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The Name Of A Tree


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[u]Part 1[/u]

Just the other day, I was doing some research on the shapes of trees.

There was a particular tree that I was drawing, near the Old Man's Road, on a particularly beautiful day. As I was drawing, I began to fall asleep, but before I slept I muttered, "Oh tree... I wish I knew your name."

When I awoke, the strangest thing had occurred. My drawing was ripped into 25 pieces, and on another sheet of paper was written:

"You wish to know my name? Decode left to right, read down."

So now I am in a bit of a pickle. I have no idea what the markings mean, or how to solve this puzzle. If you can tell me the name of the tree, and how you discovered it, I will gladly award you with a Wish.

Here are the pieces of the drawing:


[u]Part 2[/u]

On the advice of asryn, I went back to the tree and told it what I thought its name was. To my surprise, on a limb it began to blossom!


I reached up and picked the blossom, and unfolded it to find the following message:


Please, if you could help again? This tree is indeed a tricky one.


Edited by awiiya
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  • 3 weeks later...

This quest is over, and the three winners have been rewarded their wishpoints.

However I would like the winners to explain the answer to this quest here. If they don't want to do that, then I will explain what they told me.


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Since you have asked, I would be happy to explain. My reasoning was as follows:

[u]Part 1[/u]

I began by taking the 25 pieces of paper and fitting them together to recreate your drawing. When I had finished I had a lovely image of the tree on a grid of pieces 5 tall and 5 wide. In the upper right corner of each piece was either a 0 or a 1. The grid of digits formed was:


The other piece of paper you received said "You wish to know my name? Decode left to right, read down."
So, I read across and considered each line separately. The only digits present were 0 and 1, which immediately made me think of binary, or base 2 numbers. Most of us are familiar with a base 10 system. In that system each place represents 10 to a power that increases with each place, which is then multiplied by the digit occupying that place. So when you see the number 2538, you read from right to left 8*1 + 3*10 + 5*100 + 2*1000, or 8*10^0 + 3*10^1 + 5*10^2 + 2*10^3. Base 2 works similarly with 2 replacing the 10, so the places are 1,2,4,8,16 rather than 1,10,100,1000,10000. The digits in base 2 are either 0 or 2-1=1, as compared to base 10 where they range from 0 to 10-1=9. With this in mind I converted each line of the grid above from base 2 into base 10 for easier analysis.

10100 = 0*1 + 0*2 + 1*4 + 0*8 + 1*16 = 4 + 16 = 20
01001 = 1*1 + 0*2 + 0*4 + 1*8 + 0*16 = 1 + 8 = 9
01110 = 0*1 + 1*2 + 1*4 + 1*8 + 0*16 = 2 + 4 + 8 = 14
01100 = 0*1 + 0*2 + 1*4 + 1*8 + 0*16 = 4 + 8 = 12
11001 = 1*1 + 0*2 + 0*4 + 1*8 + 1*16 = 1 + 8 + 16 = 25

Having decoded left to right I then read down, so the sequence was 20 9 14 12 25. The English alphabet has 26 letters, so I assumed that each letter was represented by the corresponding numbers from A=1 to Z=26. Translating the sequence into the corresponding letters gave me T I N L Y, or TINLY.

[u]Part 2[/u]

When Awiiya returned to the tree and suggested that Tinly might be its name, he received the piece of paper shown above with the name Tinly written in tree language. The challenge then was to use only that one writing sample to determine the structure of the tree language, so that I could use it to write my own name.

Tinly’s language involves 4 symbols, which correspond to our numbers 1-4 as follows:


Each letter is represented by the corresponding number, with A=1, B=2, etc. To write each number in symbols, the trees use base 4. So the number on the right is the ones place, the number just to the left (if needed) is the fours place, and the number to the left of that is the sixteens place. To determine the total value, you simply multiply the value of the symbol in each position by the number representing that place, just as we humans do in base 10. Numbers in higher places are not included unless needed. Since not all letters contain the same number of symbols, an open circle is used to mark the division between each set of symbols.

A translation key is provided below, using the numbers 1 through 4 for the corresponding symbols for symplicity:


My name is ASRYN, or 1 19 18 25 14. Using the key above we see that in Tinly’s language that is 1 43 42 121 32, or:


I hope others may find this helpful should they wish to communicate further with the trees. Awiiya, if you would like me to edit anything please let me know.

Edited by asryn
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