Interior Decorating

Rob Radez


Hints can be given to help identify any of the pictures. Additionally, a hint could be given to "visit a museum...don't worry, you get in free" or something pointing specifically towards the MFA.


The puzzle is a list of six works of art; five paintings and one statue. Each piece of art is currently listed as being on display at the MFA, and hopefully that will remain the case for the next 6 months or so. Each picture has some text below it, and each piece of text includes a number, n. (All of the numbers are written out except for the number below the picture of the statue.) Take the nth letter of the work's name (not the artist, this is clued in the introtext).

#1: ceee.jpg, "This is the non-portrait of the two paintings of this husband and wife." This is really a painting named "Edmondo and Therese Morbilli" by Degas. The number two means take the second letter of the title, or 'd'.

#2: etds.jpg, "He's no Greek Minerva, but he changed his name in 27, after the Senate gave him a new title." This is really a picture of the statue "Posthumous Portrait of Augustus". It's the only picture of a non-painting, which has no known creator, and has the only text with a non-spelled out number. The twenty-seventh letter gives 'u'.

#3: hhor.jpg, "He made seven portraits of this man, both in paint and pencil." This is really "Portrait of the postman Joseph Roulin" by Van Gogh. The seventh letter is 'i'.

#4: iirv.jpg, "Another painting of his was mistaken for a painting of dogs playing cards the second time around." This is really "Cap Martin, near Menton" by Monet. The second letter is 'a'. Incidentally, the other painting was "San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk" and in the remake of "The Thomas Crowne Affair" a copy of it was revealed to really be "Dogs at Cards". That doesn't have any signifigance, I just like the movie.

#5: pgie.jpg, "He often worked with the painter above this, but not on this one." This is really "Mixed flowers in an earthenware pot" by Renoir. The first letter is 'm'.

#6: rpre.jpg, "The artist painted this a little under twenty-five years before he died." It's really "Hot Stillscape for six colors - Seventh Ave Style" by Davis. The twenty- fifth letter is 's'.

The files can be rearranged so that the filenames are listed like:

Reading down gives "cipher eight period reverse". This new order of files is important because it gives the letters signified by the pictures a specific order, spelling out 'damius'. At this point, the special-ness of the statue of Augustus comes into play, namely because his full name was Augustus Caesar. Caesar is the name of an encryption cipher, which is conveniently enough available as a program on Athena, or the Greek Minerva. A 'caesar 8' of damius gives 'liuqca', which then gets reversed into 'acquil' or the answer.

NOTE: The answer, ACQUIL, isn't a dictionary word (teams might need prodding to recognize it as the answer).

Answer: ACQUIL