In the show’s second episode, entitled Woe is the Loneliest Number, Wednesday stumbles upon a secret society within the academy, the Nightshades. She uncovers the Nightshade’s secret library by solving a riddle involving a statue of Edgar Allen Poe within the Academy’s walls.
During the celebration scene after her Hall’s team wins the Poe Cup boat race (yet another direct reference to Poe), Wednesday escapes the revelry to sit solemnly at the foot of the statue of Poe. While looking up from her vantage point at the foot of the statue, she notices the cover of the book that Poe is holding, which isn’t visible when viewing the statue straight-on. On the cover of the book is a symbol of a nightshade flower with talons and a skull in the center.
Immediately distracted after noticing the symbol, Wednesday does not continue investigating the statue until later that night when she notices the same symbol as a watermark on an illustrated page of a book she had acquired earlier and was continuing to investigate.
Following this clue back to the statue of Poe and inspecting it further, Wednesday finds nine riddles engraved into the pages of the book that Poe is holding. The first page reads:
THE OPPOSITE OF MOON A WORLD BETWEEN OURS TWO MONTHS BEFORE JUNE A SELF-SEEDING FLOWER ONE MORE THAN ONE
The second page reads:
ITS LEAVES WEEP TO THE GROUND IT MELTS IN THE SUN ITS BEGINNING AND END NEVER FOUND EVERY RULE HAS ONE
Wednesday immediately solves all nine riddles with her especially sharp mind, resulting in the following answers. Circling the first letter of each answer, she then spells out the hidden message:
The hidden message revealed is “SNAP TWICE”. Wednesday stands back from the statue and while staring Poe down, raises a hand and produces the signature Addams Family snap. The wings on the raven on Poe’s arm articulate and the entire statue slides backwards, revealing a hidden staircase leading downward to the Nightshade’s secret library, firmly cementing in canon the origins of the Addams Family’s signature snap, as it is later revealed that at least Morticia Addams was a member of the Nightshades while at the Academy.
Good job weaving a cipher puzzle into the plot, Writers. Poe would be proud.
Do you like novels, short stories, poems, shows, movies, theater, and other literary and visual storytelling that contain puzzles, ciphers, or Easter eggs? Rogue Signal maintains both a literary reading list and a visual media watch list chock full of more mind-teasing content. Can you find them?