Damn You, Dar!

It’s here. “Secrets of the Alchemist Dar,” the sequel to “A Treasure’s Trove,” came out late last month, and it took only a few days for my brother and I to get our hands on shiny, new first editions. And then it took even less time for us to realize that, hey, this is fucking impossible!

Whereas the first treasure hunt book, leading readers to $1 mil in bejeweled broaches, was accessible and seemed at least vaguely solve-able, this one is just baffling. The last third of the book is an upside down spell book written in ambigrams (word spelled the same upside and down), creepy symbols, and rorschach inkblots. Although I’m not giving up just yet (we’re still talking about $2 mil in rings this time, after all), the book will almost certainly not take over my free time the way the last one did. No obsessive 2am decoding sessions, no late-night phone calls to friends in Iowa and Andy’s relatives to go searching for tokens in state parks, and no frenzied high-speed races down the Taconic.

At least, not until someone manages to crack the first clue and posts their solve to the message boards (either Tweleve or the official Dar board). Then all bets are off.