But, since I've mentioned it, and since the 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter product hit the shelves this week, I thought I'd try and at least those (who still reads this blog) out a bit in getting closer to cracking the code than I ever will be.
This year's Code involves all 350 cards in the set. They are all parallels to the regular 350 set (I'm not sure if the SP's in the regular set are SP's in the codebreaker set). The main thing you will notice on these cards is that there is a pattern (black or gold) that appears on the corners of the cards. Different patterns appear on each of the corners of each card (not saying ALL of them will have a pattern on every corner), twenty different patterns total. You are basically reconstructing the cards in order that they were printed on the sheet before they were cut (bonus points if people happened to snag uncut sheets...yeah, good luck with that happening). Let's figure there are 300 regular cards and 50 SP cards. That would mean that if the sheets were printed 10 X 10, you would at be looking at four full sheets when putting all the cards together. But then again, they could be split 5 x 10, so that's seven half sheets. And then again, the regular cards might have been printed in a different order than the code cards.
However they're printed, I would like you all to consider the design of 1990 Topps when putting the puzzle together. Remember, cards in the middle of the sheet should have all four codes together. Cards with patterns on two corners may be the edges of the sheet. Cards with one pattern may be the corner of the sheet. Cards with three patterns...well that means I'm horribly wrong.
I'm thinking too much here, and I'm not even attempting to break the code that Jason Wong, Mike Gellner, and Nick Jacoby have all done in the past (told you that you were getting a card Mike...)
Now the backs of these cards have a four leaf clover type pattern on the back, the same ones that are appearing on the corners of the code cards. Depending on what actually appears on the back of the card my be the clues to crack the code. Now, this is not to say that the design on the back will actually appear on the front of the card...you never know.
If you want to see scans of all the patterns, the guy who runs the toppsarchives.com has all the pictures you need of the twenty patterns in question together and has samples of the cards put together (not necessarily in the right order, but it gives you an idea of how to go about it) here. (Thanks to Blowout Cards' forum for the info).
The guys at FCB are trying to crack this one as well and they are saying that the ad cards for the Ginter Code contest also may have a clue. The card has a guy trying to crack the code and there is a mirror in front. The mirror shows a clock (behind the guy). The clock apparently has different times on it depending on the front of the card (one person says he has eight different ones out of 48 cards he's pulled) and the backs could contain a code that would signify a number (a nine of diamonds has been spotted, a card with the number "twelve" and what supposedly is the Mayan number signifying 16). There may be 36 of these cards (one for each letter and the numbers 0-9).
As the code contest is in it's fourth year, sellers on the Bay are figuring out how to make a quick buck off the people who are seriously attempting to figure out the code by selling to the winning bidder a picture of the scan of the back of these cards. Is it a crime to do this? It's not, but it does make it a bit costly for people going this route.
Topps has opened a twitter account for the Ginter Code. I'm going to follow them during my lunch break.
This is as far as I am going to go. If any of this information helps you crack the code, thank the boys and girls on the forums of FCB (that's Freedom Card Board) and Blowout Cards.
And maybe in your bio for your card next year, you could put in a good word about some blogger who writes about Topps cards...(heel Ego, heel).
Maybe the above information will help you crack the code, or maybe it will throw you off the trail. Maybe I'm being helpful, or maybe I'm trying to sabotage everybody's attempt to do it. All of the above is pure speculation on my part. Take the information as you will any piece of advice. Run with it, or choose to ignore it and move along. Either way, good luck to everyone in this year's "Crack the Ginter Code" contest.