Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ginter Code Solution Part 4

Mike: So at this point in the puzzle, you now have found 9 "L" cards and matched them up with 9 cards that match the entire border on one side. While I had thought we were near the end of the puzzle, it turns out that we were only at the beginning. We had to figure out what to do with the remaining 82 cards and how the fit into the puzzle. Nick made the next important discovery.

Nick: After Mike dropped the bombshell late Sunday night that he solved the code and submitted the answer I was somewhat deflated. Was it really that easy? I wasn't going to be impressed with the code-maker if that was all there was to it.

Having a strand of hope I was laying in bed looking at all the scans and made an interesting discovery. I looked at all of the cards with four letter last names (again, all with green backgrounds) and noticed that each of them had one symbol that matched the Hill card (the L card with four letters in the last name and the green background). For instance, start with Hill and look at the top row. Zito has the sword on top, Hart has the brick wall in the same spot, Span has the lizard in the same spot, Cust has the barrel in the same spot, Cruz has the planet in the same spot, Mora has the shield in the same spot, Kemp has the moon in the same spot, I knew Cain had all the symbols in the same spot.

At this point I didn't have scans of the Webb and Drew code cards (although I knew they had code cards because of the checklist I created), but knew their backgrounds were green after looking their base cards up on eBay. I was willing to bet anyone a LARGE amount of money that they both had the cup or key in the same spot as Hill (and it turned out to be true once we found scans later).

To be honest, I can't really recall how I would even notice that, because as I step back and look at it, I think this was the biggest leap in the code, and it is probably the most crucial step in the entire process. My mind was racing though because I had a feeling I was onto something (although I was still cautious that it was just a coincidence). The next thing I did was look at the Reynolds card. Eight letters, blue background. Hmmm, onto the checklist to see what might match...Youkilis has the olive branch in the same spot, Zambrano/candle, Kotchman/star, Renteria/horse, Hamilton/storm, Guerrero/anchor, Saunders/coon-skin hat, Hochevar matched each symbol. I didn't have a scan of Pettitte or Jurrjens at the time, but again I was willing to gamble that they had either the umbrella or feather in the same spot. All blue cards, all eight letters in the last name.

I emailed these examples to Mike and he said "Alright, you have me convinced, so now we are looking for 81 cards" (referencing 9 cards to match the 9 symbols on the 9 L cards.

Mike: So with the new revelations of the single symbol cards, it became clear that we needed all 100 scans, and quick! The first thing I did was to create a nine-column spreadsheet with the matching card names in order from 1-9 ( Imagine these in excel columns going from left to right)...

Background Red
Border: Left

Wells ("L" on 3rd position)
Bruce (Base Parallel #1)

Background: Red
Border: Top

Kinsler ("L" on 5th position)
Grienke (Base Parallel #2)

Column #3
Border: Right

Uggla ("L" on 4th position)
Parra (Base Parallel #3)

Column #4
Background Blue
Border Left

Ankiel ("L" on 6th position)
Posada (Base Parallel #4)

Column #5
Background Blue
Border Top

Reynolds ("L" on 6th position)
Hochevar (Base Parallel #5)

Column #6
Background Blue
Border Right

Loney ("L" on 1st position)
Eaton (Base Parallel #6)

Column #7
Background Green
Border Left

Miller ("L" on 4th position)
Smoltz (Base Parallel #7)

Column #8
Background Green
Border Top

Hill ("L" in 3rd position)
Cain (Base Parallel #8)

Column #9
Background Green
Border Right

Liriano ("L" in 1st position)
Theriot (Base Parallel #9)

Mike: So at this point, these columns laid the foundation for how to find the names to go into each of these columns, it was simply a matter of finding the same amount of letters in the last name and also the correct border color...so even though both Uggla's and Loney's columns have the same amount of letters in the name, the background color was different. So we were aiming to find 9 columns of 11 cards each, or 99 cards total.

Nick: Something I noticed was somewhat strange though. After we decided to group the cards by colors and number of letters in the last name, I sent an email to Mike first thing Monday morning that said the following: "Something odd though...Card number 50 - Neshek has a yellow background? I haven't done a lot of research but I haven't seen any other cards with a yellow background. This is probably a silly conclusion, but I wonder if there are 11 rows of 9 cards (the number 9 seems to be popping up a lot), and since there is 100 cards in the set, the Neshek yellow card is the 100th?"

Little did I know!!