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Thread: A few thoughts on puzzle structure

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    Bytes and Peaces is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Bytes and Peaces is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default A few thoughts on puzzle structure

    I posted this over at Quest4Treasure, and thought I would repost here:

    What if "xi" on the table of contents is the missing page "11"?
    What if this is a process of elimination game, where players cross off every place identified, and go after what is left?
    If we are listing places to exclude, what do they have in common? (Are they all state parks starting with the same name, or style of name -- like the state tree/flower/governor?)
    Why is the 1 poem not listed with the 10 short stories?
    Other questions abound, but I will start with those for now.
    Where’s my pencil? No! The one with the eraser ...

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    Bytes and Peaces is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Bytes and Peaces is an unknown quantity at this point
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    What if the calendar in “Grandfather’s Office” refers to a polybius grid? A grille cipher, with instructions on where to put the holes?
    “The Bow” has a message made up of First letters — but none of the other stories do. What if that is because each story has its own unique puzzle not shared by the other stories? Or, if it is, have we checked for 2nd, 3rd, and up to 10th/last letters for the 10 short stories?
    Why are some keys bigger than others? Do they signal a running puzzle through all the stories or a change of style in puzzles?
    Why are there some places in the book without proper paragraph indentation?

    Must get another copy of this book!
    Where’s my pencil? No! The one with the eraser ...

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    catherwood is offline Found the 11! Bronze catherwood is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bytes and Peaces View Post
    Must get another copy of this book!
    I am reviving this thread while I wait for a physical copy of the book to enter my house. It turns out that I do have the text of the book (thanks to a forum friend!) but the formatting defaults to MS Word. I must be missing some clues, so my questions are from ignorance (for now). Also, forgive me if i'm making observations that others have made in the past, either here or on Q4T, as there is a backlog of posts I've only skimmed. Let's review:

    >> What if "xi" on the table of contents is the missing page "11"?
    I don't seem to have any table of contents in my transcription. And I don't have the page numbers, so from here this seems like an important observation. Roman numerals make me think of clocks, and Rome makes me think of Caesar's substitution cipher.

    >> What if this is a process of elimination game, where players cross off every place identified, and go after what is left?
    With such a short book, I'm not sure this would be a good technique for a puzzle. Let's say it was similar to "Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse" in which 49 states are suggested but the prize was in the 50th state never referenced. I think it worked for that book because of the length and the illustrations. (Again, I don't have the physical book, so I'm unaware of any pictures beyond the keys and Whistle Pig silhouette.) If the set you're itemizing is short, such as 12 zodiacs or 7 days of the week, the clues might blend in well enough, but 49 planted clues might stick out too much.

    >> Why is the 1 poem not listed with the 10 short stories?
    I assume this is another reference to the Table of Contents, which I haven't seen. Again, this seems like an important observation. My thought is that the poem is the midway point, with 5 chapters before and 5 after. I notice that there is another section after the last chapter, called "Backword" -- as in an epilog or the opposite of a foreward -- which feels to me like a hint to start at the end and mirror back to the middle.

    >> "The Bow" has a message [hidden as an acrostic], but none of the other stories do. What if that is because each story has its own unique puzzle not shared by the other stories?
    >> What if the calendar in "Grandfather's Office" refers to a polybius grid? [or] grille cipher, with instructions on where to put the holes?
    I'm a sucker for ciphers, so it would be fun to find more. Also, since I have the text in a file, I can try some analysis on word frequency and other details. The description of the calendar (assuming no illustration) could just be hints to picking an exact date for the star.

    >> Why are some keys bigger than others? Do they signal a running puzzle through all the stories or a change of style in puzzles?
    I am intrigued by this detail, but I should not conjecture until I see them in print. It could just be a formatting esthetic, unless each key is a unique size. Also, am I correct that the poem's key is oriented differently? That would reinforce it as a center line/point.

    >> Why are there some places in the book without proper paragraph indentation?
    I am looking forward to seeing this for myself!

    As a final thought, I am taking the approach that the goal is to find a location in the physical world, but not to dig for a buried key. From various snippets I've gathered, my interpretation is this:
    Go to an ordinary place of no intrinsic value, and stand where you can see the "key" formed in your field of view, thus giving that location its true value to seekers.

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