Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 2, Part 3: "Think"... "Bewildered"

As I start write this, it's currently 10pm and we're on the stretch from Indianapolis to Chicago on Day 4. There's still a bunch of puzzles in Chicago waiting for us, so I figure any chance of this blog getting updated will require a much faster update pace. So here we go.

We've got three puzzles left. One of them is Bobo the Clown, where I've seen but spectacularly forgotten its location. One of them is in the graveyard. One of them is a ceiling and we have no freaking clue where it is.

Jonathan theorizes that since there were three legs yesterday and a meta, that our four clues today will be one from each of the legs and the meta. We point out that we've completely retraced all our steps for the meta, and also one of the legs was pretty far away. This does not completely dissuade Jonathan.

Nevertheless, there seem to be two things we can do. We can go to the cemetery, where we think the Mason stone carving probably is. Or we can go to the car and drive around while retracing our steps from yesterday, hoping to see the other puzzles.

The cemetery is a bit closer than the car, so we do that first. Once we get there, we have no problem locating the object in the photograph -- it's the second tallest gravestone in the cemetery. The name, Nathaniel Bedford, doesn't seem particularly famous though. I think maybe there was some Civil War general with that name?
I bet a wizard is buried here.

We have some problems with the rest of the poem, though.
Already the first lines make no sense.
How can "Mason" possibly be a famous name?
We hunted around the gravestones for 10 minutes or so, looking for a dead person who shared a name with someone famous. I found a gravestone for someone named William Butler, and tried, unconvincingly, to make the clue work for William Butler Yeats. We kept on searching. Eventually someone thinks to check the tallest gravestone in the cemetery, which happens to be someone named James Brown.
When I was a kid crayons were smaller
and had less religious iconography.

Aha!  He's the "godfather of soul" (hence to no child). I wasn't as convinced with the "brother you'd recall" or the "one on one but on one other 17", but everyone else was sure that we were done, so we copied down his birth and death year and started the trudge to the car.

We got to the car (detouring a bit through Market Square just in case Bobo decided to show up) and started driving around. As we drove by Pittsburgh City Hall location (where we had solved the Mayor puzzle), I shouted "look at the ceiling!"
See the resemblance?   If not, don't worry, we'll wait.

Indeed the ceiling was our missing Clue #4. We stopped the car and jumped out to look at the ceiling. We speculated loudly for ten seconds before someone thought to look at not-the-ceiling and notice that there was another team there. Oops.

It's currently 3AM in Chicago here, so I'll have to break here. Continued tomorrow morning.


  1. I was kinda hoping that there'd be numbers or something on the actual ceiling.

  2. One interesting thing about Czarda/Ravenchase-style clues is they often riff on a shape or layout in the environment (typically, but not always, as a way of permuting ciphertext). When I'm scouting for environmental puzzles I'm usually looking for letters, numbers, or iconic representations; he seems to keep an eye out for interesting lattice-type patterns.

  3. I'm confused. How can you look at the ceiling from inside a car unless you're driving a convertible through a building?

  4. It was the ceiling of the Grant Street portico of the Pittsburgh City-County Building ( The portico has large arched openings, and the ceiling is clearly visible from the street.