Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 2, Part 2: Steel Magnolias!

Where we last left our heroes, they were headed towards a previously-unnoticed skyscraper, looking for a place that might have had pink flowers sometime in the past, with only a grainy inkjet-printed photograph to guide them.
Spoiler alert -- the search was a success!  Eventually (I'll skip the fruitless Bob-the-clown and graveyard speculations) we came across this glade at the intersection of 7th Street and Penn Ave.
Magnolias blooming in August?  But that's unpossible!
Those two trees are made out of concrete, and the flowers are made out of painted steel.  So all of our speculation that we might not come across the exact same flowers was just wrong.  If you stand at the right location you can pretty much get the same angle shot:
Can you spot all the differences between these two pictures?
Trick question; there aren't any.
Also, just catercorner to the steel magnolias, we found this sign:
If this looks familiar, it's because it was the location for clue 1D yesterday.... but we had never gotten here physically because Dan had found a picture of this sign on the Internet before we reached here.  So, because of our resourcefulness in researching, we had managed to never actually be physically present at a location we had to remember being at the next day!  Too clever for our own good, apparently.

With the starting location for Clue #1 established, it was time to take another look at the poem:
Wordsworth spins 210 degrees in his grave
each time you rhyme "steel" with "concealed".
Okay, clearly we're supposed to go on some sort of mini-hunt.  Look above something "smart", take a peak, do something with Sights & Sounds, yadda yadda.  We were in an area with lots of live theater, so maybe one of those was Sights & Sounds?  But we should find something "smart".  Is that the anagram trick again?  We didn't see any "marts" or "trams" nearby.  Was it this nearby poster that mentions "smart phones"?
Oh, we're in a PARK and we need to PARK!  That's very clever.
Or perhaps this plaque at the location that asks "IS YOUR PHONE SMART"?
They demolished a bookstore in the name of civic improvement.
Have we learned nothing from "Fahrenheit 451"?
Those QR codes just led to YouTube videos: something about parking and something about the group that made this art installation.  So that seemed like a dead end.  Across from the art installation there was a real park with freaky eyeball seats.  Are those supposed to be "smart"?  Maybe those imply "Sights & Sounds"?
Ze eyes, zey do not blink!  Aaaaah!
In the distance (you can see it in the previous photo) there's a skyscraper that says "HIGHMARK" on it.  Well, if one is "smart" in class, one gets high marks, and that's at the "peak" of something.  We've been wandering around the area for 40 minutes and that's the only idea we have that shows any progress, so we start trudging. Dan finds a reference to a tavern online where there appear to be "3 digits in a row" "Below the mark of Tavern".  We don't know how the individual steps of the hunt work, but we can totally imagine that it leads us to that tavern... if it still exists.  Since we've made no other progress, we decide to head towards the tavern to at least confirm that it exists.  Our plan, if it does exist, is to write the answer down and hope it works, since otherwise this riddle has us completely stumped.
We pass near NOLA on the route, and since I have vague memories of seeing Bobo the Clown in a dingy alley (and am somewhat sure it was from yesterday and not from a repressed childhood) we take a quick detour...
The 3 Guys eventually decided to find 2 more Guys and made a restaurant chain.
...to find absolutely no trace of Bobo the Clown.  I am grilled about my memories while we continue grasping at our tiny straw.  Rich has been bummed that he didn't stop at the 7-Eleven for a drink when we were standing around at the park and has vowed to stop at the next one he sees.  We walk by a CVS and Rich declares that "good enough" and goes in to get a drink.  We then turn the corner and see a 7-Eleven, which we walk past without going in.  Finally, one bit of bright light in this dark tunnel we're in... we see the tavern!
T is for Tavern, that's good enough for me.
We write down the digits on our sheet, confident that we're in last place by now, and start mussing out our best chances to solve the other clues.

To be continued!

By the way... you now have the information to succeed where we have failed.  Can you figure out the meaning of the riddle before I spoil it umpteen posts from now?


  1. Well, if you failed then I guess the 245 tavern wasn't it, so I guess the three digits are 7-11, since those are the only other digits I noticed you mentioning. But I still don't have any idea how you were supposed to get that.

  2. I think I got it =) Tricky one, almost missed it.


    1. Ding ding ding! Absolutely right.

      As you can tell, we did stumble to the right place, but until the end of the day, we had no idea how you were supposed to get there -- we had assumed we just missed whatever we were supposed to be looking for.