Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Contest: Code of the Cardboard Gods - Part I

Code of the Cardboard Gods 
Part I - The Starting Nine

Setting: National Baseball Hall of Fame – Cooperstown, NY
Players: Museum curator and YOU
Puzzle Difficulty: 3½ stars
Points Possible: 20

It is a brisk autumn evening at your upstate New York farmhouse.  You have just finished a long session of working on your newest cryptology book about the Mayan calendar when your phone unexpectedly rings.  You contemplate not taking the call due to the late hour, but, suspecting it may be your publisher, you decide to answer.  You pick up the receiver, expecting your old friend, but hear an unknown voice asking your name.

“Yes, that is me,” you say, and then you ask, “Who is this?”

There is a brief pause, and then the voice replies, “I am a curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and I need your help.  There has been a break-in, and I found an envelope addressed with your name and phone number, along with a curious code.  It is like nothing I have ever seen before.”

You ask, “Have you called the authorities?”

“No,” the curator replies, “Nothing has been stolen, and I’d like to avoid any… unpleasantness.  I am familiar with your work and judging by this envelope, you are somehow involved or are intended to be involved with this mystery.  You must understand. I need your help solving this code.  Money is no object, and I will pay whatever fee you require.”

Feeling the tug of greed, you inquire, “Can you send me a picture of the code?”

“No, you must see this in person,” he replies.

Your curiosity is piqued.  What better opportunity to combine your lifelong work of cryptology and your favorite pastime?

You agree, “I’m only 45 minutes from Cooperstown, I’ll be there within an hour.”

After an almost breathless drive as your mind is racing, greasing the gears for the puzzle that waits, you pull into the parking lot and notice a security guard vehicle and two non-descript sedans.  You grab your satchel and head for the grand front entrance.  As you approach, you see a balding man of middle age with a clean shaven face holding the door open.

“Are you the curator?” you ask.

“Yes, yes,” he briskly replies.  “Please, come this way. Quickly.”

You enter the atrium and immediately your eyes dart around, looking for the code that requires your interpretation.  You try and calm your nerves, remembering there is an envelope that will likely provide precious information.

“On the phone you mentioned an envelope.  What does it contain?” you question.

He answers, “I do not know.  It is sealed with wax.”

You take the envelope and examine the wax seal, and see the initials “OCG” emblazoned on the red paraffin.

“OCG,” you mutter.

“What does that mean?” he asks.

You reply, “It means Order of Cardboard Gods.”

Your mind races even faster over this new development.  Could it be?  You’re actually holding a letter from the mysterious Order of Cardboard Gods?

The curator shifts nervously and asks, “Order of what?”

“Cardboard Gods,” you distantly answer.

“Who are they?” he asks.

You ignore his question; your mind is drifting.  You break the wax seal, revealing a coded letter:

Click picture to enlarge

You smile at the simplicity of the code.  To the untrained eye, it looks like gibberish, but to you, the words shine through.


[ANSWER: "Evil has infiltrated the order. I fear the other members of the council are dead, and I may soon be next. You must learn the code and guard it with your life. The fate of the hobby is in your hands. Trust no one. UC" - Carrie from an unknown blog]

The last line gnaws at you.

The curator peers over your shoulder and brashly asks, “What does it say?  Who are the Cardboard Gods?”

You turn your head and flatly say, “Take me to the code.  I will tell you later about The Order and this letter.”

The curator backs away, and begins to lead you down the long hallway into the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery.

Midway down the Gallery, you see the code ahead of you, basking in bright moonlight.  The plaques of the Class of 1936 have been removed, and placed at the foot of the wall now bearing a mysterious puzzle.

You approach the coded puzzle in awe.  A puzzle you have never seen before, a new challenge for your restless mind.

A wry smile crosses your face, and you think to yourself, “Oh, this will be so much fun!”


Click picture to enlarge

[ANSWER – "Dead men tell no tales" - Shahekee of Collecting the Wizard of Oz]

[Author’s Note: You must provide the correct answer and your logic to receive the points – See rules for full details.  First correct answer with logic in the comment section gets the points.]


shahekee said...

Evil has infiltrated the order. I fear the order members of the council are dead, and I may soon be next. You must learn the code and guard it with your life. The fate of the hobby is in your hands. Trust no one. UC

that's the first part. It's morse code.

shahekee said...

second part

Dead men tell no tales.

letters are grouped into positions on a baseball field. Using the numbers associated with scoring a baseball game. Pitcher 1, Catcher 2, First Basemen 3, Second Baseman 4, Third Basemen 5, Shortstop 6, Left Fielder 7, Center Fielder 8, Right Fielder 9. Take the first letter of each pair starting with the pitcher 1-9 and then the second letter 1-9.

Carrie said...

I used Wikipedia's table of symbols to decode this Morse code message. Shahekee was close, but "order" needed to be "other."

Evil has infiltrated the order. I fear the other members of the council are dead, and I may soon be next. You must learn the code and guard it with your life. The fate of the hobby is in your hands. Trust no one. UC

shahekee said...

bugger was just coming back to figure out why this was wrong.

Chemgod said...

Took me a while but I finally figured it out without cheating. The morse code part was easy. I actually had to write down the letters. and as i was writing it down I noticed the nine positions on the field. then using the 1-9 position numbers I just went around the field 2x. Great freaking post!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...