Illumine Game Recap
How the Clue Works
The "Manual System for Interpreting Gibberish" was a simple code book, plus a few challenge-reponse pairs (including the one the team used to obtain this book), allowing teams to translate the lyrics, word by word, to a rather warped set of instructions for the next location - the Seymour Botanical Conservatory across the street.
Here are the translated lyrics.
Cross safely over the street outside
To the Seymour Botanical,
Conservatory then everybody look hard look inside
conservatory the point then head to the tree where one
then read carefully
special plant then go read by some resting by light
tree learn the country,
tree learn the home,
the traditional location the common
place whence the thing grows - happiest
look the great answer resting within creature's steady gaze
to the fanciful lizard,
to the dragon
animal everyone walk under a conservatory roof find the answer
illumination dawns now within you location x
you'll want it
The final stage of this puzzle was very lightweight. Teams entered the conservatory, following directions from the previous puzzle, and found a sign describing one of the plants on display. Specifically, The instructions told teams to find a tree stared at by a dragon and discover the native country of that tree.
The particular tree is from Madagascar. Teams entered this word into our phone system, which then told them to drive to the Western Inn in Lakewood.
We knew from early on we wanted to send the teams around the museum. The docent actually was very receptive to us adding our own fake manuscript into the collection. We hadn't done anything with music yet this year, so I (Erik) turned to my old standby Soul Coughing for a nice random song that was heavy on lyrics - as a bonus, lyrics featuring Illumination, however briefly. The English->English encoding was a pain.
As far as the plant search went, our main debate was about how difficult it would be to find the answer by searching the web, if we had told teams the name of the plant. We really wanted everyone to visit the conservatory, so we ended up describing in detail the tree's location, thereby forcing them to go to the tree itself.
Aside from one team leaving an inappropriate calling card on the conservatory door, we had no trouble with either of these locations that we know of.