Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 12

Merlin Mystery wand

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

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.

Object # Object Interpretation
1 Full moon When the moon is full.
2 \ -STOP-
3 Pointing hand Pointing
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
8 Circle circle that
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.
17 \ -STOP-
18 Salt shaker and bowl of salt (Around) the salt
19 Circle circle
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).
34 \ -STOP-
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).
39 \ -STOP-
40 Left handprint on tablet In the left
41 Triangle triangle (of the pentacle)
42 Flames is a burning
43 Gold (Au) bar golden
44 Candle candle.
45 Right handprint on tablet In the right
46 Triangle triangle (of the pentacle)
47 Flames is a burning
48 Silver (Ag) bar silver
49 Candle candle.
50 \ -STOP-
51 5-pointed white star The pentacle’s
52 Silver heart heart
53 Bowl of burning coals contains a bowl of coals
54 Flames burning
55 Framed painting of Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) rosemary.
56 \ -STOP-
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).
63 \ -STOP-
64 Silver (Ag) bar The silver
65 Candle candle
66 Candle snuffer is snuffed out.
67 Gold (Au) bar The gold
68 Candle candle
69 Candle snuffer is snuffed out.
70 Town crier Say out loud the name of the symbol that looks like
71 Circle a circle
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.

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