It also had this James Loney:
When studying those I immediately noticed a striking difference in both...the "N" in Renteria had an odd font to it, and the "L" in Loney had a box around it. I started going through my base cards to see if both players had the same oddities in their base version. Renteria did (I found out that ALL player names with an N have the different font). Loney didn't have a box on the base card. BINGO, my first clue. I did some research online to see exactly how many code cards there were, and found several places claiming there were 100 cards...my new mission was to get a scan of each one (I also realized that the code cards were parallels and the backs did not differ). I headed to eBay and started to download each picture I could. Where there were auctions with lots that didn't include pictures of every card, I made a checklist until I could figure out the 100 cards that I would need. After looking at several of the cards, I noticed more cards with boxes around the "L", and also noticed many code cards that had an "L" in the name, that had no boxes. I knew I was onto something.
So upon further Ebay searching, we were able to locate nine cards with Squared "L"s
- After creating the 100 code card checklist by checking eBay auctions (thanks eBay!), Nick noted that these 9 cards all fell in a consecutive sequence among the code cards: 52, 59,62,63,67,69,70,73, and 77.
- Note that there are 3 red, 3 blue, and 3 green backgrounds...more on this later.
- Also note the position of the squared letter. These cards actually give you your alphabet based on the L that is boxed, so:
Loney = 1st letter
Miller =4th letter
Mike: I was initially tripped-up when I saw that the 2nd L in Miller was squared. This was the only card of this 9 that had the second L highlighted...but it turned out to me nothing more than a position. Just a red herring from the code writer.Nick: I also noticed something strange when the 2nd "L" of Miller was boxed, yet the first "L" of Hill was boxed. Why box the second L unless it had something to do with actual letter placement? I don't know that it was necessarily a red herring, because it was crucial to take the 4th letter in the "Miller group" (more to come on this) rather than the third where the first "L" was.
Nick: I had no idea where to go at this point. I had found all 9 "L" cards Friday night (well, didn't actually have a good scan of the Wells card to see a box, but figured since the 8 around it had them, the Wells had to, we just didn't know if it was the first or second L), and then when I reached out to Mike on Saturday we both cryptically shared what we had found (so as not to give up too much information about what we knew) and realized we were on the same page and that we should work together. Mike actually had originally thought that Dontrelle Willis was an "L" card, which worried me because that would void my theory of all the "L" cards being in consecutive order on the code checklist. Speaking of which, we NEVER had a scan of Dontrelle, and come to think of it, I still don't (in reality we solved the code without several cards, you can see how a bit later).
Mike: I originally was looking for a 10th L card, and Dontrelle Willis fit the mold, but once Nick pointed out that the 9 L cards were all in sequence (thanks eBay!) and that Dontrelle fell out of that sequence, so at this point we knew there were 9 and only 9 "L" cards. We had the primer.
So at this point we had successfuly found 9 cards, but still had to figure out how to incorporate the other 91...