The following contains SPOILERS for the first three episodes of Stranger Things Season 3.
While many of us used the July Fourth holiday to visit family and enjoy the great outdoors, a lot of people spent their off-hours in a darkened room pretending to be mystery-solving 1980s teens. The third season of Stranger Things hit Netflix last week, offering audiences thrills, chills, and more nostalgia than you can shake a scrunchie shaped like ALF guzzling a can of New Coke at.
As readers may remember, last year we became mildly obsessed with a puzzle hidden in the pages of a Stranger Things tie-in book. Like, more-than-one-article-obsessed. Well, now that the season is out, the meaning of those mysterious passages has become clear, and we weren't too far off in our wild guesses. The decoded sentences read:
the week is long
the silver cat feeds
when blue and yellow meet
in the west
a trip to China sounds nice
if you tread lightly
We learn early on in the season that this is a Soviet code being broadcast on a frequency that is somehow able to be intercepted by a boy operating a ham radio. While Dustin is the one who records the secret transmission, it's Steve's ice-cream-slinging friend Robin who figures it all out. The "silver cat" refers to the Lynx Corporation, which internet theorists surmised from a Stranger Things promo video. Robin also confirmed that "when blue and yellow meet in the west" refers to the hands of the clock in Starcourt Mall.
And our suggestion that the "trip to China" could mean the Imperial Panda in the food court also proved to be correct.
The "tread lightly" part was apparently a reference to Kaufman Shoes, which no one guessed. Probably because that's kind of dumb.
So all in all, fans were pretty successful at figuring out what this puzzle meant. Sadly, there was no actual reward for this, aside from personal satisfaction and the nagging feeling that you've wasted hours of your life on a convoluted advertisement for a TV show you were going to watch anyways.
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