Who is Benjamin Stove?

Puzzle # 5 – New York - a puzzle in 3 parts

Associated Story Elements: The materials Darby receives from Martinez’ niece are letters from Ben Stove to Martinez from three different time periods. The first four misplaced notes would have happened during the two later time periods, during college through right after (the young adult) and when his life was falling apart (the transition years), and the puzzles will reflect the information sources he was researching during those time periods.
Intended Payoff/Solve: information leading to the fourth library location and book title, yielding the fourth of four misplaced notes from the letter writing period.
Delivery Vehicle: marginalia notes from materials sent to Darby by Martinez’ niece, or through info provided by Stove in his reappearance via new website.

City: New York
Library: New York Public Library
Mid-Manhattan Library
455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street
New York, New York 10016
Book: The Egyptians, Aldred, Cyril, London : Thames & Hudson, c1987 NY Public Library call # 83050637.

Alternate Books: Secret of the Andes. With drawings by Jean Charlot. by Clark, Ann Nolan, New York, Viking Press, 1952.

Puzzle Concept: Pieces in various early letters from Ben to Dr. Martinez contain puzzles and codes he has created; as their topics of discussion have grown increasingly strange or controversial, Ben has taken to hiding secret messages in these puzzles as a means of communicating his activities and discoveries to Dr. Martinez. Later, when Ben creates his website, symbolinthecrop.com, he intentionally hides puzzles and clues in the site to lead clever readers to the notes and items he has hidden in libraries around the country.

Part 3: The Dowsing Puzzle – Stashed somewhere amongst the text entries on Ben’s site, in either the section devoted to geography, geomancy, crop circles etc., Ben has placed a short bit of text about dowsing (and possibly how crop circles and other strange phenomenon often happen around water sources) and an image showing a few different types of dowsing rods.

Puzzle Design: The dowsing rod image contains a secret message.

* Here is an example of how the note should look:

Underneath the image are captions identifying the various divining rod types, like this:

A and B: dowser’s twig; C: Oasis rod; D and E: Geodetic rod; F: Simple wire; and G: Finger rod.

The Solve: The hand symbols in the divining rod diagram are Sign Language symbols and together spell out the words “New York City.”

Puzzle Notes: This part provides the location of the next target city, but without specifying the exact site or branch. Although this step is rather easy, it’s included mainly because it uses content from the previous target book from LA, Guy Underwood’s Pattern of the Past. The dowsing rod diagram is taken from there but then modified to include the sign language hand formations. I can provide a scan of the exact page if necessary, but it may be better to create an entirely original version based on my sample design. The hands need to be made close enough that the intended sign language equivalents are identifiable.

It also ties in nicely with Debunkette’s post re: dowsing.

All puzzles, websites, images, character names, and story descriptions are copyright 2007 - Dave Szulborski