Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 12
Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.
This is Part 12 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.
Previously, the full list of 75 solution objects were found and put in their correct order. These objects actually represent a set of instructions for casting The Alchemist’s Spell.
Gunson’s justification for using objects to symbolically represent the spell was to make the puzzle independent of language.
Interpreting the Objects
The table below contains a relatively plain English description of the intended meanings of the 75 objects. I have added extra linking words and explanations where necessary.
I cannot easily explain how the correct interpretation of the objects is reached. I have merely set out the answer, as confirmed in the official solution, as coherently as I can.
|1||Full moon||When the moon is full.|
|4||8 pointed star with gold at top||North is a|
|5||III in blue letters||3|
|6||Ballet dancer’s foot||foot|
|7||Bowl of salt||salt|
|9||Red ball orbiting large blue ball||goes round|
|10||Wooden log||a wooden|
|11||5-pointed white star||5 pointed star (pentacle) made from|
|12||Framed painting of Quercus robur (Oak)||a piece of Oak placed horizontally (based on the angle of the frame)|
|13||Framed painting of Fraxinus excelsior (Ash)||a piece of Ash angled ~60 degrees from low left to high right|
|14||Framed painting of Sorbus acuparia (Rowan)||a piece of Rowan angled ~30 degrees from low left to high right|
|15||Framed painting of Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn)||a piece of Hawthorn angled ~60 degrees from high left to low right|
|16||Framed painting of Ulmus procera (Elm)||and a piece of Elm angled ~30 degrees from high left to low right.|
|18||Salt shaker and bowl of salt||(Around) the salt|
|20||Owl clock||going clockwise from 1 o’clock|
|21||Book of runes||are the runes (the rune book on P8,S41 confirms which runes the numbers refer to)|
|22||III in gold letters||3 (Ansuz)|
|23||Book with XX on cover||20 (Laguz)|
|24||Gold goblet with XVII on side||17 (Berkana)|
|25||XI in gold letters||11 (Jera)|
|26||5 of clubs||5 (Kano)|
|27||Piece of paper with IV written on it||4 (Raido)|
|28||Ace of hearts||1 (Uruz)|
|29||XVIII in gold letters||18 (Ehwaz)|
|30||2 of spades||2 (Thurisaz)|
|31||VIII in gold letters||8 (Hagalaz)|
|32||XXIII in gold letters||23 (Dagaz)|
|33||XXIV in gold letters||and 24 (Fehu).|
|35||8-pointed star with gold at top||In the Northern|
|36||Triangular piece of stone||triangle (of the pentacle)|
|37||Book of runes||is rune|
|38||Book with XIX on cover||19 (Mannaz).|
|40||Left handprint on tablet||In the left|
|41||Triangle||triangle (of the pentacle)|
|42||Flames||is a burning|
|43||Gold (Au) bar||golden|
|45||Right handprint on tablet||In the right|
|46||Triangle||triangle (of the pentacle)|
|47||Flames||is a burning|
|48||Silver (Ag) bar||silver|
|51||5-pointed white star||The pentacle’s|
|53||Bowl of burning coals||contains a bowl of coals|
|55||Framed painting of Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)||rosemary.|
|57||Town crier||Say out loud the names of the|
|58||12 scratches on stone tablet||12|
|59||Book of runes||runes|
|60||Owl clock||going round clockwise from 1 o’clock.|
|61||Town crier||Say out loud the name of the|
|62||Silver rune (looks like 2 triangular flags tip-to-tip on tall poles and is called “Mannaz”)||19th rune (Mannaz).|
|64||Silver (Ag) bar||The silver|
|66||Candle snuffer||is snuffed out.|
|67||Gold (Au) bar||The gold|
|69||Candle snuffer||is snuffed out.|
|70||Town crier||Say out loud the name of the symbol that looks like|
|72||Red ball orbiting a large blue ball||going round|
|73||Book of runes||rune|
|74||XIV in gold letters||14 (Algiz)|
|75||Rotating knives plaque||turned upside down.|
The “spell” is made up of objects 1 to 56, which set out an arrangement of pieces of wood, runes and candles under a full moon.
The “method of casting” starts at object 57 where various words (names of the runes) are spoken, the candles snuffed out and the name of a final symbol is spoken.
This final symbol is made up of two parts. The first part is a circle, the second part an Algiz rune, which looks like a 3-pronged Y. The rune is turned upside down. This combined symbol looks like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament logo, now commonly known as the “peace” symbol.
To completely solve the puzzle, the spell and the method of casting were supposed to be drawn on a single piece of paper. My attempt at doing this is in the next and final part of the solution.