The Hoard has been found!
A genuine hoard of Roman coins, ready to be won, in a seemingly impenetrable puzzle, steeped in vagueness? How could this play out?
As it turns out, very quickly indeed. We launched the Hoard competition on 19th February in London, at 12pm, and very quickly got a whole range of players downloading the game rules (a requirement).
Just 55 hours later, an email landed in Engimailed's mailbox, with the correct answer and a brilliant explanation of how the puzzle had been solved.
To put you out of your misery, I have annotated Angus Walker's explanation of exactly how he solved it, with my notes attached.
Well, I figured out the nine pubs from the what3words of the beermats' solutions.
That's correct: every location in Pouroboros is outside an excellent pub. We visited all nine that day, even inadvertantly ending up on a TikTok about one of the pubs!
Then from your kickstarter clues
Boom! This is genuine long-game strategy. You cannot adjust a Kickstarter page after a cmapaign has finished, so this was completed just before the end. There is a message hidden in plain site on the page, with CHECK ALL LOCATION REVIEWS in bold as you read through.
I found the google review for the Crown with the photo of the enigmailed card under the drink.
That's right. I left a review for every pub on the route, with photographic clues (the one linked here is for the Porterhouse, which in my opinion is the best of the lot). But who did I review these as?
I spotted that 'Roger Robinson' had submitted one review for each pub, each of which started PI and had a word beginning with two capital letters in it.
This is when Angus saddened me. He doesn't know about my dear friend Roger, who has been loyally writing to me for a while now. I'm only hoping he includes Angus in his Easter letter.
Each review started with PI - which was a clue for the words. No-one would brute this aspect of the ordering, surely...?
I'm afraid I then brute-forced the what3words possibilities for locations in London using Excel - there are only 27x6 possibilities that contain any particular pub, and I found the first one on the 47th attempt. Once I'd done one the other two came pretty quickly: then.exchange.lance, remote.flute.soup and ports.herbs.carbon.Even with hindsight I'm not sure where that ordering came from, though.
PI. I removed the repeated numbers, and used the location numbers (and their corresponding clues) to give three lots of what3word references, which take you to... a tree in Victoria Gardens, Embankment. This is next to Gordon's Wine Bar, which is technically my favourite bar, but it's wine rather than beer, and you never spend a short while here, so it was bumped off the Pouroboros list.
I'm tempted to create another puzzle hoard for the upcoming Kickstarter, Notable Remains. Hand's up who is up for that?