 5 6 7 8.

more later. dinner's done. time to feed the chillin's.

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Instead of using the standard alphabet why don't you use the keyboard?

Just wondering

Josh

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Doc, do you feel there is no signifigance to the shading marks on the acorns? They really do not correlate with the way true shading would be as there are some dark "shadows" on the top and bottom and "highlights" on both top and bottom as well. Does that mean anything?

Also, I saw in another thread that you noted that you thought the odd acorn (in this puzzle's case, or say the odd shaped hole in the butterfly page) was just a blank meaning repeat a letter. Couldn't be a starting point? There is only one in both instances and I haven't had a chance to check the others. It just came to me.

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I just reworked your grid by replacing the letters back into the grid and the first 4 letters were toak. I got really excited but all I got was

toakh s ub wvpj sfzh kv

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Originally Posted by jpurkiss
Instead of using the standard alphabet why don't you use the keyboard?

Just wondering

Josh
now there's a thought. it would sure be easy to eliminate the Q as it's the first letter.

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OK, now you're losing me as I try to pull the numbers from the matrix by using the placement of the acorns. I think it's a little spotty. The thing troubling me is the placement. It's not obvious and they seem too evenly placed perfectly around the border to get a code of numbers that will tell us anything. Maybe we need to incorporate the shadings to tell us where to go? or maybe the sizes of the acorns tell us something?

Just my thoughts. Now you got my brain moving again. I've been feeling like a hamster on a wheel but at least I feel like I've got something to move towards... even if it's a mirage.

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Home again, home again, lickety-split!

I wondered the same thing about starting with the 4 rather than the 9. I guess it depends on whether the outer border represents the 5 x 5 grid or the inner one. To answer your other questions, mackadoo, I don't think the shading marks mean anything. It's a LOT easier in my opinion just to use the directions the acorns are pointing. Several of the puzzles have many blanks, some contain none.

I'll try working the grid numbers both ways as you suggested, mackadoo.

Josh, I hadn't thought about using a keyboard at all. Have you seen anything in the book that made you think about that?

Doc

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No nothing from the book. I know he was computer guru and he might have taken some of his crypto work from banking to here. Purely speculation though. It is just one more possible variation to look at when trying to figure this puzzle of endless variations out.

josh

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Continuing a work-in-progress....

I've been on a rampage for the last several days. I've realized that each treasure appears to contain a code of N, S, E, W, and a blank that corresponds to the EVEN code.

This is how I think it works for the firefly.

The firefly appears on p. 33 with a series of pointing acorns. Most of them are pointing at diagonals SE, SW, NE, and NW. Some of the occur in groups of two that I think are meant to be taken as a single unit: WSW or NNW as examples. There is a single acorn along the left border that points up at the reader--this one represents a 'blank'.

The puzzle is to figure out how to assign N, S, E, W, and a blank to these acorns.

The firefly is the 'acorn puzzle.' The clues we need to help with this are connected to acorns. P. 52 is lousy with them.

Around the square containing the big 'O' on p. 52 are four gaps corresponding to N, S, E, and W. I used them once as definitions for the butterfly puzzle. We're going to use them a second time to provide definitions for the firefly puzzle.

Consider the shapes of the gaps themselves. Draw them on a piece of paper. They're part of a simple series. One of them is missing.

/| = north
\| = west
|| = south
|/ = east

The one that's missing from this series is |\. (This probably shows up better if you draw them shapes themselves.)

The locations of the slanted sides in relation to its little gap is the key.

For the shape corresponding to north, the bottom of the slant is in the SW corner; the top of the slant corresponds to N NE. For the shape corresponding to east, the top of its slant is at the NW point of its gap; the bottom of its slant corresponds to SSW. The missing gap would correspond to the 'blank'.

Using these gaps as definitions:

North = acorns pointing SW and NNE
East = acorns pointing NE and SSW
West = acorns pointing NW and SSE
South = 'blank' acorns
Blank = acorns pointing SE and NNW

You can now go to p. 33 and 'read' those acorns and assign them either N, S, E, W, or a blank according to these definitions.

Doc

PS--I'm not certain what to do with ANY of these N/S/E/W/blank codes at this point. I'm setting them aside for now and not even applying them to a grid as yet.