# Thread: The Anagrams of Clue 3

1. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Many, many thanks California!

The anagram for the directionals includes the directional letters themselves as well as the letters suggested by them.

That's where the other 'E' was removed.

Doc

PS--I think these anagrams are going to be correct.

2. ## Omission of "E"

Doc,

Hmmm, you might reconsider that decision. It's exclusion is inconsistent with how you interpreted "Over T, U, R and E". The T, U, R and E letters themselves weren't omitted during step 10; otherwise, an "R" and another "E" would be excluded from the final solution set.

Regards,

CaliforniaRed

3. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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I'm not sure what you mean.

For 'overture', the letters that are collected and anagrammed were ONLY the letters appearing over the T, U, R, and E--we neither collected nor anagrammed the various T's, U's, R's or E's.

For the directionals, we collected and anagrammed BOTH the directional letters as well as the letters suggested:

N-E
N-O
N-L
N-A
S-U
SEE - EOO
Etc.

Does that make sense?

If you use a letter from the grid in an actual anagram, it gets crossed from the list. If we didn't use the letter in an anagram, it stays.

The directional letters were used in the anagram; therefore, they're crossed out. The T's, U's, R's, and E's from the 'overture' puzzle were NOT used in the anagram; therefore, we don't cross them out for that particular stage.

Doc

4. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Guys,

I'm of the opinion that clue 3 is rapidly meeting its demise.

The final anagram puzzle for clue 3 is found by collecting the 12 letters from the 10 x 10 grid that haven't been used in any of the previous anagrams:

R I E N A L A N G C W S

Methinks the trick to the puzzle is to realize that 'C' = 3 since it's the third letter of the alphabet making the instruction 'Align three'.

I've got my scissors and have snipped the 10 x 10 grid into ten rows and into ten columns.

I'm going to spend some time trying to 'align three' of them to see if a final message is spelled out.

Considering everything that appears to be going on with clue 3, I'm willing to bet a buck that this 'final message' is a long-awaited 'announcement'.

See if you can align three of the columns or three of the rows in some fashion that spells out a message.

Doc

5. Doc,

I overlooked that multi-anagram component within step 3. Omitting the "E" makes sense.

I reposted the "All Steps" and "Step 3b Directional" images.

Regards,

CaliforniaRed

All Steps: Leftover letters

Step 3b: Directionals

6. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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I'm still working on this....

I placed the first row, fifth row, and sixth row atop each other, and a series of three-letter words popped out: ANT, THE, SAT, IN A, etc., but they don't really make sense, so I'm still looking.

Doc

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## Analysis of Doc's Clue #3 methodology

Hi Doc,

I wanted to take some time to offer a point-by-point critique of your detailed approach to solving Clue #3. I know you've put a lot of work into this so please take my comments in the spirit intended: constructive criticism. I only took my analysis as far as your first two steps because I believe there are fatal flaws in both of them.

Originally Posted by Doc
Clue 3 appears to be composed of a series of anagram puzzles. The solution to each anagram contains the necessary hints to collect the next set of letters to anagram. ... If the anagram approach is incorrect, shouldn't it lose coherence after one or two steps? Is it possible to collect large blocks of letters within the 10 x 10 grid and create just about anything?
First comment on this last sentence: most definitely, yes. That, in fact, is the crux of the problem. The letters are a match to ordinary English letter frequencies, and worse yet, they are positioned in such a way that it is quite easy to form "connected" letter sequences that span not only words but sensible phrases -- WITHOUT ANAGRAMMING.

... I tried anagramming other random blocks of letters, but all I got was gibberish.
See my comment above: it is quite easy to form words and sensible phrases using simple Boggle rules.

The solution to clue 3 appears to lead to Ana's token.

Step 1: Use the 10 x 10 coordinates by counting the flower petals. The trick to this step is that the grid is numbered two different ways:

1. For the top row of flowers, the columns are numbered LEFT - TO - RIGHT as 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9.
2. For the right, bottom, and left sides of flowers, the columns are numbered RIGHT - TO - LEFT as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0
3. For all four sides, the rows are numbered TOP - TO - BOTTOM as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0.
Okay, I don't know if you were aware of this or not but the *original* form of Clue #3 did not have the same layout as the current form. Most revealingly, the original layout had the first 8 flower bunches along the top, two on the right side, 8 bunches across the bottom, and then one on the left. Using X's, the arrangement was like this:

XXXXXXXX
---------X
X--------X
XXXXXXXX

(Due to proportional spacing, the dashes may not line up the X's correctly, but you should be able to get the general idea. I can e-mail you a JPEG of the original Clue 3 form if you like.) Actually, it was the original form of Clue #3 that suggested the proper starting point and direction for "reading" the flowers. The starting point is much more ambiguous in Clue #3's current form.

In any case, having rules that depend on the positioning of the flower bunches relative to the letter grid is obviously problematic since your rules could not have been surmised from the original flower layout.

Top row:
0,2 = D
4,6 = S
4,9 = T
0,7 = U
1,8 = Y

Right side:
2,5 = X
2,7 = N
1,5 = T
1,1 = E

Bottom:
1,6 = I
9,5 = H
0,3 = V
5,2 = A
0,9 = E

Left side:
1,3 = I
4,5 = T
0,5 = N
7,3 = V
1,5 = T

Each side creates its own little mini-anagram. The final anagram:

STUDY TEN - X. I HAVE IT: TN - V.
Other anagrams are possible, which is the main problem with anagrams: if you've got enough letters, you can spell out quite a lot of variations.

Study the 10 x 10 grid. The answer to 'TN - V' gives us the next set of letters to anagram. 'TN' is an abbreviation for TEN. Using the earlier part of the clue about TEN - X, we've already been introduced to the concept of using 'X' as TEN.
Assuming "TN" is a reasonable abbreviation for "ten" is quite a stretch when a simple "X" would have sufficed. Other interpretations of I-T-N-V-T: why not (I have) it: NV T (just as it's spelled): "envy" T. Isn't it just as reasonable to assume that Stadther is directing us to select the top row of letters plus a vertical column (column 5 or column 6 or both?) as it is to assume that he's pointing us to the V-shaped wedge of letters defined by the upper quadrant of an X?

Bottom line is that Step 1 is very shaky. But let's move on to Step 2:

Step 2: Draw a big 'X' through the 10 x 10 grid and collect the letters contained by the 'V':

A..T..S..A..S..E..G..E..E..E
....Q..L..N..U..A..E..O..T....
........N..V..A..M..M..L.......
............K..E..S...S..........
................R..S...............

Anagram:

'ML MESSAGE' REVEALS ANA TOKEN'S QUEST
Okay, now you're getting into the realm of total guesswork. Stadther could never have expected people to form the correct anagram from 20 letters, let alone 30! And not just 30 letters, but 30 mostly common letters. Literally millions of anagrams are possible. Since this stage cannot be solved unambiguously, you must reject it.

Doc, your ideas definitely demonstrate original thinking, but you must temper that originality with a Devil's Advocate criticality: could Stadther have reasonably expected people to find the solution based solely on the clues he's provided (and not working backward from an expected solution?). Anagramming is a dangerous crutch to lean on when the number of letters exceeds 15. Stadther's solutions have always been more methodical than this.

One "brute force" test that I would be very interested to see performed would be the number of Boggle-wise connected words that can be formed by the current letter matrix versus scrambled versions of the matrix using the exact same letters. This would give you a gauge as to whether the Clue 3 letter arrangement is special (in the Boggle sense), or whether it is typical. It sure *seems* like a lot of words can be formed with the current arrangement, but I haven't yet tried other random variations of the same letters to confirm the suspicion. --Beeblebrox

8. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Beeblebrox,

I am VERY appreciative of the constructive criticism--causes me to exercise the old gray cells.

I'm headed to work--I'll answer your post in more detail this evening after I've chewed on it.

I'll start by saying I agree with you that anagrams are slippery as eels, and that's the primary reason I haven't gone searching for anything. To make matters worse, there's an intuitive component to anagram solutions. One has to decide when it's correct--that can certainly be an unreliable yardstick.

That being said, Mr. Stadther has already introduced THREE anagram puzzles into the fray:

1. The first internet clue
2. The Rusful puzzle
3. The promotional amazon.com puzzle for Dar

There's more than one anagram for each of these. Intuition had to come into play for us to realize that HINT: TACKLE REPOSITORYS becomes CRYSTAL POOK IS THIRTEEN. We 'know' this is correct on an intuitive level because we have another clue THERE ARE THIRTEEN was found elsewhere in the book.

The 24 letters of the Rusful puzzle produced an anagram puzzle that is FAR worse than the 30 letters of the TN-V puzzle, in my opinion. (I'm honest enough with myself to realize I would never have gotten the Rusful solution--my anagrams need to be spelled out and make sense. )

You stated that the letter frequencies within Clue 3 should be able to make words, and I believe that as well.

Could you try to use the block of 30 letters to create a sensible anagram solution? Or, use the block of 25 letters in the upper right quadrant of the grid.

There's nothing that would dissuade me better than to see some sort of sensible anagram solution from these letters. The solutions that I'm proposing always seemed to lead to another set of letters within the 10 x 10 grid.

Can anyone come up with a sensible anagram using all the letters from either the TN-V block or the 25 letters of the upper right block that would prove to me that you can make something appear? Be aware that there have been NO tortured abbreviations in this series as there were for Rusful.

I have no problems letting go of an idea--I've done so many times in the past and have publicly stated when I have. The object of the game is to solve the puzzle, not for me to be 'right' about something.

The fact that EVERY SINGLE LETTER within the 10 x 10 grid was eventually selected and used in an anagram makes me think as well.

Thanks again, Beeblebrox. Brain exercise is good. I'll try to be in touch later today.

Keep the faith,

Doc

9. Expert Twelever TwelevePlus
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Beeblebrox,

I've had some time to chew on your analysis, and I'd like to thank you again for making me stop and think. Reasoned, constructive criticism such as yours is always welcome because it moves me from my current position. I have to carefully consider what somebody else is thinking and decide if I really think I'm doing something right and move more towards actually going on a hunt or decide that this is going nowhere and change course.

Either way, you're moving from your current position, and that's a form of progress.

I'm inferring that there are three main points you're having problems with:

1. The letter frequencies in a large block of 20-30 letters allow Boggle-type solutions to be had.
2. The original form of clue 3
3. The block of 30 commonly-used letters allows for too many anagrams.

I happen to be in complete agreement with you--anagrams over 15 letters become unwieldy and can be very unreliable.

BUT,

Mr. Stadther has already introduced us to the concept via the Rusful solution. That particular puzzle had us collect 24 letters and turn them into a horridly tortured anagram that is far worse than anything I've seen with the anagrams of clue 3. Your point is very valid--anagrams more than 15 letters may be unreliable--but it may not be applicable to this puzzle since he's already introduced a 24-letter anagram (with several abbreviations, no less) into our puzzle mixture.

Bottom line: Since we already have a 24-letter anagram with some really hard abbreviations, a regular 30-letter anagram may not be out of the realm of possibility.

I have no idea about any sort of 'original' version of clue 3. I'm a little cautious about accepting or rejecting ideas based on an unfinished version of a puzzle. I'd love to see the clue as well as know the circumstances that you happened by it if you wish to share that information.

We have no idea what was happening when that particular graphic was captured. Was it because he transferred the picture from a different format? Had his dog hit his keyboard? Was he just trying to size and format everything? In other words, having a different version of the clue might be helpful, but I'd be cautious about including or excluding ideas based upon it.

This brings me back to your first major point and the first anagram.

To me, that first anagram was the most difficult one of the bunch.

Without the input of Angels, I would never have thought to number the grid in that particular fashion to extract those letters, and that's enough to give me pause. I did NOT like the fact that the final part contained an abbreviation as TN-V. 'TEN', 'X', and 'J' are all perfectly acceptable puzzle-like versions of '10' to me. The rest of the anagram series never contained such an abbreviation.

I have a couple of reasons this might have occurred.

The plants around clue 3 wound up being used three separate times:

1. The total number of petals
2. The red and blue-green petals only.
3. The number of leaves

If this is truly the case, then I can understand how he might have needed a certain number of plants to convey the correct messages for the anagram puzzles further down the road causing him to find a way to convey his message of collecting the letters inside the 'V' with only three letters.

I don't know if this helps adequately explain your concerns or not, Beeblebrox.

There's a bit more to this than I've had time to properly present. One of the things I'm going to do this evening is rework the anagrams and see if there's a more intuitive flow to them.

Keep up the good work,

Doc

10. I'd like to add, Doc, that online Clue 2 also contained an anagram that intuitively can be construed as correct: from 'Here is your clue and its date' you get, 'hidden treasure clue is a toy' (the Rubik's Cube). This is (albeit hindsightedly) one of those anagrams which is so perfect that it satisfies the the 'reasonable person' standard. A reasonable person can conclude that this anagram is probably correct.

Then we come to your last 12 usused letters, those comprising 'answer: align C'. An odd coincidence of letters, if nothing else. It looks compellingly correct to me, regardless of your method. Can the ends justify the means? I don't particularly care, because Clue 3 has remained unsolved entirely too long. The interpretation of 'answer: align C' might be more debatable than how you arrived at it. Your reduction of Clue 3 to these 12 letters is suspicious, but honestly derived, and the conclusion is self-evident. The letter C is extremely important in Stadther's puzzles, but hasn't entered into any solution to date. I believe in your reduction. I don't have the ability or time to follow each step in the process, but I believe that you honestly crossed out every letter used and then discovered, 'voila la!' that the 12 left-over letters anagrammed neatly into 'answer: align C'.

I hate it, but it has to be right. The same thing happened to me when messing around with Clue 2, and deriving, 'note E in Earth'. Correct or not, it was honestly derived, which is the point I want to make. Non-forced, that is.

C is Roman for 100, and in base-5 would designate the 25th letter of the 5x5 grid, letter Z (normally). Maybe we're supposed to somehow align the 4 5x5's differently.

There are 100 letters in this puzzle grid. Again, 'C' might refer to the entire lot of letters, and some sort of alignment, but this would be a impoverished clue.

I like your 12 left-over letters. They deserve comment. They should not be dismissed. Too coincidental.

Adamav's realignment of the Clue 3 grid letters in December, '05 also is not coincidental. Clue 3 contains more than one clue. Clue 2 also contains multiple clues. Anagrams appear to be dear to Stadther's heart, unfortunately.

Perchprism