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Texan mystery
April 7, 2009 3:31 PM   Subscribe

What city in Texas could be represented by the number 93711195? Or the string GECAAAABA?

My sister, who's going to school in Texas, sent me a "scavenger hunt" puzzle asking for my help. The information given was:

1. 0979839153
2. GECAAAABA
3. 123011221963
4. 3332828
5. 35.1931, -101.7492
6. 4326851112
7. 156sw197
8. 93711195
9. DPSQVT DISJTUJ
10. 76134
11. 01110111 01100001 01100011 01101111

She and her friends have worked out almost all of them. Turns out they're all cities or towns in Texas.
1. ISBN of a book set in Marathon
2. ???
3. time and date Kennedy was shot in Dallas
4. patent number for astroturf (Houston [or Leander?])
5. map coordinates in Amarillo
6. phone number in Midland
7. a law case in San Antonio
8. ???
9. some government code associated with Corpus Christi
10. zip code for Ft. Worth
11. binary for "Waco"

She's missing 2 and 8. I think 2 is probably a string of musical notes, but have no idea about 8. Help me look like the omniscient older brother?
posted by gleuschk to Grab Bag (52 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not sure what help it's going to be, but GECAAAABA is made up entirely of musical notes. It's worth a look into.
posted by dinx2582 at 3:41 PM on April 7, 2009


-AAABA could be from Eyes of Texas (Can [A] not [A] Get [A] A [B] way [A]), but I can't make the GEC preceding work in my head.)
posted by mudpuppie at 3:41 PM on April 7, 2009


#2 Sounds like the first notes of Yellow Rose of Texas...I think this is the state song..."There's a Yellow Rose in Texas" is the part of that song that is displayed. #8 hmmm let me think some more...
posted by snoelle at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2009


Oh, sorry I missed that last sentence in the original post! Granted, it doesn't sound like any song I've heard before, although it could be chords.
posted by dinx2582 at 3:45 PM on April 7, 2009


Going the other way, Houston, Austin and El Paso are major cities in Texas that haven't been covered yet.
posted by box at 3:45 PM on April 7, 2009


Maybe Yellow Rose of Texas?
posted by amarynth at 3:46 PM on April 7, 2009


#8 seems to be the "cryptoquote" for Corpus Christi
posted by hwyengr at 3:46 PM on April 7, 2009


Whoops. Nevermind.
posted by hwyengr at 3:47 PM on April 7, 2009


Googling #8, which I'm sure everyone has tried already, brings up results the first of which is Texas-related PDF. While the Google search result shows the text "DPSQVT DISJTUJ", it doesn't appear in the visible text of the PDF itself, although it may show up under a hex editor. I have a hard time believing that this is a coincidence, though.
posted by dinx2582 at 3:48 PM on April 7, 2009


In order to make the above work, you must play the AAAABA part in the octave higher than the GEC.
posted by snoelle at 3:48 PM on April 7, 2009


Damnit, I was just running through the possibilities for it being a cryptogram!
posted by dinx2582 at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2009


Hrm. Is it just me, or did #8 and #9 change!?
posted by dinx2582 at 3:53 PM on April 7, 2009


Oh, duh: number 9 isn't "some government code", it's a simple cipher (C->D, etc.) for Corpus Christi.
posted by gleuschk at 3:53 PM on April 7, 2009


Might not be useful, but if you turn the numbers in 8 upside-down, then change them to similar-looking letters, you get SBIIILES, which anagrams out to:

Ibis Lies
Ibis Leis
Ibis Isle
Bile I Sis
Bile Is Is
Biles I Is
Bi Lei Sis
Bi Lie Sis
Bi Lies Is
Bi Leis Is
Bi Isle Is
Bi Isles I
Bis Lei Is
Bis Lie Is
Bis Lies I
Bis Leis I
Bis Isle I
Bless I I I
Bi Less I I
posted by thewestinggame at 3:55 PM on April 7, 2009


93 is a Texas state highway that's entirely inside Texarkana.

7-11 was founded in Dallas.

On July, 11, 1995, the All-Star Game was played at Ranger Stadium in Arlington, TX.
posted by box at 3:57 PM on April 7, 2009


I just plinked out Yellow Rose of Texas in the Key of C (or was it G? I started with D) on this Java piano, and it doesn't fit with GECAAABA
posted by mudpuppie at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2009


GECAAAABA

It's the jump coordinates to Earth.

Sorry. More seriously: 93711195 can't be a phone-letter code, because #1 has no letters, but that is a damn fascinating pattern on a phone keypad. All corners and a middle.
posted by rokusan at 3:59 PM on April 7, 2009


WAIT!

Can you drive from Hwy 93 to Hwy 71 to Hwy 195 and end up anywhere special? I think you can....
posted by mudpuppie at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2009


Okay, maybe you can't. But they're all highways.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2009


Adding up all of the numbers gets you 36, which is also a Highway in Texas, as well as a very unlikely solution! :)
posted by dinx2582 at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2009


Googling "9371 1195 Texas" gets you a listing for the Jacob Fontaine Religious Museum in Austin, which is at 1195 Comal, phone number 512-480-9371. But that seems quite likely to be a coincidence.

It could also be a pair of dates: 9/3/1971 and 1/1/1995. Googling for dates is tricky, what with different formats and all, but I'm not turning up anything significant for those.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:04 PM on April 7, 2009


There are a LOT of highways in there, depending how you break up the string of digits. (9? 93? etc) I can't find a handy reference to all highway numbers online, but if someone with a real road map could highlight each and see if there's a nice intersection in Texas somewhere.

That'd be a nice solution.
posted by rokusan at 4:10 PM on April 7, 2009


Can you drive from Hwy 93 to Hwy 71 to Hwy 195 and end up anywhere special? I think you can....
posted by mudpuppie at 7:00 PM on April 7

Okay, maybe you can't. But they're all highways.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:01 PM on April 7


Texas state highway 71 runs through Austin. State highway 195 is just north of Austin, between Killeen and Georgetown. But state highway 93 is in Texarkana; no dice.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:10 PM on April 7, 2009


I'm wondered they were all F.M. roads too, but that doesn't seem to be it either.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:13 PM on April 7, 2009


93711195 was an item number for a gun, presumably, on the Atlanta section of GunBroker.com. There is an Atlanta, Texas. Coincidence? Likely.

I love that everyone doing this scavenger hunt is going to end up with the exact same answers since the results now turn up on Google.
posted by 6550 at 4:23 PM on April 7, 2009


The state song is "Texas, Our Texas", but that tune doesn't seem to fit.
posted by rakaidan at 4:25 PM on April 7, 2009


GECAAAABA on a phone= 43222222, I know, not enough digits to be a phone number, BUT, as you've already discovered, 432 is the area code for Midland/Odessa and surrounding towns.
I can't figure it out on my own, but could GECAAAABA be part of a different Texas song, like "The Eyes of Texas?"
posted by fructose at 4:26 PM on April 7, 2009


Here's the state highways you can make with those numbers, plus a few extras I turned up while searching.

9 — former route, no longer exists
93 — Texarkana
37 — northeast of Dallas
371 — San Antonio
7 — from near Waco to the LA border
71 — passes through Austin
1 — former route, no longer exists
(Loop 1) — Austin
11 — northeast of Dallas
111 — southeast Texas
(FM 1119) — intersects with state hwy 7
119 — middle of nowhere
19 — Paris (NE of Dallas) to Huntsville (between Dallas and Houston)
195 — Killeen to Georgetown (north of Austin)
95 — Temple (near Killeen) to middle of nowhere, intersects with hwy 71
5 — Allen (northern suburb of Dallas

There's an intriguing cluster north and east of Austin, and another in the northeast corner between Dallas and the OK and AK borders, but I don't see any way of parsing the number out entirely into highways in any one region.

Interstate 71 also grazes the Arkansas state line and passes through Texarkana. So TX-93 (Texarkana), I-71 (Texarkana) and TX-11 (northeast of Dallas) are all close by, but that leaves 95. TX-95 is in central Texas, and I-95 is way over on the East Coast.

Now, there's apparently an Arkansas state highway 95, but I'm having trouble finding information on it. Wherever it is, it doesn't appear to be near Texarkana.

So I'm thinking the highway thing is a tantalizing red herring, unless someone sees something I don't.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:33 PM on April 7, 2009


I can't figure it out on my own, but could GECAAAABA be part of a different Texas song, like "The Eyes of Texas?"

To fit the puzzle, wouldn't it have to be a song that mentioned a specific Texas city? "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, or "Happiness was Lubbock, Texas in my Rearview Mirror" by Mac Davis, or "Abilene, Abilene, Prettiest Town that I've Ever Seen" (about Kansas, not Texas, I think, but still...). A generic Texas song wouldn't really give you an answer. We already know that Texas is the theme.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:34 PM on April 7, 2009


Routes 71 and 95 overlap in Alum Creek, TX, but I don't see routes numbered 93 or 11 there.

For what it's worth, 71 and 111 overlap in Midfield, but that would require us to double-count one of the 1s in the code sequence (and still doesn't use all of them)
posted by pemberkins at 4:36 PM on April 7, 2009


93711195 could be a unix timestamp for December 20 1972, 8:53am. But that doesn't seem to yield anything useful...
posted by kidbritish at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2009


Here's the tune you'd get from playing 93711195 on a touch-tone keypad. Name that tune, anyone? (Does anyone even have touch-tone phones anymore?)

Jeez, I need to get out more.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2009


93711195 could be an ip address, but none of the valid combinations I've tried lead to anything.

If I'm reading it correctly, according to xkcd's map, (http://xkcd.com/195/ )

9.*.*.* is owned by IBM
93.*.*.* is unallocated

Appears to be a dead end.
posted by deepscene at 4:41 PM on April 7, 2009


GECAAAABA on a phone= 43222222, I know, not enough digits to be a phone number, BUT, as you've already discovered, 432 is the area code for Midland/Odessa and surrounding towns.
If you want to REALLY over-analyze this, you could say that as a phone number, it's a reference to Mitch Hedberg's joke "Just press two for a while. And when I answer, you will know you have pressed two enough." And of course, Mitch Hedberg was arrested in Austin, TX for heroin possession.
posted by specialagentwebb at 4:42 PM on April 7, 2009


Here's the tune you'd get from playing 93711195 on a touch-tone keypad. Name that tune, anyone? (Does anyone even have touch-tone phones anymore?)

This ALSO sounds like Eyes of Texas (Yooo-oou can-not get a-way), and I think they've just transcribed it with an extra syllable somewhere based on whatever version they heard.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:42 PM on April 7, 2009


Texas in my Rearview Mirror" by Mac Davis, or "Abilene, Abilene, Prettiest Town that I've Ever Seen" (about Kansas, not Texas, I think, but still...). A generic Texas song wouldn't really give you an answer. We already know that Texas is the theme.

"The Eyes of Texas" isn't generic — it's the alma mater of UT Austin.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:44 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Another thought — could GECAAAABA be an acronym?)
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:49 PM on April 7, 2009


#8 is the Library of Congress Control Number for a Marty Robbins album called "Encore" that contains a song called "El Paso City."
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:52 PM on April 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well done, sir (or madam)!
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:01 PM on April 7, 2009


I think palmcorder_yajna is right.
posted by trotter at 5:01 PM on April 7, 2009


Converting DPSQVT to numbers using a phone key pad yields 377788, similarly DISJTUJ yields 3475885.

Assuming these are UTM coordinates and assuming UTM Zone 14 gives coordinates 31.4111547N and 100.2856616W which is very close to San Angelo.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:11 PM on April 7, 2009


Of course you do realize this thread is at the top of Google for most of these specific combinations? Not to burst a bubble, but if anyone searches for #8 we're first on the list.
posted by geoff. at 5:33 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Playing GECAAAABA on a virtual keyboard, it sounds like Everyday; the song was composed by Lubbock natives Buddy Holly and Norman Petty.
posted by lalex at 6:01 PM on April 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


To fit the puzzle, wouldn't it have to be a song that mentioned a specific Texas city? "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, or "Happiness was Lubbock, Texas in my Rearview Mirror" by Mac Davis, or "Abilene, Abilene, Prettiest Town that I've Ever Seen" (about Kansas, not Texas, I think, but still...). A generic Texas song wouldn't really give you an answer. We already know that Texas is the theme.

"The Eyes of Texas" is the school song for UT, which is in Austin.
posted by fructose at 6:05 PM on April 7, 2009


Or what nebulawindphone said. Thanks! :-)
posted by fructose at 6:06 PM on April 7, 2009


lalex has it! well done! i was thinking the melody sounded so familiar but I couldn't place it.

geoff makes a good point, if anyone doing the puzzle thinks of searching Google, they will have all the answers now.
posted by beandip at 6:12 PM on April 7, 2009


Man, for 93711195, I was developing a whole theory based on the jersey number of Dallas Cowboys.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:15 PM on April 7, 2009


That's awfully compelling lalex, but sort of obscure for something on the Internet in 2009... heh.

I was going down all sorts of roads. Taking the positions of the letters (753111121) and playing those on a phone keypad (which gets something that sounds like something, but not as something as what lalex got).
posted by socratic at 6:18 PM on April 7, 2009


Man, for 93711195, I was developing a whole theory based on the jersey number of Dallas Cowboys.

Hah, I was developing a whole theory based on their Superbowl wins, but unfortunately the team did not exist in 1911.
posted by lalex at 6:23 PM on April 7, 2009


Yep - definitely "Everyday". Here's a youtube link
posted by chrisamiller at 6:30 PM on April 7, 2009


Rock! You guys totally got 'em.

Here's the bad news. I sent them to my sister, and she said Oh, yeah, they sent us out the answers a couple hours ago. Drgrgdgrgrr!

But I'm totally impressed. Thanks, folks.
posted by gleuschk at 6:45 PM on April 7, 2009


It's definitely not a girder.
posted by rokusan at 8:34 PM on April 7, 2009


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