Image 12 / Verse 10 Solution


In the shadow 
Of the grey giant

Ellis Island

Find the arm that
Extends over the slender path

The Narrows

In summer
You’ll often hear a whirring sound

The Staten Island Ferry 

Cars abound

Ferry Terminal parking lot 

Although the sign
Nearby
Speaks of Indies native
The natives still speak
Of him of Hard word in 3 Vols.

Indies native is Alexander Hamilton and Sir Walter Scott said that “Gurnal” was a hard word to spell.
Hamilton Ave and Wall St. run parallel on this side of Staten Island (Wall St. is Walter Scott) 
https://goo.gl/maps/aFQhe2Fcbo32

Take twice as many east steps as the hour
Or more
From the middle of one branch
Of the v

22 steps or more from one branch of the terminal ferry viaduct. You can see all of the branching ramps. 

Look down
And see simple roots
In rhapsodic man’s soil

Looking down from the viaduct we see simple “routes” (homophone) i.e. train tracks.

We have a quote here that from Leonard Bernstein about Gershwin. This does two things. It links Gershwin to “tracks” and describes the soil. “Bern” in Bernstein is “amber” in German. Tracks in amber soil.

Gershwin’s tragedy was not that he failed to cross the tracks, but rather that he did, and once there in his new habitat, was deprived of the chance to plunge his roots firmly into the new soil.

Leonard Bernstein

Or gaze north
Toward the isle of B.

Gaze north toward bus aisle (homophone) B or Bedloe’s Island. i.e Liberty Island

The last piece, is the interpretation of the image. This is basically to be read “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind”. From Nathaniel Hawthorne. The seagull and clock are flying over the Statue of Liberty which is the U.S. We use the U.S. as “us”. The tiled panes are from Ishihara color blind tests. So we are supposed to read them based on their colors and the content of the panes. I am actually colorblind but I had help with this. We take the first letter of each word to construct the quote.

The NYC casque is buried below a hawthorne tree in this cove of the  Staten Island Ferry Terminal Viaduct. 

https://goo.gl/maps/CfbujyBoKcy

Tribute Hunt

Thanks to John and Kit for this wonderful tribute. They have produced a puzzle that, in my opinion captures the essence of The Secret. True to form, this puzzle explores an iconic American city, and brings the solver through its history. As part of my own research, I believe The Secret is about human, civil, and equal rights. Preiss wanted the reader to discover the hidden, and sometimes not-so-popular histories of American cities. John and Kit have recreated this theme. They have also modernized the game. This entire puzzle can be solved from home. Unlike the originals, which sometimes contain parks and landscapes that cannot be viewed from Google Maps and Goolge Street View, this puzzle is a true arm-chair treasure hunt.

Getting started – the shape of her appendages are the highways through the former Confederate states. Her gown, the Mississippi River, divides America in two. Her head is in Indiana, a play on words for the head of an Indian. Her boot is Louisiana. The main theme we should take away from the image is the division of America. The Mississippi River, as well as the Civil War (Confederate states) divided America in two.

Many have noted that the wolf/lamb/bull on the leash looks like many different animals. If we take the leash as highway 35, then this animal sits in Mexico. Looking for instances in the book (The Secret). Mexico is referenced as having a beast of multiple personalities. This reference is on page 174 and under the chapter about Trog/Symps (creatures that seek to divide America).

And if, instead of a consensus, a pork barrelling stalemate results, who can deny that a two-headed, bipartisan beast is yet superior to the four-headed fairy of this kind which haunts Canada or the one with the thirteen-way split personality that is the scourge of Mexico.

The Secret p 174

The branches represent the Mississippi and its tributary the Ohio River (tribute casque, tributary rivers).

The line with the gem hanging down represents the Missouri Compromise Line. Any states north of the Missouri Compromise line were admitted to the US as slave-free states, and any states to the south were admitted as slave states. This line also divided America in two. It forms part of the northern boundary of Tennessee. The gem is positioned around Nashville.

Searchers have noted that the woman appears to have the profile of Queen Victoria. We also have the monarch butterfly and a queen chess piece in the image. Queen Victoria represents the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which divided America in two down the Mississippi River. All land with rivers that flowed into the Mississippi were designated as Native American land. All land with rivers that flowed into the Atlantic were designated as colonial land. This is our third clue about dividing American in two.

We also have some major clues related to the Trail of Tears. The gem in the image is shaped like a teardrop, and the Native American has one of her feet out of its boot. On the trail of tears it is said that Native Americans were not allowed to stop walking. The pace was so treacherous that they were not allowed time to fix their shoes if they came off.

What city sits near the divide between the North and the South (Missouri Compromise Line), and the divide between east and west (Mississippi), and was on the Trail of Tears? Nashville. Looking closer at Nashville, we know it is the state capital. The image comprises of a chair or “seat” symbolic of the capital. The wavy pattern is the two loop-like bends of Cumberland River and the flat line of the seat is the Missouri Compromise line. Using the Tennessee capitol building as a general starting area we can begin to interpret the verse at the Bicentennial Mall.

Your way has a twin
A man of adventure stands 
At the beginning and the end
Cross four spans

Next, John and Kit put something new in the puzzle. For this clue we need to use Google. The answer to the clue is only found online.

Valkyrie’s window with 7
It’s important to find all clues
Learned now from methods past

The window has a queen chess piece, so we google “Valkyrie Queen”. We get the below link as our first result:

https://www.ign.com/wikis/god-of-war-2018/God_of_War_Valkyrie_Queen_-_How_to_Defeat_Queen_Sigrun


We have strong hints that suggest a divided America, and we have the shape of the Valkyrie Queen. Taking these together we come to Fort Negley, not far from the Bicentennial Mall.

The axe is metal not wood and stone

Fort Negley was built after the Union sieged and won the Battle of Nashville. Minnesota regiments were instrumental in capturing the hill, those regiments lost more men in the Battle of Nashville than any other Civil War battle.


The wall at Fort Negley also resembles our the brick structure in the image.

There are two gun-sight looking metal structures at this fort. They are used to look out at some distance as one might have looked out over a cannon. We have a branch with a dangling gem in the image. We can take this to represent a dangling fruit. As such we use the Peach Orchard Hill gun-sight.


The Peach Orchard Hill gun-sights peer south from the fort. We see train/railroad symbols in the image. This means to peer south through the gun-sight and view the railroad. The “hub” is a rail car wheel. Nashville is a huge railroad hub, and there is a giant rail station a few miles south of the fort.


View the railroad from Peach Orchard Hill gun sight. This image is huge. Click on it to enlarge it.

In the beginning and the end cross 4 spans

Looking south from the fort there are 4 spans south of the fort that form a similar shape to the Bicentennial Mall. However, these “spans” are divided up by streets.


Looking closely at the first three spans, we can see that they form the handle of the tomahawk. This is why 3 fingers are shown gripping it. Fort Negley is the base of the handle. Craighead St, Wedgewood Ave, and Walsh Rd form the blade.

Two circles three (2 C’s from Boston). Hill, swamp, and valley deep is Houston. These refer to Cottage Cove, and Fort Houston respectively.


Random photo contributed by kindred searcher

Next we need to interpret the major players in the image. The sheep/wolf/bull has been identified as Sitting Bull from Ellensburg’s bull sculpture. It can be seen here in the Oregonian. ūüĎÄūüėāūüėāūüėā Sitting Bull was killed while being held in captivity by the Indian Agency Police. These were Native Americans conscripted by the US government to police other Native Americans. Sitting Bull was killed by Lt. Bullhead after it was believed he would try to flee camp with his ghost dancers. The wolf/sheep aspect of the bull (I think) is to be interpreted as a ‘sheep in wolf’s clothing’, as Sitting Bull was actually a fairly peaceful man (sheep), though he was seen as a threat (wolf) by many others.

Remember that the head of the Native American represents the state of Indiana from our original map. So this helps us tie in “Bullhead” to ‘Indiana head’ or ‘Indian head’. Here is the map again so you don’t have to scroll up.

Now that we know that the Native American’s head is Lt. Bullhead we can take our next logical step.

We take Brown’s Creek and Craighead St to get John Brown Craighead

Three dragon of the C

In the San Francisco puzzle we jump from Golden Gate Park to China Beach. Here we are about to make a giant step distance wise. We are headed to the Craighead House a few miles west of here. We use the third span (three fingers) to take Wedgewood Ave to the Craighead House.

An Emblem of B
It’s down below

Notice the Victorian style, the brick color, the position of the windows, and the shadow running down the left side of the house. The peace sign is the emblem of Sitting Bull (B). The butterfly is a flying buttress – an external support system used for old walls. The gem hangs from a tree just like the peace sign hangs.

Viva the fair folk, and their treasure keep

This last line helps point us to the exact location of the casque at Craighouse. If we look for instances of Mexico or Spain (from the word “Viva”) in the book we get the Trog Symps again. These guys are bad. The book says that they seek to divide mankind politically. They inspired man to be belligerent and start civil wars in the US, Spain, El Salvador and others. The Symp is left wing, and the trog is right wing. They espouse opposite political alignments. The key here is the civil wars and the devisiveness of their politics. This puzzle’s theme is the Civil War and a divided America. These guys are right in line with that theme. The book says that they like to hangout on sidewalks in front of embassies and their picture has them standing in front of the US Capitol building. Remember that Nashville is our state capital.

Trog Symp

The woman is also holding a leash. People generally walk their dogs on sidewalks. Taking the hint about sidewalks we look at the entrance to the Craighead House. The peace sign hangs down close to the front gate. The sidewalk past the entrance looks a lot like the bottom of our chair’s seat in the image. Most of the major components of the image can be matched to this location. Thinking along the sidewalk theme and using “two circles three”, and “dragon of the C” – I think this is a hint to use the creases/cracks in the sidewalk for our dig spot. “Two circles three” is a reference to the 2 C’s in Boston. One of the popular theories there is to use the creases in the sidewalk to line up the dig spot. “Dragon of the C” can reference China Beach in San Francisco. A similar theory is used to lineup the dig spot there with the creases in between the concrete blocks on the sea wall. I think the “T” in the image is to be used as the “T” in the cracks of the sidewalk.

John and Kit intended for us to use Google Street View to solve this puzzle. The painting was specifically tailored to match the 2014 street view of the Craighead House. https://goo.gl/maps/atgUUQMHeGD2

click to enlarge

That is it! There is one more background clue to this puzzle. There was a famous Craighead named Jean Craighead George. She wrote a children’s book called Julie of the Wolves. It is about an Eskimo girl in Alaska that runs away from home after marrying an abusive husband. She ends up befriending a pack of wolves to survive. Preiss used literary references to tie together his puzzles. This clue ties together our Native American, the wolf on a leash, and our ties to the Craighead family.

Julieofthewolves72.png

Other photos from the trip.

Image 1/Verse 7 Solution

Image01
This is my interpretation of the solution for Image 1 / Verse 7. Major credit to Odeyin for associating it to China Beach. His steady work over the years has also identified some subtle and flat out hard-to-see details of Image 1 that no one else has spotted. A great deal of work has also been done and is publicly available on the pbworks wiki. Some of the visual clues in this solution were discovered by the influx of new searchers after The Secret aired on Expedition Unknown. Several people posted on the pbworks wiki but their comments were subsequently removed. I am not a fan of censorship. Even so, many pieces of this puzzle have been discovered and rediscovered by different people independently over the years. I have used some of these pieces and added a great deal of my own interpretation. I approach these puzzles differently. Byron Preiss was a liberal writer. He uses metaphors, obscure literary references, homophones, homonyms, synonyms, wordplay, and inter-puzzle clues. His imaginary creatures are fleeing persecution in the Old World, and settling in the New World. All of these puzzles have one or more flavors of human rights, slavery, equal rights, and justice/injustice baked in. He expected us to go to the library and read up on the history of each of these places. The pieces of history he chose to highlight are extremely important, and form themes that can be (and should be) used to solve all of the puzzles. Byron Preiss and John Jude Palencar were master puzzle makers. I think that these puzzles are deeper than most have imagined. This is why so few have been solved.

Images in this solution marked with “OC” mean original content. These are images I have taken myself. Other images are given attribution as appropriate.

San Francisco

This image is pretty much universally accepted as being associated with San Francisco. The rocky cliffs and water represent the San Francisco bay area, with the barred window as an overt reference to Alcatraz Island. There is an outline of a trolley car in the post supporting the night stand. And the part in the woman’s hair (shaped like the profile of a humming bird) is similar to an overhead map of the Presidio area and Golden Gate Bridge.¬† The main rectangle with Roman numerals on the woman’s dress is visually similar to Golden Gate Park, bordered by its many city streets.

alcatraz
Alcatraz

cable car
Cable car profile in post jjron [GFDL 1.2], from Wikimedia Commons

hummingbirdmap
The part in her hair

Questions

  • What is the window/door/gate in the image?
  • Who does she resemble?
  • Why does she have a blue glow?
  • Why are her lips puckered?
  • What are all of the objects next to her on the table? Why are they also glowing?
  • What does the dragon represent and why is it covered in blocks?
  • What are the rocks and moons in the image?
  • Why does her gown have circles on it like the circles in the NYC puzzle?

There are major themes in this puzzle related to these questions, and while searchers have hundreds of different spots for their solves, there is but one correct solution. Solutions that do not address, or answer these questions are missing out on what Preiss was trying to convey to the reader. I think these themes help identify the correct solution out of the myriad of other possibilities. One of these themes is of prisoners. There are at least 5 different stories/clues of imprisonment in this puzzle. If you don’t agree with my interpretation that is ok! As much as we like to collaborate, treasure hunting is a competitive sport. Keep your solution, take from mine what you will.

Strawberry Hill and Sutro Tower

The first lines of the verse read:

A stone wall’s door
The air smells sweet.

A stone wall’s door is a¬†gate. This is an allusion to “Golden Gate”. Most of the imagery in this puzzle has been matched to Golden Gate Park. Looking for our starting location, the stones in the image are visually similar to the stones used in Huntington Falls on Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park.

huntington falls
Huntington Falls (left OC)

Near the top of the stone geography above her head is what appears to be a barred door or gate. Sitting atop Strawberry Hill are the stone remnants of the Sweeny Observatory which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. While not much remains of the observatory, the remnants of its stone walls and gate are still discernible.

remnants
Remnants of the Sweeny Observatory (left – OC) the Sweeny Observatory after the 1906 earthquake (right – SMU Central University Libraries [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons)
The original structure of the observatory looked very much like a keep/castle. It had a main gate with an arched side passageway. This type of side door is called a “wicket” or a “manway”. Wickets were common in castles, where you might want a person to enter/exit without having to open the main gate. If you look closely, the stonework of the wicket in the image looks very similar to the wicket of the observatory.

a stone walls door
Sweeny Observatory (right – SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY – free use for website/blog)

“The air smells sweet” reinforces our connection to Strawberry Hill as¬†historically the scent of wild berries there was described as smelling “sweet” after a downpour.

strawberry hill
(Google Maps)

The Shoronomon

Not far away
High posts are three

Recently the Japanese version of The Secret was translated into English, and it was discovered that the Japanese version contained hints from Preiss that were not in the original book. These hints were intended to help Japanese searchers as they would have greater difficulty in solving the English language metaphors and wordplay of the puzzle. This couplet is particularly difficult, not just for Japanese searchers, but for everyone. The translated Japanese states that the high posts are “wooden”. To solve this hint we have to look at one of the major visual clues in the image. The background of the woman’s gown features small circles similar to those seen in the NYC puzzle. These circles are meant to be decoded as Ishihara colorblind tests. For the NYC puzzle (which I will publish sometime later) these are a major clue to the final location. Ishihara is a Japanese surname and fits well with a Japanese audience and the Japanese Tea Garden in GGP.

ishihara

book cover
We must find and read this book (OC)

Since these circles appear down her gown (which we have previously decoded as Golden Gate Park) the hint is to go to the library and search for Ishihara in Golden Gate Park. In doing so we find that there is a book called¬†The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (1893-1942) written by Tanso Ishihara and Gloria Wickham. We are to use the Ishihara tests as a namesake for the author of this book. The book was privately published and is extremely rare. Yet it is the de-facto reference for the tea garden’s history.¬†Only 12 copies exist in worldcat.¬†There are no digital versions of the book online. The only way to read this book is to find someone who owns it, or journey to one of the few libraries that has it. The main public library in San Francisco has one in the history section on the 6th floor. Preiss expected us to go to the library and read this book. It chronicles the absolute dedication of Makoto Hagiwara as he and his family built and rebuilt the tea garden. In 1942 the Hagiwara family was sent to Topaz, Utah as executive order 9066 ordered all persons of Japanese descent to relocate to concentration camps (prisoner theme reference #1).

There is one page in particular that really stands out.

book posts
High posts are three (OC)

In short the shoronomon or gate of the Japanese Tea Garden is the solution to “high posts are three”. Here is why:

  • Higher on the page the author uses “post” 3 times in a row: post-exposition, post-earthquake, and post-relocation.
  • We have another wicket connection. The author uses “wicket” in referencing the shoronomon gate to the tea garden. While a wicket is a kind of side door, it is also the name for the 3 wooden posts used in the game of cricket.
    wicket
    A stone wall’s door “wicket” (top left ¬© Sir Gawain¬†/¬†Wikimedia Commons ) A door within a gate “wicket” (bottom left Mylius [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons) A cricket wicket (right Acabashi [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons)
  • A Deva King statue (Nio Sama) carved of wood stood next to the Hagiwara’s home entrance. He holds a high post (status) as a king in the Buddhist pantheon.
  • Nio Sama holds a three pronged trident.
  • Nio Sama served as a guard to the Hagiwara’s house and garden. This was his post, i.e. his station.

The shoronomon (nicknamed the “mon”) is featured in prime real estate in the image. Like the Nio Sama, the wicket to this gate may not exist anymore, as the original shoronomon was destroyed after the Hagiwara family was relocated. So the solution to this location today is almost entirely metaphorical. Anti-Japanese sentiment in WWII lead to the destruction of the main structures in the tea garden.

mon
The “mon” (OC)

The 11 moons in the image represent the 11 bridges over water in the San Francisco Bay area. This is from the moon bridge in the tea garden.

moon bridge
Moon bridges, the 11 bridges over water of the San Francisco Bay area (right Moon bridge – OC)

Additionally as we journey to the shoronomon from Strawberry Hill by walking east on Stowe Lake Dr East we can see Sutro Tower and its three radio antennas in the distance.

sutro oc
View of Sutro Tower looking south across Stowe Lake (OC)

high posts are three
(Google Maps) spiral stair (right РOC)

As a side note from the above map. Another name for a spiral staircase is the word “turnpike“. This is a key clue in the Boston puzzle (Image 11). JJP and Preiss are using the spiral stair rail in this puzzle as a reinforcing clue in the Boston puzzle. It is also used to highlight the stem of the rose in the image as a sort of a map of highway 1 as it goes across GGP. Turnpike is another word for a highway.

highway
(Google Maps)

We also have a teapot and leaf in the image. This reinforces our connection to the Japanese tea garden.

teapot
teapot and tea leaf

Shakespeare’s Garden

Education and Justice
For all to see

shakespeare
Shakespeare’s bust (right – OC)

While we are talking about wickets, and before we get to this couplet of the verse – If a “wicket” was the key to the first two clues, how much do you want to bet that it is a key for the third clue? To solve the third location, we have to have correctly solved the first two. Many people have noticed that the barred wicket in the image is shaped like the enclosure of Shakespeare’s statue in Shakespeare’s Garden. The enclosure used to have metal gates that could be closed to protect the statue.¬† If we use the library like we did to find the shoronomon, and keep in mind our visual clues and wicket/gate theme as hints, we can solve this piece of the puzzle. Looking in the library (or Google Books) for “Shakespeare” “barred” and “gates” we find an article called “Gates” on Shakespeare’s Stage¬†written in Shakespeare Quarterly in 1956. This article painstakingly describes the physical positioning, and meaning behind the use of gates in all of the sets of Shakespeare’s plays. Since space and resources are limited on stage, Shakespeare had to make the most out of everything. Gates are one of the main structures used to convey meaning in his plays.

shakespeare gates closed
Old gates enclosing Shakespeare’s bust – they no longer exist (Gabydeb [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons)
In the article, the story of Romeo and Juliet is the author’s first example of Shakespeare’s use of gates.

gates on shakespeares stage

On the second page the author describes Juliet’s burial vault as having a barred wicket. As such the barred wicket in the image is symbolic of Juliet’s tomb.

Juliet wicket

Ok, we have Romeo and Juliet, but how do we solve “Education and Justice For all to see”? Education and Justice for all to see is about¬†Barnette vs West Virginia State Board of Education.¬†This case was about Jehova’s witnesses whose children refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school for religious reasons. The school expelled them, but the case was brought before the Supreme Court and was won by the Barnettes. “Education” is the WV State Board of Education, and “And Justice for all” is the last line of the Pledge of Allegiance. The clue here is the refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Romeo and Juliet

In the story of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet loves Romeo, but he is from a rival family, and their marriage is forbidden. In the famous balcony scene (Act 2 Scene 2) Juliet tells Romeo a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Remember “The air smells sweet“? There is also a rose in the image. She means that if he wasn’t a Montague, and she wasn’t a Capulet, that their love would be the same. Essentially, allegiance to family names means nothing to her.

Later, Juliet marries Romeo in secret and they consummate their marriage. The following morning, (Act 3 Scene 5) Juliet’s mother tells her that she is to marry a man named Paris on Thursday (it is Tuesday) – a man chosen by her father. She refuses and tells her mother that she will marry Romeo instead.

When her father arrives, and learns of not only her refusal, but her intentions with Romeo, he is furious. He says:

Thursday is near. Lay hand on heart, advise.

Which essentially means ‘place your hand on your heart and heed my advice’. He then threatens to disown her.

Marriage is a pledge of allegiance to another person. By refusing to say her vows to Paris, she is refusing to say a pledge of allegiance to another man. She does this at the risk of being disowned, and risks her allegiance to her own family.

We do have something in the image that represents marriage. In the Boston puzzle JJP used a clove hitch to represent a place where people get married. We are to use the clove hitch in the dragon’s tail to mean a place where people get “hitched” or “tie the knot” as Golden Gate Park has many places that serve as a venue for marriage, one of which is Shakespeare’s Garden.

hitch
Tying the knot, getting hitched = marriage

Education and Justice For all to see” is about Juliet’s refusal to marry the man her family had chosen for her. This takes us from the Japanese Tea Garden to Shakespeare’s Garden. Here are the number of logical steps necessary to make this connection:

shakespeare logic

 

shakespeares bust
Shakespeare’s statue in Shakespeare’s Garden (OC)

I have to say that after researching so much about wickets, one of their uses is at box offices. You can buy tickets for say a movie or a theme park from someone behind a wicket. This bust above really does look like Shakespeare could be a walk-up box office vendor. Also worth mentioning, Shakespeare’s works are frequently used in schools (education) and they teach us life lessons about justice. Lastly, despite the fact that the woman in the image represents San Francisco’s Asian culture, I think the reason that the woman has blue eyes in the image is that she also represents Juliet. Blue eyes and black hair are a trait of some Italians.

for all to see
(Google Maps)

San Francisco’s Graveyards

So if the barred wicket represents the Capulet burial vault, specifically Juliet’s tomb,¬†then the meaning of the vertical rocky structures in the image becomes more clear. These are “tomb” stones. A fair bit of acreage surrounding Golden Gate Park used to be cemeteries. In fact, if you are from San Francisco there is a good chance you commute over, work over, recreate, or possibly even live on land that was once a cemetery. In the early 20th century city land was extremely limited. As the population grew, so did a push to move the dead out of San Francisco to Colma. You can read all about it here. But, the work was sloppy, and bodies were left behind. In some cases new buildings and plumbing were laid right over and through bodies. Many of the bodies that were moved were put into mass graves, and some of those mass graves were even left unmarked. It is pretty disturbing, but this fact, and the interpretation of tombstones, help us decode part of the puzzle later on. Although you might make the connection between the rocks in the image and tombstones without having solved the puzzle, it took us solving the first 3 locations correctly to be able to logically arrive at this conclusion.

tombstones
Tombstones (right – Postdlf [CC BY-SA 3.0])
The abrupt horizontal line below the rocks (not shown here) represents the boundary to Golden Gate Park. No cemeteries were in the park.

Francis Scott Key and John J Pershing

Sounds from the sky
Near ace is high
Running north, but first across

Northeast of Shakespeare’s Garden is the Francis Scott Key memorial. He wrote the Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem).¬†Sounds from the sky refers to the phrase: “bombs bursting in air”. In the previous couplet of the verse we have “Education and Justice for all“. The “and Justice for all” alludes to a line in the Pledge of Allegiance. This hint helps reinforce Francis Scott Key and the National Anthem, as the Pledge of Allegiance is also a patriotic verse. Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner while imprisoned on a British ship (prisoner reference #2). Just to the east of the Key statue is the “Black Jack” John J Pershing memorial. “Ace is high” alludes to his nickname. “Ace is high” doubles as a reference to highway 1 that runs north and then east across Golden Gate Park as the Park Presidio Bypass.

key and pershing
Sounds from the sky near Ace is high, Francis Scott Key (left – OC) John J Pershing (right – OC)

literature map 1
Shakespeare’s Garden to John J Pershing (Google Maps)

Miguel de Cervantes and the World War I Memorial

In jewel’s direction
Is an object
Of Twain’s attention

Our next destination is the Miguel de Cervantes / Don Quixote statue northwest of JJ Pershing followed by the World War I Memorial on the north side of Golden Gate Park. But to get there we must step into Preiss’ world and do some literary gymnastics. This is where he uses text from an old and obscure source. I believe he used this technique in each puzzle. Preiss was a writer. He expected us to go to the library and use keywords from the last several clues to find a piece of literature with relevant text to find our next location(s). Some of them are more obvious than others. This one was a doozy. So here we go…

Mark Twain loved hanging out with young women and girls. He called them his “jewels”.¬†If we went to the library in 1982 and searched for “Mark Twain girls jewels” we would get “Mark Twain’s Notebooks & Journals, Volume II (1877-1883): The Mark Twain papers“. This is a collection of notes Mark Twain took on his trip through Europe. In this publication is a page of notes that has an extremely strong correlation to our puzzle.

twain notes
Mark Twain’s Notebooks & Journals, Volume II (1877-1883): The Mark Twain papers (Google Books)

These look like random notes right? Maybe just junk? Let’s take a closer look.

  1. See where it says “National Anthem“? Remember we are standing near the Francis Scott Key monument?
  2. The next line reads “The Great Duel“.¬† Don Quixote’s statue is visible just north of us along Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., and Don Quixote is known for his fantastic challenges and duels! Additionally, just northwest of the Don Quixote statue is a World War I memorial. World War I was known as the “The Great War” with its extreme use of heavy artillery (sounds from the sky / bombs bursting in air). Ace is high could also refer to WWI as it was the first war to see air to air duels e.g. The Red Barron. As such ace is high can also be read “aces high” as in WWI flying aces. Also, let us not forget that John J Pershing holds the rank of General of the Armies for his command during World War I. This is equivalent to a six star general, and he is only out ranked by George Washington himself. Ace is high refers to his nickname, but also the fact that he really can’t be outranked by anyone but Washington.
  3. The next line contains the phrase “Student Duel“. Miguel de Cervantes (the author of Don Quixote) fled Spain after the king issued a warrant for a student of the same name who was accused of wounding a man in a duel.
  4. Loss of the girl’s jewels” in the next line is our Mark Twain reference to girls and jewels.¬† Mark Twain is mentioned directly with regard to this phrase down in the footnotes.
  5. The last line “Learning German” reinforces the World War I connection. During World War I there was strong anti-German sentiment in the U.S. and laws were created to ban the teaching of the German language in schools. “Cook-book” can be tied in with an earlier line in the verse “The air smells sweet”.

Down in the footnotes, we see something that ties everything together and points again to Miguel de Cervantes / Don Quixote statue and the WWI memorial.

“loss of the girls’ jewels”, “The Lost Ear-ring” (Mark Twain’s Fables of a Man…

The “loss of the girls’ jewels” comes from a story called “The Lost Ear-ring”. featured in Mark Twain’s Fables of a Man. What do bombs bursting in air (artillery shells) do? They make your ears ring! What is Don Quixote? He is a collection of fables¬†of a man! This page ties in Mark Twain, Francis Scott Key, Miguel de Cervantes, and the WWI memorial in one page of literature!!! Preiss chose his words and targets masterfully. It should also be noted that Miguel de Cervantes was captured and enslaved by the Turks for 5 years. He was also jailed at least 3 times for financial problems and as a suspect to murder. It is a popular myth that he was inspired to write Don Quixote while in prison. Certainly, his experiences did inspire him as an author, if not just for Don Quixote (prisoner reference #3).

Running North but First Across

junipero
Junipero Serra (OC)

Right in between the Cervantes and JJP statues (in the median) is a statue of Padre Junipero Serra holding a giant crucifix (cross). Junipero Serra Blvd is south of Golden Gate Park and feeds directly into highway 1 which runs north through and across the park. Junipero Serra is a controversial figure as he used corporal punishment and imprisonment of Native Americans in his efforts to convert them to Christianity (prisoner reference #4). Taking this interpretation paired with the¬†last line of the footnotes above, we can determine the actual direction of the casque. We are to connect the dots between the John J Pershing statue, the Junipero Serra statue, the Miguel de Cervantes statue and the WWI Memorial.¬† Putting all of this together, the jewel’s direction is northwest.

literature map 2
jewel’s direction is northwest hitting the Cervantes statue and the WWI memorial (Google Maps)

It should be noted that the next lines in the verse read “Giant Pole Giant Step”. Don Quixote challenged a windmill which he perceived as a giant. I will get back to these lines later.

 

cervantes ww1
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza (left – OC) WWI Memorial (right – OC)

Beauty and the Beast Symbolism
beauty and the beast

We know the direction, but what is our destination? To figure this out we need to look at the major theme going on in the image. The woman has a blue glow about her. Several objects to her right share this glow. These objects are from the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. If you look closely, her lips are also puckered as if she is giving a kiss. In the fairy tale (which has many versions) an enchantress (disguised as an old woman) seeks shelter in a prince’s castle offering to pay him with a single rose. The prince refuses hospitality to the woman who subsequently curses him by transforming him into a beast, and his servants into animated objects (shown in the image). The curse can only be broken by true love’s kiss, and he is under the gun because time is limited (hour on the clock). Preiss reinforces this with the composition of the woman’s face. She is actually a combination of two statues in GGP. A buddha statue in the Japanese Tea Garden and a beast (sphinx) near the De Young Museum.¬† Preiss is hoping we make the connection through word play.

Buddha and the Beast

buddha and the beast
Buddha and the Beast (OC)

a chinese beauty and the beast
(Google Books)

The Beauty (buddha) and the Beast theme comprises the major parts of the image. Preiss wants us to make the connection between San Francisco’s Chinese culture and the fairy tale.¬†So,¬†keeping in line with using the library to find old literature, he expected us to find and read the story of¬† “A Chinese Beauty and the Beast“. The story is about a Chinese merchant¬†who had 3 daughters. The youngest (his favorite) was called Pearl of the Sea (notice the gem is a pearl in the image?). Pearl asks her father to bring her a piece of the Great Wall of China. Her father obliges, travels, and takes a brick from the great wall. But as he does so, a Tartar emerges from the hole in the wall and captures him.¬†The father strikes a deal with the Tartar allowing him to go free if Pearl of the Sea marries him. Pearl of the Sea agrees and when she ventures in to the wall with the Tartar, he appears not as a Tartar but as a Chinese gentleman. Note the “Fairy Tale” aspect here. Preiss intentionally chose this story because it fits well with his book about mythical creatures.

The Great Wall of China

The key to this story is the Great Wall of China and its bricks. The dragon on the woman’s robe snakes around like the Great Wall and it is covered in blocks. Remember earlier I mentioned that “stone wall” is in the first line of the verse? Well that is to reinforce the image as the Great (stone) Wall of China.

great wall
Severin.stalder [CC BY-SA 3.0] (Wikimedia)
Question: Where can we find our metaphorical Great Wall of China? 
Answer: China Beach

China Beach just happens to have a sea wall built out of concrete blocks. The shape of the woman’s upper lip and the shape of her forearms and wrists match the trapezoidal shape of said sea wall.

sea wall

The aerial view of China Beach, resembles her collar. The gem is a pearl like Pearl of the Sea mentioned earlier. Her skin is the sand on the beach, with her curly hair on each side representing the rocky cliffs that enclose the beach.

china beach overhead
Google Earth

Question: So we just went from Golden Gate Park to China Beach. That is a giant step. Is there anything in the image to help reinforce this step?

Remember Mark Twain and our “jewel’s direction”? Mark Twain travelled to Russia and met the tsar, after which¬†he maintained a lifelong interest in Russian literature and politics. Our path northwest from the WWI Memorial to China Beach also takes us through Little Russia.

little russia
path through Little Russia (Google Maps)

The backwards ‘G’ and ‘h’ under her collar are a reference to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory Sign as it is seen from behind when viewed on Russian Hill. So if the ‘G’ and ‘h’ represent Russian Hill and its line-of-sight, but in the context of this puzzle they are used as a metaphor for Little Russia

russian hill

We can see an eagle and the profile of president Lincoln in the rocks. These can be mapped to Eagles Point and Lincoln Park. The eagle is really hard to see but it is there. Remember the tombstones? Lincoln Park and the land adjacent to Eagles Point, including the entire Legion of Honor, were built over the Golden Gate Cemetery. This is why they appear in the stone formations (tombstones).

map
(Google maps)

646px-Leonardo_Da_Vinci_-_Vergine_delle_Rocce_(Louvre)
Leonardo da Vinci “Virgin of the Rocks” [Public domain]
It has been pointed out that the painting JJP created for this puzzle has some overt similarities to Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Virgin of the Rocks”. In both images the woman’s hair goes from straight to curly. Their necklines are similar with a pendant or gem in the same area. And they both have jagged rocky backgrounds. I think the hint/connection here is based on the title of the painting “Virgin of the Rocks”. This is an allusion to the Chinese merchant’s daughter Pearl of the Sea. Assuming that she is a virgin because she is unmarried, it ties together the daughter (virgin) and the rocky beach that surrounds the sea wall. Something along the lines of – virgin of the sea rocks.

There is a ‘C’ and lowercase ‘b’ in the formation of the dragon’s claws. This stands for China Beach. cb

Final Location

Giant pole
Giant step

This couplet refers to:

  1. Don Quixote’s duels with giants.
  2. It is a nod to the San Francisco Giants.
  3. The two G’s as the first letters are a reference to the “Golden Gate”.
  4. It is an allusion to the giant step we took distance-wise to make it from Golden Gate Park to China Beach.
  5. Giant step is a metaphor for Sea Cliff.
  6. And there just happens to be a large flagpole standing near the edge of the sea wall on the China Beach. A considerable step down.
  7. It is only fitting that our Giant pole is a flag pole based on our earlier clue of Education and Justice for all to see. (Refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag).

giant pole giant step
(Google Maps)

To the place
The casque is kept

The word “kept” here has special meaning. During the 19th century the beach was used as a fishing camp for Chinese immigrants. However, with growing anti-immigration sentiment, local and federal laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) were passed to try to reduce the number of new Chinese immigrants entering the country, and destroy their livelihood (fishing). As such they were pushed out of the main harbors and kept¬†on (or limited to) this beach away from the main fishing ports. Furthermore, one of San Francisco’s mayors named James D. Phelan ran for re-election in the U.S. Senate under the slogan “Keep California White”. Upon his death he willed his own money to the state to buy China Beach. In 1934 the state renamed the beach in his name. It kept the name until 1976 when the beach was transferred back to the federal government. Preiss chose this beach to highlight the human rights and immigration struggle of San Francisco’s Chinese population. I think the word “kept” is intentionally used to show the past tense of Phelan’s racist slogan – “keep”. It’s a clever snub against him. I think the sea wall, pole, and rectangular building also resemble that of a keep (small fortress). We end our hunt how we began it, at a fortress like structure – A stone wall’s door. Remember that the Sweeny Observatory looked like a small fortress by design. It had a stone wall with a gate and a wicket. China Beach has a stone wall, and it peers out over the Golden Gate.

keep
(Google Maps)

Measurements and Digging – Use the Bricks

look straight ahead

The eyes of each figure tell us the direction of the line-of-sight. In this puzzle she is looking straight at us, and her upper lip represents the shape of the trapezoidal wall. We are to peer directly at the wall for our line-of-sight. It is also noteworthy that the woman has her back to the rocky cliffs and sea. This means she is facing the shore and not looking out to sea. As confirmation to this orientation the outline of the overhead view of Land’s End is shown on her right sleeve. When we are facing the sea wall (looking south) Land’s End is to our right. Her left sleeve has the outline of Baker’s Beach. As such it is to our left when we are looking at the wall. Notice that the outlines between Land’s End and Baker’s Beach are different with respect to the cloth of her sleeve. Land’s End fits on the inside of her right sleeve – i.e. the shape of the sleeve itself. Baker’s Beach outlines the outside profile of her left sleeve.¬† north but first across

Next we look for measurements. Remember that our fairy tale involves taking a brick from the Great Wall of China? We are to use the concrete blocks on the China Beach sea wall as our metaphorical bricks for measurements. She is using her right hand to point to the line in between the third and forth blocks on her left sleeve. We are to take this as: measure 3 blocks from right to left. Remember “high posts are three” reinforces this interpretation. Next, her left hand is poised as if she is measuring four blocks along her right sleeve with her thumb and index finger. Her hand resembles the shape of the curved concrete ramp down to the beach. This measurement is distance from the wall: 4 blocks. We are to measure north, but first across. So measure out 4 blocks across the width of the wall and then go north that distance. Last, we see the yin yang symbol on her gown. It is positioned under her crossed arms after the third roman numeral which is actually the roman numeral II repeated a second time. This is the depth: 2¬†feet.

distance and depth

beach map

Note! That these images are not exact, this is just the best I could do with an overhead view. You have to measure the blocks on site to get the exact location.

The Dig

We went to China Beach during the government shutdown. The gates to the beach were locked but dozens of people had gone under the fence to play and surf on the beach. I measured and dug a gigantic hole. While I did not find the casque, I did find something I was looking for – a stone. I thought that Preiss might have marked the spot with a metaphorical brick from the Great Wall of China. About 1 foot down I found a smooth granite block laying flat. It had definitely been shaped by man, and it was not a natural stone from the surrounding cliffs. It looks a lot like a paver stone. I like to think that this block was left there from Preiss as a token to the fairy tale used to solve this puzzle. Maybe at some point in the past, the casque lay beneath or beside it.

brick
A stone, a brick, wishful thinking? (OC)

The tides on the beach are powerful, and there are warning signs that people have died swimming and wading there. While I was there the water came almost all of the way up to the sea wall, and that was a 6.8 foot tide. The day I left, was the night of the blood super moon. The tide was supposed to be up to 9-10 feet. It would have easily run up to the wall. The beach itself has probably been cleaned and regraded (possibly by heavy machinery) many many times since 1981, but based on the power of the Pacific Ocean alone, I think the casque is lost. That is not to mention the earthquakes or beach-goers who could have destroyed the casque over the course of 38 years. I found a red plastic shovel at 2 feet deep (yes I measured). It looked pretty new. This leads me to believe that the sand turns over quite a bit on this beach.

dig day
low tide (OC)

Digging on China Beach below 2 feet is extremely difficult. The hole I dug was about 3 feet deep at its deepest point, but after 2 feet the sand gives way to hard clay. Water seeps in as you dig and it is not possible to dig a hole deeper than 2 feet without it filling with water. As such I had to dig a large and long drainage ditch towards the ocean to let the water run out and to be able to see where I was digging. The sides of the hole collapsed many times over the course of my 3 hour dig. I probably spent more than half of my time just regaining ground that I lost when sand and water seeped in and filled in my hole. One strong wave would have erased the entire operation.

dig

Could I be wrong? Sure. Could I have measured incorrectly? Yes. The casque not being found on China Beach does not mean that it wasn’t placed there in 1981 or early 1982. We know that Preiss thought these puzzles were too easy and he expected all of these puzzles to be found in a few years time. For all we know the beach sand could have been a foot higher or lower at that time. I could have been off by an inch. I hear all of the time that people exclude locations because they have been dug. Well unless they were dug to a 3.5 foot depth, were perfectly on-the-money, and the landscape hasn’t changed, then yes they can be ruled out. Having dug several deep holes to plant trees and treasure hunting, I can tell you that 3.5 feet is a deep hole, and we don’t have earthquakes or 10 foot tides where I am from. If you have a different solution, keep it, don’t give up. Never give up. Use what I have provided and prove me wrong.

Closing Thoughts

The two stories of injustice towards the Japanese and Chinese populations of San Francisco are tied together not only in this puzzle but in a historical event. When Executive Order 9066 was signed into law and placed those of Japanese descent into concentration camps, a vacuum of labor was created. This lead to the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chinese workers, who had been excluded from some forms of their everyday lives, replaced the displaced Japanese. During WWII, Japan was an enemy state, but China was as an ally. The original Japanese structures in the tea garden were torn down and it was renamed to the “Oriental Tea Garden”. Chinese women replaced Japanese women there. It is a sad irony that the act of one people’s persecution (Japanese) lead to the improved status of another (Chinese). But this puzzle is about Education and Justice for All.

I think Preiss was giving us a history lesson about the USA in these puzzles. We had to learn the history of San Francisco to solve this one. Some of it is disturbing – the relocation to prison camps, the racist laws, the destruction of cultural landmarks, the desecration of the dead. But we must know the history so that we don’t repeat it. However, there is a lot to celebrate about San Francisco. I am not a resident or a native, but as a city, it is my first love. I have vacationed there 4 times, only once related to this puzzle. I will return again.

Image 11/Verse 3 Solution (Revised)

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
      1. General Observations and Thoughts
      2. Connection to Charlesgate and Back Bay Fens
    2. Starting Point
      1. The Red-headed Female Columbus
      2. The Sons of Ireland
      3. A Drag Queen
      4. Leif Erikson
    3. Intermediate Steps
    4. To the War Memorial
      1. Paul Revere and The Old North Church
      2. Paul Revere the Bellfounder and the Life Magazine D-Day Issue
      3. Paul Revere’s Obelisk
    5. Navigation
      1. The Sextant
      2. The Rose Garden
      3. The Map
    6. Metaphors and Symbolism
      1. In Truth Be Free
      2. The Box
      3. What is she pointing at?
      4. The Washington Elm
    7. The Digging Location
      1. The Reveal
      2. John Simmons and The Simmons College
      3. Four in the leaves
    8. Measurements
      1. Feel at Home
      2. 9 Feet
      3. Right Angle
      4. Bow-vine Yard as Depth
    9. Meanings and Themes
      1. Double Meaning
      2. Anti-Slavery and Human Rights Theme
    10. Special Thanks

Introduction

The following is my interpretation of the solution to image 11 / Verse 3. I consider this solution to be complete.

Image11
Image 11

General Observations and Thoughts

At first glance, Image 11 raises many questions:

  • Who is this red-headed woman?
  • Why is there a globe and stand in the image?
  • What are the lines in the main circle? Numbers?
  • What do the moon and celestial object (star or planet) represent?
  • What do the squiggly lines on her dress and the box represent?
  • What is her index finger pointing to?
  • Why is there a fairy flying away from the box that she is opening?

The answers to these questions are all significant to solving the puzzle. Solutions that do not answer these questions, or recognize their importance, miss out on the author’s clues. While they are not all critical to solving the puzzle, they do add depth and reinforce the correct interpretations.

Before I get started, I would like to point out two general themes in the image. It is important to note the fairy flying away from the box in the woman’s hands. There are 4 references to the fairy embedded in this puzzle. Also note that “truth” has 3 separate references in this puzzle, as I will show as we go. For that matter, Image 11 itself is chock-full of these sort of things. Boston, being one of America’s most iconic/historic cities, has an abundance of possible locations and connections to references in this puzzle. It is easy to interpret meaning and make connections to locations that are not related to finding the casque. This makes it especially important to see the layers of meaning for each step of the solution. They will help assure us that we have chosen the right path. Also each physical location that we arrive at from the verse is roughly 100-200 yards apart. They are evenly spaced and consecutive locations along a walking path.

Connection to Charlesgate and Back Bay Fens

boylston
Image 11 interpretation (left) with respect to Charlesgate and Back Bay Fens (right -Google Maps)

Assuming we have already made the connection to Boston, we have a few clues in the image that we should be in the Back Bay Fens/Charlesgate area. The most prominent is the map and note, seemingly emanating from a crack in the stone to the right of the woman. The pathways of the map bear resemblance to the Massachusetts Turnpike, Boylston St, and the Berkelee College of Music. There is also a more subtle reference to John Boyle O’Reilly in the image. While many people see a ‘112¬į’ written in the flower petals to the bottom left of said map. I believe that this actually reads ‘212¬į’, as 212¬į is the boiling point for water. This is a reference to John Boyle O’Reilly, and the many locations named after him in the area. The position of the ‘212¬į’ imagery with respect to the ‘map’ is geographically consistent with the John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial, Boylston St, and the Boylston Section of the Victory Gardens, i.e. it is southwest of the other items on the map. Looking more at the image for confirmation, the base of the first ‘2’ in ‘212¬į’ is visible but the hook of the ‘2’ is not so easily seen. I enhanced the colors of the image and do see a faint but distinct color difference where the hook of the ‘2’ should be, indicating that JJP did intend to paint this part of the image as a number ‘2’. The enhanced color, position of the imagery, and geographical correlation combined make sense as a reference to John Boyle O’Reilly. There is a ‘3’ written into the negative of the woman’s hair just left of the ‘212¬į’. I think this ‘3’ actually relates to the shape of the docks in Boston Harbor (this can be seen on the pbworks wiki) and is unrelated to the Boyle reference.

212
212 degrees in Image 11 (boiling point of water)

Starting Point

The Red-headed Female Columbus

columbuswoman
Resemblance to Christopher Columbus statue in Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

We know the area, now where do we start? To begin to understand this puzzle we must first look at, and correctly interpret, four aspects of the image before we can fully understand the first two lines of the verse. I know, this sounds like a lot, please bear with me. The foremost aspect of the image, the woman, was modeled after the Christopher Columbus statue in the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Another strong reference to Christopher Columbus is in the lower right quadrant of the image. The sphere (or globe) is held by a stand that forms the shape of his initials: “CC”. The image of the globe itself, is also a reference to Columbus, in that it is/was the popular belief that Columbus proved the Earth was round.

cc2
“CC” initials and globe (left). “CC” initials in main circle (right)

checkmark
“Check or Credit Card”

There is a third, more subtle reference to Columbus in the form of his initials “CC” drawn in the lower half of the main circle (shown above), and there is a very small checkmark inside the initials at about 3 o’clock. After weeks of pondering its meaning, I believe it is to be interpreted as “Check or CC” i.e. “Check or Credit Card” – the common question at a point of sale. In other words, it is there to reinforce the interpretation of the initials as “CC”. This is rather cryptic and I am not positive of its interpretation. However, I think this scenario is plausible, and it does make sense toward the puzzle, even if it is a bit tongue-in-cheek.

While there are many historic places in Boston that commemorate Columbus, it is important for this puzzle to understand who we are looking at. The fact that we are looking at a red-headed female version of Columbus is significant.

The Sons of Ireland

sons
The Sons of Ireland (Wikipedia – right)

Next, we take a look at the heart and feather in the circle directly above the woman. The heart and feather (quill pen) represent the Sons of Ireland, “Courage” and “Poetry” respectively, from the John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial, located on the northeast corner of Mother’s Rest at the intersection of Boylston and Fenway. Note that the statues are not visible from Google street view, as they face west-southwest looking into Mother’s Rest. If we were to overlay the face of a clock onto the large circle in the image, then the “Sons of Ireland” would be located at twelve o’clock.

sonsattwelveoclock
Sons at twelve o’clock

Furthermore, using the homophone of “son” as “sun”, we might think of this as an allusion to solar noon (i.e. when the sun is at twelve o’clock). However, we see a moon and star in the image which implies nighttime (and would make the interpretation of noon a paradox). But if we continue along this same train of thought – twelve o’clock at night is midnight – we get “midnight sun”. Midnight sun (when the sun is visible 24 hours a day) can only be seen from locations within 1 degree of latitude of the Arctic Circle, which defines a very narrow and specific geographical range. The author gives us a hint that this is the correct interpretation by the addition of the image of – 1¬į – immediately to the left of the Sons of Ireland. The “midnight sun” and 1¬į imagery also fall within the main circle of the image, which is consistent with a reference to the Arctic Circle. In short, the top of the circle can be read: “One degree, midnight sun, in the Arctic Circle”. For the purposes of this puzzle, the nordic countries of Iceland and Norway are included in this range. Think “Land of the midnight sun”.

1degreesonscircle
One degree (left), midnight sun (center), in the Arctic Circle (right)

A Drag Queen

dragqueen
classic drag queen makeup

Taking a closer look at the woman’s face, we can see that she is wearing the makeup of a drag queen. The classic drag queen look involves sculpted eyebrows, flared eyelashes and a distinct dark stroke of blush to promote the look of high cheekbones.

Getting back to the verse, the first two phrases of Verse 3 read:

If Thucydides is
North of Xenophon
Take five steps
In the area of his direction

This text alludes to Horace Walpole, and specifically a letter he wrote to Horace Mann in 1774: “The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York.” While the text itself is significant in helping associate verse 3 to Boston, it is the author, Horace Walpole, that is the key to this piece of the puzzle. Horace Walpole is famous for coining the term “serendipity” for which he used to describe a fairy tale: “Three Princes of Serendip”. Note the “fairy tale” aspect (fairy reference #1).

Reviewing our hints thus far:

  1. We have a red-headed Christopher Columbus, along with the 2 other pieces of Columbus-related imagery.
  2. There is a strong reference to a location where there is a midnight sun.
  3. We have drag queen makeup, so we know this is actually a man.
  4. And we have the concept of serendipity.

Leif Erikson

Who is this person? Leif Erikson. Leif Erikson is the red-headed “Christopher Columbus” from the land of the midnight sun. He was the son of Erik the Red (he had red or reddish hair), sailed from Iceland (land of the midnight sun), and his voyage to, and subsequent discovery of, North America (Vinland as he referred to it) was one of the most serendipitous events in the recorded history of exploration. He was so serendipitous (for this, and other additional reasons) that he acquired the nickname “Leif the Lucky”. The kicker is that our search for Christopher Columbus was, in and of itself, serendipitous, as instead of finding Columbus we found Erikson. We should also note that the storyline behind these puzzles is about the journey of the “Fair” people from the Old World to the New World. It is no coincidence that this fair-skinned explorer, having discovered the New World himself, appears on the cover of the book.

statue
Leif Erikson statue in Charlesgate (OC)

But why is Leif Erikson portrayed as a drag queen? That is where we make the connection to a real place: The Leif Erikson statue in Charlesgate. Here is another link: publicartboston.com The statue is very effeminate with two large circular breastplates and chainmail that ends just above a mini-skirt. His right wrist wrests on his hip. It is certainly in stark contrast to how we normally think of norse explorers of the time.

This statue in Charlesgate is just yards away from the Massachusetts Turnpike. Below is the Leif Erikson statue with respect to our other landmarks. It can be seen as a small dark dimple in the image.

.

EriksonMap
Leif Erikson statue in Image 11 (left) and Charlesgate (right)

Finally, after all of that we can begin! Once we make the connection to the Leif Erikson statue, the second phrase of the verse becomes clear:

Take five steps
In the area of his direction

The Leif Erikson statue is purposely positioned facing west to represent his voyage westward. Five steps west from the Leif Erikson statue puts us on the curb of Charlesgate East.

five steps
5 steps west of the Leif Erikson statue (Google maps)

Intermediate Steps

From here we can see the path to our next location. The verse says:

A green tower of lights
In the middle section

Unlike the metaphorical and hidden nature of our starting location, this phrase is to be interpreted literally. As we walk up the on-ramp to the Bowker Overpass we can see the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park in the distance.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 11.00.43 PM
The Green Monster at Fenway (Google maps)

first two steps
The path up the Bowker Overpass to see the “Green Monster” (Google maps)

We are given a visual hint that this is part of our intended path by the image of the “CC” globe stand (again). Right around the time that we can see Fenway Park in the distance, if we look down over the side of the on-ramp we see Charlesgate Park below. The stone and concrete benches in Charlesgate Park match the “CC” shape in Columbus’ initials. This view and positioning of the “CC” globe/stand in the image is important with respect to our cardinal direction. We are currently walking south across the Bowker Overpass and this feature in Charlesgate Park matches the alignment in image 11 only if we are facing south and looking down. As a side note, I think the actual shape of these benches forms the initials “CG” for Charlesgate, but were tailored in the image to show “CC”. This is the northerly aligned google maps view for comparison.

CCbenches
Charlesgate Park benches as seen from above with the top of the image as south (right – Google maps)

The next phrase of the verse reads:

Near those
Who pass the coliseum
With metal walls

This phrase tells us to use the Bowker Overpass to cross over the Massachusetts Turnpike. The coliseum refers to Fenway Park, and ‘those with metal walls’ are the people (on the Turnpike) behind the metal walls of their cars. It could also mean that the coliseum itself has metal walls, and that we are walking near cars that have passed, or will pass Fenway Park on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

passthecoliseum
We are to take the sidewalk on the Bowker Overpass (Google maps)

Face the water
Your back to the stairs
Feel at home

The word “turnpike” is another word for a winding staircase. This definition comes from Sir Walter Scott, nonetheless, and is first written in The History of Scotland. Scott is a key reference in the NYC puzzle (Image 12). Searchers have been looking for a literal staircase that matches this phrase for years. However, this is wordplay. The reference is a homonym and not a literal staircase. Since we have just passed over the Massachusetts Turnpike, Preiss is telling us to face the water (Muddy River) with our back to the Massachusetts Turnpike. “Feel at home” refers to the song “Dirty Water” by the Standells. “Dirty Water” in this case is a metaphor for the Muddy River. The current intersection of the Bowker OverPass with Boylston Street is different than it existed in 1981. In those days it appears that a pedestrian would need to walk east along the street before being able to cross over (without jaywalking) near Mother’s Rest. This lines us up nicely with the Muddy River and Turnpike and it also takes us close to the Sons of Ireland statue mentioned earlier. I used the satellite imagery at historicaerials.com from 1971 as it is the most clear. However, the 1978 imagery also shows this layout.

feelathome
Bowker Overpass and Boylston St intersection as it existed in 1971 (historicaerials.com)

All the letters
Are here to see

“All of the letters” in this case refers to the names of the footpaths through the Fenway Victory Gardens in Back Bay Fens. Each path is assigned a letter.

alltheletters
Fenway Victory Gardens (Google maps)

victory gardens
Victory Gardens (OC)

To the War Memorial

Paul Revere and the Old North Church

Eighteenth day
Twelfth hour
Lit by lamplight

I have three interpretations of this phrase, all involve Paul Revere, and are valid in my opinion. As with all things in this puzzle the correct ideas are shown in more than one way. The phrase itself refers to Paul Revere’s midnight ride, and alludes to the lamps lit in the Old North Church tower to signal the nature of the arrival of the incoming British army. “One if by land. Two if by sea.” There are four visual clues to let us know that we are to use the church tower in our solution. Let’s take a look at what the image has to offer in this regard. On the left side of the casque there is the profile of the domed tower of the First Church of Christ, Scientist as it is seen from this area of the Fens (credit – Bill Lentz). This is our first ‘church tower’ clue.

first church of christ scientist
profile of the domed tower of the First Church of Christ, Scientist (left – Bill Lentz), full view (right – Wikipedia)

bell tower
“bell tower”

Second, there appears to be a bell hidden behind the main tower on the casque. This further reinforces the interpretation of a church tower, or in this case a ‘bell tower’. A third hint comes in the form of a shadow drawn on the woman’s right hand. This shadow resembles the shape of the brickwork on the front of the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum just southwest of the park. Isabella went by the nickname “Bell”, and we can see what appears to be the shape of a bell in the shadow (credit – Sarah Shalek).

Isabella
right hand bell shadow (left) Isabella Gardener Museum (center – Wikipedia) bell outline (right)

In our fourth clue, I believe we are to use the name “Isabella” to mean ‘is a bell’, as the fairy herself resembles the shape of a swinging tower bell.

fairy isabell
the fairy is a bell (right – Wikipedia) 1. yoke, or headstock 2. canons, 3. crown, 4. shoulder, 5. waist, 6. sound bow, 7. lip, 8. mouth, 9. clapper, 10. bead line

These four clues come together to be interpreted to mean ‘the hand that rings the bell in the church tower‘.

hand that rings the bells
The hand that rings the bells in the church tower

The lamps in the Old North Church were lit by the sexton of the church, Robert Newman. By definition a sexton is a member of the clergy whose duties include ringing the church tower bell. This is wordplay. Preiss is hoping we will connect “sexton” to “sextant” – as the overhead view of the George Robert White Fund Memorial – Veterans Memorial Park resembles the shape of a sextant. I will discuss this in the next section.

Paul Revere the Bellfounder and the Life Magazine D-Day Issue

The giant clue about bells is not just about the sexton and the tower of the Old North Church. Paul Revere himself (being a jack of many trades) was also a preeminent metallurgist and bellfounder. He built an iron and brass foundry in the North End in 1787. He went on to produce hundreds of high quality bronze bells (“Revere bells“) that were used around the country. It is no coincidence that our fairy resembles a bell, as this is an allusion to Paul Revere the bellfounder. However, there is another large but subtle clue in the image with regard to Paul Revere and his metalworks.

lips
off-center pursed lips

See the woman’s lips? They have always bothered me. They are off-center to her right. JJP was very precise, so if something is misaligned, it is a clue rather than a mistake. Her head is tilted slightly, but you can really see the offset of her lips when you look at her chin. Her lips are also slightly pursed. Why would her lips be to the right and slightly pursed? Well, lets take a look at her right hand. Her hand is in what appears to be a common shape for playing the trumpet (shown below). Notice the distinct spacing between the ring and pinky fingers. This concept is reinforced with the appearance of the note on the right side of the image. Knowing this, we can now say that her lips are an offset embouchure for a right handed trumpet player.

brass
offset embouchure (left) brass playing fingers (center – Wikimedia Commons) note (right)

lifedday
Life D-Day Issue (Google Books)

The major clue here is “brass”. Remember that Revere had a brass foundry from which he constructed bells? The fairy is a bell, and the woman is playing a brass instrument. Putting these two together we get Paul Revere again. But let’s take this a little further. Paul Revere was able to make quality brass and bronze because he discovered “the secret” of rolling copper. He used his foundry to aid in the war effort, casting metal for cannons and the navy. This particular quote about “the secret” of rolling copper is used in many publications (e.g. here, here, and here), and comes from Revere himself. But perhaps its most apropos usage is from the iconic Life Magazine 1945 June 12th issue that covers D-Day. The entire issue is about World War II. On page 7 of this issue there is an article called “In the Spirit of Paul Revere“, that describes his contributions to the American war effort. There is another on page 24 title “Why America is still the land of the plenty“. And an advertisement on page 26 titled “America’s Farmers are Fighting the Good Fight“. In our quest to find the casque we have just passed the Victory Garden’s, which were originally constructed to feed Americans during World War II. Our current hint is about Paul Revere (eighteenth day, twelfth hour) and our destination is… the World War II Memorial at the Veterans Memorial Park in Back Bay Fens.

Paul Revere’s Obelisk

obelisk
Obelisk at the War Memorial (OC)

The third interpretation regarding Paul Revere and lamplight may not refer to the midnight ride, but to an obelisk that Paul Revere built on Boston Common in 1766 to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. The obelisk was illuminated from within by 280 oil lamps. The obelisk burned down when it caught fire from said lamps. This is a more obscure reference, but it could be that it is an allusion to the obelisk at the war memorial. In our next step we will be standing in front of the obelisk.

litbylamplightxcf
Google Maps

Navigation

The Sextant

Now that we are at the war memorial, we must tie together several aspects of the puzzle to find our dig site. First, lets take a look at the imagery for the war memorial itself. The overhead view of the war memorial resembles that of a sextant, an instrument used for celestial navigation (sun, moon, stars) – credit Edmund Tannini. While there is no evidence that the sextant existed in the time of Columbus or Erikson, we do have a running theme of sea fairing explorers.

sextantcompare
Sextant (left – U.S. mil) War Memorial (right – Google Maps)

Furthermore, we see the moon, and either a star or a planet behind the woman. This suggests celestial navigation, and reinforces the interpretation of the use of the war memorial as a sextant. The profile of the woman’s head and hair against the blue (nighttime) background also match the overhead layout of the inner circle of the war memorial. We are supposed to gather that we are looking at the moon and star through the telescope lens of a sextant. And the center of the war memorial is our scope. That is, we are to use the inner circle of the war memorial as a line-of-sight guide to our dig site.

lineofsight
The woman’s head and hair flare out in the similar shape to the overhead layout of the inner circle of the war memorial (Google Maps)

If we use the markers of the outer circle of Image 11 to align the celestial objects, and apply this to the layout of the war memorial, a path is revealed (shown below). It shows us that we are to use the path on the left, a westerly path, as a line-of-sight to our final location. I overalyed a 360 degree protractor on the image as there was some debate as to whether we were to use actual measurements in degrees. However, it is highly unlikely that Preiss used such exact measurements from an overhead perspective. I believe the intent was to simply draw lines through the celestial objects.

angles1
Lines through the moon and star reveal a westerly path

Note: I believe the celestial object next to the moon is the planet Venus. Venus (goddess of love) was portrayed with red hair in the iconic painting “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, which is consistent with the hair color of the woman shown. We also see the moon next to this object. This limits our candidates to stars and planets that generally intersect the earth’s plane of orbit. It also exlcudes other well-known celestial objects like Polaris, “The North Star”, as the moon and Polaris are never in the same field of view.

The Rose Garden

Before I reveal our final location, we have a lot more information we can gather from the puzzle to assure us that our path is correct. We know we are to go west from the war memorial, which is in the general direction of the Kelleher Rose Garden. The keyhole shape of the garden itself is the largest piece of matching imagery in Image 11 comprising the overall shape of the painting.

rose garden
Kelleher Rose Garden (Google Maps – left)

14870894795_f5a3ffc3b0_n
Pattern on stone planter in Kelleher Rose Garden

Her skirt has another match to the rose garden – an ornate pattern of sections and squiggly lines which has previously been identified as being visually similar to stonework in the Kelleher Rose Garden (right). Looking closer at the design on her skirt (below), we see a distinct pattern used in tying a clove hitch – a type of knot (shown below). Taking this reference together with the uses of the Kelleher Rose Garden and all of the rest of the interwoven lines, we can interpret this to mean ‘tying the knot’ or ‘getting hitched’, as the Rose Garden, with its scenic setting, is a common place for weddings.

theknot
The pattern on her skirt has a clove hitch and knot(s) representing ‘tying the knot’ or ‘getting hitched’ i.e. marriage

The Map

Further analysis of the pattern on the woman’s skirt reveals similarities with the overhead-views of the war memorial in the 70’s and 80’s. Note the clove-hitch pattern has a second use as it represents the shape of the hedgerows at the war memorial during this time period.

Please keep in mind that this is a photo from 1971, a full decade before the casque was buried. The 1978 photos of this location show the same features, but the resolution is very poor.

knot hedgerow
Clove hitch pattern used to match the shape of the hedgerows around the war memorial (historicaerials.com right)

Continuing the analysis on the pattern on her dress against the 1971 satellite imagery, a map of the location at that time is revealed (shown below). Note that the mapping of these objects on the woman’s dress is not to scale or proportionately accurate. The objects’ placement is mostly accurate with respect to their relative position to each other. If JJP had painted an accurate-to-scale map of Image 11, this puzzle would have been solved long ago. However, the image obscures the map enough that it is really only visible to those that study the location. It is important to see that the location of the trees with respect to the walkway is consistent, as is the position of the mini-garden above the rose garden. The clove-hitch-styled hedgerow is not between any of the trees, but it does sit at the southeast corner.

skirtmap
Click to see full image

  • Rose-red: The large sphere in front of her right leg (to our left) represents the circular shape of the north end of the Kelleher Rose Garden.
  • Blue: The right and upper borders of the pattern represent the concrete walkways/sidewalks.
  • Green: We see several small leaf-like nodes hanging off of the lines/vines. These are elm leaves. Elm leaves are asymmetrical, obovate to ovate, abruptly pointed, and toothed. There are other trees in the area but Preiss has labeled the elm trees for us in the map.

    elmleaf
    Elm leaf – note the asymmetry and tip (Wikipedia)

    3 elms
    3 American elms in the form of a triangle, a forth of another variety in the distance (OC)
  • Darker Green: The top-most leaf/node on the map is outside of the border. It represents an elm tree that stood on the north-side of the sidewalk, near the street. It has since been cut down.
  • Orange: In the top left corner of the pattern on her dress there is a small circle with a line going through it. This represents a small garden patch just north of the Kelleher Rose Garden.

Many of these features still exist today.

The symbols running downward along the sides of her skirt are also part of a map of the surrounding area. The most ostensible are the double ‘A’ shape, which represents the shape of the walkways west of the Kelleher Rose Garden. Along with the two checkerboard patterns representing the bridges across the Muddy River to the southeast and southwest of the KRG. Below is a complete interpretation of these symbols with an associated legend.

surrounding area
Color coded map of the surrounding area

legend
Legend for color coded symbols

Two other elements of the image are part of the map. The semi-transparent rectangular sheet at the bottom of the image is a sheet of glass. This represents the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston after the Glassell School of Art in Houston (glass for Glassell). The Glassell is the solution to the first phrase of the verse in the Houston puzzle. The globe resting on a bridge in the bottom right corner represents the Agassiz Road Bridge named after Louis Agassiz, geologist and Earth natural scientist.

glass and globe
sheet of glass “Glassell” for the Museum of Fine Art Boston, globe for Earth scientist Louis Agassiz (Google Maps)

Metaphors and Symbolism

In Truth Be Free

the-red-cross-knight-1793large
The Red Cross Knight (wikiart.com)

The last phrase of Verse 3 “In Truth Be Free” identifies the dig site. This too has layered meaning. First, lets look at the fairy flying away from the box. She has been identified as representing “Faith” In the painting The Red Cross Knight by John Singleton Copley (fairy reference #2). This is a depiction of a scene from the epic poem The Faerie Queene by Sir Edmund Spenser. The Red Cross Knight himself represents “Truth” (truth reference #1), while the other woman, in blue, represents “Hope”. With respect to Image 11, Faith (the fairy) is flying away from the box as if she is being freed. The overall keyhole shape of Image 11 reinforces the verse, in that the keyhole shape represents a lock. In essence, Truth (the knight) unlocks the box that sets Faith (the fairy) free.

pandorasbox
Faith, the fairy, flying away from the box.

There is an allusion to a second story embedded here. In the story of Pandora’s Box all of the evil flies out of the box leaving only Hope inside (fairy, albeit indirect, reference #3). If we have already made the connection to Faith through The Red Cross Knight, then it is noteworthy that the character Hope is not seen in the image. We might think of Hope as still inside the box. As such, the image of the casque itself is a reference to Pandora’s Box. I think the illustration of the woman opening the box, and the light emanating from within, illustrate this conclusion.

The Box

plainbox

The box itself has the same squiggly/knot pattern as the one that appears on her skirt. We can assume that this pattern represents marriage (or a place where people get married). To the right of the knot we see a castle with the sun peaking out over the top right (north northeast). The castle itself has been identified as a reference to The Castle at Park Plaza, while the sun has been identified as the circular pattern in the walkways of Statler Park – across the street to the northeast. If we look at a map of the area and attempt to line up The Castle and Statler Park where Statler Park appears just over the Castle to the north northeast, we see that these locations align on Columbus Ave. From this vantage point, the knot pattern aligns with the Boston Public Gardens. This makes sense, as it, along with the Kelleher Rose Garden, are two of the top public wedding venues in Boston. In the image below the left section marked ‘A’ is a color coded image of the box. The middle section ‘B’ is the colored box being held by the woman. And ‘C’ is a color coded map of the area. The colors represent the matching elements between each section. See the legend below.

box
Click to see full image

  • Bright green: The squiggly lines, representing Boston Public Gardens (where people get married).
  • Blue: The castle, representing the Castle at Park Plaza.
  • Yellow: The sun, representing Statler Park.
  • Red: The woman, representing Columbus Ave, our vantage point to align these locations.

The woman herself (our red-headed Columbus) represents the Columbus Ave vantage point which we are to use as our “north”.

What is she pointing at?

If we look closely, the woman’s left index finger is pointing at part of the knot on the box. It appears to be at the lower region of the box, which would represent the lower region of the Boston Public Gardens from our vantage point. The most prominent feature in this area of the gardens is the George Washington monument.

gwmap
George Washington Monument (Google Maps)

Taking this into consideration we look for clues that this in indeed a reference to George Washington. A closer inspection of the squiggly knot shows a distinct pretzel shape just above the woman’s fingertip. This shape is a representation of George Washington’s signature. The image below shows the highlighted area of the knot that doubles as the ‘G’ in Washington’s signature. Note the distinct and recognizable pretzel shape at the base of the G. Keep in mind that this was a very small portion of Image 11, and I have increased the size 500% to highlight this feature.

signature
The ‘G’ in George Washington’s signature (Wikipedia)

washington boston public garden
George Washington in the Boston Public Gardens (OC)

The Washington Elm

There is a second visual indication of George Washington in the image. If we examine the perched falcon, we find the bird’s shape matches the the roads and sidewalks around Flagstaff Park, Cambridge Common, and Massachusetts Ave. The pig outline is to identify Harvard’s Pig Club which is right at the base of the bird in the profile of its claw. The Pig Club (Porcelain Club) is located at 1324 Massachusetts Ave. The ‘T’ is the Red Line Terminal nearby. The square table top is Harvard Square. The bubble is the circular Revolutionary War memorial next to the Washington Elm. The bird’s tail splits at the end just like Mass. Ave splits in two. There is also a tunnel that goes down underground in Flagstaff Park. The long straight feather in the birds tail is similar to the shape of the road as it goes into the tunnel.

falcon
Click to see full image (Google Maps)

Washington_Elm,_Cambridge
Washington Elm (Wikipedia)

The Washington Elm in and of itself does not really stand as a hint for this puzzle. But! The Washington Elm was first popularized by the American writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow wrote Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, The Masque of Pandora, and The Evening Star. These three stories are all major pieces of this puzzle. So by placing a bubble in the image that represents the area adjacent to the Washington Elm, Preiss is hoping we will make the connection between Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Washington Elm, and the themes of this puzzle. That is how we know this is a critical hint. This hint also ties George Washington to a tree, which will come into play later. There are elm leaves in the map on her skirt as well.

The Sheraton Commander

Just north of the Washington Elm is the Sheraton Commander. Its large sign can be seen from all around Cambridge Common, and is very visible from the Washington Elm.

washelm and sheraton
the Sheraton Commander (center) as seen from the Washington Elm (right) (OC)

The Sheraton Commander was named after the event in which George Washington took command of the American army under the elm tree. So George Washington is the “commander” that it is referring to. Knowing this we look to the image to see if we can find something referencing this iconic location. In image 11 at about 7 o’clock in the main circle there is some hidden writing. We can make out “SHE” and “CAMBR” for “Sheraton Cambridge”

sheraton
SHE CAMBR for Sheraton Cambridge

I realize that this is very hard to read, and for about 3 years I thought it was gibberish. However, as the pieces started to fall into place with George Washington and the Washington Elm I have recently realized this was also part of the map around Cambridge Common.

sheraton map
Sheraton Cambridge Map (Google Maps)

Digging Location

The Reveal

Taking everything into account:

  • The sextant at the war memorial, and the line-of-sight perspective from the war memorial itself
  • The map of the area west of the war memorial on her skirt
  • The contextual map of the elements around the Kelleher Rose Garden
  • Pandora’s Box
  • George Washington’s pretzel shaped ‘G’ signature used in Boston Public Gardens
  • The Washington Elm in Cambridge Common
  • The Sheraton Commander (named after Washington) in Cambridge Common
  • “In Truth be Free” Truth is needed to solve the puzzle

We find that our dig site is a cherry tree of the species Prunus ‘Pandora’*, which is visible directly after the westerly concrete walkway from the war memorial. Why a cherry? There is the old myth about Washington and the cherry tree. The story goes that Washington, as a boy, chopped down a cherry tree. When confronted by his father Washington said: “I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet” (truth reference #2). Instead of punishing Washington, his father praised him for telling the truth. The phrase “in truth be free.” is also a line in the song Ode on Washington’s Birthday “Let our land in truth be free.” (truth reference #3). Furthermore, Washington D.C. is well known for its cherry blossoms in the Spring.

Both George Washington and the story of his cherry tree are in the book. They are in the chapter about “Devil Dogs”. The relevant text is below (credit: Bill Lentz)

When George Washington was inaugurated, all the nearby fairies invited each other to attend‚ÄĒexcept the Sugar Plum Fairy. The attendant good spirits wished George luck and courage and truthfulness‚ÄĒbut then the enraged and unwanted Sugar Plum Fairy appeared, cursed President George and all Americans with a sweet tooth, and set a pack of Devil Dogs upon them, to hound them forever. (As a boy, Washington, overcome with sugar-lust, ate all the cherries from a tree in his backyard. This, naturally, rotted the teeth out of his noble head, but the resourceful lad then chopped down the tree, to fashion from it the wooden false teeth for which he is famous. The rest is history.)

Looking to reinforce this idea. There appears to be a cursive ‘C’ ( for “Cherry”) written in the knots. The outline of an axe (or hatchet) can be seen underneath the globe and stand. And the fairy’s dress might also be symbolic of a cherry blossom, as cherry blossoms themselves are bell-shaped.

axe
‘C’ for cherry (left), axe outline (left center – Bill Lentz), fairy / cherry blossoms (right- OC)

*Note I am still waiting on confirmation that the cherry tree is of this species. Prunus Pandora were widely planted as ornamental cherry trees on streets and in parks in the past. Nowadays, they have been replaced by other cultivars, but the age of this tree is at least 47 years old, and lends it to being within the time period that they were popular. I will update this post when I get confirmation.

sextant to tree
The cherry tree is line-of-sight from the war memorial (Google Maps)

The tree can bee seen below in the 1971 view from historicaerials.com

1971 tree circled

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The cherry tree’s position (red star) with respect to the map on her skirt and 1971 view (historicaerials.com)

John Simmons and The Simmons College

We have made it this far, found Leif Erikson, crossed the Turnpike, passed the Victory Gardens, decoded the use of the war memorial, and found the tree. But there is so much more. The box/casque the women is holding has two more meanings embedded in it. If we look at the tower and castle, they are strikingly similar to the Emmanuel College field house and the tower of Simmons College when one is standing in front of the field house and looking west – credit Bill Lentz. Notice how the tower is just offset to the left.

field house tower
Emmanuel College Field House and Simmons College Tower (Bill Lentz)

The tower at Simmons College on its own is not significant. It is the founder of the college, John Simmons that is the hint. He made his fortune in the 1800s manufacturing ready-to-wear clothing. Making clothing of standard sizes was a new concept at the time, and while he originally manufactured suits for men he realized he could make ready-to-wear clothing for women. Upon his death he willed his wealth to found Simmons College – a university for women. He believe in empowering women through education so that they could live an “independent livelihood”. So when we think about John Simmons with regard to this puzzle we might think of practical women’s clothing. I will tie this back in in just a moment.

John Simmons (the founder 1796-1870) had a contemporary namesake (John Simmons 1823-1876) a British man famous for painting “ethereal fairyland scenes, often illustrating Shakespearian or other literary works” (fairy reference #4). His work was influenced by Edmund Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene” – already a critical piece of this puzzle. This brings us full circle back to the fairy. We have just made the connection between the Simmons College tower on the casque, John Simmons (the founder) and John Simmons the fairy painter. To validate this connection we take a closer look at what the fairy is wearing. Remember that John Simmons (the founder) made ready-to-wear women’s clothing. The fairy’s dress is a single piece, plain white summer dress. It is not ornate or flashy.

women's wear
Women in front of Simmons College circa early 1900s

I do not know if the women in this photograph are wearing clothes designed by John Simmons. It is unlikely since the college was constructed some 30 years after his death due to a fire that destroyed much of the properties that he willed for the college’s payment. However, I think this photo serves well to illustrate the simplicity of the fairy’s garb, and to prove that Preiss intended for us to make this connection.

Four in the leaves

250px-Simmons_College_Seal.svg
Simmons College Seal (Wikipedia)

So why are John Simmons and the fairy so important? Because the seal of Simmons College is to be used to find the correct vantage point on our cherry tree. The seal features a tree (representing the tree of life) with several distinct branches in it. Our cherry tree has the same structure if we look at it facing west (shown below). Note the distinct fork in the trunk, and a second fork in the main branch on the left. There is also an arched branch that matches a branch in the cherry tree (yellow). Whats more is that this main branch and arch are represented in image 11 in the top right corner. There is also a “four” shape just below this arch in image 11. This “four” shape can only be seen when we are on the correct line-of-sight to recover the casque. Looking for reinforcement of this concept, we look to the puzzle. We know that the fairy represents John Simmons, and John Simmons represents Simmons College, and the Simmons College seal represents our tree. So transitively speaking, our fairy represents our tree. Notice the four-leaf clover in her wing? The “four leaf” clover can be interpreted to mean “four in the leaves.”

tree seal four
Four in the leaves and the Simmons College seal

In the photo above multiple different concepts come together to show us a single view of our tree. The tree in the background is a specific tree that creates this alignment as the base of the “four”. The image gives us a hint as to which tree we are to us by identifying the 4 trees at the top of the rose garden as lines. The arched line on the top right of the image is bolded. This lets us know to use the second tree on the right from the top of the KRG. The tree in the background is also a cherry tree. There is a second tree that can form the stem of the “four”. It is the third tree counting clockwise from the top of the KRG. However, Preiss shows us a logical not symbol next to the line that would represent that tree, which tells us “not” to use it.

align
tree alignment for the base of the “four” (left – Google Earth)

tree angle
Wrong tree used at the base of the “four” (left) Right tree used (right – OC)

Another hint to use visual alignment is hidden in the loops on her skirt. If we “thread the needle” through the loops around the cursive ‘C’ for cherry we can interpret our visual alignment from the cherry tree to the other tree on the perimeter of the rose garden. In this particular example the moon can represent either the cherry tree itself or the top circle of the rose garden. The star (or planet) is the casque. In the New Orleans puzzle the tree near the casque is represented as the moon.

thread the needle
“thread the needle”

Measurements

Feel at Home

gw field houseWe have a line-of-sight but what are we missing? A distance measurement. For us to gather this information we have to look (yet again) at the box/casque she is holding. Check out her fingers. They are positioned as if she is measuring something. If we take the GW pretzel to represent George Washington and the Emmanuel College field house to simply represent a “field house” we can determine the distance on this line-of-sight with the following logic:

  1. George Washington was a “field” marshal. This, by definition, is the highest ranking officer of an army, even above other generals. He was posthumously promoted to a rank of 6 star general so no other person will ever outrank him.
  2. Field is a synonym for combat. For example: “field artillery” and “field marshal”. We also have terms like “field of battle”. All of these relate to war.
  3. Essentially, by using the position of her index finger and thumb we are to place George Washington in the ‘war house’.
  4. George Washington lived in, and planned his field operations from his headquarters in Cambridge during the Revolutionary War.
  5. Today we know this location as the Washington Headquarters, or the Longfellow House. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived in this house several decades after the revolution. Here is where Longfellow finally makes his debut, not just as a theme, but a linchpin piece of the puzzle.
  6. Washington lived in, and operated from this house for 9 months.

The “four” in the image also doubles as a “nine”

nine
9

longfellow house
Washington Headquarters / Longfellow House (OC)

9 Feet

Ok, 9 what? feet or yards? I see a foot in the image just above and to the right of the 9. This is extremely faint. I inverted the color scheme and tried to enhance the image here. If you really zoom in on the shape, you can see that JJP traced a line around it. Don’t look so much at the dark areas at the top but the distinct pencil-thin line that forms the shape of the foot. I can see this without enhancement, but I am colorblind, and in some cases I can see things that color normal people cannot. This might be one of those things like the photo of the blue and brown dress that circulated the internet ūüėČ

9 feet
9 feet

9 feet from the tree, while we see the “four in the leaves”.

As with everything in this puzzle, the correct interpretation is reinforced. The 9 feet can also be seen in the puzzle in her sleeves. If we look at the shadow below her left sleeve (shown below) it looks like a shadow of her left hand holding the casque, except it is reversed. This implies that we need to reverse (or flip) the image to see the actual meaning of the shadows. When flipped we can read the hidden message. There is a ‘9’ next to the fairy’s feet in her sleeve. And just above that ‘9’ are two feet that are hidden in the folds near her shoulder. Below the ‘9’ character is a sphere. Spheres are used throughout this puzzle, but in this case the sphere represents our the ‘field house’ or ‘home’ (since that is where her thumb is in the non-shadow version).

nine sleeve
the reversed image yields ‘9 feet from home’ (the tree)

Right Angle

Furthermore there are directions for us to measure the distance also hidden in the shadows on the woman’s dress. Just under her left breast is a shadow of a right triangle. The shadow arches to a point just over her left shoulder. This arch looks very familiar. Following the arch down we see that it intersects the ‘4’ in her bracelet. This line in the shadow is our arched branch above the ‘four in the leaves’. This tells us that we need to triangulate the tree and the ‘four in the leaves’ branch at a distance of 9 feet from the tree. A second clue of this nature is on the band of her right sleeve. We see what appears to be a triangle partially obscured by her forearm. I believe this is to be interpreted as ‘right arm triangle’ or simply ‘right angle’. We must make our measurements with the right angle to triangulate the ‘four in the leaves’ and our tree.

right angle
We must have the ‘right angle’ and we must triangulate the tree and line-of-sight

Bow-vine Yard as Depth

Preiss also hid information about the depth of the casque in the image. If we look closely at the map on her skirt again we see three squares and vines. We know that Preiss originally said that the casques were buried up to 3 feet underground, but later revised it to 3 and a half. If we take the 3 squares as representing feet, then we can say that the whole container is 3 feet or a yard. When we add in the fact that this yard contains vines, we get “vineyard“! Combining this with our clue about George Washington and we get the “Washington Vineyard”. The Washington Vineyard is a garden at the Washington estate in Mount Vernon. Washington setup a garden divided in to four squares. Three of the squares were dedicated to growing fruit, vegetables, and trees. But the fourth square was used to cultivate hedgerows as a natural barrier for animals. Washington wanted to create a cultivar of shrub that could be used to contain livestock. The image reinforces this idea. We see a bow in the vines. This is to be interpreted as “bow-vine” or “bovine” (as in cattle). If we use “bovine” and “yard” together we get “bovine-yard” or “stockyard“. In total, these squares are the square vineyard plots that Washington used to grow hedgerows for stockyards. We know this to be the correct interpretation because the hedgerows at the war memorial used to be shaped like bows! (bow-vine hedgerows) The pattern, and most important part here, is the word “yard” We are to use this to measure depth.

If we take the glare of the reflection on the globe to be the casque, then it is buried about 2.5 feet down. There is a small flat rock near the surface to help us with locating the final spot while digging.

vineyard depth chart (left) bow shaped hedgerows (center – historicaerials.com) Washington Vineyard square gardens (right – Google Maps)

Combining to “marry” our themes of immigration, George Washington and John Simmons together we can continue to thread the needle through the loops to get an image of a seahorse. George Washington’s great grandfather immigrated to America on a ship called the Seahorse of London. Seahorses have 36 square segments in their tales. This is to be used to identify the casque as 36 inches (one yard, 3 fee) below the surface.

Checkmate.

Meanings and Themes

Double Meaning

The verse itself has another secret – many of the lines in the poem have double meanings which can be used to both help decode the verse and to find the casque. This is Preiss’ craftsmanship at its best. The verse is deep, and it is beautiful. Here are the ones that have been identified, most by Sarah Shalek:

  • All of the letters are here to see. The letters mean written letters from one person to another. “Here” is the Boston Athenaeum. The historical letters of New England are stored there. E.g. the letter between Horace Mann and Horace Walpole. “If Thucydides is north of Xenophon …” Thucydides and Xenophon were Athenians. Preiss uses two Athenians and “All the letters are here to see” to reference the place where these can be found. The Athenaeum (after Athens, Greece).
  • Twelfth hour. Twelfth hour can be used to decipher the use of the “sons” at twelve o’clock, i.e. midnight sun.
  • Eighteenth day, twelfth hour. 18 + 12 = 30. The casque is buried 30 inches or 2.5 feet down.
  • Near those who pass the coliseum with metal walls. Here we start to use the verse to help identify where the casque is buried. The coliseum with metal walls is the concrete wall at the war memorial. It has bronze (metal) plates that list the names of those who have passed (fallen) in war. (S.Shalek)
  • A green tower of lights in the middle section. This is the Simmons College tower just over the middle section of the Emmanuel College field house. TBD if green? Green could reference emerald in the Emerald Necklace, so it may be metaphorical here. (S.Shalek)
  • Feel at home. This is to help us put George Washington “at home” in the Longfellow House (field house). The Sheraton Commander Hotel is another hint in this regard – to feel “at home” in the hotel. (S.Shalek)
  • Take five steps in the area of his direction. John Simmons is our fairy/tree. Five steps from the tree or approximately 9 feet. I measured out 5 of my own steps (casual walking paces not full strides) on the floor with a tape measurer, it was extremely close to 9 feet, just 3 or 4 inches short. Mileage may vary with people of different heights.
  • Lit by lamplight. The casque location is literally lit by lamplight (there is a street light right there). (S.Shalek)

Anti-Slavery and Human Rights Theme

The Secret has a heavy human rights and anti-slavery theme. The Boston puzzle is no different. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an outspoken abolitionist. George Washington himself shared anti-slavery sentiments, and while he owned slaves, he asked that his slaves be freed upon his death. Furthermore, if we mean to talk about truth and slavery, as this puzzle suggests, then it should be noted that the truth about Christopher Columbus was that he was not the first to discover America, but he was, in fact, a slave trader. He introduced the slave trade to these continents. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the puzzle’s solution involves Leif Erikson, as it is almost a snub against Columbus.

There is another obscure story in this puzzle – the story of Scanderbeg/Iskander. It too is in Longfellow’s Tales From a Wayside Inn from which 4 of the other stories are featured. It is about an Albanian boy named Scanderbeg who was captured by the Turks, forced to convert to Islam, and enslaved as a child soldier to the sultan and Ottoman Empire. Later, Scanderbeg having been trained in military tactics, betrays the Turks, switches sides back to his native land, and drives the Turks from his country. There is a faint image of what appears to be a man in a turban with a mustache in the bottom left corner of the image. I think this is the Turkish sultan and a clue for the story of Scanderbeg.

sultan
Turkish sultan from Scanderbeg

sultan and viking
sultan and viking?

If this is indeed the Turkish sultan, then the story of Scanderbeg does two things for the puzzle. First, it fits the theme of people that triumphed over oppression and slavery. Second, Scanderbeg could be a hint for our Scandinavian – Leif Erikson. The story of Scanderbeg is being told to a group of men, one of whom is called “The Musician” whose tale involves Norse mythology and vikings. In the image, the sultan’s face is positioned over another man’s face that has a beard and long hair. This might be a viking.

Finally, we come to John Simmons who was a women’s champion. Not only were his ideas progressive for the time, but he aimed to truly make women’s lives better. Be it through practical clothing or college level education. Preiss is making a very specific point in his puzzles, all of which have an underlying theme of slavery, oppression, human rights, and the men and women who triumphed over them.

Special Thanks

To Edmund Tannini for help with the sextant and Paul Revere in the early days. Michael Montilla for early discoveries of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and anti-slavery connection. Bill Lentz for boots on the ground, exhaustive photo shoot, new evidence of the field house and Simmons tower, the domed church, and open collaboration. And Sarah Shalek, for the Isabella Gardiner connection, alternate/reinforcing interpretations of the poem, and gentle push to get me to Boston.

Image 11/Verse 3 Solution

Attention!

Before you go digging please contact me. This is a very public place in a historic location. Also know that when the Chicago casque was found the searchers had already dug 6 holes to find it. They wrote a letter to Preiss who replied with a photo of the patted down earth of where the casque was buried. Even then they almost missed it and were about to give up. It was buried 18 inches down – which is fairly deep. I don’t want to see this place or the hunt ruined by being reckless. Just being off by an inch can mean making a big hole and coming up empty. If you have experience with ground penetrating radar, that would be a huge help. Thanks for understanding.

The following is my interpretation of the solution to image 11 / Verse 3. A great deal of ground work toward the solution has already been done, and can be found here: pbworks the secret image 11 Since this information is already widely known, and publicly available, I have filtered the information down a bit and added a large amount of my own interpretation to make a coherent case. Some nonessential aspects of the image are not explained here. Also note that this is my interpretation, and as with any interpretation, it can only be validated with the actual casque Рwhich has not been unearthed.

Image11
Image 11

General Observations and Thoughts

At first glance, Image 11 raises many questions:

  • Who is this red-headed woman?
  • Why is there a globe and stand in the image?
  • What are the lines in the main circle? Numbers?¬†
  • What do the moon and celestial object (star or planet) represent?
  • What do the squiggly lines on her dress and the box represent?
  • What is her index finger pointing to?
  • Why is there a fairy flying away from the box that she is opening?

The answers to these questions are all significant to solving the puzzle. Solutions that do not answer these questions, or recognize their importance, miss out on the author’s clues. While they are not all critical to solving the puzzle, they do add depth and reinforce the correct interpretations.¬†

Before I get started, I would like to point out two general themes in the image. It is important to note the fairy flying away from the box in the woman’s hands. There are 4 references to the fairy embedded in this puzzle. Also note that “truth” has 3 separate references in this puzzle, as I will show as we go. For that matter, Image 11 itself is chock-full of these sort of things. Boston, being one of America’s most iconic/historic cities, has an abundance of possible locations and connections to references in this puzzle. It is easy to interpret meaning and make connections to locations that are not related to finding the casque. This makes it especially important to see the layers of meaning for each step of the solution. They will help assure us that we have chosen the right path. Also each physical location that we arrive at from the verse is roughly 100-200 yards apart. They are evenly spaced and consecutive locations along a walking path.¬†

Connection to Charlesgate and Back Bay Fens

boylston
Image 11 interpretation (left) with respect to Charlesgate and Back Bay Fens (right -Google Maps)

Assuming we have already made the connection to Boston, we have a few clues in the image that we should be in the Back Bay Fens/Charlesgate area. The most prominent is the map and note, seemingly emanating from a crack in the stone to the right of the woman. The pathways of the map bear resemblance to the Massachusetts Turnpike, Boylston St, and the Berkelee College of Music. There is also a more subtle reference to John Boyle O’Reilly in the image. While many people see a ‘112¬į’ written in the flower petals to the bottom left of said map. I believe that this actually reads ‘212¬į’, as 212¬į is the boiling point for water. This is a reference to John Boyle O’Reilly, and the many locations named after him in the area. The position of the ‘212¬į’ imagery with respect to the ‘map’ is geographically consistent with the John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial, Boylston St, and the Boylston Section of the Victory Gardens, i.e. it is southwest of the other items on the map. Looking more at the image for confirmation, the base of the first ‘2’ in ‘212¬į’ is visible but the hook of the ‘2’ is not so easily seen.¬†I enhanced the colors of the image and do see a faint but distinct color difference where the hook of the ‘2’ should be, indicating that JJP did intend to paint this part of the image as a number ‘2’. The enhanced color, position of the imagery, and geographical correlation combined make sense as a reference to John Boyle O’Reilly. There is a ‘3’ written into the negative of the woman’s hair just left of the ‘212¬į’. I think this ‘3’ actually relates to the shape of the docks in Boston Harbor (this can be seen on the pbworks wiki) and is unrelated to the Boyle reference.

212
212 degrees in Image 11 (boiling point of water)

The Red-headed Female Columbus

columbuswoman
Resemblance to Christopher Columbus statue in Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

We know the area, now where do we start? To begin to understand this puzzle we must first look at, and correctly interpret, four aspects of the image before we can fully understand the first two lines of the verse. I know, this sounds like a lot, please bear with me. The foremost aspect of the image, the woman, was modeled after the Christopher¬†Columbus statue in the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park.¬†Another strong¬†reference to Christopher Columbus is in the lower right quadrant of the image.¬†The sphere (or globe) is held by a stand that forms the shape of his initials: “CC”.¬†The image of the globe itself, is also a reference to Columbus, in that it is/was the popular belief that Columbus proved the Earth was round.

cc2
“CC” initials and globe (left). “CC” initials in main circle (right)

checkmark
“Check or Credit Card”

There is a third, more subtle reference to Columbus in the form of his initials “CC” drawn in the lower half of the main circle (shown above), and there is a very small checkmark inside the initials at about 3 o’clock. After weeks of pondering its meaning, I believe it is to be interpreted as “Check or CC” i.e. “Check or Credit Card” – the common question at a point of sale. In other words, it is there to reinforce the interpretation of the initials as “CC”. This is rather cryptic and I am not positive of its interpretation. However, I think this scenario is plausible, and it does make sense toward the puzzle, even if it is a bit tongue-in-cheek.

While there are many historic places in Boston that commemorate Columbus, it is important for this puzzle to understand who we are looking at. The fact that we are looking at a red-headed female version of Columbus is significant. 

The Sons of Ireland 

sons
The Sons of Ireland (Wikipedia – right)

Next, we take a look at the heart and feather in the circle directly above the woman. The heart and feather (quill pen) represent the Sons of Ireland,¬†“Courage” and “Poetry”¬†respectively,¬†from¬†the John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial, located on the northeast corner of¬†Mother’s Rest at the intersection of Boylston and Fenway.¬†Note that the statues are not visible from Google street view, as they face west-southwest looking into Mother’s Rest.¬†If we were to overlay the face of a clock onto the large circle in the image, then the “Sons of Ireland” would be located at twelve¬†o’clock.

sonsattwelveoclock
Sons at twelve o’clock

Furthermore, using the homophone of “son” as “sun”, we might think of this as an allusion to solar noon (i.e. when the sun is at twelve o’clock). However, we see a moon and star in the image which implies nighttime (and would make the interpretation of noon a paradox). But if we continue along this same train of thought – twelve o’clock at night is midnight – we get “midnight sun”. Midnight sun (when the sun is visible 24 hours a day) can only be seen from locations within 1 degree of latitude of the Arctic Circle, which defines a very narrow and specific geographical range. The author gives us a hint that this is the correct interpretation by the¬†addition of the image of – 1¬į – immediately to the left of the Sons of Ireland. The “midnight sun” and¬†1¬į¬†imagery also fall within the main circle of the image, which is consistent with a reference to the Arctic Circle. In short, the top of the circle can be read:¬†“One degree, midnight sun, in the Arctic Circle”. For the purposes of this puzzle, the nordic countries¬†of Iceland and Norway are included¬†in this range. Think “Land of the midnight sun”.¬†

1degreesonscircle
One degree (left), midnight sun (center), in the Arctic Circle (right)


Putting it Together with the Verse

The first two phrases of Verse 3 read:

If Thucydides is
North of Xenophon
Take five steps
In the area of his direction

This text alludes to Horace Walpole, and specifically a letter he wrote to Horace Mann in 1774: “The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York.”¬†While the text itself is significant in helping associate verse 3 to Boston, it is the author, Horace Walpole, that is the key to this piece of the puzzle. Horace Walpole is famous for coining the term “serendipity” for which he used to describe a fairy tale: “Three Princes of Serendip”. Note the “fairy tale” aspect (fairy reference #1).

Reviewing our hints thus far:

  1. We have a red-headed Christopher Columbus, along with the 2 other pieces of Columbus-related imagery.
  2. There is a strong reference to a location where there is a midnight sun.
  3. And we have the concept of serendipity. 

Who is this person? Leif Erikson. Leif Erikson is the red-headed “Christopher Columbus” from the land of the midnight sun. He was the son of Erik the Red (he had red or reddish hair), sailed from Iceland (land of the midnight sun), and his voyage to, and subsequent discovery of, North America (Vinland as he referred to it) was one of the most serendipitous events in the recorded history of exploration. He was so serendipitous (for this, and other additional reasons) that he acquired the nickname “Leif the Lucky”. The kicker is that our search for Christopher Columbus was, in and of itself, serendipitous, as instead of finding Columbus we found Erikson. We should also note that the storyline behind these puzzles is about the journey of the “Fair” people from the Old World to the New World. It is no coincidence that this fair-skinned explorer, having discovered the New World himself, appears on the cover of the book.

screen2bshot2b2015-11-242bat2b12-11-212bam
Effeminate Leif Erikson statue in Charlesgate (Google street view)

But why is Leif Erikson portrayed as a female? That is where we make the connection to a real place: The Leif Erikson statue in Charlesgate. Here is another link: publicartboston.com The statue is very effeminate with two large circular breastplates and chainmail that ends just above a mini-skirt. It is certainly in stark contrast to how we normally think of norse explorers of the time.

This statue in Charlesgate is just yards away from the Massachusetts Turnpike. Below is the Leif Erikson statue with respect to our other landmarks.

EriksonMap
Leif Erikson statue in Image 11 (left) and Charlesgate (right)

Finally, after all of that we can begin!

Once we make the connection to the Leif Erikson statue, the second phrase of the verse becomes clear: 

Take five steps
In the area of his direction

 The Leif Erikson statue is purposely positioned facing west to represent his voyage westward. Five steps west from the Leif Erikson statue puts us on the curb of Charlesgate East. 

five steps
5 steps west of the Leif Erikson statue (Google maps)

From here we can see the path to our next location. The verse says: 

A green tower of lights
In the middle section

Unlike the metaphorical and hidden nature of our starting location, this phrase is to be interpreted literally. As we walk up the on-ramp to the Bowker Overpass we can see the¬†“Green Monster” at Fenway Park in the distance.¬†

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 11.00.43 PM
The Green Monster at Fenway (Google maps)

first two steps
The path up the Bowker Overpass to see the “Green Monster” (Google maps)

We are given a visual hint that this is part of our intended path by the image of the “CC” globe stand (again). Right around the time that we can see Fenway Park in the distance, if we look down over the side of the on-ramp we see Charlesgate Park below. ¬†The stone and¬†concrete benches in Charlesgate Park¬†match the “CC” shape in Columbus’ initials. This view and positioning of the “CC” globe/stand in the image is important with respect to our cardinal direction. We are currently walking south across the Bowker Overpass and this feature in Charlesgate Park matches the alignment in image 11 only if we are facing south and looking down. As a side note, I think the actual shape of these benches forms the initials “CG” for Charlesgate, but were tailored in the image to show “CC”. This is the¬†northerly aligned google maps view¬†for comparison.

CCbenches
Charlesgate Park benches as seen from above with the top of the image as south (right – Google maps)

The next phrase of the verse reads:

Near those
Who pass the coliseum
With metal walls

This phrase tells us to use the Bowker Overpass to cross over the Massachusetts Turnpike. The coliseum refers to Fenway Park, and ‘those with metal walls’ are the people (on the Turnpike) behind the metal walls of their cars. It could also mean that the coliseum itself has metal walls, and that we are walking near cars that have passed, or will pass Fenway Park on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

passthecoliseum
We are to take the sidewalk on the Bowker Overpass (Google maps)

Face the water
Your back to the stairs
Feel at home

The word “turnpike” is another word for a winding staircase.¬†This definition comes from¬†Sir Walter Scott, nonetheless, and is first written in The History of Scotland. Scott is a key reference in the NYC puzzle (Image 12). ¬†Searchers have been looking for a literal staircase that matches this phrase for years. However, this is wordplay. The reference is a homonym and not a literal staircase. Since we have just passed over the Massachusetts Turnpike, Preiss is telling us to face the water (Muddy River) with our back to the Massachusetts Turnpike. “Feel at home” refers to the song “Dirty Water” by the Standells. “Dirty Water” in this case is a metaphor for the Muddy River. The current intersection of the Bowker OverPass with Boylston Street is different than it existed in 1981. In those days it appears that a pedestrian would need to walk east along the street before being able to cross over (without jaywalking) near Mother’s Rest. This lines us up nicely with the Muddy River and Turnpike and it also takes us close to the Sons of Ireland statue mentioned earlier. I used the satellite imagery at historicaerials.com from 1971 as it is the most clear. However, the 1978 imagery also shows this layout.¬†

feelathome
Bowker Overpass and Boylston St intersection as it existed in 1971 (historicaerials.com)

All the letters
Are here to see

“All of the letters” in this case refers to the names of the footpaths through the Fenway Victory Gardens in Back Bay Fens. Each path is assigned a letter.

alltheletters
Fenway Victory Gardens (Google maps)

Eighteenth day
Twelfth hour
Lit by lamplight

litbylamplightxcf
Path to the War Memorial (Google maps)

I have two interpretations of this phrase, and I am not sure which one was the author’s intended interpretation. Both involve Paul Revere. The phrase itself refers to Paul Revere’s midnight ride. My original thought was that this phrase alludes to the lamps lit in the Old North Church tower to signal the nature of the arrival of the incoming British army. “One if by land. Two if by sea.” The lamps were lit by the sexton of the church, Robert Newman. I thought this was another wordplay for “sextant” (sexton => sextant) – as the overhead view of the George Robert White Fund Memorial – Veterans Memorial Park resembles the shape of a sextant. I will discuss this in the next section. However, there is a second interpretation regarding Paul Revere and lamplight.¬†“Lit by lamplight” may not refer to the¬†midnight ride, but to an obelisk that Paul Revere built on Boston Common in 1766 to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. The obelisk was illuminated from within by 280 oil lamps. The obelisk burned down when it caught fire from said lamps. This is a more obscure reference, but it could be that it is an allusion to the obelisk at the war memorial. In our next step we will be standing in front of the obelisk. A third possibility is that it could also be a reference to the War of 1812 using “eighteenth” and “twelfth”. In any case, the major imagery in Image 11 represents features around the war memorial and Kelleher Rose Garden. These are further along the Emerald Necklace trail that we are already on, and in the direction that we are walking. The purpose of this verse is to take us there.

screen2bshot2b2015-11-292bat2b1-40-382bam
Obelisk at the War Memorial (Google maps)

The Sextant

Now that we are at the war memorial, we must tie together several aspects of the puzzle to find our dig site. First, lets take a look at the imagery for the war memorial itself. The overhead view of the war memorial resembles that of a sextant, an instrument used for celestial navigation (sun, moon, stars) – credit Edmund Tannini. While there is no evidence that the sextant existed in the time of Columbus or Erikson, we do have a running theme of sea fairing explorers.

sextantcompare
Sextant (left – U.S. mil) War Memorial (right – Google Maps)

Furthermore, we see the moon, and either a star or a planet behind the woman. This suggests celestial navigation, and reinforces the interpretation of the use of the war memorial as a sextant. The profile of the woman’s head and hair against the blue (nighttime) background also match the overhead layout of the inner circle of the war memorial. We are supposed to gather that we are looking at the moon and star through the telescope lens of a sextant. And the center of the war memorial is our scope. That is, we are to use the inner circle of the war memorial as a line-of-sight guide to our dig site.

lineofsight
The woman’s head and hair flare out in the similar shape to the overhead layout of the inner circle of the war memorial (Google Maps)

If we use the markers of the outer circle of Image 11 to align the celestial objects, and apply this to the layout of the war memorial, a path is revealed (shown below). It shows us that we are to use the path on the left, a westerly path, as a line-of-sight to our final location. I overalyed a 360 degree protractor on the image as there was some debate as to whether we were to use actual measurements in degrees. However, it is highly unlikely that Preiss used such exact measurements from an overhead perspective. I believe the intent was to simply draw lines through the celestial objects.

angles1
Lines through the moon and star reveal a westerly path

Note: I believe the celestial object next to the moon is the planet Venus. Venus (goddess of love) was portrayed with red hair in the iconic painting “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, which is consistent with the hair color of the woman shown.¬†We also see the moon next to this object. This limits our candidates to stars and planets that generally intersect the earth’s plane of orbit. It also exlcudes other well-known celestial objects like Polaris, “The North Star”, as the moon and Polaris are never in the same field of view.

The Rose Garden

Before I reveal our final location, we have a lot more information we can gather from the puzzle to assure us that our path is correct. We know we are to go west from the war memorial, which is in the general direction of the Kelleher Rose Garden. The keyhole shape of the garden itself is the largest piece of matching imagery in Image 11 comprising the overall shape of the painting.

rose garden
Kelleher Rose Garden (Google Maps – left)

14870894795_f5a3ffc3b0_n
Pattern on stone planter in Kelleher Rose Garden

Her skirt has another match to the rose garden – an ornate pattern of sections and squiggly lines which has previously been identified as being visually similar to stonework in the Kelleher Rose Garden (right). Looking closer at the design on her skirt (below), we see a distinct pattern used in tying a clove hitch – a type of knot¬†(shown below). Taking this reference together with the uses of the Kelleher Rose Garden and all of the rest of the interwoven lines, we can interpret this to mean ‘tying the knot’ or ‘getting hitched’, as the Rose Garden, with its scenic setting, is a common place for weddings.

theknot
The pattern on her skirt has a clove hitch and knot(s) representing ‘tying the knot’ or ‘getting hitched’ i.e. marriage

The Map

Further analysis of the pattern on the woman’s skirt reveals similarities with the overhead-views of the war memorial in the 70’s and 80’s. Note the clove-hitch pattern has a second use as it represents the shape of the hedgerows at the war memorial during this time period.

Please keep in mind that this is a photo from 1971, a full decade before the casque was buried. The 1978 photos of this location show the same features, but the resolution is very poor.

knot hedgerow
Clove hitch pattern used to match the shape of the hedgerows around the war memorial (historicaerials.com right)

Continuing the analysis on the pattern on her dress against the 1971 satellite imagery, a map of the location at that time is revealed (shown below). Note that the mapping of these objects on the woman’s dress is not to scale or proportionately accurate. The objects’ placement is mostly accurate with respect to their relative position to each other. If JJP had painted an accurate-to-scale map of Image 11, this puzzle would have been solved long ago. However, the image obscures the map enough that it is really only visible to those that study the location. It is important to see that the location of the trees with respect to the walkway is consistent, as is the position of the mini-garden above the rose garden. The clove-hitch-styled hedgerow is not between any of the trees, but it does sit at the southeast corner.

skirtmap
Click to see full image

  • Rose-red: The large sphere in front of her right leg (to our left) represents the circular shape of the north end of the Kelleher Rose Garden.
  • Blue: The right and upper borders of the pattern represent the concrete walkways/sidewalks.
  • Green: We see several small leaf-like nodes hanging off of the lines/vines. These are elm leaves. Elm leaves are asymmetrical, obovate to ovate, abruptly pointed, toothed leaves. There are other trees in the area but Preiss has labeled the elm trees for us in the map.

    elmleaf
    Elm leaf – note the asymmetry and tip (Wikipedia)
  • Darker Green: The¬†top-most leaf/node on the map is outside of the border. It represents an elm tree that stood on the north-side of the sidewalk, near the street. It has since been cut down.
  • Orange: In the top left corner of the pattern on her dress there is a small circle with a line going through it. This represents a small garden patch just north of the Kelleher Rose Garden.

Many of these features still exist today.

The symbols running downward along the sides of her skirt are also part of a map of the surrounding area. The most ostensible are the double ‘A’ shape, which represents the shape of the walkways west of the Kelleher Rose Garden. Along with the two checkerboard patterns representing the bridges across the Muddy River to the southeast and southwest of the KRG. Below is a complete interpretation of these symbols with an associated legend.

surrounding area
Color coded map of the surrounding area

legend
Legend for color coded symbols

In Truth Be Free

the-red-cross-knight-1793large
The Red Cross Knight (wikiart.com)

The last phrase of Verse 3 “In Truth Be Free” identifies the dig site. This too has layered meaning. First, lets look at the fairy flying away from the box. She has been identified as representing “Faith” In the painting The Red Cross Knight by John Singleton Copley¬†(fairy reference #2). This is a depiction of a scene from the epic poem¬†The Faerie Queene by Sir Edmund Spenser. The Red Cross Knight himself represents “Truth” (truth reference #1), while the other woman, in blue, represents “Hope”. With respect to Image 11, Faith (the fairy) is flying away from the box as if she is being freed. The overall keyhole shape of Image 11 reinforces the verse, in that the keyhole shape represents a lock. In essence, Truth (the knight) unlocks the box that sets Faith (the fairy) free.

pandorasbox
Faith, the fairy, flying away from the box.

There is an allusion to a second story embedded here. In the story of Pandora’s Box all of the evil flies out of the box leaving only Hope inside (fairy, albeit indirect, reference #3). If we have already made the connection to Faith through The Red Cross Knight, then it is noteworthy that the character Hope is not seen in the image. We might think of Hope as still inside the box. As such, the image of the casque itself is a reference to Pandora’s Box.¬†I think the illustration of the woman opening the box, and the light emanating from within, illustrate this conclusion.

The Box

plainbox

The box itself has the same squiggly/knot pattern as the one that appears on her skirt. We can assume that this pattern represents marriage (or a place where people get married). To the right of the knot we see a castle with the sun peaking out over the top right (north northeast). The castle itself has been identified as a reference to The Castle at Park Plaza, while the sun has been identified as the circular pattern in the walkways of Statler Park¬†– across the street to the northeast. If we look at a map of the area and attempt to line up The Castle and Statler Park where Statler Park appears just over the Castle to the north northeast, we see that these locations align on Columbus Ave. From this vantage point, the knot pattern aligns with the Boston Public Gardens. This makes sense, as it, along with the Kelleher Rose Garden, are two of the top public wedding venues in Boston. In the image below the left section marked ‘A’ is a color coded image of the box. The middle section ‘B’ is the colored box being held by the woman. And ‘C’ is a color coded map of the area. The colors represent the matching elements between each section. See the legend below.

box
Click to see full image

  • ¬†Bright green: The squiggly lines, representing Boston Public Gardens (where people get married).
  • Blue: The castle, representing the Castle at Park Plaza.
  • Yellow: The sun, representing Statler Park.
  • Red: The woman, representing Columbus Ave, our vantage point to align these locations.

The woman herself (our red-headed Columbus) represents the Columbus Ave vantage point which we are to use as our “north”.

What is she pointing at?

gw
George Washington Monument in the Boston Public Gardens (Google Street View)

If we look closely, the woman’s left index finger is pointing¬†at part of the knot on the box. It appears to be at the lower region of the box, which would represent the lower region of the Boston Public Gardens from our vantage point. The most prominent¬†feature in this area of the gardens is the George Washington monument.

gwmap
George Washington Monument (Google Maps)

Taking this into consideration we look for clues that this in indeed a reference to George Washington. A closer inspection of the squiggly knot shows a distinct pretzel shape just above the woman’s fingertip. This shape is a representation of George Washington’s signature. The image below shows the highlighted area of the knot that doubles as the ‘G’ in Washington’s signature. Note the distinct and recognizable pretzel shape at the base of the G. Keep in mind that this was a very small portion of Image 11, and I have increased the size 500% to highlight this feature.

signature
The ‘G’ in George Washington’s signature (Wikipedia)

The Washington Elm

There is a second visual indication of George Washington in the image. If we examine the perched falcon, we find the bird’s shape matches the¬†the roads and sidewalks around Flagstaff Park, Cambridge Common, and Massachusetts Ave. The pig outline is to identify Harvard’s Pig Club which is right at the base of the bird in the profile of its claw. The Pig Club (Porcelain Club) is located at 1324 Massachusetts Ave. The ‘T’ is the Red Line Terminal nearby. The square table top is Harvard Square. The bubble is the circular Revolutionary War memorial next to the Washington Elm. The bird’s tail splits at the end just like Mass. Ave splits in two. There is also a tunnel that goes down underground in Flagstaff Park. The long straight feather in the birds tail is similar to the shape of the road as it goes into the tunnel.

falcon
Click to see full image (Google Maps)

Washington_Elm,_Cambridge
Washington Elm (Wikipedia)

The Washington Elm in and of itself does not really stand as a hint for this puzzle. But! The Washington Elm was first popularized by the American writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow wrote Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, The Masque of Pandora, and The Evening Star. These three stories are all major pieces of this puzzle. So by placing a bubble in the image that represents the area adjacent to the Washington Elm, Preiss is hoping we will make the connection between Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Washington Elm, and the themes of this puzzle. That is how we know this is a critical hint. This hint also ties George Washington to a tree, which will come into play later. There are elm leaves in the map on her skirt as well.

The Sheraton Commander

Sheraton Commander
Sheraton Commander (Google Maps)

Just north of the Washington Elm is the Sheraton Commander. Its large sign can be seen from all around Cambridge Common, and is very visible from the Washington Elm. The Sheraton Commander was named after the event in which George Washington took command of the American army under the elm tree. So George Washington is the commander that it is referring to. Knowing this we look to the image to see if we can find something referencing this iconic location. In image 11 at about 7 o’clock in the main circle there is some hidden writing. We can make out “SHE” and “CAMBR” for “Sheraton Cambridge”

sheraton
SHE CAMBR for Sheraton Cambridge

I realize that this is very hard to read, and for about 3 years I thought it was gibberish. However, as the pieces started to fall into place with George Washington and the Washington Elm I have recently realized this was also part of the map around Cambridge Common.

sheraton map
Sheraton Cambridge Map (Google Maps)

The Reveal

Taking everything into account:

  • The sextant at the war memorial, and the line-of-sight perspective from the war memorial itself
  • The map of the area west of the war memorial on her skirt
  • The contextual map of the elements around the Kelleher Rose Garden
  • Pandora’s Box
  • George Washington’s pretzel shaped ‘G’ signature used in Boston Public Gardens
  • The Washington Elm in Cambridge Common
  • The Sheraton Commander (named after Washington) in Cambridge Common
  • “In Truth be Free” Truth is needed to solve the puzzle

We find that our dig site is a cherry tree of the species Prunus ‘Pandora’*, which is visible directly after the westerly concrete walkway from the war memorial. Why a cherry? There is the old myth about Washington and the cherry tree. The story goes that Washington, as a boy, chopped down a cherry tree. When confronted by his father Washington said: “I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet”¬†(truth reference #2). Instead of punishing Washington, his father praised him for telling the truth. The phrase “in truth be free.” is also a line in the song Ode on Washington’s Birthday “Let our land in truth be free.”¬†(truth reference #3). Furthermore, Washington D.C. is well known for its cherry blossoms in the Spring.

Attention!

Before you go digging please contact me. This is a very public place in a historic location. Also know that when the Chicago casque was found the searchers had already dug 6 holes to find it. They wrote a letter to Preiss who replied with a photo of the patted down earth of where the casque was buried. Even then they almost missed it and were about to give up. It was buried 18 inches down – which is fairly deep. I don’t want to see this place or the hunt ruined by being reckless. Just being off by an inch can mean making a big hole and coming up empty. If you have experience with ground penetrating radar, that would be a huge help. Thanks for understanding.

*Note I am still waiting on confirmation that the cherry tree is of this species. Prunus Pandora were widely planted as ornamental cherry trees on streets and in parks in the past. Nowadays, they have been replaced by other cultivars, but the age of this tree is at least 44 years old, and lends it to being within the time period that they were popular. I will update this post when I get confirmation.

sextant to tree
The cherry tree is line-of-sight from the war memorial (Google Maps)

cherry
The tree is seen, still alive, on the latest version of Google Street View

The tree can bee seen below in the 1971 view from historicaerials.com

1971 tree circled

skirtmapwithstar
The cherry tree’s position (red star) with respect to the map on her skirt and 1971 view (historicaerials.com)

The fairy’s dress maybe symbolic of a cherry blossom. There might also be a cursive ‘C’ ( for “Cherry”) written in the knots.

cherryblossom
Cherry blossoms (Wikipedia – right)

CforCherry
‘C’ for Cherry

John Simmons and The Simmons College

We have made it this far, found Leif Erikson, crossed the Turnpike, passed the Victory Gardens, decoded the use of the war memorial, and found the tree. But there is so much more. The box/casque the women is holding has two more meanings embedded in it. If we look at the tower and castle, they are strikingly similar to the Emmanuel College field house and the tower of Simmons College when one is standing in front of the field house and looking west – credit Bill Lentz. Notice how the tower is just offset to the left.

field house tower
Emmanuel College Field House and Simmons College Tower (Bill Lentz)

The tower at Simmons College on its own is not significant. It is the founder of the college, John Simmons that is the hint.¬†He made his fortune in the 1800s manufacturing ready-to-wear clothing. Making clothing of standard sizes was a new concept at the time, and while he originally manufactured suits for men he realized he could make ready-to-wear clothing for women.¬† Upon his death he willed his wealth to found Simmons College – a university for women. He believe in empowering women through education so that they could live an “independent livelihood”. So when we think about John Simmons with regard to this puzzle we might think of practical women’s clothing. I will tie this back in in just a moment.

John Simmons (the founder 1796-1870) had a contemporary namesake (John Simmons 1823-1876) a British man famous for painting “ethereal fairyland scenes, often illustrating Shakespearian or other literary works” (fairy reference #4). His (the painter) work was influenced by Edmund Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene” – already a critical piece of this puzzle. This brings us full circle back to the fairy. We have just made the connection between the Simmons College tower on the casque, John Simmons (the founder) and John Simmons the fairy painter. To validate this connection we take a closer look at what the fairy is wearing. Remember that John Simmons (the founder) made ready-to-wear women’s clothing. The fairy’s dress is a single piece, plain white summer dress. It is not ornate or flashy.

women's wear
Women in front of Simmons College

I do not know if the women in this photograph are wearing clothes designed by John Simmons. It is unlikely since the college was constructed some 30 years after his death due to a fire that destroyed much the properties that he willed for the college’s payment. However, I think this photo serves well to illustrate the simplicity of the fairy’s garb, and to prove that Preiss intended for us to make this connection.

Four in the leaves

250px-Simmons_College_Seal.svg
Simmons College Seal (Wikipedia)

So why are John Simmons and the fairy so important? Because the seal of Simmons College is to be used to find the correct vantage point on our cherry tree. The seal features a tree (representing the tree of life) with several distinct branches in it. Our cherry tree has the same structure if we look at it facing west (shown below). Note the distinct fork in the trunk, and a second fork in the main branch on the left. There is also an arched branch that matches a branch in the cherry tree (yellow). Whats more is that this main branch and arch are represented in image 11 in the top right corner. There is also a “four” shape just below this arch in image 11. This “four” shape can only be seen when we are on the correct line-of-sight to recover the casque. Looking for reinforcement of this concept, we look to the puzzle. We know that the fairy represents John Simmons, and John Simmons represents Simmons College, and the Simmons College seal represents our tree. So transitively speaking, our fairy represents our tree. Notice the four-leaf clover in her wing? The “four leaf” clover can be interpreted to mean “four in the leaves.”

tree seal four
Four in the leaves and the Simmons College seal

In the photo above multiple different concepts come together to show us a single view of our tree. This tree is at least 47 years old. I estimate that it is well above 60, and probably much older. Ornamental cherry trees grow very slowly, there are some in Washington D.C. that are over 100 years old. The Emerald Necklace itself is home to trees that are centenarians. However, the fact that all of these branches are still attached to the tree is truly amazing. This tree is a survivor, and we are very lucky to have it.

Feel at Home

We have a line-of-sight but what are we missing? A distance measurement. For us to gather this information we have to look (yet again) at the box/casque she is holding. Look at her fingers. They are positioned as if she is measuring something. If we take the GW pretzel to represent George Washington and the “field house” to

  1. George Washington was a “field” marshal. This, by definition, is the highest ranking officer of an army, even above other generals. He was posthumously promoted to a rank of 6 star general so no other person will ever outrank him.
  2. Field is a synonym for combat. For example: “field artillery” and “field marshal”. We also have terms like “field of battle”. All of these relate to war.
  3. Essentially, we are to place George Washington in his ‘war house’.
  4. George Washington lived in, and planned his field operations from his headquarters in Cambridge during the Revolutionary War.
  5. Today we know this location as the Washington Headquarters, or the Longfellow House. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived in this house several decades after the revolution. Here is where Longfellow finally makes his debut, not just as a theme, but a linchpin piece of the puzzle.
  6. Washington lived in, and operated from this house for 9 months.

The “four” in the image also doubles as a “nine”

nine
9

I see a foot in the image just above and to the right of the 9. This is extremely faint. I inverted the color scheme and tried to enhance the image here. If you really zoom in on the shape, you can see that JJP traced a line around it. Don’t look so much at the dark areas at the top but the distinct pencil-thin line that forms the shape of the foot. I can see this without enhancement, but I am colorblind, and in some cases I can see things that color normal people cannot. This might be one of those things like photo of the blue and brown dress that circulated the internet ūüėČ

9 feet
9 feet

9 feet from the tree, while we see the “four in the leaves”.

Checkmate.

Anti-Slavery and Human Rights Theme

The Secret has a heavy human rights and anti-slavery theme. The Boston puzzle is no different. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an outspoken abolitionist. George Washington himself shared anti-slavery sentiments, and while he owned slaves, he asked that his slaves be freed upon his death.¬†Furthermore, if we mean to talk about truth and slavery, as this puzzle suggests, then it should be noted that the truth about Christopher Columbus was that he was not the first to discover America, but he was, in fact, a slave trader. He introduced the slave trade to these continents. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the puzzle’s solution involves Leif Erikson, as it is almost a snub against Columbus.

There is another obscure story in this puzzle – the story of Scanderbeg/Iskander. It too is in Longfellow’s Tales From a Wayside Inn from which 4 of the other stories are featured.¬†It is about an Albanian boy named Scanderbeg who was captured by the Turks, forced to convert to Islam, and enslaved as a child soldier to the sultan and Ottoman Empire. Later, Scanderbeg having been trained in military tactics, betrays the Turks, switches sides back to his native land, and drives the Turks from his country. There is a faint image of what appears to be a man in a turban with a mustache in the bottom left corner of the image. I think this is the Turkish sultan and a clue for the story of Scanderbeg.

sultan
Turkish sultan from Scanderbeg

sultan and viking
sultan and viking?

If this is indeed the Turkish sultan, then the story of Scanderbeg does two things for the puzzle. First, it fits the theme of people that triumphed over oppression and slavery. Second, Scanderbeg could be a hint for our Scandinavian – Leif Erikson. The sultan’s face is position over another face that might represent a viking. Note the beard and long hair.

Finally, we come to John Simmons who was a women’s champion. Not only were his ideas progressive for the time, but he aimed to truly make women’s lives better. Be it through practical clothing or college level education. Preiss is making a very specific point in his puzzles, all of which have an underlying theme of slavery, oppression, human rights, and the men and women who triumphed over them.

Special Thanks

To