ARGFest 2011: A Stellar Puzzle Solution
Last month, I presented you with a deceptively complex puzzle Stitch Media used to challenge ARGFest attendees. To date, only six puzzlers have managed to walk away with the solution. If you still want to attempt to join their ranks, stop reading here, because I’m finally going to reveal the solution below.
The poem provided in the puzzle makes oblique references to the ancient Asian myth of the Weaver Fairy and the Buffalo Boy that gave birth to the Magpie Festival in China, Tanabata in Japan, Chilseok in Korea, and Thất Tịch in Vietnam, all of which took place a fortnight before the conference.
All of the versions of the myth seek to explain the formation of the Summer Triangle, as the stars Vega and Altair appear to come together during the summer months in the northern hemisphere, brought together by Deneb. In the Vietnamese version referenced by the poem, the two fairies Altair and Vega walk upon a bridge of crows at Deneb to cross the Silver River. This, in turn, provides the framework for the solution.
Three letters in the puzzle have a different typography than the others, with a circular dot instead of a square one. Each of these dots are positioned to replicate the Summer Triangle. The first dotted “i” in Stitch Media’s url was the Weaver Fairy Altair; the dotted “i” in eternity was the Buffalo Boy Vega; and the first word of the poem contained the dotted “i” that bridged the two as Deneb.
Connecting these from Altair to Deneb to Vega spells out “ikneiwasfor.” Trying this answer on Stitch Media’s page leads to a message saying “Just one more step.” That step was creating an anagram out of the letters, “fairiesknow,” which ties back once more to the myth. Entering that phrase into the url provides one final hurdle: naming the bridge from the story. Typing in “Deneb” as the answer completes the puzzle and, in so doing, connected the two lovers.
Thanks to Stitch Media for the puzzle and input on the puzzle-solving process.