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Curios & Conundrums: A Beginner’s Guide

By Eleanor Hicks and Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

 

Greetings, newcomers! Welcome to Curios & Conundrums, the quarterly newsletter full of mystery and intrigue, put forth by the Mysterious Package Company. As two (perhaps overly) dedicated fans, we are pleased to welcome you aboard, and we hope you find your journey into this tale of puzzles and conspiracies as rewarding as we have. We understand, however, that leaping into this tale halfway through can be quite a daunting undertaking. To aid in that regard, we have put together this Beginner’s Guide in an effort to take some of the confusion out of the catch-up process.

Here you will find not only a summary of the story so far, but also an issue-by-issue guide to all of the puzzles, codes, and secrets contained therein (at least, all the ones we have been able to unearth!).

There are two versions of the guide posted here:

  • "Newcomer's Guide" - Gives a summary of the story, such as we know it. This version does not contain explicit answers, but gives gentle nudges and hints about how to solve the many puzzles.

  • "Newcomer's Guide - SPOILERS" - As indicated by the title, this version of the guide contains the answers to all the puzzles, insofar as we have worked them out. This version should be used only as a last resort, or to check answers, NOT as a "cheat".

You should know, in all fairness, that if you simply skip to the spoiler version of the guide without obtaining the catch up kits and attempting to solve the puzzles yourself, you risk your good name and reputation amongst your fellow sleuths, many of whom have labored long and hard for these same answers.

Think of this guide (especially the first one) as a sort of Cliff's Notes for the experience: By reading the summary alone, you will come away with the knowledge of what has happened. It's a good supplement to the actual experience, one will help you make sure that you haven't missed any of the underlying themes or connections, and will let you see if you're thinking in the right direction. But, just as perusing the Cliff's Notes is not the same as reading the actual book, this Guide is not, by any means, a substitute for actually solving the puzzles and working through the issues on your own. By actually working to solve the puzzles, striving to figure them out along with other newcomers, you will be learning the skills and techniques that may prove invaluable for solving future puzzles should you decide to go forward with a subscription. Obviously, we can't prevent you from using the Guide in place of doing your own puzzle-solving, but, as with the student who reads the Cliff's Notes in place the classic, the only person you will be cheating is yourself. This is very much the case of the journey being every bit as rewarding as the destination, but to each his or her own!

If you find yourself stuck, but still want to solve the puzzles yourself, you may want to look through old posts for hints in the Sitting Room or chatroom (instructions for access on the main Wiki page), and save these documents as a last resort.

We hope you find the following guides useful in your journey through the tangled web of Curios & Conundrums. Happy puzzling!

~ Ellie and Chelsea

 

Disclaimer: This is not an official guide from the MPC. Neither of us is affiliated in any way with the MPC, other than being big fans. We do not work for them, and we were in no way commissioned to make this guide- it is simply a labor of love and an attempt to help the beginners that we once were. While we believe the solutions we provide in this document are correct, in many cases we have no kind of official confirmation of this and are merely going with what we believe to be the best theory. There are still some puzzles that remain unsolved, although we hope solutions will eventually be reached (perhaps with your help!), at which point we will, of course, update these guides.

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