Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NOT A FINALIST - The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google

Late last night everyone received their emails. As expected, I of course got my NOT A FINALIST email. I am going to try to keep everyone up to date on the Final challenge. I can't post strategy details at this very moment, but I will do my best to get to it around noon today.

Also, for those of you sending me emails with information, thank you, please continue to do so at davincicodequest@gmail.com. I am working hard to try and get all of your comments and links onto the blog. Moving forward please use the subject line "readmenow" for emails that are time sensitive or emails that have content you want added into a post. Thanks!!!

This web page from Steven has great information on how to re-code your cryptex, that is if you are lucky enough to have a cryptex. I also got your Not a Finalist and Finalist emails. Thanks for sending them. More to come later. Thanks for all the input.

Get all of the MSN Conspiracy Game Answers here

40 Comments:

At 5/16/2006 5:25 AM, Blogger Me2U said...

Yay! I am in possession of a very heavy cryptex. I have scanned in the scroll inside, i have yet to post it. I will, though! :) I couldn't have won without you. You really should have won.

 
At 5/16/2006 5:32 AM, Blogger ramudu said...

Here is the link to the finalist image

http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/davincicode/dvcqog/email/images/congrats.jpg

 
At 5/16/2006 5:34 AM, Blogger Legacy said...

Boo! No Cryptex for me! Just a bunch of bad discounts. If any of the finalists need any help, let me know!

 
At 5/16/2006 5:41 AM, Blogger Artemiy said...

Great... Well, I haven't got even a simple confirmation e-mail... I typed the right info, checked e-mail but I still haven't got any email from google/sony... Hope for the eurostar quest now - I've finished what's been published already...

 
At 5/16/2006 5:46 AM, Blogger Latinwiz said...

Did anyone think that they would have a better chance of being a finalist if they selected one of the 2 offers available before you submitted your contest entry form? I selected one of them, don't remember which one being so rushed, but thought that it may help in determining if I would be a finalist, and I am.

 
At 5/16/2006 5:57 AM, Blogger David said...

latinwiz said: "Did anyone think that they would have a better chance of being a finalist if they selected one of the 2 offers available before you submitted"

I didn't subscribe to either of the offers, and I am a finalist.

 
At 5/16/2006 5:58 AM, Blogger ReedyCreek said...

I am totally bummed.
I completed the puzzle at 1:01pm EST and successfully registered all my info at 1:02 EST (partially thanks to having already seen the video used in the final puzzle).

Yet... I got the NOT A FINALIST e-mail today and I am completely confused considering numerous folks finishing behind me are finalists. Makes no sense. Most frustrating thing ever.

 
At 5/16/2006 6:04 AM, Blogger David said...

BTW. Did anyone watch the new video teaser that plays after you get the congrats message from Sir Ian?

It had 19 letters that were "shining" they were: HITRMEANAUNIVNFDTIV

"Find the Vitruvian Man"

I couldn't find anything new on the official website with regard to the Vitruvian man, anyone else find something?

 
At 5/16/2006 6:05 AM, Blogger ruusta said...

got the crptex but no email.
No "you are a finalist" or "you are not a finalist"

i double checked spam folder/filter

i hope the email was not deleted,,,i guess i will have to wait until the 19th...

 
At 5/16/2006 6:07 AM, Blogger ruusta said...

can someone send the link to the message from Ian?

 
At 5/16/2006 6:25 AM, Blogger Ellisera said...

Ok, I've seen people that completed the puzzle as late as 1:30 EST getting a cryptex, and yet even though I completed the puzzle around 1:19 EST I recieved one of the "Not a finalist" emails... Something sounds fishy to me.

 
At 5/16/2006 6:31 AM, Blogger Zanshin said...

Can anyone tell me if the Cryptex plays any relevent role in the second part of the quest?

It gives the URL of the web page(which is given in the e-mail), but if you know that, you don't really need the Cryptex. Is that correct?

 
At 5/16/2006 7:05 AM, Blogger Yasi said...

I am another one who got the "Not a finalist" email. Congratulations to all of you who did. Please keep us updated on the puzzles you get. It was a very fun quest. Good luck to all the finalists.

 
At 5/16/2006 7:09 AM, Blogger Tezi said...

This is the link given in the email for video message form Ian

http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/davincicode/dvcqog/teabingmessage/endofquest.html

 
At 5/16/2006 7:09 AM, Blogger opus1 said...

Finished the last puzzle at 1:04, raced to submit both entry forms, and I had those done by 1:06. I'm not a winner.

 
At 5/16/2006 7:15 AM, Blogger Anil said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5/16/2006 7:17 AM, Blogger Anil said...

david,
I dont think it means anything try
www.findthevitruvianman.com
it takes you to the sony page

 
At 5/16/2006 7:29 AM, Blogger kansas_boy said...

Well, you're not alone GoogleFact, I also did NOT get a cryptex- and I'm not bitter, just really confused, because I registered successfully by 1:04 EST, and I never got a thing telling me I only completeted 23/24 puzzles, so I don't know why I didn't get one? Can anyone help me answer this?

 
At 5/16/2006 8:01 AM, Blogger becca said...

To those of you that completed puzzles early but didn't get a cryptex - is there anybody you live with that did? The rules state there's only one prize per person/family/household, with the exception of the Grand Prize winner. My husband finished seconds after I did (at 1:02EST) I'm a finalist but he's not, and I'm assuming this is why.

 
At 5/16/2006 8:04 AM, Blogger kansas_boy said...

becca- thanks for the post, but I was the only one in the family/household to do this quest- so I don't know I'm still confused...

 
At 5/16/2006 8:10 AM, Blogger melissa said...

So I've recieved my cryptex but havetn recieved an email telling me if I'm a finalist or not, but I'm assuming I am. Did anyone their cryptex and an email? if so, does the email provide you with any clues?

 
At 5/16/2006 8:13 AM, Blogger David said...

Anil,

Damn, thought it might lead to a clue for the final puzzle.

Thanks,

David

 
At 5/16/2006 8:36 AM, Blogger Mikestr2 said...

all im wondering if they did for the first phase what they are doing for the second phase, and rather than what time you submited you forms, its how fast you completed all the puzzles throughout the quest

 
At 5/16/2006 8:55 AM, Blogger pyro@sp said...

Just thought I'd mention: I took my blacklight out and thoroughly inspected everything--the cryptex itself, the 'congrats' parchment inside, the box, the shipping box--but found nothing.

Re: the 'Vitruvian Man' reference: it's located at the Accademia di Belle Arti (alternately the Gallerie dell' Accademia, depending on reference. Same place, different title.) which is in Venice, Italy.

 
At 5/16/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger NET MAN said...

Bummer - Definitely some poor tracking on Google's part.

I'm not stretching any truths to say that I finished the quest and completed the registration form by approx. 1:07 pm EDT.

Just got the "NOT A FINALIST" email.

Something's not right in Google-Land.

As others have said - I'm not bitter - it is just a game - but Google has really messed something up in how they're tracking finalists.

 
At 5/16/2006 8:59 AM, Blogger pampoen79 said...

It is definitely not the accumulated time that it took to finish all the puzzles, cause I am a finalist, and I took forever on some of the puzzles.
Also, the time that everyone thought they finished isn't necessarily correct....it depends on what time the google server received it. So you might have been finished by say 10:05, but because of heavy traffic, your time-stamp might be 10:30.....not sure if this is what happened, but it is possible.

 
At 5/16/2006 9:03 AM, Blogger ramudu said...

Now that I have a cryptex, I don't know what to do with it ... :)

btw, googlefact - are you going to host your site for the final round also? can we post comments and share tips here?

 
At 5/16/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

i really really wanted to win, but i didn't. i also finished the puzzle late, but wasn't it based on when you started the puzzles? oh well.

 
At 5/16/2006 9:09 AM, Blogger kansas_boy said...

pampoen79:

Excellent point! Thanks for the post- it made me feel a lot better, because it's like you don't have any control on when Google received it ya know? All you can do is submit as quickly as possible, and the rest is up to luck.

 
At 5/16/2006 9:16 AM, Blogger Eric said...

WOW 182$ on eBay

 
At 5/16/2006 9:16 AM, Blogger Matthew Rongey said...

Do you have to have a gmail account to get the email? Because I still haven't recieved an email.

 
At 5/16/2006 9:23 AM, Blogger Derting said...

Can someone who received a code to get the new computer game for free please share it with us?

I'd just like to see if there is one code to get it for free, or if each person got a unique code that can only be used once.

I would just really like to play this new game.

Thanks.

 
At 5/16/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Malutka said...

Did you see how much the cryptex is going for on ebay? AMAZING

 
At 5/16/2006 9:53 AM, Blogger hazelflag said...

Hello...

This is my first post, though I have been reading all the posts since the first day of the contest.

I was reading all the posts and concerning the time you submitted, is it possible that everyone might have a different time on their computers? I know that my computer here, runs a little slow. Hence I'm not really sure what time, exactly, I submitted my entry form. Just thought I would throw that out there, if it made anyone feel better:)

 
At 5/16/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger arnott said...

Got the cryptex today. I live in MS. lucky to get the cryptex and be a finalist. this blog helped a lot.

am going to read the novel again , play some chess and solve some puzzles.

All the best to everyone !

 
At 5/16/2006 3:26 PM, Blogger RoninBlackmoore said...

It was legal to have more than one entry per houseold as long as none of those entries are affiliated with the companies that make the game. People who both competed in the same houseold have cryptices and finalist letters. as long as they did nnot share the same email address.
MR

 
At 5/16/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger RoninBlackmoore said...

On Registration entry time:: I used to work at an online stock trading company, customer service. One of the things that would happen is when the site had major traffic and sometimes when it was regular traffic, every person thinks that their trade was submitted the moment they push "buy" or "sell" that simply was NOT true. They also think that what their computer says is what every other computer says at the same time..NOT true. Getting a computer confirmation time from where you sent it (ping) might help but people have no idea when “google” got the information because they did not get a confirmation with a (time stamp) official from them. I hope this helps. I know it’s frustrating, I lost because I woke up late so no I am not one of those late submission winners! Just understand, even though you sent in your time at "X" time and didn't win, but another sent theirs in at "Y" time later than you according to “your” clocks, that it is only a LOOSE estimate at best of what time Google got their time stamp. Servers, bandwidths it’s not all linear like a freeway as we imagine it, a nice neat line of traffic. I am not an expert on internet but I am married to one. If any internet specialists can post up to explain please do to assure others not to complain to google. It only causes more traffic for the finalists. From my point of view, having to explain this to thousands of customers every day.. Even Google tells you to keep your notes so do that.
MR

 
At 5/16/2006 7:07 PM, Blogger Lainie said...

No email (winner or not), no cryptex. I wish I would hear something - anything!!

 
At 5/16/2006 11:17 PM, Blogger codestinks said...

The Da Vinci Code Mystery Revealed!
Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code brims with mysteries: Did Jesus have a girlfriend? And did they have a daughter, whose descendants live today? Is the Priory of Sion an ancient covenant whose Grand Masters, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton, have sworn to protect this royal blood line? Is Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic sect Brown paints in such lurid colors, really that awful? Can a fictional thriller that is nothing more or less than (as one Biblical scholar called it) “a great plane read” be taken seriously as an ecclesiastical exposé? (My short answers: No, no, no, no idea, and no.

But no mystery, at least among film critics, is greater than this one: When are we gonna see the movie?

The Hollywood version of Brown’s blockbuster has a solid pedigree: director Ron Howard, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and star Tom Hanks, all Oscar winners. Any movie with that celebrated a roster usually demands early exposure to the upper-middle media: Vanity Fair, perhaps, or one of the major newsmagazines. But not even the undercover nerds at Ain’t It Cool News got a peek. (AICN’s big scoop, a year or so ago, was that the role of Silas, the murderous albino, might go to ... Jim Carrey! Paul Bettany got it.)

Yet withholding the film was, in its way, clever publicity. Newspapers ran stories about what might be in the film. The Louvre Museum, where the action of the book-film begins, has announced it will be giving tours explaining works of art mentioned therein. 60 Minutes got Ed Bradley to huff and puff about ripping the lid off the Priory of Sion fraud, which was very old news indeed. (I’d read about a month earlier in that hard-hitting compendium of investigative reporting, Fodor’s Guide to the Da Vinci Code.) The TV news networks have lavished Scott Peterson-type coverage on the film’s imminent release. Last week, producers for Bill O’Reilly’s nightly show on Fox asked on two separate days if I’d come on and talk about the Howard film. That I had no hard data or authoritative opinions about a movie I hadn’t seen didn’t stop the folks in the No Fact Zone.

Sony, the film’s distributor, finally previewed it today, when it was simultaneously screened, in New York and at the Cannes Film Festival, three days before its May 19th opening. Critics emerging from the screening at Cannes’ Palais des Festivals were cornered by roughly two dozen TV and radio crews, all badgering us to get the fresh Da Vinci dirt. Not since Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 had its world premiere at Cannes two years ago had the reviewers been the story.

By now you’ve possibly detected my own ploy: to engage in a bit of backtracking mystification and prolong the suspense about the Howard Da Vinci Code. But enough already. What did I think about the movie?

Well, to resolve two mysteries at once (why the film was kept from critics and what my reaction is), it’s not very good — long (2hr.32min.) and mostly inert.

The script is doggedly faithful to Brown’s plot: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Hanks) is paired with pert police detective Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), and against Silas, the albino hit man from Opus Dei, as they race from Paris and environs to London and environs in the company of crippled scholar Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) to discover the meaning and whereabouts of the Holy Grail, a central artifact in Christian mythology. We eventually learn that, unawares, our hero and heroine have attracted the attention of rival gangs of learned loonies, latest in a millennial line of combatants over the central tenet of Christianity: Was Jesus human or divine?

Howard and Goldsman have efficiently touched all the bases. But they haven’t found a way to replicate the book’s page-turning urgency. The games Brown plays — anagrams, the Fibonacci sequence, the art-history gamesmanship, the delving into Gnostic gospel lore, all the clues and miscues in his devious treasure hunt — are best savored by readers with a long night or a long flight ahead of them. They’re not intrinsically visual or movie-dramatic, however many car chases the Howard version cranks up.

There might be a way to infuse cinematic juice into the tale, and Howard has a couple of jolting images: of Silas whacking a nun, and of the car crash that killed Sophie’s parents and brother. He also manages an exemplarily creepy exchange between Tautou and Bettany, which for a moment raises the stakes to the level of personal affront. But these signs of violent life are rare. The flashbacks to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages (shot in desaturated color) look both expensive and perfunctory — words that sum up the film.

He seems propelled more out of duty than love for the project. He drags along the audience (who, if they read the book, have an emotional investment in the story) as if he were a guide who’s led this tour for years and is doing it by rote. For them it might be a passion; for him, it’s just a job. Hanks, too, seems to sleepwalk through the part; he gives it the fretful stare that spoke tragic volumes in Philadelphia and Saving Private Ryan but just registers as numb here. The villains fare a bit better. Bettany gets some poignance out of his role as self-flagellator and avenging devil, and Alfred Molina, as an Opus Dei poobah, plays liturgical corruption as if he were an Enron exec in robes. McKellen, a pro’s pro, lends suavity and power to the Leigh Teabing role (a character Brown named for two of the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail). Yet when he delivers the film’s dead-serious climactic line — “You’re the last living descendant of Jesus Christ” — it got a derisory laugh from the Cannes crowd.

Just what you’d expect, some would say, from a smug bunch of infidels. Well, despite my cataloguing of the movie’s faults, I’m not among the smirkers. In that blizzard of what’s-in-the-movie publicity, there was speculation that the filmmakers might shy from the Opus Dei subplot, or at least from naming the group. One wag suggested that, given the character played by the child actor Ronny Howard on The Andy Griffith Show, he might re-dub it Opie Dei. But no, he charged ahead, calling it by name and depicting the society in exactly as harsh a light as the book does. Expect protests.

The movie goes further. Beneath the chases and crashes, the chalices and cilices, it denies Jesus’ divinity. As Teabing (perhaps not the most trustworthy authority) says in the movie, “The Greatest Story Ever Told is a lie!” And further still: the film challenges the belligerence that too often adheres to religious believers, the wars and atrocities perpetrated in His name. “Who is God, who is man?” asks Sophie. “How many have been murdered over this question?” I’m not taking sides on that issue. But for a mainstream, $125 million summer movie to raise it, let alone suggest a negative answer, in a cultural environment already politicized and polarized by religious debate, takes big steel balls. I didn’t know Opie had ’em.

So maybe there’s one more Da Vinci Code movie mystery yet to be unraveled. Will the mass movie audience take to a thriller that appears to attack the fundamental beliefs of what, our leaders keep telling us, is an actively Christian country? If Howard’s movie marches through that storm, it will become a phenomenon as impressive as the book’s gigantic sales: the first secular-humanist hit.

 
At 5/18/2006 1:11 AM, Blogger RoninBlackmoore said...

Hey, I got this on my da vinci code module for my google home page.. any others get this? I am not a finalist)
MR

"Wei-Hwa Huang
Googler & Four-Time World Puzzle Champion
Many of you wrote to the Google team to let us know how much you enjoyed the quest, so I decided to keep creating puzzle challenges. Stay tuned for your first challenge on May 26 and get ready for a mental workout."

 

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