Public Access

# Solution to Diced Turkey Hash

by Gavin Edwards
Art by Joe Cabrera

The fool spits the dice out of his mouth and speaks plainly.

## The Grid

Considering the twenty alphanumeric strings, you may notice that they combine the numerals 0 through 9 and characters ranging from A through J: they are numbers in base-20 (or if you prefer Latin adjectives, they’re vigesimal).

If you convert them into binary (as suggested by “it all boils down to a binary question”), you will find that the longest numbers now have 20 digits. This means that they will all fit into the blank 20-by-20 grid.

Base 20Binary
14C3000110000000011111100
6G5H00001101010011110101
10B2000101000001001011000
G92E00100000001001000110
39HJ610001000100001010010
G92E00100000001001000110
39HJ610001000100001010010
GI8400100001000011000100
14BF900110000000001100101
GA8C00100000010001001100
39HJ610001000100001010010
GBDI00100000011001000110
6J1I00001101100101010110
G92F00100000001001000111
4FG3010111011000111111100
000000000000000000000
47HE00001000100101010010
6G5H00001101010011110101
47HE00001000100101010010
1GIFC01001000001001011000

Or, as rendered in the grid with the 0s as empty cells and the 1s as blocks of black:

Let’s put that grid aside for a moment and turn our attention to the dice.

## The Dice

Two of the dice have the numbers 1 through 20, as rendered in vigesimal numbering systems: the Mayan (also the Aztec system), as clued by “land of the feathered serpent” and Dzonghka, the language of Bhutan (aka “land of the thunder dragon”).

The other two dice represent sets of 20: the first 20 narrative feature films directed by Steven Soderbergh and the major arcana of the Tarot (minus the first and last arcana).

Soderbergh is hinted at by “in a director’s chair”; this list of movies doesn’t include his concert films or his shorts, only his full-length narrative films (as underscored by “long stretches of lies and make-believe”), so no Gray’s Anatomy. We start after the Yes concert film 9012Live (“After you say yes”) and end before Haywire (“halt before things go haywire”). The sequence of 20 films on that die is associated with the numbers on the Mayan die (as indicated by the “land of the feathered serpent” and the color blue).

The first face in the sequence and the proper orientation on each die is indicated by the small red triangle.

Soderbergh FilmImageMayan NumberImage
1Sex, Lies and Videotape19
2Kafka17
3King of the Hill15
4The Underneath13
5Schizopolis11
6Out of Sight9
7The Limey7
8Erin Brockovich5
9Traffic3
10Ocean's Eleven1
11Full Frontal12
12Solaris2
13Ocean's Twelve14
14Bubble4
15The Good German16
16Ocean's Thirteen6
17Che18
18The Girlfriend Experience8
19The Informant!20
20Contagion10
Soderbergh images licensed from The Noun Project. Mayan numerals via Wikimedia commons.

(Note that for the Ocean’s trilogy, the numbers 11, 12, and 13 are presented as casino chips.)

Confirming that this sequence is correct: “Your quest will lead you through eleven blocks of an insane city: you will meet nine blind men and then brawl with seven British sailors.” That alludes to three consecutive pairs of matching faces (5th-6th-7th): Schizopolis (11), Out of Sight (9), The Limey (7). And the resulting sequence of numbers is quite literally “diminishing odds.”

The die with the major arcana follows The Fool (card 0) and stops before the end of the world (The World is card 21). There are two popular orderings of the major arcana; the text tells you to eschew the Rider-Waite ordering (“Be a walker, not a rider—but do not wait.”). The sequence of 20 Tarot cards is associated with the numbers on the Dzongkha die (as indicated by “land of the thunder dragon” and the color orange).

The first face in the sequence and the proper orientation on each die is indicated by the small red triangle.

Major ArcanaImageDzongkha NumberImage
1The Magician2
2The High Priestess3
3The Empress5
4The Emperor7
5The Hierophant11
6The Lovers13
7The Chariot17
8Justice19
9The Hermit20
10Wheel of Fortune18
11Strength16
12The Hanged Man15
13Death14
14Temperance12
15The Devil10
16The Tower9
17The Star8
18The Moon6
19The Sun4
20Judgement1
Tarot images licensed from The Noun Project.

(The High Priestess’s symbol is her diadem; Judgement’s symbol is the trumpet.)

Confirming that this sequence is correct: “resist the temptations of ten succubi, take shelter in a castle with nine turrets, and get autographs from eight celebrities.” That alludes to three consecutive pairs of matching faces (15th-16th-17th): The Devil (10), The Tower (9), The Star (8). And the resulting sequence of numbers strides through the primes.

## Putting It All Together

We can now turn our attention back to the grid. The text suggests that the Soderbergh/Mayan sequence is useful for traveling east and that the Tarot/Dzongkha sequence is useful for traveling south, and that they will provide the true path after the terrain is reordered. So we will shuffle the columns and then the rows according to those sequences. (Shuffling the rows and then the columns would produce the same final result.)

Our original grid, with numbering running both east and south:

1234567891011121314151617181920
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20

Reorder the columns heading west to east according to the Soderbergh/Mayan sequence, beginning with the 19th column (moved to the 1st column), then the 17th (moved to the 2nd), and so on:

1917151311975311221441661882010
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20

Now reorder the rows heading north to south according to the Tarot/Dzongkha sequence, beginning with the 2nd row (now the 1st row), then the 3rd (now the 2nd), and so on:

1917151311975311221441661882010
2
3
5
7
11
13
17
19
20
18
16
15
14
12
10
9
8
6
4
1

To embark on this journey requires ONE STEP.