While I've been off working on this year's Pablo's ATH, it seems like there has been an increase in postings about this hunt around the net. There has been a potential solution for the puzzle on page 19, which I like to call the tangram puzzle (not because it *is* a tangram, but it looks like one). With a pretty high degree of confidence, I disagree with that posted solution. Why? Well, because there's a cleaner, more elegant solution, obviously .

So let's talk about that puzzle. One thing that you might note right away is that the various polygons each contain one letter, and all letters A-M are included. This just screams ordering mechanism. So, the only thing remaining are the numbers. Each polygon also has a certain number of occurrences of a given value. If we take the frequencies of occurence and the values, we can form an ordered pair for each polygon. Doing so, one notes that both sets of numbers range from 1-5.

At this point there is a good possibility that this is a Polybius cipher. If we take a standard Polybius tableau, and use the frequencies as rows and the values as columns, we can extract a message:

Code:

A: (4,3) -> S
B: (4,4) -> T
C: (1,1) -> A
D: (4,2) -> R
E: (4,4) -> T
F: (1,1) -> A
G: (4,4) -> T
H: (4,4) -> T
I: (5,2) -> W
J: (1,5) -> E
K: (3,1) -> L
L: (5,1) -> V
M: (1,5) -> E

The message START AT TWELVE may pertain to the big grid, which has only one value of 12.

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