# Thread: A Work-in-Progress for the Snail Puzzle

1. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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## A Work-in-Progress for the Snail Puzzle

This is how I'm applying my five steps to the snail puzzle.

1. Create a 5 x 5 grid of letters using an A - Z alphabet minus the 'Q'.
The odd 'S' in the lower left corner of the square surrounding the fairy is my grid clue. Placing the 'S' in the lower left corner of the grid results in the following:

X....Y....Z....A....B
C....D...E....F.....G
H....I....J.....K.....L
M....N...O....P.....R
S....T....U....V.....W

2. Discover and solve a sequencing mechanism and apply it to the 5 x 5 grid:

I believe the five different dots in the stalks are the sequencing mechanism. The key to their definitions are the single instances of them contained in the trunks and the alphabet letters that arise from them (or lack thereof).

Going up the trunk:
a. Small black dot: no letter
b. Small white dot: 'W' from 'With'
c. Large white dot: 'N' from 'Name'
d. Medium white dot: 'H' from 'Hand'

Going along the bottom trunk:
a. Large black dot: 'T' from 'The'

The puzzle as I see it is to realize these are directions from N, W, and a blank and to simply and logically assign directions to T and H. My answer is as follows:

..........'N'...........
...........o............
...........r.............
...........t.............
...........h............
'W' e s t..e a s 'T'
............s...........
............o..........
............u..........
............t...........
...........'H'..........

It's simply the letters at the four points as written.

Thus:

a. Small white dot = W = West
b. Medium white dot = H = South
c. Large white dot = N = North
d. Small black dot = no letter = blank
e. Large black dot = T = East

Read the dots in the same fashion as the poem: up the right side, then along the bottom (the diagonals are there for reference only--they separate each grouping):

Blank N W S / Blank W Blank N / W S / S S N Blank E S S S // S S Blank W Blank N Blank Blank / S S W Blank S Blank S Blank

I'm using the hidden snail with the large 'T' on p. 66 as the starting point.

Starting with 'T' in the grid and applying the directions:

T N M S / S W W R / P V / A F A A B G L R // W B B A A V V V / A F E E J J O O

(A quick note--the 'key' dots used to make the definitions are not included with these directions. Since I'm reading up and along the stalks, I'm thinking they should be. I'll try to rework it later and edit the post.)

3. Convert the grid of letters to numbers 1 - 25.

I'm again using the 'T' the hidden snail is associated with and labelling it as 1. Thus, T = 1, U = 2, V = 3, etc. Substituting the numbers into the letter grid above results in the following:

5........6........7.......8........9
10......11......12.....13......14
15......16......17.....18......19
20......21......22.....23......24
25.......1.......2........3.......4

4. Apply the sequencing mechanism a second time to the grid, but in a completely different manner.

Imagine p. 66 containing our big stalks to be the outline of the 5 x 5 grid. We read up the right side, then along the bottom from right-to-left. Applying this to the number grid, I obtained the following series of numbers:

4 24 19 14 9 4 3 2 1 25

5. Apply the series of numbers to the sequence of letters.

The fourth letter of the sequence is 'S'. 24 letters past that is 'F'. 19 letters past that is 'A'. Etc. (Just keep going back to the beginning and keep counting.)

The sequence of letters that resulted are as follows:

S F A A N W P A F M

Still clueless, but looking really hard....

Doc

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Doc,
I have followed all of your posts and I really appreciate your insightfulness. I have two questions. Do you have any room in your thinking about the solutions that might allow for the 5X5 box possibly applying to only SOME of the puzzles or are you fully convinced that each one must be solved in that manner?
The second question involves your results from each puzzle. I am not asking you to reveal them in any way, but can you tell me if they are deciphering anything understandable at all?
Thank you and keep up the work that is inspiring us all!

3. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Gaines, from what I've seen there's a 5 x 5 box for all the puzzles. The sequencing mechanism that applies to each box can be completely different from each other. In fact, discovering and solving his mechanisms appear to be a large part of each puzzle.

I've not been able to decipher anything.

But, I'm looking....

Doc

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Doc,

I'll go along with a 5x5 box, and a sequencing method (although I think it will be co-ordinate based rather than movement-based), but you seem to be introducing too many other steps for my liking. I think there'll be a box full of letters, a sequence on it, and a resulting message. Full stop. Or period, as you would say.

xx

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After several months of flip-flopping on the method of solution I'm currently in 100% agreement with doublecross. I believe the even code is the 5x5 with letters (minus Q) and the code of numbers five to a side are the (1-5,1-5) coordinates. I had fleeting thoughts of writing a program to check all 5x5 combinations of letters against the mushroom code sequence....but then I calculated the number of combinations (roughly 15,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)

6. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Doublecross, do you have any idea at my disappointment at being able to logically derive both a sequence of letters and a series of numbers using the clues and the poem and NOT having the answer spelled out for me?

I'm in complete agreement that a variant of a Beale cipher is plenty of puzzle.

Doc

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Doc,
Just to shift your thinking a little. What if the missing letter is an "E" and not a "Q"? Could this possible shift your data and hard work to something decipherable?
An even code with on(e) piece nary (25 letters). Also, whenever there seems to be a missing or an extra letter, it is usually an "e". Maybe we have chased the "Q" theory to the end and need to look elsewhere. Just an idea.

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Doc,
I WANT this to be a multiple substitution cipher like Beale's because I think that is the only thing that will give us enough letters to give an exact address hidden in the text. Only problem I have with that is how to generate some high number values. Beale's cipher went to 1700+ letters.
Single numbers won't do it. How would you decide whether to put 1,1 together to get 11, for example? Any ideas???

I also believe that there's still hidden information in the unsolved illustrations that we may need to help un with our "q" uandry.

Thank you for all the great help you've given those of us who are new to the cipher game.

Chris

9. This looks like as good a spot as any to throw this out for the mix.

I posted this under pg. 66, so if it is in a couple of different places, mods, please forgive me. It goes like this:

What if .. take Snail as the example:

you know that "S" is in the lower left corner , yes?

and you create a Magic Square based on that letter key possibility

putting the "S" in the lower left corner means that the "X" will be in the upper left corner, yes?

then you use a backtracking method - nicely done for you with the handy Magic Square site I don't recall who put up for us..probably in Tools...but here it is once again...

http://www.faust.fr.bw.schule.de/mhb...ack/mag5en.htm

when you place the number of the alphabet "X" represents...in the UPPER left corner...after keying on the fact that "S" is in the LOWER left corner

the Magic Square generator will present you with a Magic Square for that key code....and now you have a set of letters when you superimpose the corresponding alpha letter for each number on the magic square.

Now I have no clue where that would lead you....or if it gets you anywhere at all....but....looking at the letter strings Doc is producing...the two that I tried do NOT anagram for one thing...so...I'm thinking...ok...what other way can we produce a letter string from numbers in the 5x5 grid? Well, this would be one way.

Anybody get me on this ?? It's just an idea,,,like I said,,,I'm throwing it out there.

10. By the way I also found several sites that speak to something called the "tree alphabet". Haven't been able to find anything here on the forum ... tho I tried some searches.

I see several items in ATT, don't want to look stupid by telling you what they are, but they do indeed remind me of the missing "Q".

this one got me looking for more:

http://www.tree2mydoor.com/ancientwisdom.asp

love this one:

http://www.uponreflection.co.uk/ogham/alphabet.htm

first tree mentioned in the following site is a silver birch:

http://www.shee-eire.com/Magic&Mytho.../TreeOgham.htm