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Friday, March 03, 2006

The Solution To Swag Puzzle

Deadline is up people. Pencils on the desk. Time to give up the solution to the Carnival Poetry Slamdance Swag Puzzle.

The puzzle could be solved in a few, albeit lengthy, steps. Step one was to gather all the poets. This was done by identifying either their name or a phrase from their poetry from within the carnival post. If you were really lazy, you could also look at the HTML source and find the spans marked "clue" to help distinct them. Googling the various phrases like "OVETVSTATIS ueneranda custos!" will get you the poet's name.

With that, you should have a list of eleven poets:

Mary Kate
Jonathan Swift
Maya Angelou
Tom Kidding
Maria Farber
Percy Shelley
Robinson Jeffers
William Lisle Bowles
Robert Frost
ee cummings

With that, the next task was to dig through Cathode Tan (you might have noticed the reference to the archives in the carnie post as well) for the poets and the question, although I later linked directly to the question. Each poet's entry, like Shelley's, includes two notable things. One is a poem.

The other is the crux of the puzzle. And it's indicated by the common theme of the poems, and that is time. Each time the posts were made is the key to decoding the question. Once you have the post time, you get a list like this:

Mary Kate 9:01
Jonathan Swift 5:04
Maya Angelou 8:02
Tom Kidding 2:02
Maria Farber 6:06
Percy Shelley 7:02
Phocas 1:02
Robinson Jeffers 5:06
William Lisle Bowles 4:09
Robert Frost 9:03
ee cummings 3:02

The times relate to the grid of the quesiton. So "9:01" is ninth row, first column. Going through this placement, you get:

al pa me fir ga scr ing rr oll ax st

Which can be shuffled around to:

fir st ga me pa rr al ax scr oll ing

OK. I acknowledge that using the wrong number of r's and l's in "parallax" is a bit evil. But the first game to use parallax scrolling would be, of course, Moon Patrol.

Which would have netted someone some swag. Ah well. I'll probably try another puzzle down the road at some point. Might not be blog based, as I'm still playing with other web based puzzles. We'll see.


Tablesaw said...

Hm. I did try to look for the poets on your blog, but none of the poets' names appeared when I searched using the Blogspot search at the page. As a result, I discarded that line of thought. I don't tell if anyone else fell into the same trap.

Josh said...

Yeah, I definately didn't take into account that Blogspot's search would actually get worse with age.

Why Blogger, now combined with Google, doesn't just Google for it's search is beyond me.