Fenn's Phone Puzzle
Stephanie the owner of Chase Chat released what she believes Mr. Fenn gave to her as a hint to the location of the treasure. Here it is:
21+4x4- 50x6divide dbyitself+2X 61-3x 44+80X61a dd43plu s12546divi dedby 19les s2634667 87Ifyouloo katthatfinalnumbe ronyourphon edialitw illgiveahinta boutwherethetreas ureisbuty ouhaveonlya33%c hanceofgettingtherigh tanswerandIdon'tg uaran teemyfigur es. f
There are two ways to look at this: one, he is pulling her leg for trying to get information out of him, or it is actually a hint he knows she is incapable of deciphering. I have long speculated his hints are everywhere and often they are directed at people he knows can't solve them. So now that this puzzle is public, lets look at solving it.
On first glance it is easy to see that no matter how well you interpret the vague order of mathematical operation, one cannot achieve a valid phone number. So if you have followed Fenn Speak long enough and his sleight of hand technique, that I have long promoted, our first task is to ignore the phone number calculation and look at other possibilities. The format of this hint is very interesting because it is void of punctuation. The key here is to ignore the calculation and simplify by reading his instruction.
"If you look at that final number on your phone dial, it will give a hint about where the treasure is"
Notice I added the comma for clarity. So he is simply saying look at the phone physical dial (see image above) and the last number and it will give you a hint. The last number is 0 thus there are 0 hints to the treasure. ha! ha! Mr Fenn you are really funny.
While we are looking at the phone dial lets use our peripheral vision and slightly nigh or left of that last number is the asterisk (*), which conveniently links to my "follow the star theory" [patten pending]. But wait, there is more, he previously mentioned in SB 107 that he will "keep and eye on the phone lines." He also said "I guess they towed my car to the Walmart parking lot." So what? Well as mentioned in my Chasing the Walmart Star post, the logo of Walmart is, you guessed it, *.
So Mr Fenn did indeed provide her and now the rest of the search community a hint but it is of no value until one solves the poem. Further support to this is the recent news release of a comment that received very little attention "The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot." The answer to that quote is of course the asterisk *.