top of page

Book 'Em, Danno

You went back to what you knew. So far removed.


The back of the book is quite the controversial topic in Secret land. Some people believe there is a deep and intricate web which reveals all solutions whether they align to the painting and verse or not. The Secret police tell us, there is nothing in the back of the book. Bantam required it and the angsty 29 year old mastermind was so jaded he didn't use it at all. 157 pages of complete nonsense. Imagine how frustrating this must have been...spending all of that time on the back of the book art. Palencar couldn't even complete all the paintings used for the twelve puzzle. And besides, his back of the book is actually the front, right?


If we can agree on one thing about the back of the book, let's agree, there sure is a lot of noise surrounding it. So much so, it almost feels as if some folks are trying a bit too hard to push their agendas. So where does the truth lie? As is the case with most of these grandiose arguments, it's likely somewhere in between.


I spend a lot of time thinking about how I would have attempted to package a successful product in 1982. We talk a ton about the internet and how it has changed the game. Use methods you could have used in 1982...libraries! Okay, great, I get it. Libraries make a lot of sense as they house an abundance of information. They have their place but there is one issue in my mind. I need the project to be successful. If I publish a book which requires you to sit in a library all day in order to solve its puzzle, I probably missed the mark. Now, calm, calm keyboard warriors! I can hear you mashing away about how The Secret did miss the mark. Perhaps, but here is the ego check. Preiss was more intelligent than 98% of the individuals working the puzzle, me included. Let's, for a moment, assume the man considered not many people would shack up in a library for a year trying to unravel his mystery. What then??? Business experience is helpful. Anyone who's been involved with large projects know, requirements change and there is almost always a need to pivot. Also, keep in mind, the goal is a successful project. Assuming Bantam's Field Guide requirement is accurate, Preiss needed to pivot and ensure success. The investment in time would have forced his hand to leverage these 157 pages. The question becomes, how? What if it is just that simple? I know the base loves them some K.I.S.S. Imagine the Field Guide is a how to, providing methods and hints for solving the puzzles. You don't need to use it but in 1982 with limited resources, it may be quite helpful. And besides, back in the day, who wouldn't consider looking there? Have the sparks gone off, yet? Alright, I've written a lot and without an example, this is no better than, "Wrong verse, bro!". It's no secret I am adamant, Lane = Quebec, in verse 5. Quebec is the Algonquin word aligning to the definition provided in the Japanese hints. I could tell you how long I researched Lane as a proper noun, how many thousand search results I reviewed for the word on sites like newspapers dot com, and I understand this may not be word for word how you learned it in Quebec grade school. It just works with the hint in a clever way if you forget what you think and give it a chance. The issue I've always had with it is, how would I know? How would I know to even think Lane could be an Algonquin definition for a place? Maybe page 170 in the Field Guide?

Chicago is the Algonquin word meaning strong or powerful. Quebec is the Algonquin word for strait or narrow path. The method is given to us in the Field Guide. It's by no means easy but that just may be the issue with how these methods and hints were concealed. Too easy is always the fear for the puzzle maker. I've fallen into this trap many a time, I've seen friends do the same, and more recently I've heard about a gent thinking a 34 verse should be considered easy. The question I have for you all is...are you too stubborn to not explore this as more than a coincidence?

I tread a troubled track. My odds are stacked. Music - Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

121 views10 comments
bottom of page