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Posts Tagged ‘puzzles’

Puzzle Keepers: Folio XIII

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This was the fourth Puzzle Keepers puzzle I created, this one on the occasion of my nephew’s 7th birthday. In this, I introduced an antagonist faction- the Knowledge Containment Initiative (KCI), as a sort of bureaucratic and vaguely fascist foil to the open nature of the Puzzle Keepers. The backstory for the puzzle was that a set of papers (“Folio XIII”) that had long been in the possession of the PK had been stolen by Knowledge Containment agents. The pages were blank, but both groups had good reason to believe that there was invisible writing that could be revealed by applying the proper substance.

KCI scientists worked at the problem, and were getting close. But luckily for our heroes, the information was liberated from a KCI facility and returned to the PK. However, since KCI is so committed to containing information, it was stored in an unconventional manner, on a series of slides. A KCI device for reading the slides was obtained as well, though it was unfortunately not in working order.

So, the puzzle had three components:

  1. First, the machine had to be repaired.
  2. Secondly, the machine could be used to read the slides.
  3. Lastly, the information so obtained could be used to solve an online component and reveal what was written in Folio XIII

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Stephenson Security

ssc_envelop I’m currently teaching an introduction to C++ for game programming at the Academy of Art University. Each week, I give the students an assignment to complete, but I wanted to do something extra fun for the midterm.

So instead of just a straight assignment, I set my students up as recent recruits to “Stephenson Security Consultants”, a shadowy organization that offers its services to the highest bidder.

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Each student received a packet containing details on 4 “missions” to solve via C++, plus two bonus questions. If you’d like to try your hand at the problems, head here and type “download” into the prompt.

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Puzzle Keepers of Palau #3: Alice’s Birthday

IMG_0133 Recently, my girlfriend’s niece turned 5 years old and as such, was invited to become a member of the Puzzle Keepers of Palau.

The puzzle in this case takes the form of a book (“Alice’s Birthday”) with hidden messages, revealed by looking at the illustrations through a red lens. Solving the puzzle requires tearing/cutting through the last page of the book to reveal a lock, with combination being revealed in the secret messages. Once the lock is off, a panel can be removed to reveal a key, which in turn unlocks a briefcase full of treasure.

For a full album of the puzzle process, head here.

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Puzzle Keepers of Palau #2: the metal Apple

3nb0uG5A year ago, I created a secret society for my nephew for his 5th birthday, called the “Puzzle Keepers of Palau”. The society is a long-standing group dedicated to seeking out puzzles and solving them. He recently had another birthday, and I created another puzzle for the occasion.
The idea is that he has to use a set of physical components to solve a substitution cipher, which he can then use to solve a web-based riddle.

Check out the physical components here
and the web-based riddle here

While there’s only one copy of the physical clues, anyone with some experience with cryptograms should be able to solve the web-based component without them.

I’ve also put the files for the cryptogram up on github

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Puzzle Keepers of Palau #1

My nephew recently turned 5, and as it’s his first “big” birthday, I wanted to do something special for him. So, I created a secret society dedicated to ferreting out hidden knowledge, and invited him to join.

My longtime friend and business partner, Blair Erickson was kind enough to help me with the creative, and suggested that the society be set in the Pacific Ocean. And so, the “Puzzle Keepers of Palau” was born.
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Number by Colors

I’ve been thinking a lot about puzzles recently, thanks to re-discovering the excellent Perplexcity set of puzzles, as well as coming across the Clavis Cryptica blog.

As a result, I thought I’d try my hand at making a puzzle of my own, with the results here. The answer to the puzzle is a single word. Enter your answer into the form field below the image to test it.

A few hints to get you started, should you decide to try solving it:

  • Everything you need to solve the puzzle is inside the image
  • The colors are important
  • The answer is not a simple reordering of the letters

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