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470 – Generally accepted solution

It’s the right path only when the arrow aims at the heart

My first multiplies by gaiety.
My Second offers you space,
My Third from the air, and my Fourth from the water.
When he’s lying down, my Fifth hums.
My sixth is worth a hundred, and my seventh is just one node.
My eighth tastes like laurel,
while my ninth, with astonishment, stays behind.
My tenth is always naked when there’s a link.
My eleventh, finally, is the unknown.

Find my All, and through the Opening you will see the light.

Solvability: Mostly solved


The solution is A_RONCEVAUX a Basque town.

The puzzling out is easier to understand in the French text, but an approximate solution is:

  • A because the A is multiplied to form a sound like laughter “AhAhAh”
  • space between two words;
  • R  for the air we are offered;
  • O for the water we are offered;
  • N when lying down, looks like the  “Z” symbol of snoring;
  •  in Roman numerals means “cent”;
  • E is only E (part of noeud) ;
  • V is the sign of victory that is traditionally rewarded by laurels;
  • A for an “Aaaahhh” of astonishment;
  • U explained by a French grammatical rule;
  • X , is the unknown (in mathematics solutions for example).

Roncevaux is a famous place in the history of France, it’s the location for the legendary defeat of Charlemagne and the death of Roland in 778, during the battle of Roncevaux Pass. The story of Roland’s death at Roncevaux Pass was embellished in later medieval and Renaissance literature. The first and most famous of these epic stories was the Old French Chanson de Roland of the eleventh century, in these stories Roland defends the rearguard with his Durandal sword.

The visual

The visual of the 470 seems to confirm the solution, since the rock represents a mini-map of the south-west of France, the sword being planted in Roncesvalles. The place itself could be both the Roncesvalles pass or the village of Orreaga / Roncevalles located in Spain.

The sword is likely to be Roland’s weapon, though some people think it could be Arthur’s famous sword in the stone.

Other points to consider

This clue appears to be mostly solved. Do we perhaps head from Bourges to Roncesvalles?

The style of the clue is almost identical in style to the riddles of the 530,  but the 470 is not rhymed, unlike the lines of the 530.

‘Find my all and through the Opening you will see the Light’, suggests that we consider Bourges the clue with the title ‘The Opening.’ But what is this Light? The many references to the Light is one of the great sticking points with the Golden Owl puzzle.

The debate about the sword is confusing, one of Max’s supplemantery clues mentions Merlin in passing, another said  “It happened in 778”  which seems to suggest this is the battle where Roland used the sword Durandal. 

In conclusion

This clue is almost certainly solved correctly revealing ‘A Roncesvalles.’

It isn’t clear why there is an ‘A’ before Roncesvalles when other town and city clues don’t use this.

The last line probably refers to Bourge as the ‘Opening’ referring to the 530 clue title.

The concept of the ‘light’ is first introduced here, but no one seems to know what this means.

The picture doesn’t seem to add much to the solution, but is this the sword of Roland in the stone?

See also

Clue 4 – 470 enigma text

470 – Madits and links

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