by Shelly Manber
The first thing to notice is one missing word per paragraph, for example “see a mo ith him” solves to “view” for “see a movie with him.” The missing words yield the phrase: VIEW PAGE SOURCE CONVERT TO BASE TWO AND OVERLAY.
|¶ Start||Gap||Missing Word|
|I still…||watch a mo~ith||VIEW|
|The day…||he could kee~nius||PAGE|
|By the…||ou~n the river||TO|
|I noticed…||c~o attitude||AND|
The page source has one large number per paragraph. These numbers converted to binary and overlaid on the text (with the missing words filled in) yield the message: WHICH SMALL MAMMAL’S NAME SOUNDS LIKE A TYPESETTING MEASUREMENT? ONCE YOU KNOW, FIND THE ROOMS AND TRACE THEM.
This message (and other clues in the story) point the solver to the actual MIT coop pika. Pika has very uniquely named rooms (and an online floor plan) and the room names are mentioned frequently throughout the story. If you look at the floor plan and draw a line from room to room in the order mentioned, each paragraph of the story makes a capital letter where the bottom of the letter is the first floor and the top is the third floor.
|jazz lounge, the maze, the darkness, the rainbow, the flower||P|
|sex dungeon, the fractal, the wood, the rainbow, the wood, the skylight, the Loeb||E|
|jazz lounge, the maze, octopus, the skylight||N|
|the drug, the skylight, the pirate ship, the compass||T|
|the end, the pirate ship, the toastie, the rainbow, the darkness, the kitchen||H|
|the rush, the flower, the maze, the dragon, the rush||O|
|the darkness, pineapple, the end, the pirate ship||U|
|pineapple, Murph, the rush, the T, the darkness, the dragon||S|
|the pirate ship, the compass, the coke, the wood, the coke, electric bluegaloo, the end||E|
The letters spell the answer, PENTHOUSE.