About the Book



It got a little dark there for a minute, I don't mind admitting. Never before had I felt such pain! We were in a deep damp hole, and no Chileans were coming to save us.  …And then, where Chileans and the international sleuthing community failed us, two scrappy Arkansans have stepped forward and seized the day — the day, yes, and also the Khroniker's southbound Six!

 As suspected, Quello's quill told the tale of this burial. And as feared, this particular burial took place in the thick woods on the Ozarkian foothills.  No clean landscaping at this stop; no clear border between rest-stop and wilds.  Nay… well, let's let these sleuths tell it themselves, in forty words of words and 7000 words of photography:


-Head west on I-40.

-Truck turnout.

-Trees line parking area.

-Walk along perimeter.

-A few feet deep, next to a storm drain, a proud tree covered in vines.

-On the trunk, a hand-carved pentagon.

-Ten inches under.

-Muddy but glorious.



Henson & Sydney, Junior Deducers




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Reader Comments (39)

Hi! What was the exit number? (this is me having trouble with these things...) This is very exciting, way to go guys!!! :)

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

That is fantastic! Congrats!! :)

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchristiewags

Congratulations, Henson and Sydney!

Based on the photos and your description, I am guessing this was the mile 134 rest area on I-40. You say you were heading westbound, and you were near Conway with Russelville and Fort Smith further to the west. (How's that for a Junior Deducer?)

Could mile 134 really be based on the 136.22 solution of the blackboard equation? Or are there other clues in the book that support the 134 mile clue?

Thank you for the photos, especially the one of the marker on the tree, and the indication that this was a turnout instead of a full rest area. It does seem more likely now that a marker could have been overlooked. We've all been looking for a relatively shiny aluminum tag at a tourist site, and not at a minimalist truck turnout. I wonder whether the closeness to the storm drain was significant?

Back to the drawing board?

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara


So this number was hidden quite differently from all the others. It was at a turnout, not a rest area. It was in the rough. It had no metal marker. It was apparently only near, not at the mile that could be derived from the clues. Thank goodness that at least the vines do not appear to be poison ivy, which I found on many trees in Arkansas.

I anticipate that the 12 could "break the rules" even more. It may be extremely difficult.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercosmicjay

So... do we think that the 12 will be found using the clues from floor 9? Or will it be trickier, as cosmicjay surmises?

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaff

I think it was at mm 134- it fits the description of that turnout perfectly. We know now that there are no specific rules to where the numbers can be found; the metal tags and groomed rest areas turned out to be red herrings for this number, and probably for the 12 t come as well. It seems the closer we are to the 12, the more slippery the rules become.

Congratulations to Henson & Sydney-great sleuthing! And good luck to the rest of the junior decucers who have a chance at the #12. I only wish I had lots of money and lots of time, and I'd travel the country searching myself, but I'm pretty sure my neighborhood is now clean of any numbers. I'm keeping my options open, though...

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthedawailey

Great number! Congrats on the six. This is truly becoming trickier the closer we are to the twelve, and that dastardly 9th floor.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFQS

Congratz to the finders. It is nice to see that the 6 has been found. Perhaps the finders could generously share with us the clues that led them to the solution. 134, while apparently correct, just seems so arbitrary. Don't get me wrong— I have enjoyed many hours trying to sift and rearrange the elements to try and solve the mysteries of state, highway and mile. But to have 134 be the answer because it is "close to" 136.2 seems, quite frankly, nuts. That is not an answer that could be gotten from the Floor 12 text and picture alone— only with the Quello interview. Unless, of course, there is another way to get to 134. Maybe I just don't see it; I have not seen other answers until they were pointed out. I will go console myself with ginger snaps, and hope for a clear explanation. Thanks, and cheers to all.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrizbee 87

Mile 134 clues.
I was wondering yesterday whether the cluster of the top three elements to the left of the rope - Hydrogen (1), Lithium (3) and Beryllium (4) - were intended as a mile 134 hint. That wouldn't explain the other three elements also visible to the left of the rope. Beryl is another name for emerald.

Another possibility is 1 + 3 = 4 as a clue. There are lots of 1 + 3 combinations in the blue/green teacups, t-shirts, rollers on the conveyor belt, onions, etc.

In retrospect, I suppose we can rationalize anything. One lesson I draw from this is that we have to narrow down the state and highway possibilities as best we can, and then just go out and carefully check the rest areas (and, now, turnouts).

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Starting with a circle, draw a Y inside it, then write the digits for PI at each end of the letter so the 3 and 1 are at top and the 4 at the base, then "twist" the circle so the result is shaped like an 8 with a twisted Y and now the 3 and 1 have swapped position. 314 becomes 134.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Don't forget there is another turnout on I-40 in Arkansas at mm 70. Although where 70 fits into the picture, I know not.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaff

I explained the 134 mile marker a couple posts back based on information on the 9th floor. I understand why consensus points to the 12th floor, but I'm 99% certain there's a rather large bank of fog in the works.

The I-40 reasoning that I have struggled and struggled with finally and most simply boils down to this: Look at all things related to wiring/cords on the 9th floor and see if you can find the four individual 8's. Then consider the "IT IS FOREVER" words are a good fit for a definition of INFINITY which is represented by an 8 turned on it's side. Note that the pictures of the buckled SIX above is displayed also on it's side. We have 5 8's, which adds up to 40. I think the alternate clue that fits my preference in terms of a hidden theme of SAWS (within the greater theme of ARCS) is to multiply the IT IS FOREVER-8 by 5-fingers on the PALM next to the door.

State: ARCS AND SAW = Arkansas
Highway: I-40 from SAW PALMetto
Mile:134 (based on writing the digits for Pi "314" on the ends of a Y inscribed in a circle and twisted into infinity) from Pizza = Pi + SAW

Please continue to work on the 12th floor if you wish to attempt the final solution.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Frizbee 87: I agree that the 134 isn't very obvious without the Quello interview and I can't believe that if that is the correct mm, there isn't something more specific in the picture pointing to it. But then, I'm not sure that even cosmicjay was convinced he had the correct clue that led him to that rest area. It's possible that the "real" 81 remains hidden on that floor, and who knows, maybe it includes that obvious 5 on the floor! You are right that if simply "close to" 136 is the answer, that's kind of nuts!

Eric: Very creative solution! I realize that nothing is off the table,but where do you see these kind of instructions, to put the values of PI in a particular order on a Y diagram inside a circle and then twist it to get them in the order you want? Could you have come up with this if you didn't already know what you were looking for?

Sara: I think you may be on the right track. Yes, we can rationize anything, but I think your ideas are all possible. Maybe 1 blue teacup plus 3 green teacups plus 4 spinning blenders....? It works, but again, mostly because we are starting with a number and working backwards. I bet I could find an 87 or 112 or 345 if I knew I was looking for them...

Claff: I considered mm 70 as well, and to be honest, when you Google the turnout at mm 134, it doesn't completely match the photo of the turnout submitted by Henson and Sydney. But in the end, their photo does look more like mm 134 W than mm 70 W. They did take a picture of the highway sign that says Conway on it, so it seems reasonable that's were they were headed.

It would be nice if they gave us the clues that led them to where they found the #6, but I'm assuming that because they neither said where they found it or the clues that led them there, Gus told them...sorry, suggested to them...that they keep those factoids secret.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermossy

Mossy, good questions, I can answer both. The direction of the nozzle on the watering can and the pie wedges on the radar screens and the needles on the gauges all share the same "11 o'clock" orientations and so serve as a convention for origin of the first digit on the Y-circle. The idea to do use this method of twisting the circle into a mobius seems logical based on the presence of lemons and twisty straws. I had observed this feature early on but hadn't put it together with the digits until now.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

If Quello wanted to leave us a message on his blackboard (where he was working on the molecule for teargas) he could have changed the numbers of Carbon atoms in the compound so that the molecular weight would be close to 134 - it's 133.06.

Not that neat. He should've added another Hydrogen maybe...

But if you had figured out the state and the highway, the MM 134 was within the realms of probability... My friends who were drafted 2 weeks ago to explore that turn-out didn't have the stamina or curiosity to go deep into the woods. Kudos to the junior deducers!

I still like Pennsylvania for the 12th floor. Count the drawers from left to right and the open one is nr. 91, which is element Pa. That, to me, is neat.

I'll get over this eventually...

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDMonty

I think I may have just found more support for that 1 + 3 = 4 solution for the mile 134 clue:

Ten inches under + muddy but glorious =
Count blue green units sum Hid + Do Dry

Don't know why the "do dry" part is in there, so maybe this isn't 100% correct, but the first part seemed more than coincidental.

So it seems that Twintig's post imay be telling us more about the solution than Henson and Sydney (if those are their real names) appear to have written in their report about their expedition. In fact, I wonder if some or all of these photos were taken when the number was buried, and not when it was found. If so, there may be clues in every aspect of this post.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I have a really good feeling about this:

Head west on I forty. Truck turnout =
Hint focus on turret. Tut A Keyword.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Hey guys! for floor 4 (Cosmicjay's find), Gus mentioned this: "The herring was erring, the interval was differential, and nine circles were squared. All hail CosmicJay!"

Which I took to be that square of 9 circles on the wall that is kind of cut off. 9 squared= 81. All in all, that would've been a tough one to find, just another hint that floor 9 is probably not complicated in terms of mathmatical, but hard to find. I wish it was summertime and I wasn't working!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Kim, I'm glad you brought up that quote. How about this:

The herring was erring = 12th floor, red circled Mi in the Ar spot is FULL ON HERRING material.

The interval = 4th floor, notes in seventh is an INTERVAL in music terminology

interval was differential = 9th floor, an INTERVAL in Calculus is often described as a range that goes on to INFINITY

9 circles were squared = 4th floor, leaving us with 9^2=81, a straight forward answer to the Mile

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

My Dad decided last week that our guess for a road trip wasn't looking right so he cancelled our trip to Michigan, I-94,mm40 after we read the clue about the blackboard. That's ok I am going to have a fun Nerf dart tag game instead with three of my best friends for my birthday!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I wonder which resident will have RECOVERED stamped across their head shot in the Residents section.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric


Gus made reference to Quello with this location,

"As suspected, Quello's quill told the tale of this burial"

So Quello's face should be covered with "recovered".

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAP

That leaves Future man on the 9th floor, right? Here's my present guess as to the numbers...
"one" - (written in cursive in the wall cables by the elevator)
"8" - (again written in wall cables, but next to the Gideon)
"1010100" - (the binary code for "84" written on the van de Graff)
Based upon preliminary checks, could this mean the 84th mile on Route 1 in South Carolina?
I'm new at this, so please be gentle when I'm told I'm wrong.
I want to check myself, but I don't live anywhere near S.C. :'(
Love you guys for the case!! 'Tis excellent and addictive!

Yes and No. Remember that Quello likely used his quill to write the Mi/Ar red herring. What better way to disguise the location to his treasure than to lay a trail to another floor's solution. The writing on the chalkboard isn't meant to be the work of a quill. I think the buckled 6 is a discovery of brute force and luck, and not from using 9th floor's clues as intended. Quello has created a masterpiece of ambiguity worthy of all those onion's he's been busy chopping. I'm sorry for all of us that we've been so duped.

"Mi" on the periodic table is a reference to 9th floor. MI is roman numeral for 1001, which is binary for 9, thus the 9th floor is Ar... Who else in the building knows their Roman Numerals? I think Bert D'Grnp, also responsible for using the Victrola to give Quello private dancing lessons in exchange for learning how to write in Roman Numerals.

So, his quill has told us a tale that resulted in the 6 discovery, but the matter of his chalk hasn't been resolved. I appreciate all the wonderful work Gus has done to bring us together, but we remain divided by Quello's masterful scheme.

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Why all the quibbling over Quello? I believe that the Arkansas clue in the periodic table is self-evident (in hindsight). And the 4 teas lead us directly to Interstate 40. But folks keep insisting that the mile should be 134. I assume this number comes neither from the book nor from our Junior Deducers in the field. Sydney and Henson have posted many things, but not the mileage. Are we all, perhaps, relying a little too heavily on our dear friend the Internet? I understand that http://www.interstaterestareas.com/ gives us much useful information. But I suspect that a traveler on I-40 through the Natural State could note that shortly after the posting for mile marker 133 (the atomic weight of the molecule written on the board) was a turnout. Or maybe it was near mile marker 136 (the solution for Y). Both of those could possibly be described as mile 134 on a list, while appearing as something else in reality. Gus often advises us to "Go!" I don't remember him ever suggesting that we "Google!" Now, if only I knew which highway would lead me to that 12...

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Lee

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