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Thread: DAR Solution Part II *WARNING SPOILER*

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    ferrymaiden is offline Junior Twelever Copper ferrymaiden is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Wink DAR Solution Part II *WARNING SPOILER*

    CHANT SPELLS, LEVEL 1

    There are clues that point to a simple classical cipher tool and a key (these were two important components of the previous hunt by Stadther. I figured his approach would be consistent in this second hunt and it is.) The word “Key” is hidden on the last block of the poem text (p107), the Caterpillar block, in the rear, bottom right corner. The "K" is cutout and starts right beneath the "C" for "Code". The "ey" next fall on the embossed looking crease. So the last line in the poem actually reads:

    “A code for infinity KEY”

    Other features of this key block include:
    • a hidden number 26 (as in alphabet) 2 is under "FOR" and 6 is cutout under "CODE"
    • the letter A (beginning the alphabet)
    • an O (which could be viewed as just another letter but can also suggest a ring or disk)
    • the idea of a pair of letters
    • Caterpillar

    The number 26, the letter A, and the O-Ring suggest an Alberti Cipher Disk. Some confirming hints from the book and morse code messages that made sense to me at this point:

    “Create a Ring” (Chant Spell, p17 BOS)
    “Summon (Sum-On?) a Ring” (Chant Spell, p16 BOS)
    “A good beginning makes A good ending” (p80)
    “…circular equation” (Light Spell, p21)
    “We make work Good” - A with an infinity symbol or eight and a circular arrow rotation” (Hest Writing, p5 BOS)
    “displace core” (written in a faded circle background illustration, p8 BOS).
    Arise and Descend Chant Spells (rise and soar…you now descend…spell I utter) (p 8&9 BOS)

    The cipher disk is a pretty simple, straightforward substitution tool where the letters of the alphabet are substituted for numbers. I tried several versions, A=0, A=1, reverse alphabet, etc. It turns out to be A=1 through Z=26 and you move around the disk clockwise (“Summ-on a Ring”). This also makes the cipher tool modular, fitting with the story and all of its references to Time/Tyme (Time it is.)

    Of course, this would leave the puzzles open to frequency attacks, which Stadther had to deal with so he avoids this by using phonetics to spell messages and null letters to hide them.

    The pairs of letters on the children’s blocks, Caterpillar on the key block, and the way that caterpillar speaks in the story all describe the puzzle structure, which looks somewhat like a rail fence in 2 rows. (I think when Stadther gave the clue that “Hest is English,” he was trying to point us to this sentence in the story spoken by Caterpillar):

    “How de-lec-ta-ble,” said scholarly Caterpillar, pronouncing his words as if he were an English Professor…I shall pre-pare the table” (p31). (Sounding out syllables is also the way that Boo-ger gets his name.)

    Also, written in the Chant Spells, “These be spells of the simplest fare…for students at one Tyme…the caster recites all wyrds in full voice…Concentration rewards…a sage mightsways perchance to generate new chant spells sumday.”

    Tyme and concentration (concentric) refer to the Alberti disk, which is used with the infinity key to generate the messages and their nulls. In each pair, one letter is the correct letter and the other is a null and you sound out the message moving through the pairs in a zig-zag (caterpillar-like) motion. When you solve a few and get stuck, as the chant spells say, you have to add the step of “sumtyme” (addition) in various ways to what you are doing.

    “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” (p29)

    To generate the messages for your table use the Alberti disk and the key for infinity.

    Dar’s Secret:

    THE KEY IS EIGHT, …but that’s not the entire key. “Look inside, yourself to see.” You always have to keep mirroring in mind as you work. In this case, it is ALSO the motion of the path you trace with your finger around the infinity symbol, first going forward one distance, then reversing direction and going back an equal distance on the opposite side, then forward again, then back, etc, constantly mirroring your moves. That is DAR’s secret. “Time it is. It is time.”, “Dar knows secret. Secret knows Dar.” etc.

    Wherever you stop at any given time on the Alberti disk, apply the key of 8 in an infinity (or T or “wing”) pattern, first adding 8, then returning to your start position, then subtracting 8. This results in mirrored letter pairs for your table.

    “Well begun is halL/F (reversed/mirrored letters) done” (p3)
    “A good beginninW/G makes a good ending” (p80)

    How it works:
    An example of how a typical puzzle works. Stadther gives you groups of things to count, thus giving you numbers that you then find on your cipher disk.

    ie. The first group you count=13=M.

    Apply the key to turn one letter into a pair of letters. Thus, adding 8 to M and substracting 8 from M on the disk. 13+8= 21=U; 13-8=5=E. The resulting letter pair to start off your table is U and E.

    And so on...


    ************************************************** *****************

    Puzzles:

    INTRODUCTION PAGE BOS. The filled in letters puzzle. Count the number of filled in letters in each paragraph. (This first puzzle is so simple, you don’t even have to Sum on a Ring.) Apply the key to each number to create the table. Then you can go back and select one letter from each pair, working like a caterpillar to sound out words. Sometimes you can get multiple readings.

    TEXAS CUT MP ON UP Y; “ Texas cut map on up pg 25 (Y=25)”
    TEXAS CUT MZ ON UP Y; “Texas cut maze on up pg 25”
    TEXAS CUT WPON UP Y: “ Texas cut weapon up pg 25”

    Check out page 25 in the story. Turn the book upside down so that the sun is smiling. It’s an illustration and the shape of the sky window (very loosely, I know) resembles the state of Texas! Trust me, it is a confirmation.

    **It’s also important to note the filled in letters appear on pg 6 in the BOS, which becomes a very important “key page” with lots more hints and keys. It even looks like there is a key shape in the upper left border.

    With each puzzle from here on out there is always a variation you will have to figure out through trial and error. You will also have to decide the following with each puzzle:

    • “What to count?”
    • “How to group them so they can be counted?”
    • “How to order the groups so the results in the table will read properly?”
    • “What has been learned and should be remembered?”

    ALWAYS keep in mind things like mirroring, orientation, summing, and ordering your letter blocks.
    ************************************************** *****************

    PAGE 2 BOS. Shapes puzzle. There are 3 lines consisting of 6 types of shapes on pages 2 and 5. Group each shape with its mirrored counterpart for counting. Order the groups according to the number of vertices 1 through 6, ie. Teardrop, moon, triangle…

    Lesson learned: emphasis on mirroring and ordering

    MESSAGE: QTERLE; “Quarterly” (Keep this clue for the Eclipse Spells Level.)
    ************************************************** *****************

    PAGE 80 ILLUSTRATION. Trident-like tree symbols with red and green dots. Group each symbol with its mirrored counterpart for counting. Order as you encounter them, beginning at the top and moving clockwise.

    Lesson learned: emphasis on mirroring, ordering, clockwise movement

    MESSAGE: ALTS; “Alternates” (Another clue for the Eclipse Spell level.)
    ************************************************** *****************

    PAGE 94 ILLUSTRATION. Branches with purple berries. Group each branch with its mirrored counterpart down the left side only for counting. Then repeat down the right side only. Keep the left side and right side symbols separated. On each side, order according to purple berry position as it moves in an arc from inside of branch to outside 0 through 7.

    Lesson learned: emphasis on mirroring, orientation, clockwise and counterclockwise movement, heart

    MESSAGE: KLW TUS LINKT, “Clue, 2’s linked” (mirrored to make a heart) (clue for Light Spells Level)

    **I believe this is the correct translation as there were no berry branches with purple berries in the #2 position, suggesting that you focus on them and the layout of the puzzle mimics the idea of two 2’s being the right and left mirrored halves of a heart like pages in a book.
    ************************************************** *****************

    ACORNS. Acorn page numbers. Group according to orientation for counting. Order as you encounter them front of book to back. Apply added steps of summing. Sum the page numbers by group, then sum them again to make numbers between 1 and 26.

    Lesson learned: emphasis on orientation and addition.

    MESSAGE: OBAY UOY (clue for Light Spell Level)
    ************************************************** *****************

    COLORED BORDER DESIGN BOS. ONLY group the “T’s” running across the top and bottom of each celtic knot border by color for counting. Order by color according to the trumpet shapes on the key given on the key page (p6 BOS) (violet, red, green, orange, blue)

    Lesson learned: emphasis on junk, clockwise movement, modular movement, addition, using the key page

    MESSAGE: RVRSE; “Reverse” (clue for Eclipse Spell Level)
    ************************************************** *****************
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