Missing person

Although the sign Nearby Speaks of Indies native The natives still speak Of him of Hard word in 3 Vols.

Goal: find “him”


Indies native. Could be West Indies, could be pacific Islander. While Hamilton is a great answer, there are MANY notable Haitians and Dominicans in Brooklyn.


Natives. Locals? Natives to the land? People familiar with this person?


Still. This is where the clue starts to get tricky. Two ways to read.

  1. Even though Person A [indies native] is on the sign, the natives actively speak of this other person [him of Hard word] (e.g. a sign about one person in a neighborhood or street named for another. Does it matter if the two people are related? Not sure.)

  2. Even though Person A is described as an Indie’s native on the sign, the people prefer to speak of this same person in a different way. (e.g. although the sign speaks of this man as a native of the Indies, the natives still speak of him of [other place], [the ten year nap], [the great victory somewhere]) **Note, the phrase “him of...” really seems to limit the one person described 3 ways interpretation. Were it ‘him as… options might be endless.**

of Hard word. Hard is capitalized and thus proper. (A title, a name, etc.)


-‘Of’ indicates that “him” is

  1. from this place,

  2. is known for said thing,

  3. is from a lineage.

  4. is a member of a group.

-Accordingly, ‘Hard word’ indicates we’re looking for either

  1. a place that uses a synonym for Hard

  2. a work involving words named Hard (could also be a synonym, but Hard plus word seems to say this would be direct. In the past Preiss’ proper nouns have been face value.)

  3. a family name that’s a synonym for Hard.

  4. a group named or associated with Hard word. (e.g. There was once a political faction dubbed The Hards due to their political interpretations. Members would certainly be of Hard word with a capital H.)


In 3 Vols. Vols. is most likely Volumes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a synonym or wordplay using ‘volumes.’ I’m not keen on other meanings of ‘Vols.’ itself as the period can only indicate a select few. There are three ways to read this clue at this point:


-The natives still speak of [him of Hard word] in 3 Volumes.

  1. the natives speak of this person in 3 parts somehow,

  2. There is a standard writing on this person that is 3 volumes,

  3. Colloquially, this person is spoken of in 3 parts (JFK, FDR, etc.)

  4. There is something physical on site that could be interpreted as 3 volumes.

-The natives still speak of [him of Hard word in 3 Volumes.]

  1. The entire sentence is a word play. Him of Hard word presented in 3 parts. (e.g. Him of Hard word > Hard him > Rock-A-Fella > Rockefeller.)

-The natives still speak of him of [Hard word in 3 Volumes.]

  1. The classic. He’s written something titled ‘Hard’ in 3 Volumes. (e.g. Charles Dickens’ Hard Times released in 3 Volumes)

  2. There’s something physical on site that could be interpreted as “Hard word in 3 volumes.” Gets dicey with the proper noun, but doable. (e.g. Doane Rock if it had 3 sections)


Lastly, the Japanese clue:

“Line 12: Of him of Hard words in 3 Vols.

From this line we can tell the subject is an author. Who could it be? Preese replied to me in a riddle. He said that to arrive at this person, you should do a word play, and start with Chicken.”


The only part of this line that we can be sure of is that Preiss thought you could arrive at this person by doing a word play and starting with Chicken. Indeed, we probably should assume the “author” comment is merely the interpreter’s impression as many have had that impression.


Accordingly I can think of three options:

  1. Do a word play starting with the word Chicken to derive a name. (e.g. CHarles dICKENs)

  2. Physically arrive at someone’s likeness or mention by starting at a wordplay on Chicken. (e.g. Fowler Street, Henning’s Court)

  3. Do a word play for the name and then start with Chicken. (e.g. him of Hard > Hard him > Rock-A-Fella > Chicken Rockefeller as a common phrase to confirm)


Nothing new intended here. Just keeping the doors open if he decides to show up some day.

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