The methodology discussion

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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby gManTexas » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:39 pm

Durian, yes, I probably didn't write what I should have. Some of the clues may be obscure, but I believe they are connected to something not obscure. So, the Treasure Island clue in the end might just point us to an object or event that is relatively easy to figure out. Maybe with some historical research.

BTW, my current line of thinking about that, coupled with the Japanese edition clues, is that in May 1913 a ship was blown up in Baltimore. The ship was named the Alum Chine. The ship was named after the area in England of the same name. Robert Louis Stevenson had a home there where he wrote part of Treasure Island, which is referenced earlier in the Verse for Charleston.

This gets us thinking about ships that were blown up, and of course everyone "Remembers the (USS) Maine". Or should at least from history class.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby BINGO » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:03 am

I realize that this methodology thread is geared towards alternative thought processes for solving these puzzles. That’s fair simply because the majority of the casques haven’t been recovered and it’s likely that we have been missing something important all these years.

But, I have the belief that these puzzles were meant to be solved by locals. I think this “armchair” treasure hunt makes sense if your armchair is located in the city where the casque is buried. Why can’t the methodology just be simple? There are items hidden in the images that a local might recognize because it is something that he/she walks or works or plays near regularly. There are quotes or wording in the verses that might catch the attention of a local because the writer may have been famous or well known in that area. That wording could also point to a place or event that would be common knowledge to a local. I’m from Boston and the 982 train meant absolutely nothing to me before this hunt. I bet there were plenty of Houston locals that would recognize those numbers back in the 1980’s.

I hold no stock in a research project method for these puzzles. Research was a complete pain in the ass in 1982 in comparison to today. Libraries didn’t have search engines that you could search for 100 different terms in a matter of minutes. Al Gore was the only person who had access to the internet in 1982. (That was tongue in cheek for those who are politically sensitive.) My point is, why would Preiss make a research project out of these puzzles? It just doesn’t seem practical for the time period.

I know the Chicago and Cleveland puzzles aren’t popular discussion in this thread, but I believe both help get my point across. Chicago was done by local kids having fun and working together. They recognized important items and put a lot of important pieces of the puzzle together. Not from research, not from code breaking. They did it with their eyes and imagination. Everyone that loves to poo poo their success hasn’t come anywhere close to their accomplishments in these puzzles. Cleveland is the puzzle that people like to claim was the “easiest” of all of the puzzles. Why did it take 22 years for someone to recover it? My theory is that not many locals were looking for it. If they were, it would have been found sooner.

Bottom line, this was supposed to be a fun adventure that generated publicity for the book. What headline would benefit the book sales more? “Local teens solve mysterious treasure hunt” or “Harvard professor spends months in library to solve a puzzle with a $1000 prize”. I know what would grab my attention enough to buy a book.
Last edited by BINGO on Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby gManTexas » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:15 am

BINGO wrote:I realize that this methodology thread is geared towards alternative thought processes for solving these puzzles. That’s fair simply because the majority of the casques haven’t been recovered and it’s likely that we have been missing something important all these years.

But, I have the belief that these puzzles were meant to be solved by locals. I think this “armchair” treasure hunt makes sense if your armchair is located in the city where the casque is buried. Why can’t the methodology just be simple? There are items hidden in the images that a local might recognize because it is something that he/she walks or works or plays near regularly. There are quotes or wording in the verses that might catch the attention of a local because the writer may have been famous or well known in that area. That wording could also point to a place or event that would be common knowledge to a local. I’m from Boston and the 982 train meant absolutely nothing to me before this hunt. I bet there were plenty of Houston locals that would recognize numbers back in the 1980’s.

I hold no stock in a research project method for these puzzles. Research was a complete pain in the ass in 1982 in comparison to today. Libraries didn’t have search engines that you could search for 100 different terms in a matter of minutes. Al Gore was the only person who had access to the internet in 1982. (That was tongue in cheek for those who are politically sensitive.) My point is, why would Preiss make a research project out of these puzzles? It just doesn’t seem practical for the time period.

I know the Chicago and Cleveland puzzles aren’t popular discussion in this thread, but I believe both help get my point across. Chicago was done by local kids having fun and working together. They recognized important items and put a lot of important pieces of the puzzle together. Not from research, not from code breaking. They did it with their eyes and imagination. Everyone that loves to poo poo their success hasn’t come anywhere close to their accomplishments in these puzzles. Cleveland is the puzzle that people like to claim was the “easiest” of all of the puzzles. Why did it take 22 years for someone to recover it? My theory is that not many locals were looking for it. If they were, it would have been found sooner.

Bottom line, this was supposed to be a fun adventure that generated publicity for the book. What headline would benefit the book sales more? “Local teens solve mysterious treasure hunt” or “Harvard professor spends months in library to solve a puzzle with a $1000 prize”. I know what would grab my attention enough to buy a book.


Much of what you are saying is true, and most likely in 1982 you would have to be somewhat local, or spend time on the ground if you even figured out the correct Image and Verse pairing and then the location.

I would also agree that the Internet and by extension, email and cheap phone service has made this hunt easier for looking at remote locations. However, as we can all see, it hasn't necessarily made it any easier to solve because it was designed primarily to be a boots-on-the-ground hunt.

I completely disagree that research is unnecessary. This is the very reason that these puzzles are poorly designed and haven't been solved. They do require research. I am 92% convinced that if they were all like Chicago and Cleveland, this would have been wrapped up a while ago.

To your point that not many locals were looking, it is really a case of not that many people in general. There are maybe a couple hundred die hard searchers involved in this at the most. Of that, how many are active? So there really isn't a large mind hive working toward solving these.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby gManTexas » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:21 pm

Since Bingo brought it up, I wanted to clarify a point about the found casques. I am not in any way trying to diminish the accomplishments of the guys who found the casques. I applaud their efforts and tenacity and it is a wonderful thing. It would be great to join that small circle of people.

What I have said is that I do not believe that those two puzzles were solved, not fully at least. I still maintain, especially after visiting both locations, that they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book. There were a ton of breadcrumbs in the Images and Verses. This is why the casques were found without solving the entire puzzles.

What I am also saying is that these two puzzles should not be viewed as a model for every puzzle. As I stated earlier, if this was the case, I firmly believe that at least a couple of additional casques would have already been found.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby BINGO » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:35 pm

gManTexas wrote:
I completely disagree that research is unnecessary. This is the very reason that these puzzles are poorly designed and haven't been solved. They do require research. I am 92% convinced that if they were all like Chicago and Cleveland, this would have been wrapped up a while ago. Poorly designed or poorly interpreted? I think researching old photos and maps of suspected areas is priceless. To me, researching famous people and connecting dots to other famous people is fruitless.

To your point that not many locals were looking, it is really a case of not that many people in general. There are maybe a couple hundred die hard searchers involved in this at the most. Of that, how many are active? So there really isn't a large mind hive working toward solving these.


gManTexas wrote:I still maintain, especially after visiting both locations, that they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book. There were a ton of breadcrumbs in the Images and Verses. This is why the casques were found without solving the entire puzzles.
Since you mentioned that not many people were searching for these casques in general, especially in 1982, isn't it possible that the bread crumbs from other puzzles have been eaten by the birds of time and the clues went permanently unnoticed? It just seems like the logical explanation to me.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby leighanny » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:56 pm

gManTexas wrote:Since Bingo brought it up, I wanted to clarify a point about the found casques. I am not in any way trying to diminish the accomplishments of the guys who found the casques. I applaud their efforts and tenacity and it is a wonderful thing. It would be great to join that small circle of people.

What I have said is that I do not believe that those two puzzles were solved, not fully at least. I still maintain, especially after visiting both locations, that they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book. There were a ton of breadcrumbs in the Images and Verses. This is why the casques were found without solving the entire puzzles.

What I am also saying is that these two puzzles should not be viewed as a model for every puzzle. As I stated earlier, if this was the case, I firmly believe that at least a couple of additional casques would have already been found.


I agree with gMan. I think the Chicago and Cleveland solves were brilliant! I've never solved a puzzle to that degree and probably never will. But I also don't think we should absolutely model every solve after them. Each puzzle is unique. Here's a very outside-of-the-box methodology I've been considering.

https://thesecretofthesecret.blog
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby gManTexas » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:48 pm

BINGO wrote:
gManTexas wrote:
I completely disagree that research is unnecessary. This is the very reason that these puzzles are poorly designed and haven't been solved. They do require research. I am 92% convinced that if they were all like Chicago and Cleveland, this would have been wrapped up a while ago. Poorly designed or poorly interpreted? I think researching old photos and maps of suspected areas is priceless. To me, researching famous people and connecting dots to other famous people is fruitless.

To your point that not many locals were looking, it is really a case of not that many people in general. There are maybe a couple hundred die hard searchers involved in this at the most. Of that, how many are active? So there really isn't a large mind hive working toward solving these.


gManTexas wrote:I still maintain, especially after visiting both locations, that they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book. There were a ton of breadcrumbs in the Images and Verses. This is why the casques were found without solving the entire puzzles.
Since you mentioned that not many people were searching for these casques in general, especially in 1982, isn't it possible that the bread crumbs from other puzzles have been eaten by the birds of time and the clues went permanently unnoticed? It just seems like the logical explanation to me.



Bingo, I have a deep respect for you and the work that you have put into this, so I tread lightly. We can certainly have a difference of opinion on this topic, and I am not trying to yell from the rooftop.

I suspected early on that there were historical connections. After all, the book is a pseudo-historical tale. There are many examples in the book and the Verses that instruct us to research history. One thing that was proof positive of this fact is the Japanese edition of the book. In the interview/translation session, BP gave very clear instructions to look in the dictionary, look in the encyclopedia or history books, etc. For example, "what happened in May 1913?"

I am somewhat bemused by the fact that in Verse 2, we have a very obscure quote from Domingo Faustino Sarmiento that references a hotel which was destroyed twice over and did not exist in New Orleans at the time of the book. Yet, no one blinks an eye at the reference, which is both research based and historical.

In Verse 8 we have a clue to a woman playing a harpsichord. Obviously, we will not stumble upon this in the park, and no one has found a statue, so where else do we look? I'm not a fan of the Marietta Robusti theory, but let's assume that is correct for a moment. How do we figure this out?

While I agree that this is an unorthodox way to create some puzzles, it is what it is.

To answer your rhetorical question, yes many of the breadcrumbs may be in fact gone. I like to believe that BP chose his locations wisely, where the landscape would not change that much over time, and I suspect he did in many cases, but this hunt was never intended to last this long.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby BINGO » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:02 pm

Maybe the slowspill thread can clean up all of this uncertainty.

(I see you watching Renovator...)
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby UnprovenFact » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:45 pm

maltedfalcon wrote:So besides a couple other things in your post that I just disagree with, these are 5 things you got factually wrong.


What? Only 5? Well then, I’m doing better than I thought - considering I wasn’t really making any attempt to be absolutely factually correct. My post was more of a fictional ‘what-if’ with which I was hoping to raise a few questions and not bore the readers with straight facts. I was simply trying to wrap my head around how the treasure hunt portion was initially set up by putting myself in the author’s place. I imagined it in a way that allowed my brain to maybe make sense of how all the intricate details of a game could be laid out so perfectly to create such a giant-scale treasure hunt with (now) worldwide attention and have it all come together without any hiccups... Except that it is still only 17% completed. So, obviously, somebody miscalculated something along the way.

*Because the intended tone of printed words does not always translate correctly, I should explain that this post was not meant as a snarky retort to the criticism of another member. I’m not looking for a back-and-forth here.. I’m just ‘splaining my own methods.
What do you mean it's not there? It has to be there... Unless it is somewhere else.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby GoldenMartyr » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:52 pm

gManTexas wrote:they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book.

This actually explains why they were the easiest. There is less room for interpretation when a fence is a fence and a wall is a wall, etc. The real question is why did Byron NOT believe they were the simplest to solve when he created them?
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby gManTexas » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:15 pm

GoldenMartyr wrote:
gManTexas wrote:they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book.

The real question is why did Byron NOT believe they were the simplest to solve when he created them?


Do you have a source for this statement?
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby BINGO » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:19 pm

gManTexas wrote:
GoldenMartyr wrote:
gManTexas wrote:they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book.

The real question is why did Byron NOT believe they were the simplest to solve when he created them?


Do you have a source for this statement?


The Japanese hints for Boston certainly support this notion.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby gManTexas » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:29 pm

BINGO wrote:
gManTexas wrote:
GoldenMartyr wrote: The real question is why did Byron NOT believe they were the simplest to solve when he created them?


Do you have a source for this statement?


The Japanese hints for Boston certainly support this notion.


I agree with you there bud.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby GoldenMartyr » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:52 pm

gManTexas wrote:
GoldenMartyr wrote:
gManTexas wrote:they are two of the easiest and most visual puzzles in the book.

The real question is why did Byron NOT believe they were the simplest to solve when he created them?


Do you have a source for this statement?

Image

Most people seem to discard or manipulate this statement because it does not align with how they interpret the difficulty of the puzzles. I've always taken it at face value. Why would Byron need to twist this? He believed that he created easier puzzles for the lesser valued gems.
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Re: The methodology discussion

Postby GoldenMartyr » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:11 pm

BINGO wrote:The Japanese hints for Boston certainly support this notion.

Not exactly. The Japanese hints state - ....if I gave you any hint at all, it will immediately solve the riddle....

Let's examine that statement. There is no mention of the Boston puzzle being easier or simpler. I see two potential reasons for the statement.

1. There is a difficult method, that once understood, will allow you to easily decipher the clues.
2. Hints are based on keywords listed in the Japanese book. There is no good way to hint at the keywords without giving away the answer to one of them.
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