THE FORTY-ONE CLUE SOLUTION

Here is the official documentation I sent to David Blaine in September 2002. The Fedex envelope then spent the weekend lying in the “in/out” basket at the front desk of the office building until claimed.

The forty-one clues are extracted from the visual ciphers scattered throughout the book.

Several deductions are required to crack the mystery of the forty-one.

PROPER PRECEPTS IMPOSE ON PROSE AND DECLINE TWO

The first “aha!” is to divide the clues into two groups of PROSE and PRECEPTS.

The 21 Prose:

A FAIR BIRD ITS WINGS ARISE AND EASTWARD IT FLEW
HIS POTION OF SERPENTS AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
A SCENT SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
AHH SIGHED THE MONARCH HOPING TO SOOTH HIS FLU
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE ADORES THE IMP THE LEAST
FOLKS FLEE ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER ORGAN PLAYS TO SAINTLY ONES THEIR LAST RITE
HIS SEALED HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
ITS URN THAT IT ADORNED WITH LEAF ENGRAVING SHATTERED
MOST DEER ENVY THE FROTH THAT BLEW FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH PHRASE CASTS SHY GLIMPSES NEAR SHADOW
ONLY THE STORMY NIGHT KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
OUR COAL CHUTE PROVED THE BETTER SOURCE OF FOOD
RUBIES INCITE THE FOULEST FEAR IN BLUE BLOODSTONE
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS DO ASPIRE TO CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF SPADES MIGHT BE A MAN OF BRIGHT SENSE
THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE KNIGHT WIELDED WITH SPITE
THE PAUSE GREW TENSE DARE YE TO STEP FORWARD
THE VERY COARSE SCORN WASTE ONCE PAYMENT IS DUE
WHEN THE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN DIES
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAITS THE MICE SWAP TO THE RIGHT

The precepts (rules prescribing a particular course of action) stand out because of removal words like OUSTED, BANISH, REJECT, AVOID, NEVER INCLUDE, IGNORE, ESCHEW, FLED, STRUCK, EXILED, AXE, DETEST, and REFUSE.

Other words like WIGGED OUT, COUNT DOWN, SEATED, INTERMINGLE, and MOCK are suspect as well.

The 20 Precepts:

A WONDERFUL LITTLE MAN WIGGED OUT HIS PEERS
ANY SINGLES RESOUNDING HERE WILL BE OUSTED
BANISH THOSE WHO SEEM THE SAME AND ALL IN BETWEEN
BLITHE BLACKSMITHS REJECT SWIRLED SAD TIN
BRAGGART BARTENDERS AVOID TANGLED TIN ICE
CLEVER CARPENTERS NEVER INCLUDE SABOTAGED SLIM PEGS
DEEP SEA DIVERS IGNORE THE DIZZY DEPTH OVER HOPING
EFFECTIVE EDITORS ESCHEW PAGES THAT ECHO REMORSE
FIVE NOMADS FLED AND TUMBLED OAF SO OAF
FREAK LIGHTNING STRUCK ALL THE EXCEPT THE FOURTH
HER MAJESTY EXILED ALL PORTRAITS RESEMBLING YOU
JESTERS AXE JOKES WITH ANY RESEMBLANCE TO CLICHES
NAYSAYERS SHUN AND AGITATE A DROWNED LOATHING
RADIO DRAMAS COUNT DOWN EVERY SIX AND TWO PIERS
SANE SCHOLARS DETEST ANY LANGUAGE SOUNDING TRITE
HERETO THE LAST TWO WERE SEATED TWENTY FIFTH
TWENTY SEVEN COUNTRIES INTERMINGLE LEGITIMATELY
TWENTY WHO ARE MUDDLED MUST MOCK THEIR MATE
WEATHER STATIONS REFUSE TO CONFUSE THIS NEW FOG


Some clues can be applied immediately.

CLEVER CARPENTERS NEVER INCLUDE SABOTAGED SLIM PEGS

Remove (NEVER INCLUDE) the jumbled (SABOTAGED) words SLIM PEGS = GLIMPSES.

A FAIR BIRD ITS WINGS ARISE AND EASTWARD IT FLEW
HIS POTION OF SERPENTS AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
A SCENT SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
AHH SIGHED THE MONARCH HOPING TO SOOTH HIS FLU
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE ADORES THE IMP THE LEAST
FOLKS FLEE ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER ORGAN PLAYS TO SAINTLY ONES THEIR LAST RITE
HIS SEALED HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
ITS URN THAT IT ADORNED WITH LEAF ENGRAVING SHATTERED
MOST DEER ENVY THE FROTH THAT BLEW FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH PHRASE CASTS SHY GLIMPSES NEAR SHADOW
ONLY THE STORMY NIGHT KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
OUR COAL CHUTE PROVED THE BETTER SOURCE OF FOOD
RUBIES INCITE THE FOULEST FEAR IN BLUE BLOODSTONE
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS DO ASPIRE TO CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF SPADES MIGHT BE A MAN OF BRIGHT SENSE
THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE KNIGHT WIELDED WITH SPITE
THE PAUSE GREW TENSE DARE YE TO STEP FORWARD
THE VERY COARSE SCORN WASTE ONCE PAYMENT IS DUE
WHEN THE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN DIES
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAITS THE MICE SWAP TO THE RIGHT


BRAGGART BARTENDERS AVOID TANGLED TIN ICE

Remove (AVOID) the jumbled (TANGLED) words TIN ICE = INCITE.

A FAIR BIRD ITS WINGS ARISE AND EASTWARD IT FLEW
HIS POTION OF SERPENTS AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
A SCENT SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
AHH SIGHED THE MONARCH HOPING TO SOOTH HIS FLU
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE ADORES THE IMP THE LEAST
FOLKS FLEE ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER ORGAN PLAYS TO SAINTLY ONES THEIR LAST RITE
HIS SEALED HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
ITS URN THAT IT ADORNED WITH LEAF ENGRAVING SHATTERED
MOST DEER ENVY THE FROTH THAT BLEW FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH PHRASE CASTS SHY NEAR SHADOW
ONLY THE STORMY NIGHT KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
OUR COAL CHUTE PROVED THE BETTER SOURCE OF FOOD
RUBIE INCITE THE FOULEST FEAR IN BLUE BLOODSTONE
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS DO ASPIRE TO CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF SPADES MIGHT BE A MAN OF BRIGHT SENSE
THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE KNIGHT WIELDED WITH SPITE
THE PAUSE GREW TENSE DARE YE TO STEP FORWARD
THE VERY COARSE SCORN WASTE ONCE PAYMENT IS DUE
WHEN THE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN DIES
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAITS THE MICE SWAP TO THE RIGHT


HER MAJESTY EXILED ALL PORTRAITS RESEMBLING YOU

Remove (EXILED) all words that rhyme (RESEMBLING) with YOU.

A FAIR BIRD ITS WINGS ARISE AND EASTWARD IT FLEW
HIS POTION OF SERPENTS AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
A SCENT SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
AHH SIGHED THE MONARCH HOPING TO SOOTH HIS FLU
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE ADORES THE IMP THE LEAST
FOLKS FLEE ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER ORGAN PLAYS TO SAINTLY ONES THEIR LAST RITE
HIS SEALED HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
ITS URN THAT IT ADORNED WITH LEAF ENGRAVING SHATTERED
MOST DEER ENVY THE FROTH THAT BLEW FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH PHRASE CASTS SHY NEAR SHADOW
ONLY THE STORMY NIGHT KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
OUR COAL CHUTE PROVED THE BETTER SOURCE OF FOOD
RUBIES THE FOULEST FEAR IN BLUE BLOODSTONE
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS DO ASPIRE TO CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF SPADES MIGHT BE A MAN OF BRIGHT SENSE
THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE KNIGHT WIELDED WITH SPITE
THE PAUSE GREW TENSE DARE YE TO STEP FORWARD
THE VERY COARSE SCORN WASTE ONCE PAYMENT IS DUE
WHEN THE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN DIES
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAITS THE MICE SWAP TO THE RIGHT


SCHOLARS DETEST ANY LANGUAGE SOUNDING TRITE

Remove (DETEST ) all words that rhyme (SOUNDING ) with TRITE.

A FAIR BIRD ITS WINGS ARISE AND EASTWARD IT
HIS POTION OF SERPENTS AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
A SCENT SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
AHH SIGHED THE MONARCH HOPING SOOTH HIS
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE ADORES THE IMP THE LEAST
FOLKS FLEE ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER ORGAN PLAYS SAINTLY ONES THEIR LAST RITE
HIS SEALED HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
ITS URN THAT IT ADORNED WITH LEAF ENGRAVING SHATTERED
MOST DEER ENVY THE FROTH THAT FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH PHRASE CASTS SHY NEAR SHADOW
ONLY THE STORMY NIGHT KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
OUR COAL CHUTE PROVED THE BETTER SOURCE OF FOOD
RUBIES THE FOULEST FEAR IN BLOODSTONE
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS ASPIRE CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF SPADES MIGHT BE A MAN OF BRIGHT SENSE
THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE KNIGHT WIELDED WITH SPITE
THE PAUSE TENSE DARE YE STEP FORWARD
THE VERY COARSE SCORN WASTE ONCE PAYMENT IS
WHEN THE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN DIES
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAITS THE MICE SWAP THE RIGHT


Using the removal clues any further will prevent the second essential “aha!”


TWENTY WHO ARE MUDDLED MUST MOCK THEIR MATE
BANISH THOSE WHICH SEEM THE SAME AND ALL BETWEEN

MOCK THEIR MATES and SEEM THE SAME suggest homophones, words that sound alike and are spelled differently. e.g. him/hymn, aisle/isle, bury/berry, etc.

The original list of prose clues contained these homophones: do/due, flew/flu, blew/blue, rite/right, night/knight.

But the clue is asking for TWENTY WHO ARE MUDDLED, not pairs in plain view.

SEEM THE SAME confirms this for SAME (jumbled) = SEAM, a homophone for SEEM.

There are TWENTY such pairs contained in the prose clues.

ADORES = SOARED pairs with SWORD
SEALED = LEASED pairs with LEAST
ASPIRE = PRAISE pairs with PREYS
SPADES = PASSED pairs with PAST
SCENT = CENTS pairs with SCENT
SERPENTS = PRESENTS pairs with PRESENCE
RUBIES = BRUISE pairs with BREWS
FEAR = FARE pairs with FAIR
ARISE = RAISE pairs with RAYS
DIES = SIDE pairs with SIGHED
SOOTH = SHOOT pairs with CHUTE
SOURCE = COURSE pairs with COARSE
WAITS = WAIST pairs with WASTE
SWAP = PAWS pairs with PAUSE
DARE = DEAR pairs with DEER
FROTH = FORTH pairs with FOURTH
NEAR = EARN pairs with URN
LEAF = FLEA pairs with FLEE
ORGAN = GROAN pairs with GROWN
ONES = NOSE pairs with KNOWS

BANISH THOSE ... AND ALL BETWEEN suggests to remove these words and all the words between them, however, doing so higgledy-piggledy would be a right mess.

A FAIR BIRD ITS WINGS ARISE=RAISE AND EASTWARD IT
HIS POTION OF SERPENTS=PRESENTS AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
A SCENT=CENTS SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
AHH SIGHED THE MONARCH HOPING SOOTH=SHOOT HIS
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE ADORES=SOARED THE IMP THE LEAST
FOLKS FLEE ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER ORGAN=GROAN PLAYS SAINTLY ONES {NOSE THEIR LAST
HIS SEALED=LEASED HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
ITS URN THAT IT ADORNED WITH LEAF=FLEA ENGRAVING SHATTERED
MOST DEER ENVY THE FROTH=FORTH THAT FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH PHRASE CASTS SHY NEAR=EARN SHADOW
ONLY THE STORMY KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
OUR COAL CHUTE PROVED THE BETTER SOURCE=COURSE OF FOOD
RUBIES=BRUISE THE FOULEST FEAR=FARE IN BLOODSTONE
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS ASPIRE=PRAISE CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF SPADES=PASSED BE A MAN OF SENSE
THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE WIELDED WITH
THE PAUSE TENSE DARE=DEAR YE STEP FORWARD
THE VERY COARSE SCORN WASTE ONCE PAYMENT IS
WHEN THE RAYS OF BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN DIES=SIDE
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAITS=WAIST THE MICE SWAP=PAWS THE

The correct strategy is to arrange the clues so that each MOCK THEIR MATE pairing doesn't eliminate any words from other pairings.

This clue cannot be the first clue, for it eliminates GROAN.

ONLY THE STORMY KNOWS THE FORCE OF THE ROSE
HER GROAN PLAYS SAINTLY NOSE
THEIR LAST

Therefore, this must be the first clue and the rest falls into place.

THE HORRIBLE SWORD THE WIELDED WITH
EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE SOARED
THE IMP THE LEAST
HIS LEASED
HORSE COSTUME PREYS ON THE MIND
SHREWD SCOUNDRELS PRAISE
CLEAR A MURDER PAST
THAT KING OF PASSED
BE A MAN OF SENSE
A CENTS
SO SEVERE ITS SHEER PRESENCE GLARES
HIS POTION OF PRESENTS
AND VENOMS BREWS PORTENT
BRUISE
THE FOULEST FARE IN BLOODSTONE
A FAIR
BIRD ITS WINGS RAISE AND EASTWARD IT
WHEN THE RAYS
OF SUNLIGHT BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN SIDE
AHH SIGHED
THE MONARCH HOPING SHOOT HIS
OUR COAL CHUTE
PROVED THE BETTER COURSE OF FOOD
THE VERY COARSE
SCORN WASTEONCE PAYMENT IS
WHILE THE BLACK CAT WAIST
THE MICE PAWS THE
THE PAUSE
TENSE DEAR YE STEP FORWARD
MOST DEER
ENVY THE FORTH THAT FROM THE NORTH
MY FOURTH
PHRASE CASTS SHY EARN SHADOW
ITS URN
THAT IT ADORNED WITH FLEA ENGRAVING SHATTERED
FOLKS FLEE
ALONG ROUTES GROWN DENSE WITH NEGLECT
HER GROAN
PLAYS SAINTLY NOSE THEIR LAST
ONLY THE STORMY KNOWS
THE FORCE OF THE ROSE

Leaving:

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
HORSE COSTUME
CLEAR A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS SHEER
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS WINGS
OF BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH HOPING
PROVED THE BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
PHRASE CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
PLAYS SAINTLY
THE FORCE OF THE ROSE

This anagram/homophone - homophone/anagram “aha!” confirms that 21 is the correct number of prose clues, also suggesting a final answer of 21 words.


ANY SINGLES RESOUNDING HERE WILL BE OUSTED

Remove (OUSTED) all words that rhyme (RESOUNDING) with HERE.

If applied earlier, the key "SEEM THE SAME" words NEAR, FEAR would have been lost.

SINGLES suggests the rhyme SEVERE is not removed, for it has two syllables.

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
HORSE COSTUME
CLEAR A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS SHEER
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS WINGS
OF BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH HOPING
PROVED THE BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
PHRASE CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
PLAYS SAINTLY
THE FORCE OF THE ROSE


EFFECTIVE EDITORS ESCHEW PAGES THAT ECHO REMORSE

Remove (ESCHEW) all words that rhyme (ECHO) with REMORSE.

If applied earlier, the key "SEEM THE SAME" words COARSE, SOURCE would have been lost .

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
HORSE COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS WINGS
OF BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH HOPING
PROVED THE BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
PHRASE CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
PLAYS SAINTLY
THE FORCE OF THE ROSE


JESTERS AXE JOKES WITH ANY RESEMBLANCE TO CLICHES

Remove (AXE) all words that rhyme (WITH ANY RESEMBLANCE) with CLICHES.

If applied earlier, the key "SEEM THE SAME" words PREYS, RAYS would have been lost.

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS WINGS
OF BLAZE THE SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH HOPING
PROVED THE BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
PHRASE CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
PLAYS SAINTLY
THE OF THE ROSE


DEEP SEA DIVERS IGNORE DIZZY DEPTH OVER HOPING

Remove (IGNORED) the jumbled (DIZZY) words DEPTH OVER HOPING = HOPING PROVED THE.

This contiguous letter combination would not have been available at the onset.

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS WINGS
OF THE SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH HOPING
PROVED THE BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
SAINTLY
THE OF THE ROSE


WEATHER STATIONS REFUSE TO CONFUSE THIS NEW FOG

Remove (REFUSE) the jumbled (CONFUSE) words THIS NEW FOG = WINGS OF THE.

This contiguous letter combination would not have been available at the onset.

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS WINGS
OF THE SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
SAINTLY
THE OF THE ROSE


NAYSAYERS SHUN AND AGITATE A DROWNED LOATHING

Remove (SHUN) the jumbled (AGITATE) words A DROWNED LOATHING = ADORNED WITH ALONG.

This contiguous letter combination would not have been available at the onset.

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS
SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
CASTS SHY
THAT IT ADORNED WITH
ALONG ROUTES
SAINTLY
THE OF THE ROSE


BLITHE BLACKSMITHS REJECT SWIRLED SAD TIN

Remove (REJECT) the jumbled (SWIRLED) words SAD TIN = ITS AND.

This contiguous letter combination would not have been available at the onset.

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE ITS
AND VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS
SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
CASTS SHY
THAT IT
ROUTES
SAINTLY
THE OF THE ROSE


FREAK LIGHTNING STRUCK ALL THE EXCEPT THE FOURTH

Remove (LIGHTNING STRUCK) all occurrences of THE. EXCEPT THE FOURTH

THE HORRIBLE
THE IMP THE
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE
VENOMS
THE FOULEST {EXCEPT THE FOURTH}
BIRD ITS
SUBHUMAN
THE MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
THE MICE
TENSE
ENVY THE
CASTS SHY
THAT IT
ROUTES
SAINTLY
THE OF THE ROSE


FIVE NOMADS FLED AND TUMBLED OAF SO OAF

Remove (FLED) the jumbled (TUMBLED) words OAF SO OAF = A A OF SO OF.

FIVE NOMADS suggests five lone scattered words, not contiguous.

HORRIBLE
IMP
COSTUME
A MURDER
BE A MAN OF
SO SEVERE
VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS
SUBHUMAN
MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
MICE
TENSE
ENVY
CASTS SHY
THAT IT
ROUTES
SAINTLY
OF ROSE


THERETO THE LAST TWO WERE SEATED TWENTY-FIFTH

Put the last two of THERETO as the TWENTY-FIFTH word.

This appears to nix the 21 words theory... or does it?

HORRIBLE
IMP
COSTUME
MURDER
BE MAN
SEVERE
VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS
SUBHUMAN
MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
MICE
TENSE
ENVY
CASTS SHY
THAT IT
ROUTES
TO SAINTLY
ROSE


A WONDERFUL LITTLE MAN WIGGED OUT HIS PEERS
RADIO DRAMAS COUNT DOWN EVERY SIX AND TWO PIERS

The PEERS/PIERS connection suggests that these two clues have something in common. Both appear to refer to the book and both have less than clear meanings.

Remember PROPER PRECEPTS IMPOSE ON PROSE AND DECLINE TWO?

These are the TWO clues to be ignored (DECLINED). The third essential “aha!”


TWENTY SEVEN COUNTRIES INTERMINGLE LEGITIMATELY

This clue suggests that 27 is the correct number of words, not 21.

HORRIBLE
IMP
COSTUME
MURDER
BE MAN
SEVERE
VENOMS
THE FOULEST
BIRD ITS
SUBHUMAN
MONARCH
BETTER
SCORN
MICE
TENSE
ENVY
CASTS SHY
THAT IT
ROUTES
TO SAINTLY
ROSE

And now hold onto your britches - here is the fourth and final “aha!”

COUNTRIES suggests International.

INTERMINGLE suggests more anagramming.

LEGITIMATELY suggests legalese of some sort.


On the very last page of the book is a photo of Blaine and a line of mumbo-jumbo.

INTERMINGLE, INTERNATIONAL, INTERCHANGE, coincidence?

IMBROGLIO suggests a difficult or intricate situation; an entanglement.

INTERCHANGE suggests to switch each of (two things) into the place of the other.

With 332.333.343, adding 3+3+2+3+3+3+3+4+3 equals 27.

With 222.332.232, adding 2+2+2+3+3+2+2+3+2 equals 21.

The IMBROGLIO/INTERCHANGE is a key for anagramming 27 words into 21 words.


3 words become 2 words — HORRIBLE IMP COSTUME = cherubim metropolis
3 words become 2 words — MURDER BE MAN = numbered arm
2 words become 2 words — SEVERE VENOMS = remove sevens

3 words become 3 words — THE FOULEST BIRD = double the first
3 words become 3 words — ITS SUBHUMAN MONARCH = mountain shrub chasm
3 words become 2 words — BETTER SCORN MICE = concrete timbers

3 words become 2 words — TENSE ENVY CASTS = seventy ascents
4 words become 3 words — SHY THAT IT ROUTES = south thirty east
3 words become 2 words — TO SAINTLY ROSE = solitary stone

cherubim metropolis

City of Angels

Los Angeles

numbered arm

tattoo

174517

remove sevens

double the first

2451

mountain shrub

chasm

Laurel Canyon

concrete timbers

is the bridge

of mock wood

seventy ascents

is to climb

seventy stairs

south thirty east

on the compass

points to a tree

solitary stone

is located

at the base

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