Conspiracy Theory Solution

How It Works

First Step - listen to a pile of audio:

  1. The first suspect, let's call him Chase, I well ... chased up into a whale watching tour, with a large group of sad characters, who didn't seem to notice the clear sky overhead.
  2. Chase then let me to a meeting in the sunshine in a lemon orchard. There were quite a few suspects around, so I had to keep my distance, though I named the lookout Oliver.
  3. The next subject, who I decided looked like a 'Scott' was standing guard at a porcelain factory, which specialized in doves and snowflakes.
  4. I tracked Neil to a noted den of communists, I knew I was better dead than in there, but I watched from outside as a sizable crowd came through
  5. I followed Xavier to an abandoned printing press. The lights were out and it was dark as ink inside - but I saw two more suspects slip in after him.
  6. Though I didn't identify any new locations in this first week, I did track down two more leads. The next day I staked out the lemon orchard again and placed a suspect I then nicknamed 'Louis'.
  7. Later I followed Oliver as he took a delivery from the whale tour to the lemon orchard. Both ends accepted him as one of their own. I noticed I had already written down Oliver's name with the lemon orchard, but I though it important to list him again when I saw him.
  8. At the beginning of the next week I tracked subject Zack to a roundabout. He spun around suspiciously, to the point where I worried I had been spotted, and drove around again. Then he left after an hour on the dot, though I never saw another conspirator join him.
  9. Andrew, my next suspect, led me to a meeting at a residential home. I admired the new aluminum siding and watched as the conspirators peeked frequently out of the venetian blinds. I also recognized Andrew from previous sightings at the communist den.
  10. Herbert – a new subject, I found standing lookout at back ramp of a tricorner hat store. When another suspect arrived they played paper football for a while until the rest of their party came. Herbert was also carrying a porcelain dove with him, probably from a previous meeting!
  11. Next I turned up two suspects chatting quietly in the last row at the local church. They were alone, and looked like they didn't expect anyone to join them. I nicknamed one of them David. I forget the name of the church, I think I started with a t.
  12. On my next stakeout, I followed Vincent from the communist den to a derelict gas station. The old Chevron sign was missing its symbol, and the two men stood awhile in the empty corner of the lot watching a formation of geese fly overhead.
  13. I tailed Isaac into a doctor's office, where he examined scans of fractured bones. He was talking in hushed tones with another man about who would go first at their tic-tac-toe game.
  14. I next followed Neil me past picket fences and rows of telephone poles to a small party meeting in the visitors' center of the county jail. I later saw him visiting the whale tour.
  15. Later the same night followed suspect Edward to a country dance, where the caller barked regular orders. I asked someone how much area they had to dance in, but just got a story about multiplying a number by itself ... what a nerdy reject from a fifties movie.
  16. The next suspect, Kevin spent his afternoon grabbing donuts at a local Krispy Kreme. There were only three conspirators, and while trying to eavesdrop around the outside of the conversation, I only heard one snippet that seemed important: taking all the ringside seats at a boxing match.
  17. Beginning in my third week, I felt I had most of the locations identified, and I was able to stake out and track individuals as they went from meeting to meeting. The first day I followed Yancy – a new subject – from the printing press to the communist den.
  18. On a hunch I stopped by the porcelain factory, in time to see Andrew slipping in the back.
  19. I tracked Quentin to the Krispy Kreme, but couldn't stay to watch him stuffing himself.
  20. Because I then I followed Scott from the Krispy Kreme to the whale tour.
  21. There he met with Paul, who was just leaving. Though he tried to lose me, I followed Paul back to the porcelain factory.
  22. I waited outside the factory, when the meeting broke up Edward was the first out the door.
  23. The next day I tracked the second conspirator from the Church, who I nicknamed Frank. Frank then led me to another meeting at the communist den.
  24. Louis was just leaving the communist den as I arrived – I made a quick decision to tail him, and eventually saw him meet Yancy at the hat store.
  25. After repeated attempts, I tracked the second conspirator at the doctors office, and nicknamed him Jeremy.
  26. I then I picked up Isaac's trail, and pursued him to the porcelain factory and then on to the whale tour.
  27. The whale tour went for most of the day, but I tracked Randolph as he left, and went on to the lemon orchard.
  28. Oliver and Randolph then left the orchard together, and both traveled to the jail house.
  29. I saw a new face peeking from between the jailhouse bars as I drove by – Ulysses didn't seem to recognize me, but I sped up just in case.
  30. I started the next day watching the communist den. Andrew left first, and I tailed him to the whale tour.
  31. Next I visited the house with the blinds, chasing Chase again, who had led me there from the whale boat.
  32. Greg was standing guard at the house, as the meeting began he slipped out to the communist den.
  33. I doubled back to the county jail, just in time to see Wesley convening a meeting. I soon recognized him as the second conspirator from the gas station.
  34. It was time for the country dance to meet again, so I stopped by to find Paul discussing something in hushed tones with Xavier. One of them looked my way and I had to find the exit again quickly.
  35. Next I found Yancy and Isaac skulking toward the back of the whale tour.
  36. I then followed Scott as he was leaving the whale tour, and tailed him to the communist den.
  37. On my last day of scouting, I made the rounds one more time. First I spotted Neil outside the porcelain factory preparing a shipment of snowflakes.
  38. Neil took the shipment and met Zack outside the printing press. Only Zack was permitted to enter, apparently Neil wasn't allowed to go in himself.
  39. Finally I found Thomas, cleaning the aluminum siding on the townhouse, before the meeting was reconvened inside.
  40. Going back over my notes, there was one suspect I'll call Benji whose only conspiracy was one of the five from the first week.
  41. Another suspect I called Madison was a member of exactly two conspiracies from that first week.
  42. One last note here – looks like Scott and Quentin like the same donut shell, while Kevin and Quentin are basically opposites.
  43. While I didn't identify every member of some of the larger conspiracies, I'm confident the associations I identified were enough to build the full list of conspiracies for each of the twenty-six suspects, if I could only figure out some pattern behind them.

The data form with the puzzle suggests that you record the locations and the suspects present at each.

  • whale tour : Chase, Oliver, N, S, P, I, R, A, C, Y, I, S
  • lemon orchard : C, O, L, O, R, O, R
  • porcelain factory : S, H, A, P, E, I, N
  • communist den : N, A, V, Y, F, L, A, G, S,
  • printing press : X, Y, Z
  • roundabout : zack
  • residence : andrew, chase, greg, thomas
  • hat store : herbert, Yancy
  • church : david, Frank
  • gas station : vincent, wesley
  • doctors office : isaac, Jeremy
  • jail : neil, oliver, randolph, ulysses, wesley
  • country dance : edward, paul, xavier
  • krispy kreme : kevin, Quentin, Scott
  • {other} : Benji, Madison

per the first four locations... 'Conspiracy is color or shape in navy flags'. Going back to the audio, the first location descriptions all give several hints to a common theme, a color or a shape.

  • whale tour : blue
  • lemon orchard : yellow
  • porcelain factory : white
  • communist den : red
  • printing press : black
  • roundabout : circle
  • residence : horizontal lines
  • hat store : triangle
  • church : cross
  • gas station : chevron
  • doctors office : X
  • jail : vertical lines
  • country dance : square
  • krispy kreme : donut / outer box

Given these assignments, teams can map each consiprator to a naval flag, which contains all the features of locations where they appear. This mapping is used to translate the list of consiprator names handed out on page two.
This gives the phrase 'signal encoded team name' – giving this to the staff on site earns the team some construction paper, scissors and tape to make flags of their team name.



Design Notes

The main idea behind this puzzle was 'hey! a lot of naval flags have the same colors and shapes'.

Construction Notes

Woo Html5 audio controls. It didn't quite end up looking like the voice recorder it was supposed to be, but at least it worked*

GC Notes

* for 95% of teams