Location: Tiburon Audubon Center

In the driveway of the Audubon Center, there was a box. The box contained our next puzzle. We picked up an academic paper and a deck of cards.

This turned out to be probably the most complicated puzzle
I could imagine finishing and not thinking "that was too
complicated at the end." It was *awesome*.

Academic papers always appear to be dense with information. Most of them turn out to contain less than appears at first glance, mostly padding. This paper had more going on than was apparent at first.

It rattled on for a while about the game. Then it talked about a game called Genjikou, in which five scented sticks could form one of fifty-two combinations. It discussed a puzzle laid out on a partial checkerboard. Next it talked about encoding techniques, keys thereof, and isomorphisms.

In case that wasn't enough, there was more to this paper than met
the eye. It was attributed to

R. Wright

E. Ajof

A. Perrog

D. Rafs

This encouraged us to look at the right edge of paragraphs--where we noticed many hyphens and periods, spelling out a Morse code message, which told us to find five-letter words. Each paragraph contained exactly one five-letter word.

Meanwhile, some folks were looking at the Genjikou and checkerboard diagrams, saying something incomprehensible about the idea that the paper wasn't complete B.S.--the two games really were isomorphic. And there were diagrams for configurations of these games, with set-ups labeled "A" through "Z".

And there was the deck of cards. Three cards had Post-Its on them. Five-letter words on the Post-Its were underlined. One Post-It alerted us to the fact that the Ace of Clubs had been altered: it was now the Ace of Boxes. One Post-It told us to ignore the numbers, and only pay attention to suits.

Genjikou is a game in which there are five sticks of incense. Some or none of these sticks may be duplicates. Thus, you have an ordered set of sticks, some of which form like-scented clusters.

The half-checkerboard puzzle shows five row/columns of a checkerboard; I forget how it worked, but it again allowed you to identify clusters in a set of five.

So someone went through the deck of cards, looking at five cards at a time, looking for clusters of same-suit. He found them. By this point, this puzzle had left me in the dust. I looked on in half-comprehension as he pointed out that the first 26 card-sets mapped to the Genjikou/checkerboard sets that had been diagrammed in the paper in the A-Z diagrams.

At this point, my lack of comprehension of this puzzle lost me. But to write this report, I dragged out this puzzle again, forced myself to sit down with it, and finally understood it. And it was sooo worth it.

The academic paper showed 26 Genjikou diagrams, pointing out that there were another 26. We see that these 26 same-scent clusterings correspond to the first 26 same-suit clusterings of the deck of cards: it had been shuffled juuust so. What if we considered the second set of 26 card clusterings as a second A-Z alphabet? Write down that alphabet.

Looking at the five-letter words pulled from the academic paper, several of them have repeated letters. Oh my. If you look at the patterns of those repeated letters, none of the words have patterns that can be found in the illustrated Genjikou diagrams. They all match clusterings found in the second half of the deck of cards. Using the A-Z mapping from the deck of cards told us where to go next: the Golden State Model Railroad Museum.