We are two days in this week hunt and as you probably all know by now, an unexpected event happen: the Big Square has been revealed. Most of us were expecting it to be the big finale of the campaign, but apparently Tuesday December 6, 2011 what its day.

There’s plenty to say and speculate about, but let’s start chronologically with Monday’s hunt:


It was an all twitter-clues day yesterday, and it started at 11am PST with this:

Thanks to @amantemuerta that shared a link, I can tell you that it was a Polybius Square cipher. You had to use the square below to find out the letters corresponding to each numbers:

You obtained the letters: N, C, O, O, P, C, Y, H, A, and disposed correctly you had:

revealing that the first flower of the week was… in India. Or so we thought, for a brief minute. The coordinates in the picture above were missing a dash, showing us that the prize was in the middle of no streets (nor bench) at the odd hour of 12h45am.

Pretty quickly several Happy Helpers realized there was a problem and @dag_kurt found out that the correct location was Miami, Florida. (The coordinates were changed right after on what is hidden in snow). The mistake lead to a hilarious stream of tweets that kept us busy and inspired as we waited to see who would find out the flower #34.

@lucianavee was on her way and tried to score, supported by many helpers, but arrived too late. I would like to tell you who won, but I have no clue.


The day went on and we all assumed it was a wrap until 7h04pm PST, when Mouth Taped Shut twitted again:

At 7h12 @dxiong5 tweeted the first answer:

and Boston Happy Hunter@bgalbraith  explained how it was done:

The Lowest Temperature Possible being /absolutezero and taking us to Sydney, Australia and a bench!

This time several ‘known’ hunters went for it, including @OiNaz who was unsuccessful but wrote a nice article about her chase, and a unknown hunter, who won the flower, helped by Dallas Happy Helper @GuestUser17:

It was a straightforward, besides the small detail that the two flowers found were respectively number 34 and 36. If you remember from the last grid updated, the last flower found was number 32. Tomorrow might give us the number 32 and 35, but once again, we are left wondering if there is a reason for this change of order.


As I said at the beginning of the report, today gave us a double hunt that nobody was expected: Chicago and Stockholm, unlocked by only one puzzle and both holding a big prize.

At 8h09am PST, Mouth Taped Shut put a new picture online:

Quickly people noticed that the numbers were not the correct ones and started working on it, focusing on the numbers and their difference until Mouth Taped Shot posted (fairly quickly) in the comments:

In other words King James Bible. @antovolk took upon him to write down each reference corresponding to the number:

And the answer was /ashes,formed by taking the first letter of each quote.

That’s when we discovered, stupefied, that not only ashes was unlocking two clues, but also the biggest prize of all:

The left image was Chicago and corresponded to the smaller square. The biggest one was, as suspected from the beginning, in Stockholm. It took couple of hours for the prize to be claimed and turned out to be Lisbeth’s T-Shirt ‘Fuck You You Fucking Fuck’ (with a VHS?) for Chicago and Lisbeth’s Bag-pack, her work I.D., a postcard written to Blomkvist and a VHS named Hard Copy for Sweden.

With all the hunters on the line for Chicago, one would have thought we would knew the winner, but we don’t. As for Stockholm, Happy Helper @pockster used her magic for the third time and a friend of hers find the Big Prize. 

We all started speculated about the VHS tapes, wondering if they were holding additional information when @gabrielleadelle tweeted an article posted by Entertainment Weekly revealing that Hard Copy was actually a 9 minute mockumentary presented like an archive of the show covering Harriet’s disappearance and investigation:

My first reaction was to be annoyed that Entertainment Weekly published it so close to the final hunt. Then I went straight to denial, and decided, with many others, that there has to be something hidden in the video.

I spent a fair amount of time watching it again frame by frame, looking at the static and the glitches, hoping to see letters or images that were not supposed to be there would give out another clue. Turned out there was something, but it wasn’t what we expected. Around the 9th minute of the video you can see an hommage to Tyler Durden and his Fight Club with this NC-17 image:

(I believe @hingle is the first one who noticed it, but I also received the picture by email and tweet many times afterwards) To be honest that lift up my spirit a bit because at least there was a subversive Fincherian touch in the video, and it makes me smile to think that EW is showing that.

That’s also when I reached resignation and accepted that if there was something in the video, it was not supposed to be uncovered yet. (Yes, it sounds like partial resignation)

Joke aside, the Hard Copy video is amazing and I was impressed by the work they put in it in all levels, it is rich in information and a feast for the eyes.

So, why the confusion?

All that is all good and nice, but where are we going from now? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to reveal the biggest square of the grid 10 to 15 days before the hunt ends.

We are now left with 5 flowers and 2 ‘big’ prizes, but we don’t know if there will be a climax or if the road as straight as it seems, with few more hunts and… that’s it.

Why Chicago and another flower were not enough for today? That’s a question I’d like to have an answer to.

I was also surprised by the biggest square’s prize. Not that it is not a good prize, it’s a great prize, but I was imagining something more ‘wowing‘. (Especially since the most incredibly part of the prize was revealed before the owner knew what he/she had in hands)

Because I cannot wrap my head around the idea that there won’t be a big finale, I hold on to the hope that there is something bigger going on, that I just can’t see yet. But what if there isn’t and it’s just me being in denial again?

And that is why I’m confused…

We’ll know more tomorrow (although I’m suspecting it will only be flowers 33 and 35) or another day.

To Be Continued…

**To read a recap of everything written about TGWTDT marketing campaign, click here**

By mentorless| 5 Comments | Films and TV Show, Personal Buzz, Social Media, Transmedia

1 trackback

[TGWTDT] This Is The End [Part 2]
December 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm


  1. Hey Guys, I am the Chicago Winner

    I tried posting that I claimed the prize on #mouthtapedshut but it wouldn’t show on feed.

    The prize was revealed to be at The Harold Washington Library as I was miles away at school trying to hop on Lake Shore Drive quickly as possible. I arrived there out of breath and frantic because I thought someone already claimed it. Once I entered the building, I saw the common library on the lower level and decided to check there first. I asked for assistance to find “Star Island”. The nice librarian said it was right in front and she brought it to me. I opened it up and found the tiny manila envelope. Inside it said “file cabinet #121 (underlined), 5th floor”. With that, I took off. The lady was confused why I didn’t check the book out.

    With the lead, I exited the common library and headed to the center floor of the building. Mind you, I was sweaty and frantic with cell phone in hand because I just parked my car at some lot and ran in. Next to me, a lady just as frantic as I was with too a cell phone in hand asking for the escalators. Quick glance at each other, we both knew what we were here for and took off. We both found the escalators and ran up them. She looked forward trying not to acknowledge me and said “Twitter”. I blurted “MOUTHTAPEDSHUT”. It was every man for themselves at that point.

    The escalators took me to the 3rd floor as she without knowing the destination left to the 2nd floor. There at the 3rd floor I took an elevator to the 5th floor. Upstairs, I waited in line for assistance. At the counter, I asked for file cabinet 121 as new librarian replied they didn’t have filing cabinets. So I walked the floor and found non-other than filing cabinets in the center floor labeled 1-70. I asked the lady once again and she said she wouldn’t know where 121 could be. She followed up by asking what was this for, I replied a college project (which I ditch my film class before leaving). Searching myself I was bound to find it.

    On the south wall is where I went to look for filing cabinet 121. I quickly found small yet wide silver cabinets labeled “131, 130, 129, 128, etc.”. Then I turned a small corner to find “120”. Confused, I double checked. In front of me standing the tallest of all cabinets was a brown cabinet labeled 121. It held 4 shelves and it was named “Chicago Maps”. I tugged the first one, locked. They all appeared locked, so left for the hostel librarian once more for assistance. As I walked, a voice said “Don’t give up”. It was a tall blonde man in his late twenties with a Macbook Pro and Smartphone in hand. I quickly replied “Are you behind this?”. He said “Ehhhh” with a shrug with the shoulders and hands.

    The librarian walked me back to the cabinets instructing me of how to open it with a press of a button (I’m not a common user of filing cabinets so I didn’t know). The cabinet was slim so I wondered the prize. It was speculated to be a big one but the cabinets look like it could only hold the flower frames. First shelf, nothing but filled with blueprints. Second, nothing. Third, filled once again. Finally at the forth was files pressed to the front and a gorgeous tan box to the back. I grabbed it and place it on a table between the host and I. Inside was the torn shirt folded nicely (still haven’t opened it up), the VHS Tape, and the infamous David Fincher note and a link to upload a pic with myself and the box to the what is hidden in snow website. All of this felt surreal.

    I walked to the host as he commented “What do you think?”. Couldn’t help reply with a very cheesy “Pretty Cool”. I exchange names with him and he took a picture of me with box in hand to send to his producer. I quickly exchange my story with him and the thrill of the hunt. Finally we parted as I said “Oh yeah, a lady is on her way”.


    • Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story Nick!

  2. Is the motorcycle what you were thinking of as the big prize? I can see that progression but that seems like too much for a marketing campaign for a movie.

    • No, several people thought that, but the motorcycle seems a bit of a stretch to me. I was more thinking of tickets to the premiere + hotel/flight etc…

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