Comparison between flag semaphores and alphabets. Flag illustrations Denelson83, CC BY-SA.
eponym n. /ˈepəˌnim/ a person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named. Puzzle #2
To the top is the famous
Arecibo Message representing 1 to 10 in binary. In Arecibo, a first block of five numbers 1, 6, 7, 8, and 15 appear, denoting the atomic numbers of hydrogen (H), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), and phosphorus (P), the elements from which DNA is composed. However, instead of 15, we have 16 here for sulfur (S).
Similar to Arecibo, 6 chemical compound can be constructed using the 6 groups of 5 numbers below
H C N O S Molecular Formula Example of chemical compounds 5 5 1 C 5H 5N Pyridine, 4-Cyano-1-butyne, etc. 14 6 2 2 C 6H 14N 2O 2 Lysine, etc. 7 8 1 C 8H 7N Iodole, Benzyl Cyanide (BnCN), Indolizine, Isoindole, etc. 8 3 3 C 3H 8O 3 Glycerol, etc. 14 6 C 6H 14 Hexane, Isohexane, etc. 7 2 1 3 1 C 2H 7NO 3S Taurine, etc. A summary of chemical compounds constructed with the data in the picture
(Sequel from the author) The 2 other groups of numbers 18-34417 and 66-75278, are the coordinates to the Arecibo Telescope (18.34418 N, 66.75278 W).
Taking the first letters of each name of the chemical, it forms
plight n. /plaɪt/ a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation. Puzzle #3
This puzzle consists of a wall of blocks in 27 different colors, looping in a 12w×10h group, with an offset of 4 to the right in each row. Looking at the wall of squares, there are a few features you can find:
Some colors look like a mix of multiple other colors; Some grid lines are thicker than the others; Some grid lines are in a different colors from the others.
Taking a closer look, you can find some grid lines sharing the same tint can build a larger square of 2×2 in size, with 3 of the 4 sides are bold. Tracing down the grids, the entire wall can be split into multiple blocks of 5 large squares each.
The entire wall can be split into 6 different type of blocks in blue, red, purple, green, orange and yellow.
It’s easy to see that the same pattern repeats itself with a (1, 3) offset. Dropping the repeating part, we can get the following cleaner wall of pieces.
A cleaner wall of repeating pieces of 6.
It’s easy to see that each piece consist of 5 large squares, making them
Pentominoes. Matching the 6 pieces we found against their names, we can get:
□■■ □ ■□ ■ ■□ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ □ □■ □■ ■ ■ ■ □ □■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■□ □ □ □■ ■ ■ □■ □■ Z → S I W → M P L Y
simply adv. /ˈsimplē/ in a straightforward or plain manner. Puzzle #4
Solution to this puzzle courtesy of
Ben Pig Chu.
The main puzzle consists of a 6×6 Sudoku, whose solution is as follows.
4 5 3 6 2 1 1 2 6 5 3 4 5 1 4 3 6 2 6 3 2 1 4 5 3 4 5 2 1 6 2 6 1 4 5 3 Solution to the sudoku. Note that the diagonals are ignored when solving. Otherwise this would be unsolvable.
The letters at the corner shows WCJT instead of RYDL. By using Vigenère Cipher, using RYDL as plaintext and WCJT as key, the cypher text shows NAME.
Each row of numbers and each letter at the corner are in different colors.
(Sequel from the author) Looking up the colors’ name on search engines (most of which came from a Wikipedia Article year ago, scraped here)
Text Color (Hex) Name found W
Navy blue C
Air Superiority Blue J
Majority Blue T
Initials of names to the 4 colors again suggest
By doing a transposition of colors found in each row of the Sudoku with the numbers in each row, we can get another set of colors, whose names are also available on the list.
Sudoku Row Color (Hex) Transposed Color (Hex) Name 453621 #6 4C 56 3C 69 29 1 #9 19 26 36 4C 59 6 Amethyst 126534 #3 12 22 63 5C 3D 4 #3 12 2C 3D 43 52 6 Lime Green 514362 #4 5B 16 4A 32 65 2 #B 15 2A 36 44 52 6 Brass 632145 #0 65 35 25 1D 45 5 #5 15 25 3D 45 50 6 Ebony 345216 #4 3F 4A 2C 55 1F 6 #5 1A 24 3F 4C 5F 6 Iris 261453 #9 20 6F 1D 40 54 3 #F 19 24 3D 40 50 6 Tanglo
Joining the initials of the 6 colors, we can get
albeit conj. /ˌɔːlˈbiːɪt/ although Puzzle #5
Hint from the author:
[P]lease take notice that some of the puzzles can only be solved with the original image, and that any form of compression (say, re-sending as a jpeg) will render it unsolvable.
So, steganography that is. And, indeed it is.
Steganography analysis shows a layout of a 60% ANSI keyboard, with arrows pointing in the order of (4, 8) → (3, 3) → (2, 10) → (3, 9) → (3, 2) → (2, 10)
As a Colemak user, and someone who did some researches on keyboards layout, my first intuition is to map it to the 4 most popular English keyboard layouts:
MORTAR is a word, so it must be Dvorak. Working from there, it happened that there is a composer from the Dvorak family. Tracking down the path, I managed to find the music score the puzzle is derived from.
mortar n. /ˈmôrdər/ a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones. Puzzle #6
Solution to this puzzle courtesy of Ben Pig Chu.
There are 15 chess pieces in 6 different colors on a 5×5 chess board. Splitting them up by colors, we can get:
All chess pieces of each color can be moved to the same square, highlighting each of these, we can get:
Yellow Blue Red Purple Orange Green
Matching the highlighted squares against the
Tap Code or Polybius square, we can then get:
Ⓐ B ◆ D Ⓔ F Ⓖ H ◆ ◆ Ⓛ M N O P Q Ⓡ S T U Ⓥ W X Y Z
Rearrange the letters in the order of rainbow colors, we can then get GRAVEL.
gravel n. /ˈgravəl/ a loose aggregation of small water-worn or pounded stones.
Metapuzzle was rather simple once you have all the answers from the previous stage. Arranging the answers from previous stages in alphabetical order (suggested by the arrow), and fill in the blanks.
A L B E I T E P O N Y M G R A V E L M O R T A R P L I G H T S I M P L Y
Reading along the shaded diagonal, we can get APATHY as the final answer.
apathy n. /ˈæp ə θi/ lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern
An archive of the OneNote Notebook used when solving the puzzles are left as an archive. The original puzzle files are also available for download below. Great thanks to COL for composing this wonderful puzzle and for their permission sharing it. COL has later shared their solution to this puzzle in the author’s perspective (in Chinese).