45
$\begingroup$

I'm in a jam – cornered I am! –
No clue 'bout where to go
Here's what went down, a pretty gown
Some wine, a French chateau
She whispered underneath her breath
"Come dance with me and know
what's coming up – so far away –
oh darling, please follow!?"
I dropped my guise – to her surprise –
A short while we did dance
Some sultry tunes, by ...
Air brimming with romance!
Not before long – still going strong –
She suddenly went tense
"Follow my lead! You didn't heed! That's common 'agent' sense!"
"Relax my dear, why such a sneer?"
I said in my defence
"At my side of the floor I steer, your dance is quite.. intense!"
"No right to say! The way you sway! That's acrobatics on display!"
"It's just – my thing, I like to swing, but darling – listen – hey..."
"Well, I don't get what that's about, am I supposed to spell it out?!"
She uttered rather loud
Then, storming off into the night
Her face as flint, her lips so tight
As she was fading out of sight...
A tiny piece escaped her coat
A gust of wind, a whirling flight
A quickly scribbled, scrunched up note:
13.2/2.2-25.2/11.5-50.6/17.6-27.6/39.9-31.5/13.8-9.3/15.6-16.5/16.5-6.6/64-1.3/15.6-22.8/62-38.4/30-82.5/1-77.5/3-6.5/73.6-14.3/6.6-10.8/66-80/15.6
Now that's some story, right?

The floor

If only I knew where to fly
I'd try – again – to catch her eye
Find common ground – secrets aside –
Then, come eventual divide
Say properly goodbye

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think people are just too lazy to read all the poem :P Nice grid deduction, by the way. The poem is really neat too — is it an iambic octet/sestet? $\endgroup$ – North Apr 16 '18 at 23:18
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ FWIW, I think the length of the poem is fine... I just have no idea where to even start, let alone what I need to do after that. :) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Apr 23 '18 at 0:05
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Alconja, thanks for feedback, I think that's fine though, it's supposed to be a pretty hard riddle which can only work one way once you start having a fiddle. Some clues should tell you which way to choose, but I may have to up the ante a little. $\endgroup$ – OnlyF Apr 23 '18 at 6:29
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ OnlyF, I'd love to try and solve this. Do you think you might be able to add a hint? $\endgroup$ – Hugh Nov 30 '18 at 4:28
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I just noticed: There are 34 spaces in the grid, 34 numbers on the note, and 34 lines in the poem. Maybe these three are related? $\endgroup$ – Reinier May 28 at 9:04
14
+500
$\begingroup$

(Partial, saving some thoughts)

Every second line contains directions (where to move next on the dance floor). It matches the clue given by the OP in the comments:

Some clues should tell you which way to choose, but I may have to $\bbox[yellow]{\textit{up}}$ the ante a little.

Remark: there is not once the word left in the whole poem; it's not a difficult word to hide in a sentence, so it must be on purpose. On the other hand, there is what appears to be a portal between left and right walls, so that we can go to the right only and yet never leave the dancefloor.

I'm in a jam – $\bbox[yellow]{\text{cornered}}$ I am! – $\bbox[lightgreen]{\textit{(We start at a corner)}}$
No clue 'bout where to go
Here's what went $\bbox[yellow]{\text{down}}$, a pretty gown
Some wine, a French chateau
She whispered $\bbox[yellow]{\text{underneath}}$ her breath
"Come dance with me and know
what's coming $\bbox[yellow]{\text{up}}$ – so far away –
oh darling, please follow!?"
I $\bbox[yellow]{\text{dropped}}$ my guise – to her surprise –
A short while we did dance
Some sultry tunes, by $\bbox[yellow]{\text{`...`}}$
Air brimming with romance!
Not $\bbox[yellow]{\text{before}}$ long – still going strong –
She suddenly went tense
"$\bbox[yellow]{\text{Follow my lead!}}$ You didn't heed! That's common 'agent' sense!"
"Relax my dear, why such a sneer?"
I said in my defence $\bbox[yellow]{\text{(?)}}$ $\bbox[lightgreen]{\text{Note that the first version of this line was $\textit{I said to my defence}$}}$
"At my side of the floor I steer, your dance is quite.. intense!"
"No $\bbox[yellow]{\text{right}}$ to say! The way you sway! That's acrobatics on display!"
"It's just – my thing, I like to swing, but darling – listen – hey..."
"Well, I don't get what that's about, am I supposed to spell it $\bbox[yellow]{\text{out}}$$\bbox[lightgreen]{\textit{(use the portal nearby?)}}$?!"
She uttered rather loud
Then, storming $\bbox[yellow]{\text{off into}}$ the night
Her face as flint, her lips so tight
As she was fading $\bbox[yellow]{\text{out}}$ of sight...
A tiny piece escaped her coat
A gust of wind, a $\bbox[yellow]{\text{whirling}}$$\bbox[lightgreen]{\textit{(make a U-turn?)}}$ flight
A quickly scribbled, scrunched up note:
Now that's some story, $\bbox[yellow]{\text{right}}$?
If only I knew where to fly
I'd try – $\bbox[yellow]{\text{again}}$ $\bbox[lightgreen]{\textit{(repeat last instruction?)}}$ – to catch her eye
Find common ground – secrets aside –
Then, come eventual divide $\bbox[yellow]{\text{(?)}}$
Say properly goodbye

Now

The floors (!) of the numbers on the note add up to 955 $$13+2+25+11+50+\ldots +6+10+66+80+15=955$$ and $955$ is the order of magnitude of the amount of characters in the poem ($991$ if you count punctuation, $911$ if you don't, not including the missing words indicated by ...). This could indicate that the numbers point at characters in the poem, making up the question that needs to be answered.

For the record, here are the first letters of the poem, in groups of the indicated size:
Iminajamcorne (13)
re (2)
dIamNoclueboutwheretogoHe (25)
reswhatwent (11)
downaprettygownSomewineaFrenchchateauShewhisperedu (50)
nderneathherbreat (17)
hComedancewithmeandknowwhat (27)
scomingupsofarawayohdarlingpleasefollow (39)
IdroppedmyguisetohersurpriseAsh (31)
ortwhilewedid (13)
danceSome (9)
sultrytunesby** (15) (the two stars are the beginning of the unknown words)


Trying to do something of the

tag

There are reasons to think that

The number after the decimal point indicates how many steps we shall take (as we are moving on the dancefloor).
Indeed, my interpretation is that there are two portals that allow you to teleport left/right or bottom-left/bottom-right, but except for these two locations the walls are just walls, it is impossible to get through them and it is impossible that the directions tell us to do so. Because of this constraint, the tag now makes sense.

For instance, if the instructions are to make $9$ steps in any direction, we must either be somewhere on the second row, and moving horizontally, or at the very top of the second or fifth column, moving vertically.
There are two places that are especially interesting: where the second/fifth column cross the second row. When you stand there it is possible to make a $90°$ turn between an "interesting" column and an "interesting" row. To get from one of these two squares to the other requires a $3$ or a $9$. A $6$ will allow you to stay where you are.
Now if you look at the actual numbers, there is a significant amount of $6$, $3$ and $9$: enter image description here.
This does not necessarily imply that these $6$s, $3$s and $9$ have to be horizontal moves but it is still remarkable.

I split the numbers in two columns, because there are two numbers between any pair of $/$, and I am assuming that there are two people moving simultaneously, corresponding to two different sets of instructions.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Then, come eventual divide -> EVENTUAL: Last step $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Aug 16 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ and is ... a direction?? $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Aug 16 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton My interpretation is that Rot13(jr ner fhccbfrq gb qrevir jung jbeqf ner zvffvat, naq lrf, bar bs gur pyhrf gung jr unir sbe gung vf gung vg fubhyq pbagnva n qverpgvba. Vg fubhyq nyfb eulzr jvgu fbzrguvat arneol (yvxryl jvgu "fhecevfr").) $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 16 at 7:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Looking at the poem's structure, it seems pretty likely that the censored word's supposed to rhyme with "tunes". $\endgroup$ – jafe Aug 16 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @jafe Agreed. Rot13(Vg fubhyq nyfb or guerr flyynoyrf ybat. "Ol gu'nsgreabba"? - jvgu gur qverpgvba orvat "nsgre". "Ol zvfsbeghar/tbbq sbeghar"? qbrfa'g pbagnva n qverpgvba hasbeghangryl, naq frrzf njxjneq nf sne nf gur zrnavat vf pbaprearq.) $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 16 at 13:55
5
$\begingroup$

Multiple suggestions, very messy thoughts, but still trying to share what I have

Continuing from @Arnaud, I agree with him on the

Direction in Every Even Line Theory,

But then due to

Find common ground – secrets aside – Then, come eventual divide

I believe that the directions form

one path instead of two, that they were dancing along the same path all along.

So, @jafe had mentioned that multiple instances in the poem suggests

The prime and fibonacci sequence

Like this

enter image description here

This, according to him/her, seems wrong as there is no tag, but led me to think that

The path may be a sequence on the OEIS

So here are a few interpretations on the possible paths

Beginning:

cornered, down, underneath, up
enter image description here

Ending:

out, off into, out, whirling, right, again(implies right)
enter image description here
Well the blue steps are more possible here due to the strange move from the stairs to the right. You see the right border of the stair grid, don't you?

Back to the OEIS, I tried the first part, and the following are the most plausible ones, but it seems like I am reaching yet another dead end...

A046163, A116392, A130770

Well, @Arnaud suggested that we are to find the word that replaces the ... . There are hints, according to him/her in the comments that it

is a direction and may rhyme with surprise.

The first word with such property that came to my mind is

RISE,

But hey, this is just pure guessing :P

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Rot13(V haqrefgnaq "Ab qnapvat ba gur fgrcf." nf va "gur fgnvef qba'g pbhag nf n zbir": lbh ner arire ba gurz, gurl'er whfg n cbegny.) $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 16 at 13:38

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