The Number Squares of Fandango

Included in the treasure hunt book of Fandango are two number squares and one square containing letters.  All are in a 4×4 grid.  They are on pages 11(letter square), 17, and 40.

Using the numbers in the two squares, separately, to re-order the letters contained in the square on page 11, spells out MASQUERADE.  Masquerade was the title of a 1979 book which is considered the forerunner of armchair treasure hunts.  Fandango seems to be a tribute to Masquerade and includes similar elements.

The two numbered squares mirrored each other and after spelling out Masquerade, the letters HINT and C were left over.   ‘C (see) Masquerade Hint’ could be interpreted as giving a ‘hint to look into the hunt of Masquerade.’

Instead of using numbers 1 – 16 to fill the grids, 0 – 19 are used. In each of the grids then, some numbers are not needed. This does seem to indicate the use of numbers 0-19 is by design and leads to further clues.

The Squares are as follows:

(square in newspaper- page 17)

(square tacked on wall- page 40)

(letter square- page 11)

The X’s indicate blank spaces (not letters) in the squares.  It should be noted, there are colors associated with the numbers on page 40, and the letters on page 11; these could provide additional meaning. The square on page 17 is in black and white (the newspaper).  Of course, the book shows this.

As mentioned, the numbers mirror:

O in the first square is found in position 8 in the grid.  Position 8 in the second square is 19.  Where 1 is found in the first square is where 18 is found in the second.  2-17, 3-16, and so on.  If a number is not used in one square, the mirroring continues from the other.

The result after ordering the letters with the numbers is C-MASQUERADE-INHT/THNI-EDAREUQSAM-C

A few of the border phrases do seem to follow the mirroring theme demonstrated by the squares. It was known some of the phrases (not all) in the Masquerade treasure hunt did provide clues to the finding of the hare.  Is this how Fandango may work?  Some are useful, some not?  Here are the phrases I thought suggest a mirroring.

Page 15- “Double Back”
Page 19- “An Eye Reflects”
Page 23- “North West”  “South East”
Page 47- “Upside Down”

The last image on page 55 has “Two Together”.  As the story is about the Sea and the Wind, one has to wonder if it isn’t a suggestion on ‘opposites attract’?

Like the Sun and Moon in Masquerade, the two are opposites.  Could the ‘hint’ at ‘reflection’ somehow connect to this opposite attraction?  And possible method for finding the Master Riddle or Solution?


(photo credit- wikimedia-JRLibby- Eagle Lake, Acadia)

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3 Responses

  1. Tony Frisco says:

    Mr. Fenn, you are surely right, through out your entire life, from when you start the great adventure of it all, the only thing that has importance is ” THE THRILL OF THE CHASE”

  1. April 1, 2013


  2. April 7, 2013

    […] The similarities between the two hunts do not end with only the story.  Fandango incorporates various features included in the Masquerade hunt and even refers to Masquerade in one of its ‘puzzles’.  More about this is discussed in ‘The Number Squares of Fandango.’ […]

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