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Before and After

I always end up coming back to certain comments that Preiss made in some of the early articles about The Secret. One in particular is about treating the puzzles as "a set of interlocking patterns". I've written about this idea before, with respect to the verses, but I have been thinking about it again with the respect to the relationship between the verse and the painting.

Here's the quote again, just so we're on the same page. This can be found in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, circa 1982:

The logic in determining the locations of the chests is not random. There is … an interlocking set of patterns.

A basic definition of interlocking is: "(of two or more things) having parts that overlap or fit together." Imagine two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle snapping together -- only one piece comes from the verse and one piece comes from the painting.

An interesting example of this might be seen in the Topaz puzzle (Painting 12, Verse 10).

Lines 11-12 of the verse says:

The natives still speak Of him of Hard word in 3 Vols.

The questions here are, who is the "him" and what is the "word". One of these questions is confirmed by the Japanese hint:

Eventually, you will end up at the name of the person who is referred to by Him.

It's clear that the first step is to solve for "him". Perhaps if we can find the "him", it will help us find the "word". Over the years, the community of searches has come up with great answers to both. Charles Dickens wrote a book called Hard Times, which was published in 3 volumes. From a puzzle perspective, this gives us the two answers we were looking for: "him" is Charles Dickens and word is "Times".

This is where people tend to stop. What if this is only half? A single puzzle piece.

Let's take a look at the painting. On the top-right side, we see a square containing a clock inset on what looks like stone.

Image 10 - Clock

One interpretation of this as a rebus-style puzzle is: "Times Square". A clock tells time and this clock is within a square. Times Square is one of the most well known attractions in New York City, so it doesn't seem all that far of a leap. We can consider this another puzzle piece.

If we put these two puzzle pieces together, we find that they interlock. In the verse, we have "Hard Times", in the painting we have "Times Square". Hard Times Square.

This would be a great way to allow us to pair the verse to the painting.

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