“Turtles, turtles, everywhere, all the way down!” chortles The Keeper merrily, and he’s not wrong: the décor of the hall is single-minded in its thematic inspiration, from the lampshades to the rugs. You sincerely hope the bright blue trash receptacle didn’t actually used to be what it looks like…
“Fake. Of course it’s fake. Plastic.” The Keeper grabs the shell, knocks it with his fist in illustration, then sends it skittering down the aisle with a deft flick of the wrist. “Real life Mario Kart!”
“Now, that John Green liked his puzzling too, you know? It’s how Tuataria came about in the first place, working together to solve them. And a lot of his puzzles were more like internet scavenger hunts, especially around YouTube itself. You know YouTube, right?”
You have indeed heard of YouTube once or twice.
“Oh, I never know what you kids are into these days,” exclaimed The Keeper with a waft of his sleeve. “I only just found out that spinning tops haven’t been a thing for a century or so – after I’d ordered a bunch for the gift shop, I might add!”
“Anyway, YouTube. The way that Green chap tended to work was he would put some sort of clue in the comments of a video, and you’d need to combine that with the video itself to search for the next video in the chain where you’d find the next comment from him, and so on ad infinitum. For example, the clue could be some sort of time stamp, and you’d need to look for something at that point in the video to get the search term… and of course play the game known as ‘Can I Read John Green’s Mind?’ at times.”
You edge back slightly, as The Keeper is now getting quite animated with arms flailing to all parts.
“Anyway, I’ve build one of those puzzles here in tribute to him. But before you start, we should probably do a practice run.” The Keeper produces a small computer from about his person, and taps away for a few moments with surprising confidence.
“Let’s see… I’m going to give you the clue ’30’ on this video – one of my favourite songs, as it happens, but I bet you’re far too young for it. See if you can work out the answer, and I’ll find you a bit further down the hall when you’ve got it.”
And with that, The Keeper turns on his heel, strides away down the aisle, and promptly trips over the blue turtle shell.