Clues, Riddles, and Guesses for Treasure 124

fnord wrote (Feb 20, 1997):

My Elwes is telling me (even though he can't, technically) that Elvis is still bothering him. I decide to get out of my House, and take a walk around our fair Ackanomic.

I go back to the Monument to Futility, unable to enter its fair walls, to gaze upon the statue of the Chartreus Goose, posed so gloriously. Still, I must retrieve my Elvis. I take to wing, gliding up along the Monument's spire. I reach out my hand, and mysteriously, the Elvis Trinket appears, as if out of nowhere, into my hand. I knew, however, that it was merely the force of the talens drawing it to me.

I fly with my Elvis, over to the Tower of Bandwidth. I greet /dev/joe, look down over the edge and say to him, "You should throw the vine down to Jane, as Cheetah has no paws with which to catch it."

I bid farewell to /dev/joe, taking flight again, heading for the Treasury. Once there, I look at my Elvis. I can hear him say "Don't be cruel." Needs must be met, though, and so I destroy my Elvis Trinket, getting back the A$23 from its creation. I donate that A$23 to the Round Earth Restoration Society, for it seems a wonderfully Discordian thing to do.

I then return home.

Malenkai wrote (Apr 6, 1997):

I am creating a Trinket, worth A$5, called 'Malenkai's Amber Banana Tree'. It is an Amber Banana Tree in all ways, except the coloration of the amber is more Dominican than Baltic.

I am going to the Museum, and donating Malenkai's Amber Banana Tree to the Museum.

I am going to Zimbabwe, and playing Chartreuse bagpipes whilst doing so, I said to Jane, as she picked her toenails with the Golden Knife. The Fat Lady was Monkeying around in the background, and while this vexed me for some reason, I ignored her temporarily, because the Cheetah, the Cheetah of Yendor, I believe, jumped from behind the Statue of the Palm Tree god while avoiding some Quicksand and chasing a Puma.

What are Saaramaa and Euskara, shrieked the Fat Lady, while the Puma climbed the Banyon vine. I dunno, ask the Golden Frog, then throw, to me, a clue if you would be so kind. I'm not kind, shrieked she, because I've never found a Treasure.

Just then, I remebered to look up, as the Puma was about to pounce from the Banyon Tree. It landed on the Fat Lady instead, what a gooey mess.

ThinMan wrote (Apr 11, 1997):

I hereby announce that Malenkai found Treasure 124 on April 6th at 2:42 pm. He was not the first to attempt to do so; at least three other players decoded the clue, and two of them made attempts at satisfying the map requirements. The tricky part of the whole thing was that few, perhaps none, of the entities owned by players have defined locations, and the map required a player to go to the location of one of a particular class of entities. Malenkai solved that problem by creating an appropriately-named trinket and donating it to the Museum -- thus establishing its location. Other treasure hunters attempted to use Techno's Amber Banana Tree to satisfy the map conditions, but were not, in my judgement, successful in going to its location. Anyway, here is the actual map:

The treasure shall be found by the first player who is not already a Swinger who goes to the location of an Amber Banana Tree and then posts a public message containing the words "Jane," "Cheetah," "throw," and "vine."

Except for formatting this is the same as the decoded version of the clue, save that the sentence "Remember to look up!" was appended to the clue. Malenkai is now the proud owner of Tarzan's Treehouse -- the office of a truly great swinger indeed -- and a Capital Swinger's Office.

Malenkai wrote (Apr 11, 1997):

If anyone is interested in how I solved the treasure, I have posted it
below, as per tradition.  I'm also curious as to when the other
attempts happened; I only noticed fnord's attempt go by:


Treasure 124 (ThinMan, Jan 31, 1997):

I now create a treasure out of TARZAN's Treehouse [a capital swingers
office]. I bury the treasure and very
carefully make a map of how to find it.

Fellow Ackanomians, something horrible has ocurred! The map that I so
carefully wrote has been altered!

Let me tell you the whole story:

I was walking home after burying the treasure. Burying treasure is hard work,
so I decided to take a roundabout
path and enjoy the cool, breezy day. I threw my champion's cloak over my
shoulder and strolled all over
Ackanomia -- past the Senate, past the Courthouse, through the residential
district, and past Cow Town's lake
and the Ackanomic Afterlife -- before winding up back home. I got a close up
look at Lestrade's Lighthouse,
passed a truly raunchy-looking pink place, and spent quite some time
examining Swann's singularity from as
close as I could bring myself to come. You know, if I didn't know better, I
would say that the Tower of
Bandwidth is starting to lean over towards the Singularity next door.

Anyway, when I got home I took the map out of my pocket so I could store it
away someplace safe. I almost
didn't notice, but something caught my eye; when I actually looked at the
text, this is what it said:

T ei l wu htarsabhnnehsshyeodo eutae   tt r lrfib rfepl osya
lh anohAsBreatgfom ae  ie  btnalSorageoadown nor nyci w e ta
 maeeat uoTen nistbrrsdc n hldes opiaeiseatnon  c  ghtsgpw "
J  .tm" ,oa"""aett"knvC hmho  eih ,br au,neR"eolnp"eee rwod!


I was certain that it was a scramble due to the letter distribution,
punctuation, and general look of it.  However, it took me awhile to find
the key due to ThinMan's narrative before the scramble.  I started by
tracing the path on the map described by ThinMan's wandering.  The first
part describes a diagonal path from NW to SE.  Looking at the scramble and
following that path exposes the word 'The', so I figured that was it.
However, following the rest of the pattern described by the wanderings on
the map, I could not get another word to follow after that 'The'.  It
appeared that ThinMan's map wanderings were Treasure Hider's Gizz,
something I've been known to include in my clues :).

The next realization was that the number of capital letters in the scramble
was greater than the number of periods.  That indicated proper nouns
of some sort.  What sort?  Probably acka entities.

fnord or someone onced asked where the Amber Banana Tree was, and I
probably replied in the Treasury, but I do not remember.  One day I
was looking at the scramble, though, and that 'AsB' in the puzzle stuck
out, and I remembered the talk of where is the ABT?  I searched the line
containing 'AsB', and sure enough the letters spelling the words 'Amber'
and 'Banana' are in there, with 9 characters of gizz seperating each
character in those words.  I started with the 'T' at the beginning of
the puzzle, and sure enough, 'The' was spelled with 9 characters seperating
each letter.

I then wrote some programs to implement this algorithm on the puzzle.
First try I got:

The trlready Tree Jane,"
easure a Swiand th "Chee  shallnger wen postah,"   be foho goets a p"throw
und bys to tublic ," andThe trlready Tree Jane,"
easure a Swiand th "Chee  shallnger wen postah,"   be foho goets a p"throw
und bys to tublic ," and

I was sort of right.  It was clear that 'tr' in the first line went with
'easure'.  It seems that ThinMan added a factor of +2 when you got to the
end of the line to wrap around; that new algorithm spelled out 'treasure'.

Rather than try to write the perfect program that would account for
whatever little tricks like this ThinMan threw into the puzzle, I wrote
another one that built fragments with each letter, and the letter 10
letters away from it, and got the following:

The tr]
 the f]
irst p]
layer ]
 be fo]
who is]
und by]
 not a]
he loc]
 a Swi]
ation ]
nger w]
of an ]
ho goe]
Amber ]
s to t]
 Tree ]
and th]
e cont]
en pos]
ts a p]
 the w]
ublic ]
ords "]
."  Re]
tah," ]
 to lo]
," and]
ok up!]


from which the pieces could easily be put together by inspection, leading

The treasure shall be found by the first player who is not a
lready a Swinger who goes to the location of an Amber Banana
 Tree and then posts a public message containing the words "
Jane," "Cheetah," "throw," and "vine."  Remember to look up!

The 'Remember to look up!' was gizz to make the thing come out even.
I have done the same in a previous treasure :).  The problem was that
the treasure was already found!  I reread fnord's post (on the web
as a clue for another treasure, by mistake), and it seemed to fulfill
the conditions.  I assumed the amber banana tree was in the Treasury.
But the rules say *unowned* entities are in the treasury, but the
rules also say that the Amber Banana Tree is owned by Techno (either a
player, or a non-player entity, as the case may be).  Moreover, the
Treasury is not a Location, and the map clearly called for a Location.
I figured Techno's house would be the Location, but his e-mail was
bouncing, so I could not get permission to go there and try it out.
Later I remembered that ownership does not indicate location, as per
various discussions.

So there was the keyword 'an' in the map.  I was living my life in chains
in that I did not need 'The Amber Banana Tree', but 'An Amber Banana
Tree'. That is when I realised  creating a Trinket as an amber banana
tree, and establishing its location in the museum and going there should
do it.  My message subject lined 'a little story' contained the
necessary words, with enough gizz to provide misdirection for those
who did not decipher it.

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