This clue was intended as a morale booster... we thought most Gamers would solve it in thirty seconds or less, but to our surprise and bemusement several people asked us for hints on this one.
This puzzle can be solved in two ways; first, by reading the poem:
Once upon a time, and long, long ago
Horizon uncluttered, miraculously so
A man named Portola traveled the way
With his band of brothers to the San Francisco Bay
In a campsite they rested and looked at the sky
The constellations…the stars, and pondered why,
Why one day good old Leland and Jane
Would someday honor this place by the Train?
The answer is, of course, El Palo Alto, the historic tree overlooking the tracks north of the Palo Alto Caltrain station, which later gave its name to the city and its image to Stanford's official seal and unofficial mascot.
For those who didn't know about this piece of Stanford history, the puzzle can also be solved by decoding the fake ISBN number using the standard correspondence A=1, ... Z=26:
512-1611215-1122015 EL P AL O AL T O
Typing some variation on "El Palo Alto" into the text field below the poem and pressing the button gives the following message:
Yes, yes, way to go, hotshot. Now, don't get cocky.
Your laptop(s) and cell phone(s) will be essential parts of your success during the narcotics enforcement training. Since you will be using them for many consecutive hours, Cranea will provide your team with one 120W power inverter, which will plug into the cigarette lighter in your car and provide a 110V AC outlet for charging your laptop or cell phone. Our inverters have only one outlet, so if you would like to charge more than one device at once, you will need to bring a power strip. Be careful not to draw more than 120W power from the inverter, as your team could be delayed significantly if the inverter stops working.
On your team's Windows or Mac laptop (or laptops), you will absolutely need:
Optional software - which may or may not help you in your mission - might include:
- a CD-ROM drive
- a PDF viewer
- an MP3 player
- a recent version of either Windows Media Player or QuickTime.
- a mapping / trip planning program (e.g. Streets and Trips)
- an encyclopedia (e.g. Encarta)
- The Internet (version 5.1 or later)
- a DVD player so you can watch movies, like that 1997 one with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn... I forget what it's called
Of course, you can always call people and have them search Google for you.
The 1997 movie, of course, is The Game.