The first stage of the treasure hunt uses the 11 enigmas to find a location on a map of France. Max said this stage reveals an area the size of an average city. So how to find exactly where to dig?
Max said that when you understand the clues to solve the puzzle there are elements leftover, he called these ‘remnants.’ The ‘super solution’ to discover the owl’s location uses these remnant clues.
Controversially, Michel Becker, the game organiser since 2021, has said that treasure hunters should ignore this advice, and the idea of ‘remnants’ but should instead focus on the text of the final two clues. It is up to each individual treasure seeker which path they follow!
It’s likely that the super solution will be a few words long, just a short sentence that clearly defines where to dig. It might be something like, ‘5 metres from the left foot of the statue’ or ’10 metres opposite the town clock.’ It will be a clear direction that means the owl can be found simply.
If we believe Max’s method then putting together the super solution would really only possible when the 11 enigmas are solved, it would be difficult to know which elements of the enigmas are ‘remnants’ until we have solved the treasure hunt.
If we believe Becker’s method then he suggests that there is some insight from an expression earlier in the clue text that gives an insight into the super solution method.
Possibly there is some way that both men are right about the super solution, but this conflicting advice does add a later of complexity to solving this hunt.
What we know about the owl’s location
Mandits for the Super Solution on Zarquos site (French)
Max revealed many details about the location of the buried owl.
The general area where the owl is located
The cache is more than 100 km from the French coast.
The cache is at a lower altitude than mountain snow.
The owl is not on an island.
In a humorous mandit Max also ruled out a few places the Elysée, Matignon, the Bourbon Palace, the Senate, the Palais Brogniart, and Ginette’s bar in Mourmelon.
The place to dig
It’s public land, not private grounds.
It’s accessible at all times (except in extreme weather conditions.)
The immediate vicinity of the cache is on a less steep terrain than 20%.
The cache is more than 50 m from a human construction (this covered buildings, tarmac roads etc. but excluded molded or carved objects such as statues or standing stones.)
The cache is more than 150 m from private land.
The cache is more than 25 m from water.
The cache has no remarkable features, it is innocuous, Max left nothing on the site to mark that it was there.
The cache is in the open air not covered (so it’s not in a cave or similar.)
The owl is neither on a path, at the edge of a path (2 to 3 meters), nor is it in a ditch or at the centre of a crossroads of 2 paths that intersect.
The owl is not in a graveyard.
The owl is not buried at the foot of something and it is not backed by anything, you can go around the hole without encountering any obstacles, even spreading your arms, there is nothing within 2 meters of the cache.
The cache can not be pointed at the precise map because it is too small, but by checking things on the precise map it is clear where the cache is on the ground.
The cache is easily and quickly found. There are no “tricks” once you reach the location, there is no reasoning to be done on the site.
If you dig at night to be safe from witnesses, it is better to find the cache in the day.
To unearth the owl, Max Valentin thinks it will take 30 to 45 minutes.
You can not find roots by digging up the owl.
We do not see the site in any of the clue pictures.
The final stage- The Super Solution