Day 4: Nashville, Tennessee


Oh where to begin. We had high hopes that the endless cycle of bad clues, misspellings, and broken ciphers would finally come to an end. As it turns out, we were terribly mistaken.

We started out fine, with a list of 5 clues that pointed us to 4 monuments all around Nashville. We found them all very quickly, and got the information we needed from each of them. Then, these were assembled into a matrix of letters below the clues “Befriend the fiend of Eden” and “Alea Iacta Est.”

The fiend of Eden being the snake, and (after a little help) learning that Alea Iacta Est was said by Julius Caesar (we should have gotten that), we knew we had to shift the letters, and then read the matrix in some kind of snake-like pattern.

This is where things started to go to hell. Here’s the clue:


Ok, so start at the bottom and head up, then right. “Find Star…” There are a few other words you find.”Sing” can be found on the right side, “Broad” can kinda-sorta be made from a plus sign in the lower right. “King” is in the second column. The longest thing we could come up with was “Find Starking Artist Broad Sing Skanna St.” but even that wasn’t connected like a snake.

After spending a fair amount of time with it, we called in for help. “Find Starving Artist, Broad, Sing Oh Suzanna.”

Umm… of course. Apparently we were looking for chopped up snakes that speak in tongues.

We checked our clues to see if we got anything wrong that would break it in this way, but the misspellings (or whatever you want to call it) come from all clues, so the same clue that spells “Find” correctly misspells something else. We met up with some teams later that had the same problem. Maybe we all made the same mistake. Who knows.

So, this makes yet another in a seeming unending list of important clues that are completely broken. One broken clue is annoying, two is frustrating, and 5 or whatever pretty much ruins the game. This sucks.

Anyway, once we got that ironed out, we walked down Broadway and found the starving artist, we sang Oh Suzanna, and he gave us a CD and clue. He also said “Did you guys sing ‘She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain’ to the other guy yet?” Huh? What? “No.” we said, but we then headed down, met up with the next guy, and just said “She’ll be coming around the mountain” and he gave us another CD and clue.

I don’t know if that guy was supposed to tell us that, or if we were supposed to figure that out from something else, or if there was supposed to be some acting involved, or if this guy was just in a drunken stupor. Bizarre as that whole experience was, we at least had some new clues and moved out, although still frustrated due to the lack of continuity between any of these events.

We headed to a bar where we met up with Team Lazlo and shared frustrations over the mornings busted clues. We found the clues we needed there, then headed down to the ‘C.D.’ museum where we got another clue taken care of. At this point, we could have totally cared less about the entire race, and contemplated just driving to New Orleans for a few days and forgetting the whole thing.

So, at this point Collier decided to buy a hat to ease his frustrations, and I snapped this photo:


Next we headed off to a large park/memorial/thingy for the next batch of clues. Here we met up with Lazlo again, as well as Fellowship of the van. One of the clues had us looking for “Ninety-Two pillars do surround” and we found an area with pillars in a circle, although there were only about 50 of them. We read that inside the pillars were 95 bells, and those bells ring every now and then.

By now we’ve learned that “50 pillars” + “95 bells” probably well means “Ninety-Two pillars” in Ravenchase misspeak, so we rolled with it and got the clue, which did work in the end.

There was a clue where we had to take the population of Tennessee from two different years, and then use the difference to shift a string of letters. Neither we, nor Lazlo, nor Fellowship of the Van could figure out that it wasn’t a shift one direction or the other, but both at the same time. So for example, if the number to shift was 2, and the letter was “C”, then it could be “A” or it could be “E”, and the next letter would not necessarily shift the same way. Very bizarre way to do it, but we ended up with “Madison” and went with that.

Finally, we were on to try and solve the final puzzle before heading off to Atlanta. Team Lazlo had parked in front of us, and so we all headed over toward the RV with them to get into some air conditioning and solve the puzzle. As we were crossing the street, Marcus spotted a Ravenchase paper stuck in the sewer grate. As it turns out, it was clue 12, the one we needed to find before heading to Atlanta.

We then looked at the grassy area next to our cars and spotted another 3 clues blowing around on the hill. They were all clue 12, so Lazlo took one, we took one, and I used a stick to secure the others to the ground so they wouldn’t blow away. Here’s a pic of the field where we retrieved the clues, and the stick we used to secure them. In the distance is Marcus from Team Lazlo after a failed attempt to deliver the clue to the Fellowship.



Knowing what it’s like to be totally frustrated by clues that don’t work, we and Team Lazlo worked together to quickly solve the previous clue, so we could figure out where these Clue 12 papers were actually supposed to be. We did that, and then ran them over to put them back where they belong. It doesn’t help out team time to do that, but at this point, who cares? If we can save another team a two hour headache, we’ll do that and hope karma works in our favor. We even tried to run one of the clues over to the Fellowship of the Van’s van, so we could just hand it to them, but we couldn’t find the van.

So we all pray to the goddesh of Richmond that the future clues will actually be checked for errors before handing them out. We can only hope. The broken clues really suck, but we do enjoy hanging out with the other teams, so we’ll be pressing on and hoping for the best.

For now, we’re off to Atlanta.


3 Responses to “Day 4: Nashville, Tennessee”

  1. 1 Rico

    Indeed let us all pray to the goddesh of Richmond that the errors in the clues will improve. We thought about making an organized list of every mistake found on a Ravenchase clue.

  2. 2 Rich

    You may know this already, but actually all the errors in the snake puzzle (except for maybe the unconnected snake?) were not errors at all. The K in STARKING was actually a 1.1, not an 11, so that was supposed to be U.U = “double u” = W, which shifts to a V to make STARVING. The T in SUSANNAH was from a U, which apparently could have been interpreted as a V, and Josh says he likes to sometimes use U and V interchangeably, since that is how many of the historical ciphers work. Finally, the K at the end of SUSANNAH, was actually a mistake on your part (which we also made). The word on the building was SEANACHIE, not SEANACHLE, but the I did look like it might be a lower case L. So while I agree that these sorts of complexities don’t make a puzzle better, at least they weren’t accidental.

    I’m not sure about the 92 columns or the DORIC RIINS though.

    Rich from Bloodshot

  3. 3 David

    That sure was a lot of crying for a puzzle that was correct.

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