The Tolkien Connection - an exercise in "missing" information

In the main +ORC essay, I asked the question whether something had been changed in the Riddle text that might provide a clue. I'd like to extend that to ask whether there is something missing or not stated in the Riddle, whose absence is a clue. Admittedly this is drawing a rather long bow, but it's an idea.

So, what might be missing? What might be implied in some way by the Riddle, and not quoted? My thoughts drifted to the works of JRR Tolkien.

One idea I've been resisting since I started this quest is that there may be some link or clue hidden in the implicit connection between the name "ORC" and the stories of Tolkien -- especially his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The Orc, you will recall, is a particularly fierce creature that populates the darker regions of the stories. The trilogy was especially popular in the late sixties and early seventies, a time that may have been seminal in developing +ORC's philosophies. Another link?

So it would be unwise to rule out a Tolkien connection. Riddles occur in numbers in Tolkien's books, too, so the thought is again strengthened. None of the obvious Tolkien riddles connect in any way to the +ORC riddle, so I think we can discount them. If you want to check the main ones, see the Hobbit Riddle Page .

The Hobbit riddles are not of the same sort as the +ORC Riddle. What that quotation reminds me most of in Tolkien is the seminal verse in the Lord of the Rings:

For me, this has a similar feel to the +ORC Riddle, and it is numerical.

So I wondered if there were any conceivable link with the +ORC Riddle. It generates the following numbers:

3,7,9,1 and then 1,1,1

The thought occurs that the first group might relate to the four URL octets, and the second to the "+ORC" suffix. How would it link to the "bars" numbers on the +ORC Riddle? Let's compare them.

Tolkien: 3,7,9,1
+ORC :   6,5,4,0

The differences are [+ORC-Tolkien]: +3,-2,-5,-1

These could conceivably be added or subtracted from the Riddle URL, to give the following IP addresses: (subtracted) (added)

Needless to say, neither of these respond to a Ping.

You can also re-order the Tolkien numbers in descending order to match the bar numbers in the Riddle, and then do the same thing as before. This also draws a blank.

But it illustrates the concept of using some piece of missing information together with the Riddle to find a solution.

There may be other information that could be relevant.

It's worth noting that a certain European university has at least 26 servers named after characters from Tolkien. What better place to hide a file called "+ORC"? I'll let you know if I find anything.

In the unlikely event you have not read Lord of the Rings, you should certainly do so -- though be warned of the deceptively quiet first chapters... It makes an excellent break from the keyboard and screen, but be prepared to devote something like 36 hours straight to it, if you're even remotely obsessive!

If you want to follow up on Tolkien, there is oodles of stuff on the Web about everything connected with his works. A good starting point is here.

20 May 1997

Any comments? .

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