Oceans apart, day after day. And I slowly go insane... One can only focus on The Secret for so many decades, so I figured, why not switch it up. If you have not checked out Xavier Marx and the Missing Masterpieces, by Hilary Genga and Sean Cronin, you're missing out. First off, it's an excellent children's book and not early 80's satire confused by many as one. Second, the marketing is super clever. Leveraging celebrities for clues on social media couldn't be more in tune with the average individual's daily consumption. Let's talk about how we get started. Jesse Eisenberg has a secret clue in the book. If this thing ends up being in Columbus Circle, I'll be beside myself. What? I'm a Zombieland fan! Okay, okay, back to the clue. I'm still not sure where it ends but am pretty certain it starts with the painting on pg.31
Benji Segre anagrams to J Eisenberg and Chaotic Firsts to Acrostic Shift (also Historic Facts). We'll use these later but what to insert into the 4x4 grid? Through the book we are also shown 17 child paintings. 16 of the paintings have titles which are riddles for NYC locations. The leftover appears to contain items confirming the 16 locations. Also note, the location is New York and the text, 16 words in length.
Once the riddles are solved and confirmed, we are left with 16 NYC locations. Now what? If we use the children's age to shift letters in our locations, we are able to populate the grid. This is where our acrostic shift anagram comes into play. For example the painting titled A Fun Guy And Girl is a riddle for Alice in Wonderland located in Central Park. We then use the child artist's age, 9, to pull the O from aliceinwOnderland...visual below.
After all letter are populated into the grid, we are left with four vertical words - ECHO, UNDO, TIRE, LONE. Yet another riddle. What could they mean?
ECHO - DOT(think Amazon)
UNDO - DASH(subtract)
TIRE - 0(shape)
LONE - 1(single)
This all leaves me with some questions. Are we now looking for morse and binary? And is this the even the correct interpretation? It's a lot of work to tell us to look for a method which was already on most of our radar. Lastly, do we need to examine the diagonal words in the grid?
HNT - hint?
ENRE - sea eagle
LIDO - beach
ORO - gold
Perhaps, they are hinting at the colors blue(sea eagle & beach) and yellow(gold)...or maybe it's purely coincidence. I'll leave it for you to decide. Thanks for the hunt Hilary and Sean.
Oh, can't you see it baby? You've got me going crazy. Music - Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting