Nerdy scavenger hunt: who wants to play?

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Over the past few weeks, keen-witted fans of flosser emeritus John Green's vlog -- they call themselves nerdfighters -- have been consumed with a mind-bending scavenger hunt, the clues to which have been hidden both in the real world and on the internet. And I felt that it was high time we flossers jumped into the fray, because frankly, we could give those nerdfighters a run for their money and win this thing! To do that, however, I first have to catch you up on what's been going on up to now in My Pants (aka, the Brotherhood 2.0 forum, where the nerdfighters feverishly collude to solve each clue as they come along).

So far, there have been fourteen clues. Last week, Hank (the other half of Brotherhood 2.0) posted a quick synopsis of the first nine clues, and left a tenth:

Just to give you a sense of the clues so far, here's that sixth clue that Hank refers to, which I created:

This led to a DHL box outside a Bank of America on Santa Monica Blvd. in LA, behind which there was an envelope, inside of which there was a strange image and an anagram.

The next few clues were more anagrams, which the nerdfighters deftly decoded.

Clue #12 came at the end of John's vlog on 11/13, when he said "Nerdfighters, your clue is 'Winner, South Dakota.'" This led the scavenger hunters to an earlier video, posted months before, in which John talked about the town of Winner, South Dakota, and its Wikipedia entry. In the history page of that Wikipedia entry, John had written "Look on Guilford High Street in front of the Holy Trinity Church; taped to the back of a red phone box."

Sure enough, Nerdfighters in Guildford, England found a dollar bill taped to a phone box with another anagram on it, and when that was solved, John posted a vlog in which he features several humorous venn diagrams, one of which had the number "186" written on it (subtly, I might add). Earlier that day, a user named "186" had posted a comment in one of the My Pants forums: "I like Looking for Alaska," which led hunters to the Wikipedia page for John's debut novel, and finally to a stanza from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," which appears to be the next clue:

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

Nerdfighter pkiverson comments "It's unclear right now whether this is a clue which is meant to lead us to a new location or new clue, or whether it is a clue meant to shed some light on the Scavenger Hunt as a whole."

Anyone got any ideas? Let's crack this thing!

November 16, 2007 - 2:00am
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