# Thread: Reverse Engineering the Solution

1. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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By itself, that will keep me plugging over the coming days.

2. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Jeff,

I'm responding to you in this thread so I won't derail the Chapter 5 clue discussion.

I think the gaming community needs more clues, but I don't think the author has to provide additional clues. We're supposed to figure it out ourselves. I'm a completionist nut, and I can't move forward until I understand how all this works.

After much pacing, cursing, and caffeine intake, I think I've finally manged to reverse engineer this thing to its humblest beginnings: the 20 questions at the end of a chapter. Answering these questions is truly the beginning of solving a map since they must be answered correctly before the map can be accessed. Makes sense.

We've understood the process and results of answering these 20 questions--it's taken for granted nowadays--we just didn't realize the pieces were supposed to snap together.

1. The answer to each question is entered on the web site on the internet. It's the NET answer (for internet answer.)
2. Answering a question correctly awards the player with a KEY.
3. Collecting the 20 keys allows one to unlock the map, where each key we originally collected is now a NUMBER.

All of these observations are simple facts. I just didn't realize they went together.

Now look at the answers in reverse:

NET KEY NUMBER

NUMBER KEY TEN

The number key is the '3' key on your keyboard. TEN = X. It means '3X'. Every question has three answers.

It's a giant circle. First = last. It's both linear and circular at the same time. One has to answer the question correctly on the web site before you collect the key; the keys have to be collected before you get the numbers on the map. Circles back around to '3X'.

I hope that makes sense. It's not difficult; it's just a new way of looking at it.

For the time being, I think that marks the true beginning of the actual solution.

Doc

3. Doc,
I respect your out-of-the-box thinking on Ron's puzzles. I am immersed in Endgame at the moment. Much more challenging and logical than chasing letters within the text of a story. This hunt is on life-line. One silver eagle left after he awards the bronze plated eagle for this chapter. I would be taxed on the eagle for its artistic value and on the value of the trip to a crime-riddled city. Not worth it. I actually would lose money.
I also have integrity issues with Mr. Shore that I do not wish to openly discuss on a forum. But, I do wish you and the few remaining questors much luck in solving chapter 5.

4. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Jeff,

Your frustration is palpable, and to be honest, completely understandable. I'm not throwing bricks at you or anyone else by your disagreeing with my musings. I love the mental gymnastics, and being from a small, rural area in northeastern Louisiana, I don't have access to a lot of treasure hunters. LOL. I had quit playing since Chapter 1 because I felt there was an underlying pattern forming up here, I wasn't smart enough to figure it out, and I don't like illogical puzzles.

Having said that, I hope to prove you wrong, not from some ridiculous impulse to brag, 'I told you so', but to show the really smart people around here that there's a REAL puzzle here waiting to be solved and to generate some enthusiasm.

Think back all those months ago. You answered the 20 questions, collected your keys, and unlocked the chapter map to find your 20 numbers waiting to be arranged into an answer.

We were supposed to figure out that each question gives three answers, but the next question that we asked is the very question that we've been stuck upon to this very day:

WHERE ARE THE MAP CLUES?

We had that clue in the invisible ink, but that didn't lead very far, and it turns out the really important information the clue was implying wasn't 'first=last'.

The correct answer to this question is one we've come to figure out, is completely incomprehensible, and is the source of teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, and more than one person walking away in disgust from the seeming paradox.

Where are the map clues?

THE MAP CLUES ARE NOWHERE.

In my opinion, that's an extraordinarily good reason to flee to the hills away from this puzzle. Had there been some arcane cipher, some tidbit of anything pertaining specifically to the map, the smart people around here would have found it, dissected it, and been on their way to solving a map.

This is the reason we've been stuck, it's amazingly frustrating and completely incomprehensible since we're supposed to be solving a treasure map.

The end. Finito. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Right up to the point you realize that each question has THREE answers....

Where are the map clues?

THE MAP CLUES ARE NOWHERE.

THE MAP CLUES ARE NOW HERE.

This is the real reason behind the original invisible ink clue. First=Last with a space in the middle. NOWHERE = NOW HERE. Invisible becomes visible. The invisible ink clue was trying to help with this step of the puzzle.

The third answer follows these two:

THE MAP CLUES ARE NOWHERE.
THE MAP CLUES ARE NOW HERE.
THE MAP CLUES ARE HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE.

These are the three answers to the question: Where are the map clues?

To find the next questions, one must solve the final stanza: The map clues are here, there, and everywhere.

Punctuating the sentence differently sets up the solution:

THE MAP CLUES ARE HERE: THERE and EVERYWHERE.

THERE = THREE, and 'Every where' = all directions.

A player is supposed to recognize that the word CLUES is separated into C and LUES, whereby C = three, and LUES = left, up, east, and south, or ALL DIRECTIONS.

This leads you into what I posted earlier about CLUES leading to questions 1, 2, and 3.

A journey begins,

Doc

PS--if you made it this far and understand what I'm saying, you can reverse engineer a part of the map solution all the way to this point. The answers to the question are NOWHERE, NOW HERE, and HERE, THERE, and EVERYWHERE. One word, two words, three words. The final solution of the map is 1-20: one 'word'. It was composed of two equal sets of 10 letters: two 'words'. The three parts of the solution were a part associated with 'first', a part associated with 'last', and a missing part. Three 'words'. In other words if this was the 'map question', the 'map answer' is one word, two words, three words.

Take Cloud Atlas.

Add fifty zillion false paths, then slather on a complicated and inconsistent symbolic grammar which identifies them as such.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Out comes TWGTH. The Cloud Atlas aspect of this hunt is fascinating and extremely clever. The herring layer is just a big mess. Unfortunately, it's hard to close out a solution without understanding both of these.

6. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Lobster, I don't think it's that bad. The false paths are the ones we make for ourselves; I've been down my fair share.

Gizmo, I'm responding to your comments about the 'one' here because I don't want to derail that other discussion. It's relevant here.

Both of you, we don't need extra clues. We need to solve what we have. The answers provide a way forward.

Have you figured out, definitively, the symbol that was scratched out on the keys from chapter 9?

To solve the mystery of the scratched-off symbol, one must use the opposite meanings.

The opposite of the OMEGA key is FIRST. The opposite of the DOVE key is WAR.

If you've learned to understand the author's puzzles, you will see that the letters are attempting to spell FIRST ANSWER, and that the missing letters that correspond to the scratched-off key would be N, S, and E.

Those are 3 directions. Same as CLUE = C LUE. He's giving you the wink, wink, nudge, nudge treatment.

You now have the clue to figure out the symbol that was scratched off.

To reach the next step of the solution, one must convert the directions to their clock equivalents:

North = 12 = L
South = 6 = F
East = E = opposite 3

The one that is missing is literally a 'I' that is missing. West = 9 = I. The east and west are reversed, such that the West I becomes the East I, or RIGHT I.

Do you see the word that allows you to solve the puzzle?

It's LIFE.

Putting all the answers together, specifically:

The letters N, S, and E = LIFE MISSING RIGHT I.

You can now very specifically, very definitively figure out the symbol that was scratched off:

What is the opposite of 'LIFE' that was scratched off the key?

What is the symbol for DEATH that has a MISSING RIGHT I?

It's a JOLLY ROGER with an EYEPATCH OVER ITS RIGHT EYE.

I hope to heavens you understand the puzzle logic here and can start making the connections that will allow you to move forward.

The method of solution as well as the answer itself sends you to the next step.

OMEGA = FIRST was left alone. WAR + NSE = ANSWER was an anagram.

FIRST ANSWER is using the 'same protocol' as something else....

FIRST ANSWER MISSING I is a really good description of the answer.

As well as the clue about what happens next....

Keep the juices flowing, guys. There's a whale of a good puzzle hiding in this book.

Doc

8. Doc, this is not a logic or mathematically based puzzle that can be solved through "anagram based algebra".

It is a relational puzzle. It is fundamentally about relationships, symbolic definitions and connections.

9. Good Twelever Gold
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I don't think it can be mathematically anagrammed either. However, I do believe we are being taught more titbits of info along the way in preparation for the bigger hunt. I'm convinced the three keys solution applies to that chapter only. It may be strategic in timing in how to open the box. What I find interesting is, there may be more than one way to get the solution....meaning whether from the chapter text, questions, poem etc. I think the current chapter will help shed light on that subject.

10. "However, I do believe we are being taught more titbits of info along the way in preparation for the bigger hunt."

Yeah. Each chapter teaches new things. I don't think that some of the future chapters are even in practice solvable yet because we haven't got certain important tools yet to solve them.

"I'm convinced the three keys solution applies to that chapter only."

Hmm, I think it's more than just that chapter. But it's certainly not EVERY chapter.

"What I find interesting is, there may be more than one way to get the solution...."

Yeah, every chapter appears to have a large set of clues in the book. Most of those clues are extremely vague and difficult. The facebook clues are required to sort out what's real from what's not, since there doesn't appear to be a reliable way to do that from the book and its resources itself. A couple of FB clues and I could solve C12 pretty fast.

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