Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Off-Day Puzzle #9: Solution

Before you watch the solution, I'd like to pass along some words from Nostradamus himself, who texted me this morning with some thoughts he wanted to share:

"Hello SoSG Puzzlers. By the time you read this I'm probably dead. But I hope you enjoyed my fourth prophecy, congrats to Berkowit28, Jose, Stolenmonkey86, Daniel, and Fanerman, who solved the puzzle in that order! I just want to say that it was an especially fun but challenging prophecy to construct because I had to 1) make sure each magic letter was in the correct position, 2) provide enough clues so you'd know how to solve it, and 3) keep it sufficiently smooth and poetic-sounding cuz I have a rep to uphold. Also, I'd really like to hear directly from you readers regarding which clues were most helpful or misleading, as this SoSG Karros guy seems sort of dim (j/k, bro!). Anyhow, good luck to your Dodgers tonight. Quite honestly I'm not a big baseball fan, as it wasn't very big in 16th century France. But a high school classmate of mine used to play (Saint-Rémy High, class of 1521, go Tigres Luttants!), a guy named Jeff Kent. He didn't talk to me much as he was a bit older (he was a senior when I was a sophomore). I wonder what ever happened to him. Anyways, again, I hope you enjoyed! And if you did, check out my other three volumes of Prophecies, available on amazon.com or go to my myspace page. Peace Out!"
- Nostradamus
XOXO

So there you have it, words from Nostry himself. Anyhow, on to the solution. Or at least the most widely accepted interpretation of Nostradamus' Lost Prophecy:

But wait, there's more! That video only had the main clues. Here's a line-by-line analysis of the Prophecy:

Hope lies in the Eye, freedom it can bring
-->Sets up the premise of having to find the Being by knowing where to look

High north and due west, its journey begins;
-->Start in the upper left of the prophecy

A promising Being, meanwhile cries aloud

A promising Being, buried north to the south;
-->The Being is hidden vertically, from the top to the bottom

His skin and bones trapped, but free he will fly
-->More set-up of premise

Once his soul is unearthed from the haze by the Eye;
-->Nostradamus originally penned this line as “Once his name is unearthed from the page by the Eye.”

Plate skills he may bring, from mounds he may hurl
-->This line has proven to be the most controversial, and in fact was the one Berkowit28 and I discussed in the comments. One camp of scholars, including myself, feel this was intended it to convey that The Being could be either a hitter or a pitcher (with plate skills referring to hitters and hurling from mounds referring to pitchers), and thus you shouldn’t focus on only one or the other. The other camp, which includes Berkowit28, interpret it as suggesting The Being is a pitcher, since NL pitchers have to bat and thus must bring some semblance of "plate skills". You decide.

But throughout measured lines, he mustn’t more toil;
-->"measured lines" refers to the cadenced and highly calibrated lines of this prophecy. Nostradamus initially wrote it as “But throughout senseless words, he mustn’t more toil” but in the end wanted it to be more cryptic. In retrospect maybe he should have left it like that.

Thus embark does the Eye, at the Being’s behest
-->So now the prophecy is about to tell you how exactly what path your eyes must take to find the Being

Descends courier rows, leaping space in its quest;
-->“leaping space in its quest” means you ignore spaces entirely. “Descends courier rows” means that courier type (or another monospace font) is the only way technically each “step to the east” is of equal distance, assuming you skip spaces as previously instructed.

If each stride to the south, brings a step to the east
-->This to me was among the most important lines. With each row down, you move one letter to the right (again, ignoring spaces).

Liberation has come, the Being released!
-->If you do the above properly , you will find Hiroki Kuroda’s name and free him!

Anyhow, thanks again for playing. Both the PCS Rankings and the Participation Lottery will be posted soon. And if you get a chance to honor Nostradamus request about sharing your experiences trying to solve the puzzle (successful or not), please do so. Next off-day puzzle, September 4!

12 comments:

Steve Sax said...

Sweet puzzle and sweet solution EK. That Nostradamus sounds like a cool guy. Can I friend him?

Alex_Keeton said...

Nice video. But the end really wasn't necessary. Now I'll have to sleep with a nitelite.

Gil Gamesh said...

Great puzzle. When I walk away thinking, 'I should have got that', yet didn't, then I'd say you got just the right amount of difficulty/intrigue/atmosphere. Looking forward to Sept 9th.

cigarcow said...

So what was the answer? Somebody post words, please.

Erin said...

It's in the text of the answer, cigarcow, below the video, but it's Hiroki Kuroda.

berkowit28 said...

(For cigarcow)

Hiroki Kuroda

You find his name by starting at the top:

1st letter of first line
2nd letter of 2nd line
... etc.
12th letter of 12th line

ignoring spaces. The instructions for doing this are in the clues in the verses (though in my case I found it more by just guessing and trying it out).

Eric Karros said...

Sax - yesterday Nostry asked me to let everyone know that it's nothing personal, but he doesn't respond to friend requests (it seems he somehow knew you were going to ask that).

And thanks Gil, glad you enjoyed. But the next Dodger off-Day is Sept 4, isn't it? Or are you looking forward to Sept 9 for another reason?

cigarcow said...

Oh man, I did too much thinking. I think my guess was more nostradamus-ish.

Gil Gamesh said...

Yep, Sept 4th, my mistake.

Orel said...

EK, are you and Nostry BFF?

karina said...

I never got it. To the line that refers both pitchers and hitters, i thought it got to be King James, because he was a part-time pitcher when he was drafted.

With the clue of typing it on MS word, i got crazy with fonts, so i had to do it on Illustrator. You can't tell people with this disease http://tinyurl.com/2yzjpf , to experiment with type, however i got inspired for another project. Thanks Nostradamus and Eric!

Nostradamus said...

No problem, Karina!