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Puzzles, logic and keys
10-16-2017, 07:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-16-2017, 08:07 PM by BLHamrick.)
#1
Puzzles, logic and keys
First things first, I'm an armchair solver to this point. One day I would love to go BOTG, but I'm going to have to feel pretty darn confident in my starting point to do that. I relish the discussions here that touch on "how" to solve rather than a solution per se. Here's why:

1. Although Forrest is on tape saying that WWWH is the first clue, he has also said there are a very large number of WWWH in the Rocky Mountains, north of Santa Fe, so without knowing which one, or narrowing it to a few, you're just a blind hog trying to stumble on an acorn.

2. He has said that some folks have focused on a word that is "key."

3. He has said to look at the whole picture.

4. As I pull together my thoughts on this, I cannot help but think that the poem has to be solved, and THEN the solution will lead to the directions. In order to solve the poem, one must identify the "key." And, the "key" will stand out if one looks at "the whole picture."

In order to do this, I find myself examining different kinds of puzzles, riddles, word games, or codes. And, wondering what kind of puzzles would appeal to Fenn. I know he speaks of his amusement by the fact that a "butterfly," might be more appropriately named a "flutter by." I do not think of this as a "clue" or a "hint," but an insight into what he might believe is a "clue" or a "hint" in a puzzle that appeals to him.

I have seen a number of different approaches, including, for example, a "crossword" approach. I admire the the ingenuity, but have to say that there is some level of complexity in any given approach that leads me to a point where I find I must dismiss it. Too many corners, stretches, leaps and assumptions indicate to me that the "solution" is verging upon randomness in the correlations found. I don't know exactly where that point is, but I usually know when I've gone past it.

Anyway, I would be very interested in hearing others thoughts in this regard. Do others think it is important to understand "how" to solve the puzzle?

On a totally unrelated point, the map on page 133 of TTOTC looks like it has an "X" in it, and looks like a map of New Mexico. I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I find it intriguing, and welcome comments that demonstrate that's not important, or that I'm totally wrong.

-Barbara
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10-16-2017, 08:19 PM,
#2
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
I agree that how to solve the poem is the most important factor. How do you approach it? Someone and I got talking about methods of solving the poem, and came up with about 8 common ways. I can find it and copy.

Do make sure to be accurate when quoting Fenn. He is The Wolf AND The Coyote. One word can make a BIG difference and flip the whole thing upside down.
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10-16-2017, 09:00 PM,
#3
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
(10-16-2017, 08:19 PM)TrapperJ Wrote: I agree that how to solve the poem is the most important factor. How do you approach it? Someone and I got talking about methods of solving the poem, and came up with about 8 common ways. I can find it and copy.

Do make sure to be accurate when quoting Fenn. He is The Wolf AND The Coyote. One word can make a BIG difference and flip the whole thing upside down.

I'm sorry I am a bit sloppy quoting Fenn. I'll try to do better next time.

I've approached the puzzle various ways:

Literally (too little information);

Anagrams (rabbit hole - too many possibilities);

Riddle(s) - I still favor this somewhat, especially because the first stanza seems to beg for an answer to who (or what) "I" is, and what "there"/"where" is; as an example, I thought the first stanza could refer to a rainbow:

As I (the rainbow) have gone alone in there (the pot of gold),
And, with my treasures (colors) bold,
I can keep my secret where (i.e., where the pot of gold is),
And, hint (the big hint is the rainbow across the sky, of which you can never find the end) of riches new and old (the pot of gold).

Admittedly, it doesn't actually get me anywhere, but made sense at first blush, especially in light of the prologue to the poem (pages 131-132, TTOTC), "So I wrote a poem concerning nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure."

Other things I've considered include:

Coding - Not a letter-for-letter type of replacement, but word/idea replacement, along the line of Fenn's "butterfly"/"flutter by" observation.

Mapping - I.e., the poem represented pictographically using directional cues literally (up, down, nigh in it's usage as "left side", etc.), but I haven't really gone down this road yet.

I am also intrigued by Fenn's admonition that most of the words are meaningful. Okay, I'm getting the quote from Dal's site...in a response to Phil Bayman, Fenn allegedly said:

"There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts. f"

If it is "risky to discount" any word, then the awkward phrasing in many places (e.g., "But tarry scant with marvel gaze") becomes much more important in my opinion.

So, those are my thoughts for what they're worth.

-Barbara
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10-16-2017, 09:22 PM,
#4
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
Thanks for sharing, Barbara. I think your thinking is sound. I wish you luck in your chase. for what it's worth, BOTG is the best part. Get out there!

I am currently favoring a theory in which all 9 clues point to one location. Find that location, go pick it up, go home. EZPZ

Cheers
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10-16-2017, 10:24 PM,
#5
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
(10-16-2017, 09:22 PM)TrapperJ Wrote: Thanks for sharing, Barbara. I think your thinking is sound. I wish you luck in your chase. for what it's worth, BOTG is the best part. Get out there!

I am currently favoring a theory in which all 9 clues point to one location. Find that location, go pick it up, go home. EZPZ

Cheers

Thank you. I do eventually want to spend some time with BOTG. I like your theory that all 9 clues point to a single location. Makes sense with respect to not discounting any words, and looking at the whole picture. Good luck in your search!

-Barbara
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10-17-2017, 12:27 AM,
#6
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
Interesting aspects on solving the poem, the OP reminds me of a question Fenn answered for me via email. I was trying to see if Fenn would tell me of puzzles he liked or did but he took the question a way it wasn't intended and made it about the poem, maybe I'll share it if this topic becomes popular.

One idea that's been on my mind since my start in the chase is, do you need to discover or do something when botg then is this more of a interactive possibility? If so then what?
I put out a scavenger hunt idea about a year ago and then brought it back recently to see if anyone would give thought to an idea like this. Maybe that's why clue 3 eludes so many because its more of a interactive clue.
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10-17-2017, 05:17 AM,
#7
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
(10-16-2017, 09:00 PM)BLHamrick Wrote: I've approached the puzzle various ways:
...
So, those are my thoughts for what they're worth.

-Barbara

Barbara

I think your thoughts are worth a lot! This is some of the clearest thinking I have seen here for a long time, congratulations! Thanks for taking the time to write, and please continue to share.

Between you and me, some years ago someone suggested that the poem should be approached as "cryptic" (British) crossword style clues, what you might call "riddles". Forrest's response suggested that this was the correct approach.

Happy hunting!

Archer
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10-17-2017, 08:49 AM,
#8
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
Barbara, I also think you have a good mind with your approaches you listed. For what it’s worth, I’d recommend starting with your riddle approach. That’s because over time one can see from many of f’s statements that somehow we must figure out the correct wwwh. Add to that f’s best advice for searchers.

To top it off, try not to over complicate the riddle. Maybe ask yourself who else did exactly the same steps in the first stanza as f did much later. It could be that simple.
-.-..The keeper of the key
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10-17-2017, 09:07 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-17-2017, 09:15 AM by BLHamrick.)
#9
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
(10-17-2017, 12:27 AM)The Count Wrote: Interesting aspects on solving the poem, the OP reminds me of a question Fenn answered for me via email. I was trying to see if Fenn would tell me of puzzles he liked or did but he took the question a way it wasn't intended and made it about the poem, maybe I'll share it if this topic becomes popular.

One idea that's been on my mind since my start in the chase is, do you need to discover or do something when botg then is this more of a interactive possibility? If so then what?
I put out a scavenger hunt idea about a year ago and then brought it back recently to see if anyone would give thought to an idea like this. Maybe that's why clue 3 eludes so many because its more of a interactive clue.

I would love to see his response to your question. As has been pointed out, paraphrasing Fenn can get one in trouble. Also, I agree that at some point, the solution is interactive. For example, the blaze may point somewhere at the first level, but I think there is also a real blaze that will only be found with BOTG.

-Barbara

(10-17-2017, 05:17 AM)Archer Wrote:
(10-16-2017, 09:00 PM)BLHamrick Wrote: I've approached the puzzle various ways:
...
So, those are my thoughts for what they're worth.

-Barbara

Barbara

I think your thoughts are worth a lot! This is some of the clearest thinking I have seen here for a long time, congratulations! Thanks for taking the time to write, and please continue to share.

Between you and me, some years ago someone suggested that the poem should be approached as "cryptic" (British) crossword style clues, what you might call "riddles". Forrest's response suggested that this was the correct approach.

Happy hunting!

Archer

I had not heard this. It is encouraging though, at least to me.

-Barbara

(10-17-2017, 08:49 AM)fundamental design Wrote: Barbara, I also think you have a good mind with your approaches you listed. For what it’s worth, I’d recommend starting with your riddle approach. That’s because over time one can see from many of f’s statements that somehow we must figure out the correct wwwh. Add to that f’s best advice for searchers.

To top it off, try not to over complicate the riddle. Maybe ask yourself who else did exactly the same steps in the first stanza as f did much later. It could be that simple.

I like that thought who (or, could it be a "what") did the same steps...I'm going to chew on that today.

On over-complicating, I totally agree - that's the point where I see "solves" disintegrating into randomness. I'm an Occam's Razor kind of person - the Ptolemaic model may have had some predictive capabilities, but the Copernican model was much simpler, more elegant, and as it turns out more accurately described our solar system.

-Barbara
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10-17-2017, 04:18 PM,
#10
RE: Puzzles, logic and keys
(10-16-2017, 07:59 PM)BLHamrick Wrote: First things first, I'm an armchair solver to this point. One day I would love to go BOTG, but I'm going to have to feel pretty darn confident in my starting point to do that. I relish the discussions here that touch on "how" to solve rather than a solution per se. ...

-Barbara

Hi Barbara.

I have determined (IMO) that the poem consists of 24 full-line anagrams. I can actually prove it; but I don't feel like having anybody catch up to me, or getting one for free, or determining what is and how to use the key word.

There are many additional rules that need to be discovered and applied in order to resolve the correct set of anagrams. The most basic rules being that no letters can be left over and spelling counts.

Anagrams make the puzzle a fun game and provide something to work towards solving (instead of guessing).

Have fun!
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