Another old mysterious puzzle...

General discussion about Cyan products / the company.

Another old mysterious puzzle...

Postby Ainia » Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:20 am

Shorah,

In tandem with digging all about for Preafter information, I've stumbled upon an old Spyder puzzle that I can find nothing about. So perhaps someone out there remembers something??

The old Spyder web pages were last updated in July 2002, so it's *possible* this might have a connection to Uru/Preafter...

Anyhow, Spyder's four web pages each have some hidden code. Here are the details:

On spyder.html:
Code: Select all
<!-- go
 .    .      .    .  .      .  .       .     .                  .     .
                                                 .  .          .       
               .     .                    .              .             
-->

On flyDroppings.html
Code: Select all
<!-- og
.      .                   .      .             .   .    .             
      .         .    .        .            .              .     .     
             .                                  .                    .
-->

On mme.html:
Code: Select all
<!-- le
   .           .              .         .                 .       .   
             .             .                    .     .              .
.           .      .             .           .                 .       
-->

On riveneggs.html:
Code: Select all
<!-- .com
            .                             .        .   .    .         
                      .     .    .            .                    .   
      .           .           .                                       
-->

In re-rendering the characters, they form this:
Code: Select all
google.com
-0----0------0----0--0------0--0-------0-----0------------------0-----0
-------------------------------------------------0--0----------0-------
---------------0-----0--------------------0--------------0-------------
0------0-------------------0------0-------------0---0----0-------------
------0---------0----0--------0------------0--------------0-----0------
-------------0----------------------------------0--------------------0-
---0-----------0--------------0---------0-----------------0-------0----
-------------0-------------0--------------------0-----0--------------0
0-----------0------0-------------0-----------0-----------------0-------
------------0-----------------------------0--------0---0----0----------
----------------------0-----0----0------------0--------------------0---
------0-----------0-----------0----------------------------------------

So far, I haven't made any sense out of it (though the pattern reminds me a bit of a music box cylinder). Does anybody out there remember this puzzle and what it was all about?
ImageImage
Ainia
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Re: Another old mysterious puzzle...

Postby Zardoz » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:09 am

You stack the four series of dots on top of one another and get a message in Braille. A good discussion of the context for this puzzle is here.

A long explanation (from me) is provided below.
[Reveal] Spoiler: Spyder's Braille message
A delayed Spyder sighting?

On July 4, 2002, Adreitz posted a message on the D'ni Guild and DRC sites, noting that a spider had reappeared in the web on Spyder's Cho site. Although it is hard to prove, many of us are certain that this is a very recent event. In addition, Adreitz found some interesting: In the source code for four of the five pages on Spyder's web, a series of lines had appeared with spaces and dots.

I stumbled onto Adreitz's post and took a look at the lines. Two things immediately came to mind. First, on Gordon Currie's Future Contact site, there is an image of stone with dots on it. When that image first appeared, many of us tried to decipher its meaning, and one possibility we explored was Braille letters (more on Braille letters below). The second idea that popped into my head was the puzzle that Jim Stephenson gave us to get to the realMyst Mac Masterpiece Courtyard movie. Those puzzles involved taking two lines of letters and "adding" them: that is, taking the letter from one line and inserting it into the corresponding space in the other line. The result was the html address of the movie.

When I looked at the four sets of three lines in the source codes, I decided to combine these two ideas: "add" the dotted lines together (explained below) and see if they combination resembled Braille letters.

Here are the lines from each page, with the spaces replaced by a dash and the dots replaced with a 0:

spyder.html
-0----0------0----0--0------0--0-------0-----0------------------0-----0
-------------------------------------------------0--0----------0-------
---------------0-----0--------------------0--------------0-------------

mme.html
---0-----------0--------------0---------0-----------------0-------0----
-------------0-------------0--------------------0-----0--------------0-
0-----------0------0-------------0-----------0-----------------0-------

riveneggs.html
------------0-----------------------------0--------0---0----0----------
----------------------0-----0----0------------0--------------------0---
------0-----------0-----------0----------------------------------------

flyDroppings.html
0------0-------------------0------0-------------0---0----0-------------
------0---------0----0--------0------------0--------------0-----0------
-------------0----------------------------------0--------------------0-

Now take each line from each page, stack them atop one another (order doesn't matter), and "add" them up by creating a new line with a dot ("0") in any space that has a dot in the four lines:

1) ------------0-----------------------------0--------0---0----0----------
1) ---0-----------0--------------0---------0-----------------0-------0----
1) -0----0------0----0--0------0--0-------0-----0------------------0-----0
1) 0------0-------------------0------0-------------0---0----0-------------
00-0--00----00-0--0--0-----00-00--0----00-0--0--0--00--0-00-0---0-0---0

2) ----------------------0-----0----0------------0--------------------0---
2) -------------------------------------------------0--0----------0-------
2) -------------0-------------0--------------------0-----0--------------0
2) ------0---------0----0--------0------------0--------------0-----0------
------0------0--0----00----00-0--0---------0--0-00--0-0---0----00--0-0-

3) ---------------0-----0--------------------0--------------0-------------
3) -------------0----------------------------------0--------------------0-
3) ------0-----------0-----------0----------------------------------------
3) 0-----------0------0-------------0-----------0-----------------0-------
0-----0-----00-0--00-0--------0--0--------0--0--0--------0-----0-----0-

Now take the lines you've created and stack them atop one another in order:

00-0--00----00-0--0--0-----00-00--0----00-0--0--0--00--0-00-0---0-0---0
------0------0--0----00----00-0--0---------0--0-00--0-0---0----00--0-0-
0-----0-----00-0--00-0--------0--0--------0--0--0--------0-----0-----0-

Finally, find yourself a good Braille alphabet on the web and notice the structure: Three lines and two columns for each letter. Applying that structure to the Spyder lines gives us the following, where I've removed every third column (which acts as a space between letters) and every set of three empty columns (which acts as a space between words):

00 0- 00 00 0- 0- 0- 00 00 -0 00 0- 0- 0- 00 -0 00 0- -0 0- -0
-- -- 0- -0 -0 -- 00 00 0- 0- -- -0 -0 00 -0 0- -0 -- 00 -0 0-
0- -- 0- 00 0- 00 0- -- 0- 0- -- 0- 0- 0- -- -- 0- -- 0- -- 0-

M A P Y O U R G P S C O O R D I N A T E S



"GPS" stands for Global Positioning System, which most often uses a latitude and longitude coordinate system. And we've seen a set of latitude and longitude coordinates -- in the Zandi messages!

All very interesting - but is it just an old set of clues meant to accompany the Zandi messages, which appeared two months ago? I don't think so. Like many Avids, I check Spyder's site every once and awhile (okay, every few days). And the spider in the web is new, no doubt meant to stimulate the type of search that Adreitz undertook. So my belief is that this may herald a new set of Spyder clues, leading us . . . . where?



More Spyder

On July 11 (a weekly occurrence?), more clues popped up in the source code of the Spyder pages. A few letters appeared before each set of dots:

spyder.html: go
mme.html: le
riveneggs.html: .com
flyDroppings.html: og

Mix them together and they spell: Google.com. Placed just before the Braille dots, an obvious response is to plug "Map Your GPS Coordinates" (as a phrase - include the quotation marks) into Google.com. You get a Rod n Reel GPS mapping website, where you can map longitude and latitude coordinates. As we still only have the Zandi coordinates, you can plug those in and get a map of the Carlsbad area. The coordinates then point to the Zandi Point, a spot along the highway from the town of Carlsbad to the Carlsbad Caverns where there is a billboard. All of this is explained over in the Zandi Facts department.
Zardoz
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Re: Another old mysterious puzzle...

Postby Ainia » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:04 pm

Shorah Zardoz,

Wow, many thanks for that detailed explanation! :) And it's pretty interesting that this is indeed a Preafter clue.

The file date/time stamp certainly matches up with the chain of events you describe. BTW, the last date/time stamp on the files is July 11, 2002, 6:39 pm, which I must assume is when Spyder added the google.com bit.

I suppose if Spyder got involved with Preafter, he must be Zandi's "inside man" at Cyan or the DRC. It might explain how Zandi managed to break into the DRC forums the way he did back in the day...

Anyhow, guess I'll add this to my list of Preafter clues and data.
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Ainia
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