PINE64 riddles explained
#1
Let us talk about riddles!

So far, we’ve done two riddles - for the Pinecil, posted in the June 2020 Community Update and more recently for our upcoming RK3566 single board computer called Quartz64 - posted on December 18, 2020

Judging by the volume of responses, people seem to have fun solving these riddles, and I must admit that I am having fun coming up with them. As a result, it’s safe to say that riddles are now a part of what we do at PINE64, and something you’ll see more of when a piece of hardware is due to be announced. 

So I figured I’d start this thread with the purpose of explaining the clues used in each of the riddles. It is already clear to me that I will have to step up my riddle game, as both the Pinecil and Quartz64 riddles were solved very quickly.

Lastly, let me also state the obvious: these riddles are just a bit of fun, and a way for the community to be engaged in product announcements. I'm not a poet nor don't want to give anyone an impression that I have any previous experience with writing or creating riddles. Fun is all this is, so take it as such.


Pinecil riddle: 

Quote:
Pinecil
With the Pinecil we take a risk   
Spelling the latter with the letter c   
Breaking with current conventions
And having the device run hot 
As hot as it will ever be
 
This may be too perplexing 
So for the sake of simplicity 
What does 82 and 26 have in common
As defined by a man 
Born North-East of Caspian Sea?
       


Explanation:        

First two lines of the first stanza: risk spelled with the letter ‘c’ relates to the RISC-V, the SoC architecture used in the Pinecil. 

Line three of the first stanza: ‘Breaking with current conventions’ relates to two things: 1) until this point in time we have solely done computational devices, so creating something like a soldering iron was a bit out of character; 2) when designing computers, be it SBCs, smartphones, laptops, etc., you usually want them to run cool, not hot as the last two lines indicate. 

Line four and five of the first stanza: here I am letting the reader know that the device runs hot by design - again, hinting at it being a soldering iron, and relating back to breaking with the convention of our devices thus far.  

First Line of the second stanza: I realised that based on the first stanza it would be impossible to decipher the riddle, and that a correct answer would be a lucky guess rather than a deduction. 

Line three in the second stanza: the numbers relate to the periodic table: 82 - lead, which is associated with soldering, and 26 - iron, as in ‘soldering iron’. 

Line four and five of the second stanza: Dmitri Mendeleev, credited with creating the periodic table, was born near Tobolsk, Siberia, which is geographically located North-East of the Caspian Sea. 
_________________________________________


Quartz64 riddle:       

Quote:
Wistyx
Between a Pine and a Rock
My origins are to be found
Heritage of the sun and sand
Locked in cogs circle round
Now here alone I stand
 
It all makes sense
Shifted one to the right
Look down and ahead
In your line of sight
The solution can be read

Explanation:

Title: Wistyx spells Quartz when shifted one letter to the right on a standard qwerty keyboard. 

Line two and four of the first stanza: ‘Pine’ and ‘Rock’ (which happen to be our current SBC ranges) are capitalized, in this way I was hoping to bring attention to the capital letters. Letter ‘Q’ - in Quartz - is alphabetically ‘found between’ letters ‘P’ and ‘R’. 

Line three and four of the first stanza: as most of you probably know a quartz crystal is used for measuring time, and therefore shares the ‘heritage’ of the sun as well as sand (in an hourglass). 

Lines one and two of the second stanza: I am pointing out to the reader that ‘it’ - the title - makes sense, and that ‘Wistyx’ is shifted by one character to the right on a qwerty keyboard. 

Linest three through five of the second stanza: By saying that one should look down and ahead, I am trying to bring the reader’s attention to the keyboard (which I am assuming someone is sitting at admittedly). In the last two lines I am outright telling the reader that the solution can be read - it is there in your line of sight. 
_________________________________________


PineOne Riddle:

Quote:
Latin slant
Under the scorching sun
An old Roman senator sat 
Studying it all 
And slowly came to realize that
He bears witness to the empire’s fall
 
And so began his intricate plan
For the imminent end
So savage and so cruel        
Was this strive to mend  
It lay waste to the Roman rule

Explanation:

Title: The title in this riddle indicates the acrostic cypher structure, with an offset of 1 letter per line. The title also hints at the language - Latin - in which the SBC's name is ciphered. 

The letters in question are shown in red below. The letters spell out: "usus abiete" in Latin, or one [of] pine in English. The correct answer is hence: PineOne.

Contents: The contents of the poem aren't directly linked to the cypher. The story told was only constructed to justify the title; the word "slant" is often used to indicate a decline - in this case a decline in Roman Empire's political stability. Latin was used as the official language of the Roman empire. As for the senator in the poem - he's completely fictional, but when I was writing the poem I was thinking of Gaius Cassius Longinus.

Quote:
Latin slant

Under the scorching sun
An old Roman senator sat
Studying it all
And slowly came to realize that
He bears witness to the empire’s fall

And so began his intricate plan
For the imminent end
      So savage and so cruel       
Was this strive to mend 
It lay waste to the Roman rule
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