# Thread: CHAPTER 4 - discussion and clues

1. Junior Twelever Bronze
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Good one Weaver! Jeff as for the pictures, I did see the cane and I can see how someone would picture that after the sequence was solved, but in my opinion, I think that the answer is more tangible or concrete (for lack of a better word) than seeing an image of something shaped somewhat like a particular number and straining to "make it fit" into a sequence.

On a different note, another thing I have noticed (and I'm sure it has been referenced in some form already on other threads), is the fact that all three solutions have utilized the sudoku in the placement of a letter. In chapter 1, I believe there was a number in the same row and column as the number itself in one of the sudoku's for that chapter. (forgive me I don't have the book in front of me) Chapter 2 also had the same thing (I think this one was #4). Chapter 3 gave us a clue that had 6 in the 7th spot but it was the same column and row as the number. For chapter 3. if you apply the same cipher as you did to solve the poem and shift the number 1 to the right, it becomes the 7. I don't know how this will play into the future, but I do find it interesting that every chapter has at least one sudoku where the number, the row, and the column is the same. Out of the millions or billions of possible sudoku puzzles possible, this isn't a common enough occurance that it happens in 50&#37; of them. So I believe it has to be used in some manner. This again brings me back to the idea that the solution is still somehow related to the questions at the end of the book. The evidence is mounting to put up a respectable argument to that effect. (We already know that the solution is going to be something that is related to the method used to encrypt the poem and the sudokus are referenced in at least one of each chapter's set of clues.)

2. It's interesting to note that the sequences are groups of 2 or more, sometimes 10.

That's not what I would have expected, given the clues in the book.

3. Junior Twelever Bronze
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Lobster, I am still trying to reconcile that in my own mind as well...I'm wondering if there is some sort of relationship to the number of times we "see" (pardon the pun) a particular word or phrase will tell us how many portions there are.

I think the part that troubles me about the last chapter was the fact that "the final four" were a reference to pop culture. That is the first time we have seen that outside of the chapter questions. I'm not sure if it was designed that way or if it was mere coincidence. If in fact it was a design that brought those four out, I am at a complete loss as to why those 4 and where is the reference to the pop culture. The fact that season 16 was aired in 2008 with the final four determined in mid-May has me re-thinking that it couldn't have been part of the design. After all, this hunt began in what 2010? And it's structure and content has been something he has been working on or thinking about for many years, not to mention it had to be proofed, published, distributed, the eagle had to be created, etc. To me, that just seems to take way too much time for it to be completely intentional. The only way I can see that it would have been part of the solution to the beginning is if Ron had already pre-designed the answer so that it left him a "loophole" that would be determined just before the final stages of the creation and printing.

4. Junior Twelever Bronze
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Here is another spoonful of thought. If the first chapter had only the Q missing (since it was far away from the rest of the letters) that equals 1. Chapter 2, there were 2 letters missing, obviously that equals 2. Chapter 3 had 4 missing, which equals 4. 1, 2, 4...pattern? Doubling effect? Let's really stretch this thought for a second. Chapter four has a period of time reference of 2 years, 4 months, and 16 days...squared effect? Perhaps we are dealing with 4 portions or to the exponent or power of 2 - 2 sequences? 2 sudokus? alpha and omega, 2 halves, 2 stories for chapter 2, 2 times the statement of "chasing rainbows" was mentioned, tons and tons of references to duality all the way through this book.

5. Originally Posted by squirrelio
...that "the final four" were a reference to pop culture. That is the first time we have seen that outside of the chapter questions. I'm not sure if it was designed that way or if it was mere coincidence. If in fact it was a design that brought those four out, I am at a complete loss as to why those 4 and where is the reference to the pop culture. The fact that season 16 was aired in 2008 with the final four determined in mid-May has me re-thinking that it couldn't have been part of the design. After all, this hunt began in what 2010? And it's structure and content has been something he has been working on or thinking about for many years, not to mention it had to be proofed, published, distributed, the eagle had to be created, etc. To me, that just seems to take way too much time for it to be completely intentional. The only way I can see that it would have been part of the solution to the beginning is if Ron had already pre-designed the answer so that it left him a "loophole" that would be determined just before the final stages of the creation and printing.
Squirrelio, you must remember that the final four only came from FB clues. Lets ignore them for a minute. First one must realise the importance of capitals which is indicated by their insertion in the cipher text. Secondly, somehow, one has to realise that the letters to be extracted this time are D to W and not A to T. Then one must use similar method to CH1 and Ch2, first ten in one direction from one start point and then carry on from another place in another direction. In this case from first letter forward and then from last letter forward. This gives the first 16 letters. That (just) leaves 24 solutions, in a month one may make them all.

What I am saying is that the FB clue and the reference to survivors is simply a clue of how to put into order the last four. It did not have to be planned from the begging of the hunt, just used later as a FB clue.

Without intention of stirring up the "solveable without FB clues" dilema again, in my opinion all that is needed is in the book, another thing is that it is so hard to find as to render it almost impossible without extra clues BUT the letters are there.

6. Junior Twelever Bronze
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Weaver, I completely agree with you 100&#37;. I actually had the correct sequence except for removing the final 4 and putting them at the end. All I was trying to do was to get people to realize the answers can be found without the FB clues. Even with the first clue for chapter 3, always a capital, like the winner, I had already surmised that prior to the clue's release. The only clue that really helped me was the eliminating charlie one. Too many people have given up on the hunt and are waiting for a plethora of clues to come out and give them the answer. We need to just think and remember that there is a reason why things are placed where they are and our jobs are to figure out that reason, and it will give us the solution.

7. Originally Posted by weaver
Without intention of stirring up the "solveable without FB clues" dilema again, in my opinion all that is needed is in the book, another thing is that it is so hard to find as to render it almost impossible without extra clues BUT the letters are there.

Correct. There are clues in the C3 text to look for capital letters. I see about 4 of them, but will keep them to myself on the highly unlikely unlikely chance they will be of some use in the future. That's not the issue. The issue has never been that there exist clues.

The problem, as always, is that there are also hundreds of equally-likely "clue sounding things" in there that suggest one needs to do thousands of different things.

CLUES IN THIS TEXT TELL US TO:

- Ignore anything Charlie or his mother do or say in the entire chapter. (They are both "chasing rainbows". "Chasing rainbows" means to do something that is impossible, and thus is something you don't want to be doing. It would imply that the solution shouldn't be on page 53, which deals with both characters appearing at the same time. )

- skip every Xth letter ("sunlight bounced...") Nope!

- The first sequence is NOT at the start of the book ("..penetrated his NOT-SO-SECRET hideaway..") (we are definitely looking for a SECRET hideaway) Nope!

- look at only every odd letter, or word ("gold was hidden in the oddest of places") Nope!

- read backwards from marker LIII (if you found it you'll know what I mean) Nada.

- "bounce" from word to word ("sunlight bounced...") Nope.

- use a bacon cipher ("even as they feasted on bacon and biscuits...") Nope!

- use morse code (suspicious number of .'s and -'s throughout chapter) No...

- find a segment with more than 10 keys ("more gold in that wall then (?) ten men would ever need" NOPE

- start a sequence at the word rock or read towards it ("charlie headed for the rock") No.

- use alliteration in your solution (..bounced..blonde..boy..boots..bank...bare... all in first sentence) - nope!

- or that alliteration (all the B's) tells us that the B sequence (2nd) is at the front of the book. But it's not.

- a rotate or circular letter extraction is to be used:
"Charlie sloughed off bits of grit with every motion"
"eddies and whirlpools"
p57 "water swirled into an eddy"

... Nope!

- look at colors in the story and find a solution near them or using them ("chasing rainbows" = CHASE them. This is an instruction. Do this.) ??

- don't look at colors, they are a red herring ("chasing rainbows" = IDIOM = this is an impossible task. Don't do this.) ???

- do look at colors, because it is an impossible mission, and we have a facebook clue dealing with an impossible mission - nope!

- Look at doubled up letters (lots of suspicious double letters in this chapter -- CarefUULLy, etc) - nope

- First sequence starts at the bottom and goes up ("scraped it against the bottom and pulled up...") - no

- The first sequence is not on the first page ("Charlie, GET OUT OF THE WATER" = get out of here) - nope

- You must read UP on the first page of the book (all on page 53: "offer UP", "stood UP as straight as he could", "RAISED an eyebrow" -- there are actually more hints on page 53 to read UP than there are to read down. - nope.

- The solution starts at the BOTTOM of the page (page 54), or is read along the BOTTOM of many pages ("..both mother and son peered down at the bottom, where the scratches (SCRATCHED KEY) shone brightly" - nope.

- The wizard of oz is to be used (page 54: rainbow, cast, heels, heart, road down the center) - nope!

- First sequence starts in the MIDDLE (key 11): "CHarlie had landed smack on his read IN THE MIDDLE of Bodfish Creek" - nope.

- There are no left-direction sequences ("her tone (color ref) LEFT NO room for argument") - nope

- There are two sequencees, inverted ("Yes, Ma'am" -- this would have been accurate, had the last sequence been 10 keys and not 6. As it is, this is a misleading clue too) - nope

- The bottom of page 54 as a starting location is a red herring ("goosebumps"). Or does that mean that page 54 is a red herring? If so, then keys 8 9 10 can't be on this page. That's the problem with the stupid red herrings in this book -- their SCOPES are completely ambiguous. Even if you think something is a red herring, what's its scope? The sentence it appears in? The paragraph? The page? It is endlessly frustrating and indeterminate.

- A sequence may be located in C2 (Long rifle place of honor... LEFT it there.. San Francisco.. where he swore ("some curses are real")..) - nope

- The sequence is four parts (Charlie's mother slept for 3 days, on the 4th she does something special) - nope

- Sequence letters can be found over sentences dealing with hills or mountains ("we can find gold.. it's all over these hills!") (and, "over the mountains of the moon"-poem) - nope

- The solution is Caesar shift ONE ("asked at ONE MAKE SHIFT shop after another") - it's not. - nope

- The last bit of the solution is Caeasar shift one (spent.. THE LAST BIT... one make shift) - nope.

- One sequence has size 7 ("she joined the ranks of the LUCKY ONES") - nope.

- There are two equal sequences of 10 ("hit the log dead center, splitting it into two equal pieces") - nope

- There are three sequences, sequence A and C having equal size, and sequence B the middle one being different -- like an oreo cookie (.. splitting it like a cookie..) - nope

- Final sequence starts on page 56 going up ("his work FINALLY done the boy stacked wood up as high as he could carry, took it to the cabin, and came back for the smaller pieces"). A hint at the final sequence, but it's on page 56. His work is done on page 56, not the end of the story. Yet another example of an intended clue that has a primary interpretation that is just wrong. The other big problem with this clue is that the very next sentence says "turned to sky from dark purple to scarlet", which is a color/rainbow reference, and "chasing rainbows" implies this is something we shouldn't be doing. Yet more red herring ambiguity.

- If a sequence appears on page 53 and is circular or rotational in nature, its other part should be on page 57 (Eddies and whirlpools recur on page 53 and 57) -- and "always a secantroam" can equate to "always a secant roam" = "always a circle" (since a roaming secant can geometrically form a circle) - nope

- If we do read UP a sequence, it will have 10 members ("he carefully picked his way UPWARD through boulders (words) until he was standing a good TEN FEET above the rolling stream (of letters)"). Unfortunately, our UP sequence had 6 letters. Why? Who the heck knows. - nope

- The dividing line on page 62 is very important and relevant ("it was a long black vein running along the LINE of the rock (page)") - nope

- Quartz lies near gold. Quartz is on page 58. Any keys near here? Nope.

- TONS of evidence that a sequence should be read UP on page 58 (all on page 58: "PULLED rather than pushed. HEART IN THROAT (up)... holding their skirts UP.... telling children to keep UP... BUOYANT (up) excitement, looked UP at the proprietor... scooped UP the rock.. Charlie wrinkled UP his nose...) -- I mean C O M E O N. The word "UP" is on page 58 NINE times. Yet, there's no sequence going up there. In fact, there's nothing going anywhere there.

- Two sequences (TEN year old.. TEN men... cut in the CENTER... "Charlie saw the look that passed between the TWO of them...) - wrong, there are 3.

- All sequences will go right. (page 59: "I know, it will be ALRIGHT" - ALL. RIGHT. ) - nope. one goes left. and the final one er... zigzags

- Second sequence is larger than the first. ("David... carved out another piece, this one a bit bigger than the first.") Uhhh.. the first was 10 keys. The 2nd was 6.

- A sequence starts on page 59, going UP (tons of UP references page 59, and evidence that this is where to start: "Eureka, it's the real thing, you've struck gold, Charlie dreamed of that moment, he TURNED (go up)" - nope

- Three pieces of the treasure (page 60: David chipped off ANOTHER piece (a 3rd). Giving us 3 pieces, where the 2nd is larger than the 1st. WRONG)

- ALL SEQUENCES GO RIGHT (page 60: "You found it Charlie, it's RIGHT ALL ALONG") - nope

- Two sequences ("two pack mules") - nope

- Playfair is not used ("it's not fair") - YES! but er...

- The sequence is split up into 3 parts using 3 different methods: "Sometimes it was there on the ground, tiny little nuggets ready for the taking (A=1, B=2?)" "Often it was in the streams, bottle after bottle of gold dust (2nd sequence is in a page dealing with streams?) , sometimes it was in the land itself a thick and rich vein hidden beneath layers of worthless rock (a sentence in the middle of nowhere holds the 3rd sequence all in one location?)

- Alabama ("hint that first sequence (A) is read off every 2nd letter starting with the first - AlAbAmA - also fits in with bouncing and skipping and odd clues) - nope

In any case, I think I've made my point... yes, there are some real clues in there ("UP" "LEFT", "TOWERING COLUMNS" are all on the last page, hinting that the sequence on the last page goes UP -- charlie "TIPPED HIS CAP" (capital letter) ), but there are HUNDREDS of equally clue-sounding and correlational things in these chapters that have NOTHING whatsoever to do with the solution.

I conclude that Weaver is correct:

There ARE hints in these chapters. However, they are completely impossible to find because they are dwarfed in both number and suspiciousness by massive mountains of irrelevant clue-sounding text.

8. Impressive list Lobster and spot on. There is just too much smoke to see the fire. One could go crazy following a million lines of reasoning. I feel that the real difference/problem here is the lack of confirmers. All hunts have more or less red herrings but usually there is at least one clear confirmer for each stage. This one does not appear to have them and really the FB clues are both helpers and confirmers. One has to think that it is an intentional strategy to control the flow of the hunt. Don't get me wrong, it's Ron's hunt and he may control it as he feels fit. Not as entertaining as other hunts maybe but the cause is good.

9. Junior Twelever Bronze
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Lobster, that is a perfect thread. I first want to say thank you for taking all that time to type it out. (I am not being sarcastic, I mean it!) I have notice about 95&#37; of the exact same things you did, just never put them down on paper. Although, I have to admit, you did see some things I didn't and I commend you for that. I too am frustrated with the fact that I can't seem to find which portions of each chapter are the ones we should be looking at. And I too hate the fact that there is no validation when you believe you have found it. That is one of the absolute biggest complaints I really have about this hunt in general. Again, all I'm trying to do is keep people in the hunt and hopefully share ideas with each other and get at least one of us a win.

All that being said, what I want to bring this back to is that I believe we have stop looking at words in the text for guiding us through the sequence, rather we need to start examining all of the ways that one could hide the sequence in plain sight. Lets look at chapter one: The sequence was hidden as a straightforward sequence of as they first appear. Although it was broken into two parts, it still was straight forward and recognizable if you didn't look at what the words were, just look at each letter as though they are individual and stand alone. What drew me to the first half of the sequence was the phrase: ten o'clock in the morning...why wouldn't he just say at 10 A.M. as a normal person would. Obviously that wasn't the whole solution, but it was an oddity that we needed to recognize.

In chapter 2, the solution was again found not by anything in the text showing us the way, but discovering that the full sequence lies in portions on either side of the poem and it happened to be the letters on the side of the page, again in order of first appearance.

Chapter 3, we have now discovered was hidden amongst the capital letters, once again taken as the order of first appearance.

Using this information, we can now with a fair amount of confidence say that the words of the chapter have no meaning other than their "placement" within the story. Using your example of chasing rainbows, for instance, lets look at where it was in the story: the first page and the last page. Perhaps that was our key to let us know. (I'm not even going to repeat the fact that I don't understand why those last 4 were taken out of the sequence on their own.) Maybe for chapter 4 we need to look for the same sort of thing. Lets look at the "placement" of the letters of the alphabet. This of course isn't flawless, as you have definitely pointed out with the word up (by the way, I didn't even realize that one). Instead of looking for words that are as common as that was, lets look at where the uncommon words or phrases are, and where they may somehow repeat each other. Perhaps that is the key. We need to think of the different was in which he could hide the letters on a page or paragraph? Perhaps down the middle of a page or two. Perhaps before or after a key word that has a ton of multiplicity (your use of up is a perfect example). Maybe the first or last word of every other line, maybe the first word on each page, or maybe it will eventually get as complicated as converting the first and letters of a word or paragraph or page into a number and then adding them together to get a new number and subtracting 26 from that. I don't really know, but I think this is how each chapter will be won.

Again, I don't have any answers for you guys, but I'm trying to help guide us and look at things in a different way. I'm trying to keep this positive and keep people in the game. Perhaps I shouldn't be, after all, more people in the game means more competition for me. But, I want us to be able to somehow beat Ron at his own game. If indeed he did intend for the FB clues to be his "pacer" for how quickly a chapter is solved, I can't think of a better way to beat him than to discover the answer before he guides us to it. This isn't normal for me, as I am an eternal pessimist myself, but I also work at a mindless job, where I don't have anything but time to sit or walk around and think.

10. weaving is normally side to side but could also mean up and down. if you start at the first letter of a line you can extract a sequence of letters going up 1 down 1 up 2 down 2 up 3...This is weaving and also leads to going over the same path and spot many times as mentioned in the story. However it would appear a better option using the last letters of the lines as this will cause sharp drop offs and going up canyons. The problem comes when we consider pre or post processing as indicated by every third letter being a marker. Add to that the use of Navajo code and the comment about father using a secret language and then a lot of shadows and he use of something as a measuring stick and everything gets out of hand again !!

The only real hope I have in this chapter is that the numbers are used as confirmers. For example if I manage to find a sequence of letters that start in a more or less logical place and which on extraction use the letter in position 88 (not a very common occurence) I will be happy. Anyway I have half a dozen 600 column by 34000 spreadsheets waiting for the first clue )