+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 49

Thread: Chapter 1 silver eagle -- a discussion

  1. #1
    Lobster's Avatar
    Lobster is offline Good Twelever Aquamarine Lobster is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    946

    Default Chapter 1 silver eagle -- a discussion

    It's pretty clearly that everyone has hit a brick wall, and so I thought it might be time for us to pool our thoughts and see if we can get somewhere or at least reduce the ridiculous number of solution options.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'd just like to see SOMEONE solve this thing, even if that someone isn't me. We risk this entire hunt being forgotten and shut down due to inactivity if everyone gives up. While I think that the finances of the hunt are pretty shaky (the $1M gold prize should be reduced drastically to ensure the longevity of this hunt and actually help this thing to raise some money for cancer, IMO. $100K would be a fantastic prize, and allow this hunt and its goals to thrive), it's still a lot of fun, and there's clearly a lot of undiscovered secrets in the 12 chapters that need to be found.

    I also wrote to the hunt organizers, and was told that it is okay for us to discuss theories and "small pieces of the text". Their main concern is that they don't want chapter answers plastered everywhere, which makes sense. So I am confident that posting the occasional text of a single clue, like I shall do here, is okay. Any clues I post are so braindead easy to find that they're not really secrets. Still, if you're new to the hunt, you should look for them on your own anyway, as there are other clues in their location.

    So let's get to work on chapter 1. This assumes you have all 240 keys, although I'm still not certain that you need all 240 to solve chapter 1. Maybe you only need chapter 1's information, although that doesn't make much sense to me. I would think that you'd want people to complete all 12 chapters before starting on the silver eagle hunt. In which case, stuff like chapter 13 1/2 is important.

    There are 4 or 5 obvious major clues that relate to chapter 1's silver eagle, and MANY other minor things that look like they might be clues. The reason that no one has solved this hunt yet is that it is, IMO, "practically unsolvable".

    That means, there does exist a solution and clues lead to that solution, but the very same clues also lead to hundreds if not thousands of other possible solutions. If there were tens of thousands of people working on this hunt, then the actual solution would be lucked upon. Since we have such a small number of people working on this hunt, no one will solve anything.

    As I will show, there are hundreds of interpretations of every major clue, and none of them disambiguate or self-verify. There is also no partial-validation, as you only get a "yes" or "no" when you submit a sequence. So, perhaps someone did come close in the past, but they never would have known, and they would likely have given up out of frustration.

    There is simply not enough information for anyone to solve chapter 1 without brute force guessing of possibilities, and to me that's a pity, because there's no way that I'm going to sit there and list 100 possible solutions and guess them over the course of 200 weeks (2 week lag per submission). That's just a waste of time. Even when we follow ocam's razor and assume the most obvious interpretation(s), we run into major problems.

    As some of you have found (I know from discussions with some of you), there exist other well (and very clever and fun-to-discover) hidden clues, which may or may not deal with chapter 1 or silver eagles. These clues speak vaguely about sequencing, a starting point (gold eagle?), and some other hints about what might make up a sequence (which one?). Unfortunately, it's impossible to know whether any/all of these relate to the gold eagle, all silver eagles, or a specific silver eagle. Thus, these are not very helpful.

    Now let's get into the intractability of Chapter 1:

    A starting point: "To find your way on the map keep in mind that the first is equal to the last"

    This is one of the major clues for chapter 1, clearly labelled as such, and a major chunk of our CERTAIN starting information. Unfortunately, it is so completely unhelpful that it's hard for me to express how unhelpful it is. (a) What Map, and (b) First and last WHAT, and (c) how strict is relationship "equal to"?

    When we're talking about finding your way on the "map", there is the obvious interpretation: the key entry map. But there is also another hidden map that my wife and I found (at least it appears to be a map -- perhaps it's just a weird coincidence -- again, no way for us to verify whether its a clue or not because it doesn't self validate). There is the "map" at the start of the book. There is also a 4th "map" which is hidden elsewhere in the book -- at least, I interpret it as a form of map. We could also consider the sudokus in each chapter to be maps, and there's evidence that I have found to believe that the 3d sudoku is also a "map". So it's possible that this clue is talking about one or more of a number of different maps. So before we even get to the confusing part of this clue, we're already confused.

    Let's assume that the clue is talking about the "obvious" map -- the one that you enter keys into. If this assumption is wrong, then this clue becomes even more unhelpful than I'm about to lay out:

    The obvious interpretation for "first is equal to the last" is that it's talking about keys. We know what keys 1 and 2 are. They have been published.

    But clearly key 20 can't be numerically the same as 1, since keys have to be unique. So what about a specific clue for key 1 then being equal to the specific clue for key 20? But then, are we talking about clues only in chapter 1 (the 20 keys), or do the clues span all chapters (say, key1 = chapter1,clue1 -- key2 = chapter3,clue5, etc). All evidence appears to point to the first interpretation (order the 20 chapter 1 clues as keys), but nothing guarantees that this is the right interpretation.

    The only keys with "equal" clues in chapter 1 deal with a President. 1=President, 20=President? That's assuming that keys have clue meanings, and are not cipher or book-spanning relationships (which is a huge leap of faith that no clues seem to deal with). So taking the "obvious" solution, it appears the author is trying to give us keys 1,2,and 20. There's no accident here. Given the first, second, and last, you theoretically have enough information to determine a sequence. A lot of logic and mathematical proofs work precisely that way - given first, second, last you can piece together the progression. We're supposed to be able to work out what the last key is from this clue. But.... it's not at all obvious how that's supposed to work.

    Clearly the interpretation (1=president,20=president) doesn't make sense since we know what keys 1,2 are, and clue 1 is not a president. Clue 1 is a poem author. There are no other poem authors, nor anagrams nor any other obvious relationships between the clue for key 1 and key 20, so it makes no sense to follow this logical thought. So back to the drawing board.

    What about the first key = the last clue? But, how does that help us? And why is this interpretation any more meaningful or probable than any other?

    Does this mean that the omega key is the president? Or, the way to determine #1 = way to determine #20? Or, the TYPES of keys 1 and 20 are equal? And does equal mean EQUAL, as in mathematically exact? Or does equal mean "similiar", in which case perhaps the CLASS of 1 = the class of 20? Could 1 and 20 each be rivers for example? Or certain classes of numbers?

    Does "first equal last" mean that there's some sequence within the chapter's sudoku that we're supposed to be looking for, and that the first number/box/square/sudoku is the same as the last? And if so, how are we supposed to guess what the interpretation is? Are we expected to hopscotch around sudokus randomly trying to find key1,key2? Or rearrange sudokus based on column transpositions or applying 1st=last? Find a progression where the 1st and last numbers are the same? But, there are thousands of such sequences in each sudoku.

    Or does it mean that the clue of the first (a poet) is related to the last key? So the last key is a poet? Or the letters of the poet anagrammed? Or, the clue of the first (poet) implies the last is related to the poet (so a poem, or something that appears in that poem)?

    Or does it mean that the two keys given to us (which happen to be the first and last numbers) are somehow equivalent, and therefore the sequence is a set of equivalent pairs? Or, that clues are entirely irrelevant and this is just some creatively barren mathematical progression, where we're counting by some number, or something that boring? I hope not. I haven't looked at that possibility in detail because frankly if the answer is some unrelated numerical sequence completely unrelated to clues, the story, and the articles I'd rather not win.

    ( to be continued.... )

  2. #2
    Lobster's Avatar
    Lobster is offline Good Twelever Aquamarine Lobster is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    946

    Default

    ( ... )

    Or does it mean that the first chapter's clues or keys are the same as the last chapters? And that the solution for chapter 1 is really found in chapter 12? Or "first equals the last" means that perhaps half the clues are found in 12 and half in chapter 1? Not likely, but it's possible.

    Or does it mean that an ATBASH cipher is used in the chapter or sequence (A=Z in atbash. If I wanted a creative way to say USE ATBASH, then "first is the same as the last" is a perfect clue)? That would be a clever way of pointing to atbash.. but atbash WHAT? There are ways to use the chapter 12 wordlist to get stuff to atbash, and we've tried that, but it goes nowhere.

    Or does it simply mean that the FIRST of the sequence begins in the LAST paragraph of the book? Or the LAST sentence of the book. Or the LAST location of the Jeep. Or the LAST location of a word relating to the jeep.

    Does "first equals the last" simply mean the keys are listed in the chapter backwards? Or book backwards? Or paragraph backwards? Maybe. But, how?

    Or does it mean that the solution is mirrored, such that first is equal to the last in the pattern (we have the mark twain quote which seems to imply this)?

    Or does it mean that a cipher is used such the first and last elements are the same?

    Or does it mean that there's simply symmetry around the midpoint, keys 10 and 11?

    Or does "first is the same as the last" have to do with keys at all? Perhaps it means that the first paragraph holds the last key. Or the last paragraph holds the first key. Or a hash of the first paragraph or sentence or word or letters equals the hash of the last paragraph or sentence or word. Or, the first third of the chapter and the last third of the chapter each hold the keys in different ways.

    Or maybe it refers to the SYMBOLS on the entry map? So the first symbol and last symbol are the same? Or the keys at the first and last symbols are the same? Or their clues? Or their answers?

    Or maybe it means Doc's interpretation, in that the first and last letters make up some hidden 3 letter code word thingimibob that you're somehow supposed to solve?

    Or perhaps it means you extract the hidden letters from the first paragraph and those equate to the last. etc etc etc... I could keep on listing interpretations for that one clue until I was blue in the face, and STILL probably not hit upon the "expected" interpretation. There are hundreds, if not thousands of interpretations, and for each interpretation there are hundreds of thousands of ways in which they could be combined with the other ambiguous clues.

    The biggest problem with this clue, of course, is that even if you could disambiguate it, it still speaks NOTHING about the second or second to last. First=Last is fine, but the clue doesn't even say whether this is a one-off (like the clue giving keys 1 and 2 is a one-off), or whether it's a pattern. Does first=last imply that second = second last? No. But maybe that's what the intent is? This whole "first=last" thing keeps on coming up (a=o for example), but just because first=last says nothing whatsoever about the middle, even if we knew what the middle was talking about.

    Then we've got the Al=Om clue, which does nothing to disambiguate any possible solution because it says pretty much the same as that above, except that it confuses it because it uses the word "omega", which we know also has other meanings (when combined with the ghost clue, chapter story 3-key clues, etc etc).

    So does omega simply mean LAST, or does omega mean O, or does omega mean the ith element (where i=the location of omega in the greek or english alphabet), or does omega mean "omega key" as in the ghost? And is the ghost omega the same as the story omega? And does the omega key, if one exists, differ from chapter to chapter? So no go there. And even if we knew what that is, who or what is the ghost? Is the ghost the first 1/3 of the chapter (ghost of christmas past), one of the characters, the places Cooper went (his "past"), the things he left behind (also his past) ? Who knows. I could list about 50 things that could be the ghost of cooper past. There are all sorts of references in the story itself to things that could be considered "ghosts". I could point to pictures that could be the ghost of his past. I could point to items. People. Places. I could point to almost any noun in the chapter and rationalize why it is related to "ghost" or "past".

    Another interpretation of first being the same as the last is that perhaps it's talking not about keys at all, but sequences. Let's say that our 20 digit sequence is actually 3 or 4 or 5 smaller sequences put together. Perhaps the first sequence is equal the last one by topic, or by number, or by elements. Or perhaps their elements share similarities.

    So that's "first = last". Hope I have helped clarify things. I'll get to the Jeep later, and that will hurt your head as much as this clue does, because as I'll show, the Jeep clue -- even if you take the most obvious possibilities -- is still incredibly ambiguous.

    Waiting for new clues,
    Lobster

  3. #3
    BoatDaddy's Avatar
    BoatDaddy is offline Twelever Silver BoatDaddy is an unknown quantity at this point
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Lobsters,

    I am with you. To many choices on how to interpret that.

    It seems the person who does figure that out will own the first silver eagle

  4. #4
    Doc
    Doc is offline Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
    Sapphire
    Doc is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    In order to interpret that really broad clue, we may have to figure out the interrelationship between different clues.

    Firstly, I don't think that clue is specific for chapter 1. I think it applies to the solution for all the eagles.

    Secondly, there is a big 'blank' in the clue that lies between the 'first' and 'the last', and that blank is as much a clue as the other two parts.

    On a very basic premise, consider the potential relationship between 'First........=Last' and the following:

    1. The map itself: the 'first' is the fleur-de-lis, the 'last' is an 'X', and the 'middle' is 20 blank squares.
    2. In one of the chapter questions, we are introduced to a clue-giver named 'J - O - Y'.
    3. In one of the chapters, we are given a story and a chapter illustration concerning three very prominent keys: an omega key, a dove key, and a scratched-out key.

    These appear to be interrelated to me, and I think this is the correct starting point for a solution.

    1. The 'X', the 'omega key' and the letter 'J' are all related to the concept of an 'X': The 'X' is obvious, the 'omega key' represents something that is 'last' (the 'X' on the treasure map), and the letter 'J' is the tenth letter of our alphabet--Roman number 'X'.

    2. The fleur-de-lis, the letter 'Y' inscribed into a circle, and the peace symbol (represented by the dove) all represent something divided into THIRDS.

    3. The 20 blank squares, the letter 'O' in JOY, and the scratched out key all represent something that is 'blank in the middle'.

    In each chapter, I think we have to discover what is 'first', 'last', and something that represents 'blank in the middle'.

    That's fairly broad, but that's where my thoughts are currently headed. After that, who knows?

    Doc

  5. #5
    Lobster's Avatar
    Lobster is offline Good Twelever Aquamarine Lobster is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    946

    Default

    The problem Doc, is that you are using "clues" from the chapter text. Ron posted the following on Facebook a while ago:

    "Finding the clues is not that difficult! Remember the treasure hunt is made for the average person to be able to solve. You don't have to be a brain to figure it out."

    FINDING THE CLUES IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT.

    What does that mean? What IS a clue?

    There are probably about 50 things in Chapter 1's text that LOOK like clues to me. But they're not "obvious", and Ron's quote above makes me think therefore they are not clues. It sounds to me like the only things are clues are those things labeled CLUE, JOY, or in the tools section of the website.

    That would mean your three-key thing is not a clue. And the 50 interesting things I found in Chapter 1 are not clues. And any other creative interpretation of what's a clue is not a clue.

    I think BoatDaddy summed up the problem months ago: "WHAT IS A CLUE?"

    I used to re-read Chapter 1, finding new clues and bits of interesting information. But I just assume nowadays that there aren't any clues hidden in there, so what's the point? Ron really does seem to be implying that the 5 clues or so clearly labeled as such are all we're supposed to need.

  6. #6
    Lobster's Avatar
    Lobster is offline Good Twelever Aquamarine Lobster is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    946

    Default

    BTW has anyone found any "sponsor website" clues that seem to relate to Chapter 1 silver eagle?

    We've found 6 or so clues, but each of them seem to be a clue to solve a specific chapter question -- not silver eagle.

    Are there other clues out there?

  7. #7
    merelyviral is offline Junior Twelever Bronze merelyviral is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I haven't been working on this for a while, but personally I like the ATBASH interpretation of first=last. My thre reasons being:
    1) first=last is a property of the atbash cipher
    2) the first two letters, when converted to numbers in the standard way, are 1 and 20, which were the keys given to us.
    3) one of the Joy clues mentions that some people have solved the first 6 keys, and ATBASH has 6 letters.

    Yes, there are two A's in ATBASH, but there has to be a way around that. For example, maybe there isn't a one-to-one letter to number correspondence! In this case, write
    ATBASH = 1 20 2 1 19 8 = 12021198 = 1, 20, 2, 11, 9, 8

    Another possible "one-off" interpretation is that the first digit of the sequence is equal to the last digit, which would give us 11 as the last key.

  8. #8
    Lobster's Avatar
    Lobster is offline Good Twelever Aquamarine Lobster is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    946

    Default

    I've investigated atbash thoroughly since it seemed one of the more likely interpretations. There are no obvious sequences in the chapter, and no clear way to get around the "multiple letters" issue, which pops up in every attempt to atbash plaintext in C1.

    I don't like the idea of "guessing" how to do something like that, as one would assume that there is a clue somewhere that would tell you what you need to do. It would be impractical to solve by guessing how a new atbash encoding would work.

    There are a few different ciphertexts that you can extract from C1 using some interesting methods suggested by some clues in the book. We extracted a few and ran atbash on those ciphertexts and got nothing of interest.

    In fact, in one of our C1 ciphertexts we applied atbash and got the encoded word "RDHRRNG" appearing partway through the deciphered text. Red Herring? Or, just random letters that appear to say Red Herring? Who knows!

  9. #9
    steve1002 is offline Junior Twelever Bronze steve1002 is an unknown quantity at this point
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    73

    Default

    This assumes you have all 240 keys, although I'm still not certain that you need all 240 to solve chapter 1. Maybe you only need chapter 1's information, although that doesn't make much sense to me.

    I think that you only need the answers to C1 in order to solve it. I also think that the answer is so simple that we just cant see it and when the answer is revealed we will all slap our heads and go.......why didnt i think of that! My reasoning is this......I read over and over again from various people how hard/difficult it is to answer certain questions.......ALL of which I have answered correctly in the game, and yet the questions I cannot answer, everyone else seems to tick off with frightening speed. Plus the quote from Ron that says any average person can get the clues. Granted, the maps configurations are 20 to the x power, making the combinations in the millions, but then I believe that the right set of clues is staring us in the face.

  10. #10
    SillySearcher is offline Getting the hang of it. Copper SillySearcher is an unknown quantity at this point
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I would love for someone to find something to show me it is truly possible!
    Having fun along the way, though!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts