Wow – what a day! The ‘E’ team as I am referring to as us all now, were on top form today, searing through puzzles like a hot knife through butter.
So where to begin?
Left with Aidoneus’ hint from yesterday players tried to make sense of the red and dotted letters to decipher a hidden meaning in the book club announcements.
After a few false starts, I came up with the following ‘rule’ (nice to be the puzzle solver for once!):
The row number that has the red letter in corresponds to that number word in the book announcement.
The letter number (counting across) that has the grey dot is the letter number of that word.
For example on the ‘Genome’ page
Red letter= row number 1
Dot= letter number 8
This corresponds to the word “Announcing” in the announcement and the letter I
Doing this for all the red and dotted letter for each book title gave us the letters:
ISD NIT ERG ATE = DISINTEGRATE
Sure enough, that lead to a new URL: http://www.the8thspoke.co.cc/disintegrate.htm and our next clue:
The source code for the page listed the image name as “rouge” (red) and the words “something’s missing”. What then were we looking for?
Player Sens assigned each number it’s equivalent letter of the alphabet (i.e. a=1 b=2 etc.) and noticed that each horizontal line in the “disintegrate” grid corresponded to the line of Iliad marked with red letter, and each number in that row represented the beginning letter of each word in a line.
For example the first row: T S T S O P A T D O C corresponded to the first red letter line: Thus spoke the son of Peleus and the drivers of charriots…
This gave us a grid of letters, with each ‘white’ row corresponding to the equivalent line of text marked by the red letters:
T S T S O P A T D O C
T M H B G T A B E S O
F I O A S T N N S O N
N S L A T D W A I W S
B A O A A T P F B W T
H I T M C C B A A H B
A T A H W H S M T K H
S P O H B A S I T G H
O T S O T G W D T T A
O M M A T S O N A W T
B A M M S H S O S G S
Sens noticed that not all the words from the line were represented in the grid and theorised that the first missing word from the sentence (and its corresponding number/first letter) would give us the line of red numbers. But although this was close, it didn’t quite fit.
However, from this I found that if you took ALL this missing words not included in the grid and the letters they began with you would be left with the following line of letters:
This gives us the missing letters B A M M T W S H S O B S G S D
Compare this to the red line on the matrix (BAMMSHSOSGS) and we can see it’s the same apart from four missing letters TWBD or in their corresponding words THEIR WEAPONS BUT DID. Was this the ‘something missing’ mentioned in the source code?
A bit of playing around with these four words and walter42 quickly found the next URL in our trail:
The source code gives us our image name: “noir” (black) and the book entry a description of the mystery of the Black Rock’s fate and missing ledger, with none other than our very own Aidoneus making an appearance in trying to expose the truth.
Also in the source code was the following ‘code’:
I theorised that ‘4A1D’ might mean ‘4 across 1 down’ etc while DarrellEW suggested that ‘L-I.Le-VIII’ might mean ‘Line 1 Letter 8’ etc.
SpireOfDublin then took the lead, using the first ‘rule’ on the matrix, the second on the ledger:
“I used 4A1D/9A1D . . . etc. on the matrix and got BEAKTHOGH
Then used LI/LeVIII . . . etc. on the black rock book and got RRU
Put them together and I got BREAKTHROUGH!”
(N.B. which weirdly enough I’ve just noticed was the title of my last blog post!!)
Another puzzle solved, another URL: http://the8thspoke.co.cc/breakthrough.htm
The Roman Numeral XIII appeared on the tab header along with the following:
[XIV.XXIV.XVII.II.I.XVIII.VIII.VI].[VIII.I.VI.XVIII.XVIII.I] [XIV.VII] [XX.XXVI.XIV.XXII.XXV].[XVI.II.XXVI]
corresponding to the numbers:
[188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206].[220.127.116.11.18.1] [14.7] [18.104.22.168.25].[16.2.26]
In a final genius display of problem solving, DarrellEW subtracted 13 from each number and then worked out the corresponding number of the alpebet to give us an email address!
Players emailing Aidoneus at this address quickly received a reply back with the word “Greco” in the subject box with the message displaying the single word “Veritas”.
Working out that the Greek (‘Greco’) version of ‘Veritas’ was ‘Aletheia’, Darrell then uncovered the final URL of the day:
We’d done it!!!