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Thread: My two cents

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    sprite is offline Needs to say Hello! sprite is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default My two cents

    Okay, I've read through all of the posts here and at q4t. My thanks to everyone whom I've climbed on getting here. And I've pored over the TGAT put up by forest blight (thanks!) and here is my take, based a lot, I admit, on more of a human engineering approach rather than worrying over a lot of the puzzles that have been solved to date.

    As the post at q4t noted, the entire thing seems a little hokey (I think their line was something about a couple of ten-year-olds making this). To a great extent, I agree. This whole thing reads more like a radio promo or something that was done either for a very small/local audience (like a Boy Scout Troop or other organization). Certainly, Cam's budget was pretty meager, thus I don't think that this hunt really leads (me, anyway) much beyond Grand Rapids. The jeweler, Pruesser, and the publisher, Fantasy Press, are both in Grand Rapids. I think Cam tried to obscure the location in the 48 states merely to make the thing seem somehow more grandiose. I suspect that Cam lived in Grand Rapids at the time and was probably Fantasy Press, too.

    This is not to say I did not grasp at straws elsewhere: California, Marine World/Africa to be exact, Wisconsin, Maine (I've lived there), Kentucky, Missouri, etc. - but I just came away not believing it. For one, if this is a hunt and Cam is going to meet you, it will probably be some place somewhat interesting (no offense to residents of these states!) - I just expected something like Disneyland or Grand Coulee Dam, not Joe's Red Barn. That I did not find any clues that seemed to lead to something big helped point me back more locally to the Grand Rapids area.

    One of the strange anomalies is the rather clever use of Miss Muffet's free meal as free whey = freeway (I agree with this interpretation). That this pun is so much like British crossword puzzle clues, it is not surprising that it was "solved" on q4t. And this type of clue sort of throws out the puzzle-created-by-children theory I was examining. No, rather, I begin (slowly, desparatly [sic]) to begin to believe that this puzzle was largely aimed at a local audience - either intentionally or unintentionally. I'd love to examine the book to see how it was printed. Silk-screening was very popular in the 70s and 80s. Is it a silk-screened cover? Is the Golden Apple picture a 4-color print or glued-in?

    I think Cam liked word play as much as anything else yet I think it is misleading to read too much into Cam's cleverness, however. While I like the Jef Raskin idea, I think many things discount it: the Grand Rapids connection, the drawings, the prize, for example. What I mean is that over-analyzing TGAT seems fruitless (pun intended). You can easily find connections where there (probably) are none.

    So I spent a bit of time focusing on Cam's odd sentence structure and odd lack of rhymes in places:

    "Although the Sun rises in the East
    Low lands will have frost
    Tomorrow is another day
    Over and over again"

    Why not use the word "rain" instead of "frost"? It would have rhymed. The solution I came to for this is that it might be lowlands are "moors" and frost is "Robert". There is a Robert Morris art work called "the Big X" in Belknap Park in Grand Rapids (Robert Moors = Robert Morris by the same way you might get freeway from free whey). The ALTO does seem obvious and Alto, MI is about 15 - 17 miles SE of Grand Rapids. And Belknap Park sits on Division (remainder?) with Griff's Ice House. Still, this is not enough to call a solution and I offer it only as fodder. There are so many red herrings that seem plausible without actually solving all of the puzzle. Others, in the same vein are Lookout (be careful) Hill is adhacent to Belknap (Belle Starr sleeps) Park and above the big X and Ohio is down (south).

    I actually thought that the Great Lakes Naval (omphalos = navel) Memorial and Museum in Muskegon, NW of Grand Rapids was a good place to pursue but could not find enough practical clues. I got there by two Cassiopeias (as in WWI or WWII) and found that Moorland ("low land" and a word that can be made from the state's abbreviations - as can memorial and marine) is about 15 - 17 miles east of Muskegon and 312 degrees (11:52 on a compass face) NW of Grand Rapids. Again, I'm not promoting this as a real possibility but just that there are so many things that you can "extract" without really knowing. I just think that Cam remained pretty close to home. I wonder what the Golden Apple cost to make - did anyone ask?

    I sort of hope someone who knows the Grand Rapids area can spend more time exploring the downtown area and community and post what they find. I'm at a loss for really describing Cassiopeia's purpose, but that is not surprising. I chased a lot more harebrained ideas than these that I'm not yet ready to admit. Suffice it to say, I'd love to see a solution found - even with no prize.

  2. #2
    sprite is offline Needs to say Hello! sprite is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default my three cents

    Because I was unable to find any Cassiopeia references in Grand Rapids, and because the road atlas clue near the beginning (which I think is significant) I have still kept working on this and I have found a possible lead if someone is able to follow up on it.

    First, if the road atlas clue and the relationship to the clock is significant, I was assuming the junction of two highways (like, I assume, most people are). I also assumed that we were often reading the numbers incorrectly. One number would be 11 or 12 (depending on the time or where the hand is pointing) and the other hand is pointing at 52 or 53. If we are looking for a junction, 12 & 52 cross in Minneapolis; 11 & 52 cross some place in Kentucky; 11 and 53 do not cross; but 12 and 53 cross at Altoona, WI. FWIW, I did tried to pursue leads from Minneapolis and Kentucky but found nothing as significant as I did from Altoona.

    First, the first four letters of Altoona are obviously ALTO. The remaining three letters may be in the poem, but I did not find them easily. Still, ALTO would be all you would need to know you are on the right track. So I began a search from Altoona, WI.

    Second, "three leagues + two-thirds more" would, as I calculate it (a league being about 3.5 miles), get you to Elk Mound, WI at somewhere about 12.6 or 12.5 miles. While there is nothing significant about Elk Mound, pre se, the town is named after a significant hill or mound left from glacial deposits. It is considered one of the highest points in Wisconsin and there is a park on the hill and there is a multi-story lookout tower there.

    Third, and perhaps the most interesting, Elk Mound Park is the site of a memorial to deceased local rural mail carriers. I believe that one source I found said that a tree was planted to honor them although I could find no pictures of the tree or if there was any plaque to mark the site. This would possibly fit with two clues: the word "graveity" as a reference to deceased, and the line "rain, wind, and snow". The memorial is probably the only such memorial in the country and was established well before TGAT book.

    Elk Mound is so named because legend has it that Sioux and Chippewa natives used it as a scouting point for elk and bison. I was unable to find a "presage" that matched the 2 and 3s in the poem, but that would be hard using only the internet. The park has changed administration several times over the years and was even closed for a number of years. Another interesting tidbit is that the road to the east of the park is called Stardust Drive. It doesn't seem quite obvious enough to assume it relates to the stars sleeping on the horizon, and I don't necessarily believe that it is related. Rather, an idea I wanted to try was to determining the distance to the horizon from the top of Elk Mound and see if anything significant came out of that.

    I still think that this would have been hard information to gather in 1982 when the book was published. There are pics at Flickr, some from the elk-mound.org (I think) but even the internet does not reveal a lot about the place. I did not find any significant celebrations nor festivals, as someone suggested, to believe that this was something to promote an event or even Elk Mound. And I'm pretty sure that the solution requires a bit of leg work or examination once you are there. Could it be that one of the surrounding farms looks like the Donleg farm? What about the tree? Supposedly, they buried dirt from each of the rural mail routes there. There is a lot interesting about this place and I think that it is worth checking out if anyone lives in the Menomenie/Eau Claire area. Hopefully, someone can post pics and let us know.

    -sprite

  3. #3
    tron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprite View Post
    Because I was unable to find any Cassiopeia references in Grand Rapids, and because the road atlas clue near the beginning (which I think is significant) I have still kept working on this and I have found a possible lead if someone is able to follow up on it.

    First, if the road atlas clue and the relationship to the clock is significant, I was assuming the junction of two highways (like, I assume, most people are). I also assumed that we were often reading the numbers incorrectly. One number would be 11 or 12 (depending on the time or where the hand is pointing) and the other hand is pointing at 52 or 53. If we are looking for a junction, 12 & 52 cross in Minneapolis; 11 & 52 cross some place in Kentucky; 11 and 53 do not cross; but 12 and 53 cross at Altoona, WI. FWIW, I did tried to pursue leads from Minneapolis and Kentucky but found nothing as significant as I did from Altoona.

    First, the first four letters of Altoona are obviously ALTO. The remaining three letters may be in the poem, but I did not find them easily. Still, ALTO would be all you would need to know you are on the right track. So I began a search from Altoona, WI.

    Second, "three leagues + two-thirds more" would, as I calculate it (a league being about 3.5 miles), get you to Elk Mound, WI at somewhere about 12.6 or 12.5 miles. While there is nothing significant about Elk Mound, pre se, the town is named after a significant hill or mound left from glacial deposits. It is considered one of the highest points in Wisconsin and there is a park on the hill and there is a multi-story lookout tower there.

    Third, and perhaps the most interesting, Elk Mound Park is the site of a memorial to deceased local rural mail carriers. I believe that one source I found said that a tree was planted to honor them although I could find no pictures of the tree or if there was any plaque to mark the site. This would possibly fit with two clues: the word "graveity" as a reference to deceased, and the line "rain, wind, and snow". The memorial is probably the only such memorial in the country and was established well before TGAT book.

    Elk Mound is so named because legend has it that Sioux and Chippewa natives used it as a scouting point for elk and bison. I was unable to find a "presage" that matched the 2 and 3s in the poem, but that would be hard using only the internet. The park has changed administration several times over the years and was even closed for a number of years. Another interesting tidbit is that the road to the east of the park is called Stardust Drive. It doesn't seem quite obvious enough to assume it relates to the stars sleeping on the horizon, and I don't necessarily believe that it is related. Rather, an idea I wanted to try was to determining the distance to the horizon from the top of Elk Mound and see if anything significant came out of that.

    I still think that this would have been hard information to gather in 1982 when the book was published. There are pics at Flickr, some from the elk-mound.org (I think) but even the internet does not reveal a lot about the place. I did not find any significant celebrations nor festivals, as someone suggested, to believe that this was something to promote an event or even Elk Mound. And I'm pretty sure that the solution requires a bit of leg work or examination once you are there. Could it be that one of the surrounding farms looks like the Donleg farm? What about the tree? Supposedly, they buried dirt from each of the rural mail routes there. There is a lot interesting about this place and I think that it is worth checking out if anyone lives in the Menomenie/Eau Claire area. Hopefully, someone can post pics and let us know.

    -sprite

    Three leagues on 12/52 brings one from Minneapolis to St Paul (Twin Capitals).

  4. #4
    tpschar is offline Junior Twelever Copper tpschar is on a distinguished road
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    Default Michigan

    For fun, follow me for a bit. "Chose a City" - Let's choose Traverse City, MI. It's a "City" not far from Grand Rapids. Exactly 11 miles west of Traverse City via Route 72 is E. Cedar Valley Road, a road that loops back around (Your hunt ends, Where your return begins?) On the horizon, Sleeping Bear Dunes:

    "Some stars at night,
    Rest on the horizon.
    Be very quiet or
    you might wake one up."

    Ursa Major and Minor, Great and Little Bear? Stars and bears. Don't wake one up!


    Quote Originally Posted by sprite View Post
    Certainly, Cam's budget was pretty meager, thus I don't think that this hunt really leads (me, anyway) much beyond Grand Rapids.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpschar View Post
    For fun, follow me for a bit. "Chose a City" - Let's choose Traverse City, MI. It's a "City" not far from Grand Rapids. Exactly 11 miles west of Traverse City via Route 72 is E. Cedar Valley Road, a road that loops back around (Your hunt ends, Where your return begins?) On the horizon, Sleeping Bear Dunes:

    "Some stars at night,
    Rest on the horizon.
    Be very quiet or
    you might wake one up."

    Ursa Major and Minor, Great and Little Bear? Stars and bears. Don't wake one up!


    Quote Originally Posted by sprite View Post
    Certainly, Cam's budget was pretty meager, thus I don't think that this hunt really leads (me, anyway) much beyond Grand Rapids.
    That all seems to fit nicely. How would all of the other clues fit in like the Cassiopeia references? I have been working the angle that it is west of Jefferson City MO because of the Cassiopeia in the map clue, the capitals of the midwest falling in with the Cassiopeia constellation, the Cassiopeia constellation on the Dont wake one up on the horizon page, 3 are2's and 2 are 3,s referring to the magnitude of the stars of Cassiopeia, dropping the two dimmest (mag 3's), finding the omphalos (center) star, which is Jefferson City MO on the map pages. Chose a city, move 11 miles west, etc. Thats as far as I got...


    Good luck

    s

  6. #6
    mp005 is offline Junior Twelever Copper mp005 is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default well...

    Your theory that the author stayed close to home is a good one, but I given what I've found out about the author so far, it doesn't necessarily hold up. Ok, here's what I've gathered on the book so far assuming here that Fantasy Press doesn't exist and that the book was self-published.

    The author was a young man, possibly just out of college. Most likely he was intrigued by the attention garnered (at the time) by Kit Williams' Masquerade and created his own armchair treasure hunt, either because he saw it as a new market he could turn a profit with, or more likely, because he was a fan of them himself. Hopefully it was the latter because, were it the former, the apple is most likely no longer hidden. He definitely didn't have a huge budget. I gather this based upon the fact the red gems on the apple are agate, not rubies, and that the illustrator of the book was a local college student, probably a friend of his who would do it cheap, if not for free. You could probably guess that the publishing method was probably the cheapest available. He did, however, spend the money to put an ad in Games Magazine which leads me to believe that he wanted it to be more than a local endevor which also makes me think he tried to hide in as far from himself as possible. Though, the freeway reference, as well as his statement that he would meet the hunter at the location, makes me think that it's possible the hiding place is no farther from him than a days drive by car.

    That's all I have so far. I'll keep you posted.

  7. #7
    tpschar is offline Junior Twelever Copper tpschar is on a distinguished road
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    How did you determine this fact? They look like they could be garnet to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mp005 View Post
    the fact the red gems on the apple are agate

  8. #8
    tpschar is offline Junior Twelever Copper tpschar is on a distinguished road
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    Well, it's just a start. I can't fit Cassiopeia into it any more than you can fit "some stars at night sleep on the horizon..." into the Jefferson City theory, given that the verse falls between "exit and rest" and "don't rest long". Did you have any ideas for that one? Or how the vertical OHIO fits in?

    Here's another possible clue for the Jefferson City theory:

    "Your hunt ends,
    Where youR Return begins."


    Quote Originally Posted by stvwz View Post
    That all seems to fit nicely. How would all of the other clues fit in like the Cassiopeia references?

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    I called a Karen Wagner once... I just picked a Karen Wagner out of the white pages in Grand Rapids, and I asked her, "Are you the Karen Wagner who illustrated The Golden Apple Tale?" she replied, "No, but I wish".

    Based on that reply, I believe it was more locally advertised. However, Tron has some very solid theories about MN.

    -regulus
    There is more money buried in the earth than there is in currency today.

    -Edward Fitzgerald

  10. #10
    tpschar is offline Junior Twelever Copper tpschar is on a distinguished road
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    Seems hard to follow this after the verses are 'PLACEd IN ORDER'. Your clues jump around through the verses. It seems like there's a flow to the verses (possibly broken into multiple groups.) Any idea what 'Man has two feet, So look that far down' could mean right after you 'Locate the Omphalos', which you take to mean Jefferson City?

    Quote Originally Posted by stvwz View Post
    I have been working the angle that it is west of Jefferson City MO because of the Cassiopeia in the map clue, the capitals of the midwest falling in with the Cassiopeia constellation, the Cassiopeia constellation on the Dont wake one up on the horizon page, 3 are2's and 2 are 3,s referring to the magnitude of the stars of Cassiopeia, dropping the two dimmest (mag 3's), finding the omphalos (center) star, which is Jefferson City MO on the map pages. Chose a city, move 11 miles west, etc. Thats as far as I got...


    Good luck

    s

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