Painting #5: Tara Tree-tops

BORDER PHRASE: “The hills are not as high, the sea so deep, as a dream.”




HIDDEN HARE: As a very small piece of shrubbery (Ni!) in the lower right corner.

CLUES & COMMENTS: The treasure was NOT buried under the topiary hare. 🙂 The neighborhood depicted is Tewkesbury. Publisher Tom Maschler’s name is on the moving van in the lower right corner. The athletic field to the left contains a red herring magic square; the numbers are atomic numbers, and when translated into their elemental abbreviation counterparts, the grid spells out FALSE NOUU THINK AGAIN. (I read the two Us as “double-U,” a homonym for the letter W, but I’ve also heard people think it means two U’s, making the phrase “no use.” Either gets the point across.) Kit says that only four people spotted this–one of whom was 12-year-old girl.

Richard Hartley wrote in with some of his theories: “Gemini seemed to me at the time, and certainly after the solution was revealed, a kind of confirmer (Gem in Eye) though KW did not allude to this as far as I know–not in Quest for the Golden Hare, the paperback solution, nor any other articles I have seen. As we all know, you often see in the artwork and text many elements which you think must have been intentional but which are just happy accidents. It seemed to me when I explored the Tara page that there is a cloud formation to the right of the cathedral which looks like a man and woman entwined, facing one another (the twins!) Below them on the ground and behind the cathedral, though not visible in the painting, is a stone cross. Intended?”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric July 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I thought the cloud in the top right corner looked a bit like the south west corner of the UK.

Another vague and ill-fitting coincidence, I suppose.


Derpy December 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Lol, this picture gave me multiple headaches as a child trying to find the hare. It took me several weeks before I finally found the hare; this has to be the most difficult picture!


Tom Brown November 10, 2020 at 11:40 pm

As is mentioned Kit Williams said only 4 people guessed the answer to the atomic numbers. I’ll bet many more than that guessed it. On the very day my wife and I bought the book, shortly after it was released in the US, she figured the possibility of atomic numbers and decoded FALSE NOUU THINK AGAIN but as it told us we were wrong there was no purpose in sending it in. It was exciting to have the book “talk to you” like that. We worked for an extended period of time, but came no where near to figuring it out.


sam April 9, 2023 at 7:45 pm

I cannot find “a cloud formation to the right of the cathedral which looks like a man and woman entwined”. Where is it?


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