Mark Terry

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We Have A Preemptive Winner!

March 30, 2008
Okay, I'm wildly impressed. Stephen Parrish nailed it (with one minor exception).

The clues were:

1. He wrote nine symphonies.


2. Rudyard Kipling’s child.

Elephant (From Kipling's story, "Elephant's Child." Apparently, as Stephen points out, Kipling's daughter's name was Elyse. Coincidence, but it works.

3. A big red fruit that most think is a vegetable.

Tomato. (I believe the fruit classification is a U.S. Agriculture quirk, but it is an odd bit of trivia).

4. Orycteropus afer.

The scientific name for the Aardvark.

5. Odysseus’ heir.

Telemachus was Odysseus' son.

6. Not a street, drive or boulevard. 


7. A thief without thought.


8. Not a fool, imbecile, dunce, dummy, ignoramus or moron.


9. The home of Lincoln, not Abe.


10. North to the black raven.

As I said in my comments, this is actually a direction. The main character's father left clues for his daughter to track where he might have gone in case something happened to him (which it does). She's a 16-year-old, and she's traveling with one of her father's grad students (Ashley). It's been made clear that her father is eccentric, and he also traveled a lot when she was young, so he was always leaving her clues and codes and puzzles to solve while he was gone. 

SO, if you take the first letter of each answer, you get:

BETATAKIN. With the final, #10 being: Go north to the black raven.

Betatakin is a major Anasazi ruin on the Navajo National Park. Above are two photographs. The ruins are inside that huge natural arch. Dramatic, isn't it?

Everybody, thank you for participating. I hope it was fun. Apparently these were harder than I thought. I don't know why I say that, because so much of what makes it do-able is context and knowing the target and the source. Probably if I didn't know, I would have struggled. So great.

Stephen, e-mail me and send me  your address. Great job!


Mark Terry


Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

I love this kind of stuff. The more of it in Blogtopia, the better.

Had you not provided the "Anasazi" clue this would have been exponentially more difficult, because "Betatakin" is not a household word.

For what it's worth, I think you have the right level of difficulty and interest (quirkiness) for a YA audience. For what it's worth.

In 1887 the Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are vegetables.

Unless you disagree. Because I'd rather agree with Mark Terry than with a handful of dead justices.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Nope, I agree.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Oh and here's some odd trivia from the same article Stephen points to:
In 1753 the tomato was placed in the genus Solanum by Linnaeus as Solanum lycopersicum L. (derivation, 'lyco', wolf, plus 'persicum', peach, i.e., "wolf-peach").

It's gone through a real amount of variation, but I'm sort of tickled by the idea of a "wolf peach."

8:39 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

What, the Supreme Court of the land didn't have anything better to do???


And hey, did you see? It was almost our state fruit a couple years ago? :-)

3:48 PM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Damn. I got all of 'em except the klepto. AND I was once friends with a true klepto. Do you know as a disorder that is harder to treat than heroin addiction? Has the highest failure rate for treatment.

ANYWAY . . . fun stuff.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

That's interesting, Erica. I've heard that about gambling addiction, too.

It was pointed out in one of those books written by the FBI Profiler, who commented that when he was an FBI agent in Detroit, they were busting professional gamblers, it was raining, and the guy they busted pointed to the rain on the window and said, "You guys don't get it. We don't need numbers or poker games to gamble. We can pick two drops of rain and bet which one will get to the bottom first."

5:25 PM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

I wrote about gambling addiction in Double Down (writing as Tess Hudson). They "chase their losses"--always after the next score. A very, very relapse-driven addiction.


4:35 AM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

Ouch my brain!
I missed Klepto too. Funny since we have one in the family-lol.
I actually knew the fact about the tomato but I don't know why that fact stuck in my brain.
Great fun Mark, Thanks.

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