In 2006, four Lost jigsaw puzzles were produced, each giving hidden clues to the show once assembled. Various people across the net assembled them and worked to decode the messages. Lostpedia has a great page summary of all the info they contain.
Because I'd like eventually review the Blast Door Map now that we have another entire season under our belt, I thought I'd talk a little bit about the puzzles first since many of the hidden clues refer to abbreviations and missing notations from the Map that were heavily debated when it was released. Let's take them one-by-one.
There were about a dozen different abbreviations on the Map, some easy to decipher and some which caused some head scratching, especially one in particular: "CV." There were several CV markings on the map, numbered with roman numerals: CVI, CVII, CVIII, CVIV. However, because CVIII also equals 108, there was a lot of discussion as to whether these were simply numbers (even though CVIV is not the correct notation for 109 (which would be CIX).
One of the theories was that CV stood for "Cerberus Vent," i.e. something the Smoke Monster could pop out of from underground. From the puzzles, this turned out to be correct. The abbreviations:
Periodic Supply Drop (PSD)
Alvar Hanso (AH)
Dharma Initiative Hanso Group (DIHG)
Cerberus Vent (CV)
Emergency Escape Protocol (EEP)
The others were nice to have confirmed even though fans had pretty much guessed them (EEP was still somewhat being debated, but the others were pretty clear). But CV actually being Cerebus Vent was huge because 1) it actually suggests Smokey = Cerberus and 2) that he uses these vents to pop out at certain places on the island from underground. This explains a bit as to why it tried to drag Locke into that gaping hole in "Exodus." I'll reflect on this a bit more when I talk about the Map.
2) Missing Notations
The second set of info gleaned from the puzzles was the writing at the top of the Blast Door Map that you couldn't pick up from the screen captures. This was mostly in the top right-hand corner near the Arrow Station. Here's everything we couldn't read:
On the left, near the crossed out station (italic writings are old)
Believed to have divested from project in 1985 following AH/MDG incident.
Know to be a hub for EFP conduits
DHARMA Protocol - no stations past security barrier
Why a DHARMATEL Intranet presence past this border?
Carcharodon carchareas selective breeding facility?
On the right, near The Arrow
Possible offshore data dump
Arrow Station Primary Function: Restocking and staging area for DIHG
Possible terminal point for subterranean EEP tunnel network?
Final destination in case of code 42?
Hub of DIHG road system or other major route of overland travel?
While this doesn't give us a wealth of new information from the Map itself, it's nice to have everything filled in. EFP could have been a typo since EEP fits much better there. Code 42 is interesting because of the codes the computer in the Flame used (42 wasn't one of them). It also seems that DHARMA does have a bunch of escape tunnels across the island that the Losties have yet to find and explore. They also say the breeding facility is for Great Whites, although I don't think the shark Michael shot was one of those.
The Arrow being a restocking or restaging area is curious too. This makes it sound like The Arrow was merely a point station for shipping supplies to all the others (although we did see some of that happening in the Barracks too). But Horace Goodspeed had an arrow insignia on his jumpsuit and he was a mathematician - maybe more went on there than Radzinsky and Kelvin suspected.
Lastly, there were four phrases also included with the notations, two which seem to be jokes, and two which hit home at a central mystery of the show:
Need More Mac And Cheese
What Good Is Peanut Butter And Cereal Without Milk
These seem to be inside jokes from the writers with a sideways nod to Henry Gale's terrific "got any milk" line. But the other two are a bit more serious...
There Is No Sickness
Quarantine Is A Hoax
Whoa, eh? While this has been suspected for some time (and somewhat confirmed by Kelvin using the sickness excuse to keep Desmond in the Swan), it's a pretty big deal to see it in writing. So why would DHARMA do such a thing?
It could have been added incentive to keep people from exploring the island and getting themselves killed by the Others or the Monster. What better to quash scientific curiosity than with the fear of a deadly illness? Remember "Quarantine" wasn't just written on the Swan's Hatch, it was also written on the door of The Arrow. This suggests it wasn't just made to keep people pushing the button, it seems to be to keep people from exploring the island in general.
So the question remains, what happened to Danielle's crew? the first time we ever heard of "The Sickness" was when Danielle told Sayid that she killed them all after they got sick and went insane. However, we have to remember that 1) Danielle's been on the island for 16 years and, aside from being slightly bonkers from the exile and having her baby stolen, her health is fine and 2) No one from the Losties or the Others seems particularly ill either. Perhaps Danielle's crew did get sick and go insane. But it seems plausible that their sickness is unrelated to the DHARMA hoax.
This is pretty good stuff for a puzzle sales pitch: They said there would be clues when assembled and they delivered on the goods. They gave us several answers to questions we had on the Map and threw in a bonus answer to one of the central mysteries of the show. I'll refer back to this a bit when I talk about the Blast Door Map later on.