The Thomas Crown Scare

Given the recent theft of the coin, it'd be a good idea to check up on the security of our town's other valuable objects, like our art.

Let's start with a piece created 17 years ago specifically for the Mystery Hunt. Instructions for locating this piece of art are at the beginning of that Hunt's Puzzle 7B. You'll find a squiggly line composed of seaside items, sandblasted into the granite paving stones, to mark the original Boston Harbor shoreline (before land reclamation began). Among these items you will find an image of a neuron, placed there by artist Mary Lucking for the Hunt. If you're unlucky, you can repeat the 1996 Hunters' feat of shoveling through two feet of snow and ice to find the art.

Once you find the neuron, follow the squiggly line towards the statue until you come across a phrase, and temporarily note its second digit. Continue following the squiggly line until you reach the concrete block identifying the park, and record the first letter of the commissioner's first name. Looks like the neuron is still safely hidden among the other seaside items, so continue to the next artwork on our protection list by proceeding to the Red Line T stop corresponding to the number you noted, counting Alewife as 1.

At this T stop, you'll find several large pieces of art displayed, but it looks like EVIL has disabled some of them. We'll need to watch out and make sure this doesn't recur. Find the metal plate describing the art and record the first letter of the third line of the poem. Proceed to the MIT building whose first digit is the number of pieces making up this collective piece of art and whose second digit is the number of disabled pieces.

When you get to the building, find the elevator lobby corresponding to the part of the building later alphabetically and you'll find a tree on display through January 18. Looks like it's properly cordoned off to keep out EVILdoers, so we should be all set here. (If the exhibit is gone, don't worry! Our security forces have removed it to ensure its safety.) Take a look at the wall above the tree (or where it was), and you'll find a large tool with many vertical lines on it. Find the repeated Greek letter on the far right, and record the English letter that it most looks like. Find the third row of numbers, and take the second and first numbers to the right of the red line. Go to that MIT building.

In the lobby you'll find your current location highlighted in red. (If the building is closed, you can look through the windows.) We'll use this piece of art to figure out where else at MIT we need to check our security. Record the MIT building prefix that is represented on the art but mostly missing. On the wall next to the art, you'll find the name that the building you're in is named after, along with a year. Take the first and third digits of the year and proceed to the fifth floor lobby of that MIT building.

Look for a passageway to a neighboring building, and you should find a non-static piece of art. It seems that we've placed this piece of art on a high enough floor such that EVIL won't bother coming here. Check the nearby sign to learn what kinds of particles interact with this piece of art, and what kind of particles these particles are like. Record the letter in the lowercase symbol corresponding to these latter particles.

Walk to one of the other sides of the lobby and you'll find another piece of art. It looks like this piece of art should also be safe since it's all tied up. This art looks like a particular lowercase letter repeated many times. Record that letter. Check the explanations to find out what year the invasion was, and proceed to the large open grassy area near the MIT building corresponding to the last two digits of that year.

There's a large red piece of art here that looks like it could be a swing set if you just added swings. It looks a bit heavy, so it'd be hard for EVIL to steal it without being noticed. Check the plaque to see what category of Percent-for-Art funds contributed to this art, and take the first letter of the last word in that category name. Proceed to the MIT buliding corresponding to the last two digits of the class year mentioned on the plaque.

Next to the northwest corner of this building is a giant sculpture. Looks like this art is too ugly to be stolen -- plus EVIL probably wouldn't want a piece of art whose name seems to inaccurately describe it. Check the plaque to find out the name of this sculpture, and record the letter that is commonly appended to this name. Take the last two digits of the year of the art, subtract 3, and then divide by 2. Proceed to the lobby of that MIT building.

You'll find some art watching you and a yellow machine. Since the art is watching multiple directions, EVIL can't possibly make off with the art without the art's noticing. Record the middle initial of the subject of the statue. Take the number of letters in the his last name and multiply by 2/3. Proceed to that MIT buliding.

If you walk back and forth through the first floor of this building, you should notice a sign pointing you to a colorful piece of art nearby. Given the placement of the art, this art should be pretty safe, since stealing it would have to generate a lot of noise. Take note of which building this art is in, and decrement the last character twice. Record this new character. How many sides does the relevant shape of this art have? Proceed to that MIT building, and proceed to that floor of the building.

Wow, there's a lot of art here. It's a bit too complicated for EVIL, so we're safe. Find the interactive art with a circular disc. Record the first letter in the kind of shaft used. Proceed to the named lobby of the MIT building that is twice the large number on the art.

Take a few steps up the nearby stairs to find a portrait of the person this lobby was named after. Except... oh no, it's gone! Is EVIL repeating the Isabella Stewart Gardner theft of 1990, the largest art theft in history? In that theft, a pair of theives dressed up as Boston Police officers claimed to be responding to a call and convinced a guard to let them in the museum. Once inside, the thieves lured the guard away from the only alarm button and handcuffed and duct-taped him and the other guard on duty. The thieves then freely roamed the galleries, smashing glass, cutting paintings from frames, and removing 13 pieces of art currently worth over $300 million from the galleries. To this day, the theft is unsolved, and the empty frames where the art once was remain on display.

In any case, better check the contact information on the item left in the portrait's place. Take the seventh digit of the fax number, and record the first letter corresponding to that digit on a phone.

Whew, that was lot of work. Seems that most of our art is safe, but we'll have to get a little more help around here to protect the rest. And hey, what do you know? Those last three letters confirm we've got the right person for the job.