27
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When my friend Alice called me very early one morning, it meant one thing: Bill was at it again.

Bill is Alice's husband and a devoted conspiracy theorist. He regularly spent hours looking for hidden patterns and concealed truths, and though Alice had learned to live with it, she sounded more worried than usual.

I rushed over to her place and asked what had happened.

"I guess Bill was up all night," she said. "He woke me up at dawn and I could tell he was in a frenzy. He said he'd discovered something that could change the world, but it was too dangerous to just tell me. I haven't seen him that manic since he discovered he could rearrange KFC's slogan to spell 'cooked rifling gin'. We haven't eaten there since..."

"So where is he now?" I prompted.

"He left, said he was going to the library to make sure. He said to be safe he had to 'disguise the numbers' and gave me this."

She produced a neatly written note:

1: The third of Attention, Infant!
2: The honest guy’s paper home.
3: The length of the first two Greek letters, in English.
4: Magic Brown Juice and many others.
5: Director with two AAs but without his cuppa squared.
6: Without leaping, split a revolution five ways then count rotations.
7: Exclusively from special ammo to everything’s answer.
8: Zombie-preventer’s headcount.
9: HITTING with no doubles or triples.
10: The originals (before the green mountains through the volcanoes).

"I know you're good at these things," she said, "maybe you can help me figure it out."

"Alright. But let's go find Bill. I'll read it carefully on the way."

We booked it to the local library, and to our surprise the woman sitting at the front desk stopped us and asked "Are you Alice? Your husband told me you might come—and that you'd be wearing your favorite camo jacket." She was, indeed. "He left this for you," the librarian continued, "but I have no idea what it means."

We looked at Bill's second note.

My quiet friends like 5, while my louder friends like 1.
If not 2, then there is no difference between paradise and a specific ghastly ruler.
But if 7, then you can try with 12.
And if not 8, then mixing a temper and cola is okay.
Those with a need for speed will seek 6.
If 3 is reversed, then I'll have to double combatants twice?
In all, I am 10. Find me and use me.

Eventually we were able to trace Bill's twisted logic and figure out what had sent a shock through him. We found him a few hours later, and tried to convince him that everything was fine. But Bill insisted it was plain to see that everything should change.

What was the message Bill "discovered"?

Is Bill right?

Hint

There are just two steps to this puzzle. One, figure out the numbers. Two, use the numbers.

Hints for as-of-yet unsolved numbers

4: Also: Doctor Diesel Mailman
8: I'm mixing temporally distant fictions
9: Darts were a good thought, but not the right game

Hint for second note

Turns out, no math was involved. It was more of a riddle.

Final hint(s)

Solving any of the lines of the second note is enough. Each line points to the same thing.

Also, I could've used the standard Alice and Bob for this question, but then thought I'd drop in one more hint instead.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yet Bill did not notice "KFC: Forging, Kid, Con, Lie". $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Allan May 27 '16 at 20:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JonathanAllan not funny I love KFC with the oily fat American products very tasty please do not say bad things about the KFC $\endgroup$ – Adit Kirtani May 29 '16 at 9:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "special weapon" is pretty broad... any chance of a narrowing on that? $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety May 30 '16 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ Is Illuminati as a one-word answer acceptable? $\endgroup$ – bleh Jun 8 '16 at 17:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @bleh Acceptable? Sure. Correct? No. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Jun 8 '16 at 17:52
12
+50
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The message Bill discovered was...

Congress, being a probable danger to the United States, shall be prohibited.


NOTE 1

(Most of the work was done in feelinferrety's answer, Rep to him)

1: The third of Attention, Infant!

Track #3 from U2's Achtung Baby → One = 1 (sandbo00)

2: The honest guy’s paper home.

Honest Abe (Lincoln) → 5 dollar bill (feelinferrety)

3: The length of the first two Greek letters, in English.

$\alpha$ (alpha) & $\beta$ (beta) → English alphabet = 26 letters (feelinferrety)

4: Magic Brown Juice and many others.

All the hints are athletes that wore number $32$. - OJ Simpson, Shaq, Karl Malone, etc (B540Glenn)

5: Director with two AAs but without his cuppa squared.

Steven Spielberg (Best Director for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan) → Remove the T and square it → $7^2$ = 49 (feelinferrety)

6: Without leaping, split a revolution five ways then count rotations.

Number of days in a non-leap year → $365 / 5$ = 73 (feelinferrety)

7: Exclusively from special ammo to everything’s answer.

From "Special" ammo to the answer to life the universe and everything excluded → 39, 40, and 41 (feelinferrety)

8: Zombie-preventer’s headcount.

Cerberus has 3 heads and keeps the dead in Hades (Therefore they don't become zombies) → 3 (Lord of Dark)

9: HITTING with no doubles or triples.

A reference to Scrabble, where the word HITTING is worth $11$ points. VictorHenry

10: The originals (before the green mountains through the volcanoes).

The first of the United States before the states between the Appalachians and Cascades were added (Original Colonies) → 13 (feelinferrety)


Note 2

The United States Bill of Rights
https://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/
Each line refers to an amendment to the Bill of Rights

My quiet friends like 5, while my louder friends like 1.

5 refers to the Miranda Rights (Right to Remain Silent) (Fifth Amendment)
1 refers to the Freedom of Speech (First Amendment)

If not 2, then there is no difference between paradise and a specific ghastly ruler.

Thanks to Scoranio.
If there is no right to bear arms, then there is no NRA
NIRVANA - IVAN = NRA (2nd Amendment)

But if 7, then you can try with 12.

If a civil case is launched it can be tried before a jury of peers (12 people) (Seventh Amendment)

And if not 8, then mixing a temper and cola is okay.

The eighth amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. If we didn't have it then Cadena Temporal would be legal. "mixing temper and cola" is a clue to take an anagram of "a temper and cola". (8th Amendment)

Those with a need for speed will seek 6.

The right to a speedy trial. (6th Amendment)

If 3 is reversed, then I'll have to double combatants twice?

Quartering of private soldiers is not allowed, so they be wholed again :) (1/4 * 2 * 2) (Third Amendment)

In all, I am 10. Find me and use me.

10 amendments

Using the numbers from the first Note as outline by feelinferrety take:

The word numbered from note 1 from the amendment number.

For example, the first note has 1:1, so we take the first word of the first amendment. Then comes 2:5, so we take the fifth word of the second amemdment, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is very ingenious and must surely be right (though I don't think I believe your explanation for "if not 2..." or "if not 8..."). But how is it consistent with the "Final Hint" in the question? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 27 '16 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ ... Sorry, that's the wrong way to put it. I mean: How is the "Final Hint" consistent with this being the answer, which it surely is? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 27 '16 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Does it make more sense now? If not, I guess I don't understand your question. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 27 '16 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, the main reason for my question is that I am an idiot. I was mixing up the two notes and therefore thought Dan was obviously wrong to say that solving any one line of the second note was enough. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 27 '16 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ I still don't believe your explanations for "if not 2 ..." and "if not 8 ...", though: I see neither a paradise nor a specific ghastly ruler in the former, and unless I'm missing some reference (always possible!) the second sentence of the latter seems like you just made it up. Considering my idiocy as already demonstrated above, though, the most likely explanation in both cases is that I'm just being dim and missing the point. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 27 '16 at 15:19
15
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Partial (WIP)

1: The third of Attention, Infant!

Track #3 from U2's Achtung Baby → One = 1 (sandbo00)

2: The honest guy’s paper home.

Honest Abe (Lincoln) → 5 dollar bill

3: The length of the first two Greek letters, in English.

$\alpha$ (alpha) & $\beta$ (beta) → English alphabet = 26 letters

4: Magic Brown Juice and many others.

Coffee, or alternatively, C0FFEE → hexadecimal color representation = 16

5: Director with two AAs but without his cuppa squared.

Steven Spielberg (Best Director for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan) → Remove the T and square it → $7^2$ = 49

6: Without leaping, split a revolution five ways then count rotations.

Number of days in a non-leap year → $365 / 5$ = 73

7: Exclusively from special ammo to everything’s answer.

From "Special" ammo to the answer to life the universe and everything38 through 42

8: Zombie-preventer’s headcount.

Remove the head entirely! → 0?
Zombie's plus his/her own = 2?
Slayer's head → S = 5 (Jonathan Allan)
Still not sure, but this is hilarious. CDC: Zombie Prevention

9: HITTING with no doubles or triples.

Darts? → 22 scoring wedges not counting double/triple areas (Jonathan Allan)

10: The originals (before the green mountains through the volcanoes).

The first of the United States before the states between the Appalachians and Cascades were added → 13 Original Colonies

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  • $\begingroup$ 2, 5, and 6 are right! $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell May 30 '16 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Very good. I think that #3 might be the length of the English alphabet, 26, instead. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 30 '16 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm That was my secondary in case the two raw letters didn't work out. $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety May 30 '16 at 19:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was thinking about the alphabetical values and H=8, I=9, T=20, N=14, G=7 so G is the only one left without a 2 or 3 divisor. $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety May 31 '16 at 16:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For number 7, I feel like the "exclusively" means that it's not "X to Y inclusive" - in other words, the range should be either 38 to 41 or 39 to 41. $\endgroup$ – Zandar Jun 8 '16 at 17:33
7
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I believe #4 is

32

Reason

All the hints are athletes that wore number 32. - OJ Simpson, Shaq, Karl Malone, etc...

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds right to me. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Jun 18 '16 at 3:50
5
$\begingroup$

I'm relatively certain that #9 is

11

because it is

a reference to Scrabble, where the word HITTING is worth 11 points.

Incidentally, I considered

adding 50 points for using all 7 letters in your rack, but the only ways I can think of that you'd use 7 letters to make a 7 letter word (normally you'd use 6 or fewer since you build off a letter or letters already on the board) is if you either were the first to place a word, in which case you get a double word score automatically, or if you extended a word that was already on the board while placing all 7 tiles, in which case you'd add the score of that word too.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is correct! Almost all numbers are solved. Now to just put everything together... $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Jun 18 '16 at 3:50

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