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Thread: The Omega Key, the Dove Key, and the Scratched-Out Key

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    Doc
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    Default The Omega Key, the Dove Key, and the Scratched-Out Key

    Greetings on an unusually cool, clear afternoon in the Bayou State of Louisiana!

    I managed to break through the next layer of this puzzle a couple of days ago, and I wanted to pass along some information while trying to stay within the bounds of the rules. One of the biggest problems has been figuring out how to transition from the first layer of the puzzle--the 240 chapter questions--to the next layer which I mistakenly thought would be the actual map solutions.

    As it turns out, there's another layer to this conundrum, and it's centered around those three keys from Chapter 9: the omega key, the dove key, and the scratched-out key.

    I managed to figure out what's going on with these rascals, and I've spent the last two days solving the first four chapters for these. Not surprisingly, the puzzles are increasing in difficulty as I move through the chapters.

    Each chapter contains mini-puzzles for each key. You have to identify the clues pertaining to each key and correctly solve them. Once you correctly solve the mini-puzzles for the three keys, the solutions combine and form a small meta-puzzle.

    The solution for each chapter's metapuzzle is a common three-letter word.

    I have no idea what happens after we obtain these three-letter words, but I'll bet the messages from J-O-Y might come into play at this time and provide the clues to move into what will probably be the actual map solution stage.

    The original Invisible Ink clue was the only clue we've had that dealt specifically with solving the map. As it turns out, it's the single biggest clue in the game, and I've had to use it multiple times in different ways to help solve these three keys. If you get stuck doing something, return to the clue and see if it helps jiggle something loose.

    To get started with this layer of the puzzle, we have to do as instructed in the story of Chapter 9 and figure out the correct order to use the keys.

    The Invisible Ink clue is the main clue that helps with this. Bear in mind the structure of the clue (the big blank in the middle of it) is pertinent.

    Once you have the correct order, you'll need to figure out what each key symbolizes.

    There are Very Big Reasons that the symbols on the keys are an omega symbol, a dove symbol, and a scratched-out symbol. Bear in mind that the letters J-O-Y are in the correct order and that each letter is a different type of hint for its respective key, and the keys in the correct order are associated with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 (which is another method of confirming your solution.)

    Once you know what to look for, some of the clues in the earlier chapters jump off the page at you. There was a reason a question was duplicated at the end of chapter 1 and 'American River' was underlined in chapter 2, and that anomaly popped up in C3 Q12.

    This puzzle is put together like a Swiss timepiece. I've not encountered anything quite like it in my years of treasure hunting. It's logical, elegant, and has METAPUZZLES in it which makes me smile.

    Continuing to ponder,

    Doc

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    meaner simikkles's Avatar
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    Good Lord- AS if we don't have enough to ponder!!!! WOW!
    "We may not be first, but at least we are not last!" Meaner Simikkles RULE!

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    Doc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister_Gizmo View Post
    OK, this means absolutely nothing, but: J=10'th letter of the alphabet, O=15'th letter of the alphabet. Add them together (10+15=25'th letter of the alphabet =Y).

    JOY = 10+15=25
    I pulled this from another thread because it's pertinent here.

    Mister Gizmo, the first part of that means a lot, J = 10. You need to consider why in relationship to three keys.

    The 'Y' is what's had me bumfuzzled for a long, long time. How is the 'Y' and the Dove key related, and how would it relate back to the puzzle?

    It's a word association puzzle and a graphical puzzle.

    What's the first thing any of us think about when we think about 'dove'?

    PEACE. And it has a well-known symbol.

    What do we get if we inscribe a perfect 'Y' into a circle?

    We get a circle divided into THIRDS, much like the peace symbol.

    The Dove Key is all about things that are THIRDS.

    For Chapter 1, that's why we have Charles Proctor III.

    That's the puzzle for the Dove Key in Chapter 1. The solution to the Omega Key for Chapter 1 really helps with the solution to the Dove Key, because 'the first is equal to the last'. For each chapter, your solution to the omega key and the solution to the dove key have an equivalence.



    Keep on truckin',

    Doc

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    Doc -- you certainly bring up some interesting details that I had not considered.

    However, I'm having problems at the very top of your deduction chain:

    Other than the one clue that relates alpha and omega, there is no evidence that I can find that even remotely correlates Chapter 9's "key story" with the hunt for the silver eagles.

    I am having difficulty making a logical leap from the word "omega" to the construction of dove keys out of peace symbols, and finally to the name of some guy because he has "III" in his name.

    Are you able to explain a little why you believe that the Chapter 9 story is anything other than a treasure story where a character is explaining a method for hiding treasure? There are numerous "interesting" stories in the book, yet you have chosen that specific one as your guide to solving silver eagles.

    Thanks

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    Doc
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    Lobster,

    That's a great question and made me stop to think of a logical reason why I'm pursuing this in the first place. Many thanks. On first read, this DOES appear to be going all over the place.

    There are two logical reasons I think the concept of these three keys are going to help solve a map and are applicable to all 12 chapters.

    1. The first email clue is this: The ghost of Cooper past hold your omega key. This is a specific tie-in between one of those three keys with Chapter 1. Nothing in Chapter 1 mentioned the omega key.

    2. The current clue on the Facebook page is an omega symbol: A = omega. This is another way of stating the original Invisible Ink clue--the first = the last.

    That Invisible Ink clue is the only clue we've really run across that mentions finding our way on the map. Tying in those keys into the Invisible Ink clue (especially when nothing else has really referred back to that Invisible Ink clue) might be implying the keys are necessary in solving a map puzzle.

    That being said, I can see this phase isn't going to be any simpler than the cipher puzzles. A big problem in solving these three keys is that finding them and solving them requires a completely different set of skills than the 240 questions.

    There's nothing to count, there's no frequency analysis to perform, there's nothing to immediately research in the Archives section of the web site. That doesn't make a puzzle less valid--it's just going to require a different skill set to solve, and when your strength lies in decryption and research--well, I can see that's gonna be a problem and probably a big reason nobody's solved one of these as yet.

    I am very much aware that I would NEVER have been able to solve the 240 questions without a LOT of help from these forums and helpful questors in the chat room.

    I have become a firm believer that playfair ciphers are spawns of Satan.



    Since everyone helped me get to this point, I'm the sort that wants to try to help out in return if I run across something that helps everyone else.

    I'll try to give an example of the types of puzzles I'm seeing for the next phase.

    Let's say we know we're supposed to come up with a third member for a group, and we are given a picture of some curly hair on a girl and a picture of Larry the Cable Guy.

    The missing third member would be MOE because 'curly' and 'Larry' are two of the three members of the Three Stooges.

    There's no counting of anything, no frequency analysis, no research that really helps--but the puzzle is nonetheless logical and valid. Word play, lateral thinking, etc. are the skills that are employed in working with these three keys.

    Does that make any sense?

    Doc

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    Considering that we are currently at a dead end, I certainly won't be one to ridicule your approach! You very well could be onto something. It sounds like you are discovering things that fit nicely, so perhaps you are on the right track.

    Personally, I don't get the feeling that it's consistent with the logical nature of the hunt. That's not to say it's not the right approach though. Everything was very logical until we hit that "hopscotch" puzzle that has a highly random solution (there are far more symmetrical and pleasing solutions than the one chosen in the book). So somewhat chaotic solutions certainly aren't out of the question.

    For our part, the most "logical" solution for Chapter 1 we could envision led us down a path that fit a lot of the given clues, but then things became foggy and we've been stuck since. We think we know what an important sequence starts with, but without knowing how that sequence operates beyond the first element gives us little hope of advancing. Of course, we could be (probably are?) horribly wrong in this approach.

    A 2nd possible clever solution that we considered involves tremendous work sifting through the entire book. It's a great idea in theory, but we gave up when we realized that if we made the tiniest of errors (which would be easy to do) we'd never know that we had been close.

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    Doc: another thing to consider is that perhaps you are partly correct. I do like the analogy of a map being split up into multiple parts. It's possible that chapter 9 is just hinting at that, rather than any specific quest to search for Dove keys.

    Or maybe there are actual Dove keys, lol. Who knows...

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    Doc
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    Lobster,

    I've managed to carry this process over the first five chapters. That's enough of a trend that makes me think this approach might be valid. I'm not trying to force these clues--if anything, I would have tried to make them fit into some sequence of 1 - 20, but the clues lead to a three-letter solution for each chapter, so I'm letting the clues lead me where they may.

    I'm in complete agreement that the first part of this hunt was logic-based. I think that may be part of the problem. The 240 questions were very cipher-intensive, and it's certainly logical to assume that's carried forward into the next phase.

    But what I'm seeing with these three keys makes me think it might not be the case.

    I'll tell you something else:

    This evening, I finally saw the final phase of the puzzle appearing from the morass. I understand the meta-puzzle to convert the three-letter words into the sequence of 1 - 20. It's going to be a numeric sequence, not alphanumeric but a straight numeric sequencing.

    Of course, seeing a puzzle and actually solving that puzzle are two completely separate animals. It requires solving several clues and mini-puzzles and combining their answers into the final metapuzzle that yields the map sequence.

    Having seen the forest for the trees, I'll say that we don't need additional clues from the author--we never did. Everything to get started on solving the map is contained in the concept of the three keys from Chapter 9 and that original Invisible Ink clue--the one that specifically told us to find our way on the map.

    That's why it's been so darned hard. There's no cipher to be solved, and we had precious little to get started.

    I am very MUCH aware I would still be struggling with the 240 questions if not for the help of folks at this forum and folks in the chat room, and I'm the type who feels I need to return more than I received.

    I want to help you get started along this way. The book tells us that we need to use the keys in a particular order, and I've said before the Invisible Ink clue gives us the order.

    The Invisible Ink clue is broken into three sections: the first part that mentions 'first', a second part that consists of a big blank, and a third part that mentions 'last'.

    'The first is equal to the last': The 'last' that is being referenced is the Omega key. A logical interpretation of the clue tells us that the Omega key will be the first key used.

    This leaves us with the Dove key and the scratched out key that we have to place in order.

    The second part of the Invisible Ink clue is a big 'blank', and that corresponds to the 'blank' key, namely the scratched-out key.

    This leaves the Dove key to be used last.

    Thus, using the Invisible Ink clue, we can logically order the keys as this:

    1. Omega key
    2. Scratched-out key
    3. Dove key

    I hope that sounds sensible thus far.

    Doc

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    Phil_The_Rodent is offline Junior Twelever Bronze Phil_The_Rodent is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    I'm in complete agreement that the first part of this hunt was logic-based. I think that may be part of the problem. The 240 questions were very cipher-intensive, and it's certainly logical to assume that's carried forward into the next phase.
    I'm just doing some much-needed book-keeping so I can forge ahead with an organized notebook (of sorts), and it occurs to me that this statement is kind of... hmm... I guess a stereotype is the correct word. As I look back, it wasn't all a homogenous mix of ciphers, it was really a gradation from trivia. Early there was a sprinkling of ciphers, but it ramped up both in quantity and complexity. Are we seeing a new type of questioning/line of thinking emerging as we close the book on Chapter 12? I can't answer this, but if so, perhaps this is the line of reasoning to continue through the next part.

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    Doc
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    Phil,

    I've had some time to ponder on what you were discussing last night in chat, and I wanted to say I think you're absolutely correct.

    I've had this backwards since day 1.

    The omega key, scratched out key, and dove key are unique to chapter 9--they're definitely descriptive, but they're in chapter 9.

    Think about the raw data we're actually finding in the chapters:

    Something that's 'First' and an 'X', something that's missing in the middle of a threesome, and something that's associated with a 'third'.

    These are descriptions of the Invisible Ink clue. They have nothing to do overtly with those three keys.

    'First = 'Last' with the 'last' being the last of a treasure map.
    Blank in the middle
    '...is equal to the last'--the last part of the clue that's separated by itself is the THIRD part of the clue.

    The three keys from chapter 9 are a manifestation of this invisible ink clue, not the other way around. Same thing with J-O-Y and other like clues.

    I'll be absolutely jiggered.

    The only thing we ever needed to solve this puzzle was that innocuous-looking Invisible Ink clue from the very beginning. That's why it's the only clue we ever received that specifically mentioned solving a map.

    I'm changing the way I describe these clues now as 'First key', 'Second key', and 'Third key' because that's a bit more basic and actually closer to the reality of the puzzle.

    Many thanks for the mental stimulus.

    Keep on keepin' on,

    Doc

    PS: This puzzle creator is a genius.

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