Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bad Robot Clues Us In

A short while ago the @Bad_Robot twitter account sent these messages out.

They if we can solve the clues there might be a super charged version of S. for us to win.

We have been sent a possible answer on our twitter feed @Sfiles22, but see if you can solve the riddle and send Bad Robot your best answer.

Click here to see the possible answer

The first picture is of part of the Lincoln Memorial inscription, the word "enshrined".

The second picture is of EWA beach in Hawaii.

Courtesy of ObfuSc8 the third picture is a painting "Lincoln the Rail-splitter" by F. A Schreider (1909) - which is in the Library of Congress.

All this adds up to the Lincoln the Frontiersman statue which is located in Hawaii near EWA beach, @MrToasty on twitter was the first person we saw with this answer and a link to a web page about the statue

The answer that has won the Prize is that Lincoln is depicted holding an axe. "The Grandfather's Axe" is another title for the "Ship Of Theseus" paradox.

*** Update ***

We have a winner !

In the comments someone identifying themselves as Tyler has mentioned that their answer (in the spoiler tag above) has earned them the prize from Bad Robot.

Really looking forward to knowing what the Super Charged version of S. will contain.


  1. Ewa Elementary School Lincoln Statue, HI 21N 158W yields L G . . Z on the wheel

    maybe the first letter in a series...

  2. They haven't announced a winner yet.. I wonder if we need to keep searching for an answer?

    1. Yeah, no replies so it wouldn't hurt to keep thinking.

  3. My best guess was "Abe Lincoln'c Axe" as a variant of the Ship of Theseus Paradox. Bad Robot hasn't replied to anyone yet, so I think everyone should keep trying.

    Tweet 1: “He studies the contours and shapes of his features, tries to assemble an image of himself.” pg. 41

    The pic is from the Lincoln Monument: Lincoln's Statue -- Lincoln Monument

    Possible letters = H R I from the word ENSHRINED

    Tweet 2: “I sense a connection. What that connection may be, if it even exists, is a mystery to me.” - pg. 137

    The image is similar to an antique map of Oahu circa 1881 focused on the region "Ewa".

    There is a statue of Lincoln - Lincoln the Frontiersman by sculptor Avrard Fairbanks (1942) in Ewa, Hawaii.


    Possible letters: E W A

    Tweet 3: “She’s not who she was this morning. Never will be.”

    The pic is a painting "Lincoln the Rail-splitter" by F. A Schreider (1909) - which is in the Library of Congress.

    Possible letters from this one aren't as clear. Possibly A X E

    1. Thoughts as to why those three quotes in particular? Fist and third would seem to fit with the paradox, but not as much with the second. Plus, no page number given for the third (pg. 183).

    2. Perhaps because even once all the planks are replaced on Theseus' ship, there is still that ephemeral spiritual connection to being "the ship that belongs to Theseus."

  4. Dont they use the nihilist cipher in chapter 6? I am not sure what the key words would be, but maybe something with the numbers?

  5. Sorry guys - I won this one. While they're all related to Lincoln, which is the "what" in their mystery tweets, the "why" is what they were looking for.

    Lincoln is depicted holding an axe. "The Grandfather's Axe" is another title for the "Ship Of Theseus" paradox. That was the connection I gave them, and that is the connection they were looking for.

    Just in case my authenticity comes into question:

    1. Once you get the book, can you share with us what makes the version they're sending you "super charged"?

    2. Absolutely. I didn't want to join in on the community until I finished reading the book (which I accomplished today), so I'll happily clue you in.

      So, hello guys (and gals)! Just call me Tyler - not 'Unknown' or 'Saint Dickolas'.

      I have a strong feeling that a "supercharged" copy of S. will contain, at the very least, some sort of extra insert on how to use the Eotvos wheel. A page from Coriolis, perhaps?

    3. That'd be nice.

      I hope that whoever wins the lunch with Abrams and Dorst can find this place and we can load them up with questions to ask.

    4. Hi Tyler and thanks. It's always nice to know who won, and very nice of you to share the "supercharged" S with those of us here.

      I tweeted pretty much the same thing BTW, "Abe Lincoln's Ax" as a variant of the Ship of Theseus paradox (and posted that above). I wasn't online when bad_robot tweeted their clues, though so my tweet came after yours.

      Congrats again.

    5. I'm sorry that I kinda crashed the party by showing up out of nowhere and stealing what very well may be an important clue. I had no idea the answer was that simple. I'll be posting high-res photos of every single deviance from the standard SOT.

    6. Unknown, thiS iS fantaStic! well-done. SometimeS the faSteSt, SimpleSt (SmarteSt) anSwer iS the correct one. ThankS for offering to Share "Supercharged" S. Hope they do a few more of theSe conteSt. They are fun.... :-)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I'm not sure if I hit the correct "reply" link but this is to Tyler (unknown) above.

    As I said on Twitter, you have absolutely nothing to be sorry about. You haven't crashed anything, everyone is welcome here. I'm not an admin, but I can tell you this is one of the most inclusive groups you'll find anywhere.

    It's incredibly generous of you to share pics of what Bad Robot sends you with all of us here. The more neurons we can recruit for this, the better.

    Welcome aboard.

  8. “You may not have been one of us before, but you are now. Whether you like it or not.”

  9. Frustrated at the time I put into trying to decipher HRI, EWA, AXE and ABE via a "Rail" cipher! - I'm still not clear how the quoted text from the book had anything to do with this puzzle and "Grandfather". But, a "hat tip" to you sir for figuring it out. :) Grats!

    1. Rail cipher's aren't very useful with so few rails & such little ciphertext. You could just anagram it out, brute force, unless there a shift or something applied in addition.

      The Ship of Theseus / Theseus's Paradox is a philosophical question that is incredibly old (dating back to the 1st century and before). There are variants that have come about in more recent years (so that the question can be posed in a way that's easier to explain). One of those is Abe Lincoln's Ax (or George Washington's Ax or Your Grandfather's Ax). They're all names/titles for the same question: whether an object which has had all its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.

      Ship of Theseus - Wikipedia

      NPR example - Abe Lincoln's Ax (scroll down or search on page for Lincoln.)


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