Throughout this week, the Today show is teasing viewers with clues to the major plot locations for The Lost Symbol. Some people solved today’s puzzle in a matter of minutes. (The answer was, of course, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center.) But we think we might be able to do one better. We think we can solve tomorrow’s puzzle today.
If you don’t want to know, stop reading now.
Our investigative reporter Dave Shugarts tells us that he has a good lead that the answer to tomorrow’s puzzle will be the US Botanic Garden.
How does he know? Well, it’s all thanks to a team of Twitterers: @UDbmas (Cheryl Lynn Helm), @bgates87 (Bill Gates), @deetective (Simon Cassidy) and @avalonssari (Val Foster). They’ve been solving the myriad puzzles put out by Dan Brown’s publishers all summer. And in the process, one of them — Dave’s says its @bgates87 — stumbled across a weakness in the Lost Symbol security. It originates with Amazon.
Jeff Bezos may have boasted of the extraordinary measures taken to protect the physical books that are now sitting in his warehouse waiting to ship on September 15. But he seems to have overlooked online security.
On the Amazon page for The Lost Symbol, just below the price, is a special section teasing the release of:
mysterious new messages from the Lost Symbol Twitter and Facebook accounts every weekday.” [Emphasis is Amazon's.]
That teaser is followed by a link to a pdf file of Lost Symbol puzzles. But it seems that an overzealous technician at Amazon is posting the clues one day early. And at lunchtime today, that pdf file contained the clue not only to Location 1, broadcast on the Today show this morning, but also to Location 2:
It didn’t take long for the Twitter group to work out that the three phrases are anagrams of ORCHID HOUSE, PRIMEVAL GARDEN, PLANT ADAPTATION and that the answer is the US Botanic Garden.
We are willing to hedge our bets. But we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re right. We’ll find out in the morning.
Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol.