Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
September 23, 2010

Contest: Use Your Brain, Win a Puzzle

By Mark Sisson
361 Comments

Update 2:

Congratulations, Brandon, for being the first person to solve all 8 levels!

This contest is now over but you can still attempt to solve the puzzles for the next week. In a week the puzzle pages will be removed from MDA. I will remove the passwords from each puzzle page now so you can jump from one puzzle to the next at your will. Thanks to everyone for participating. Read on for answers to some of the more troubling puzzles.

SPOILER ALERTS!

Level 5 Conundrum:

You had to think outside the box for this one. It required that you look around MDA for clues. At the bottom right hand corner of each page on MDA there is a section that reads “Or maybe you’d like to browse posts about:” Below that is a pull-down text box. In that box there is a list of all MDA categories along with the number of posts in each category. The string of characters given on Level 5 are associated with a string of categories that contain that number of posts. The next one in the list is the category “PLAY” and is the solution to Level 5.

Level 6 Confusion:

You may notice that Level 6 did not have a link to “Proceed to Level 7”. The URL for Level 6 had the word “answer” in it. To move on to Level 7 you had to substitute the answer to the Level 6 puzzle for the word “answer” in the URL. The answer also acted as the password to Level 7.

Level 7 Explained:

It’s all about finding the pattern in a bunch of noise. One and only one letter is found in each row – the letter “R”. The letter “R” isn’t significant in itself, but its placement in the grid is. The first “R” is in column 8. As is the second and third. Continue in this manner and you will have a string of numeric digits: 8887746259. Does this number mean anything to you? “888” numbers are toll free numbers. 888-774-6259 is the toll free number to my office. Call the number and you’re given the password to Level 8. Only 2 people solved this Level and made the connection, and only after Hint 4 was dropped.

Update:

Since the launch of this contest yesterday I’ve received numerous reports of tears shed and teeth gnashed. The consensus seems to be that Levels 1-3 were a little challenging, but mostly fun. That Levels 4-6 were difficult, but doable. And that Level 7… well, Level 7 has proved infinitely frustrating and impossible to crack. (Hence the weeping and grinding.) A small group of front-runners went so far as to create a chat room last night to share their observations. Not a single person has broken the code, so I’ve added two hints to Level 7 and will add a new hint every hour on the half until someone has either won this contest (solved Level 8) or I’ve all but explained how to solve it. Thanks for playing, everyone!

The Prize:

This one is just too cool. A fitting prize for today’s brain challenge, it’s called an Isis Puzzle. ThinkGeek, the folks behind the miracle fruit and homo sapiens kitchen tool prizes of yore are now offering up this beautiful, elegant, difficult, titanium, hand-made puzzle sphere to the winner of today’s contest. As a decorative piece, it can smarten up even the pulpiest of bookshelves. As a brain teaser, it will dazzle the minds of everyone in your Sunday afternoon Mensa papercraft parties. But this little ball is also a gateway to adventures most grand. Solving the Isis unlocks a code which leads to more puzzles, keys, and eventually real world treasure. A puzzler’s Everest. Learn a little bit more at Isis Adventures.

The Contest:

Time to Use Your Brain. I’ve devised a series of riddles and puzzles to be solved for today’s contest. The first riddle is below. Generally puzzles become more difficult as you move from one level to the next. The first person to correctly answer the FINAL riddle (Level Eight) in the comments section of this post will win the Isis puzzle. There will be no random drawing, no judging. This one is a test of skill and speed. The first one to finish wins. Answers to the puzzles act as passwords for subsequent puzzles. For example, the answer to the following riddle is the password for the Level 2 puzzle, the answer to the Level 2 puzzle is the password for the Level 3 puzzle, and so on. When entering a password, use all caps and no punctuation or spaces (i.e. if the answer is “Mark Sisson,” enter MARKSISSON into the password field). Anyone leaving an answer to a riddle other than the final riddle in the comments section will be disqualified (the final riddle will be obvious if you reach it). Please refrain from leaving hints in the comments section as well. Last, remember to think outside the box.

Begin now.

Level 1

What can run but never walk
Has a mouth but can never talk
What has a head but never weeps
And has a bed but never sleeps

Proceed to Level 2 This contest is now closed. Stay tuned for future Puzzle Contests.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

361 Comments on "Contest: Use Your Brain, Win a Puzzle"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Primal Toad
6 years 1 day ago

I fail… I suck at these puzzles! I need to start intellectually challenge myself!

Luke
Luke
6 years 1 day ago

Whoops, I didn’t mean to post the answer, sorry if anyone saw it.

A
A
6 years 1 day ago

How annoying. The answer is ADMIN CENSORED but that doesn’t work! Unless you are using the wrong answer, which would just be embarrassing.

Kevin
Kevin
6 years 1 day ago

ALL CAPS LIKE “MARKSISSON”

Annette
Annette
6 years 1 day ago

Love the idea, HATE level 2…..I had to quit because I was grunting..loudly, In my office!

Kevin
Kevin
6 years 1 day ago

if I had a spear I would have thrown it thru my computer trying to do level 2

Sarah D
Sarah D
6 years 1 day ago

Level 2 is evil…That’s way too many numbers for a Thursday afternoon! 😛

Carl
Carl
6 years 1 day ago

I want to think I’ve solved level 2 but it won’t accept the answer. You do have to type in the entire string of the top three rows, right?

AP
AP
6 years 1 day ago

I solved puzzle #2 and checked my work, but it won’t accept my answer. I guesss i can’t move on to puzzle #3. Anyone else having a problem with this or is it just me?!

Carl
Carl
6 years 1 day ago

I believe I’m having the same problem!

Xyalina
Xyalina
6 years 1 day ago

It definitely works, keep at it!

expatjim
expatjim
6 years 1 day ago

completed the grid but my numbers don’t seem to work for level3…

expatjim
expatjim
6 years 1 day ago

so that would be a “yes, having the same problem”

Audry
Audry
6 years 1 day ago

ok the password to level 3 isn’t working. I’ve triple checked and I have all the numbers

Ely
Ely
6 years 1 day ago

same problem! and I’m dying to see the other puzzles! (I don’t care if I win, but I am a puzzle freak.)

Ely
Ely
6 years 1 day ago

got thru finally… stuck on 3 now!! 😀

Ryan
Ryan
6 years 1 day ago

Same problem here on the password for level 3

T
T
6 years 1 day ago

i CANT EVEN GET INTO LEVEL 2….

NS
NS
6 years 1 day ago

same thing is happening to me. there seems to be a glitch on the level 3 password (unless we aren’t supposed to be listing the first 18 digits of the solution…)

Audry
Audry
6 years 1 day ago

well I guess I was the latecomer to that problem

Ben
Ben
6 years 1 day ago

Same problem getting to level 3. I have the answer but it’s not letting me through

Claire
Claire
6 years 1 day ago

Also having trouble getting into level 3…

Claire
Claire
6 years 1 day ago

started working…after 5th try and complaint. Maybe it’s just easy to mess up when typing a string of 18 numbers.

Jordan
Jordan
6 years 1 day ago

got into level 3…have your capslock on when typing the number solution in.

Ryan
Ryan
6 years 1 day ago

Strange – that worked on the numeric keys above the alpha keys, but not on the number pad

hmrf
hmrf
6 years 1 day ago

The answer is definitely 42. I win \o/

Jason Elliott
Jason Elliott
6 years 1 day ago

When Level two whips your tale, and wont let you go on….I wonder what level 8 is 🙂

Jstrick
Jstrick
6 years 1 day ago

level 3 works.. i cant figure out lvl 4:)

Annie
6 years 1 day ago

i’m on level 3…let me know if I can stop the maddness!

Steven
6 years 1 day ago

working for me… level 4, different story.

Jolly
6 years 1 day ago

Bah, I found out about this 40 minutes after it started….now if only I could beat level 5..

Kimberly
Kimberly
6 years 1 day ago

Aw man, level 2 is like sudoku gone wild!

naiadknight
naiadknight
6 years 1 day ago

Can’t get past 2 because I can’t see images on my work computer.

Caroline
Caroline
6 years 1 day ago

My work blocks the game in level 3. Booo….

Neil
Neil
6 years 1 day ago

I know! gah! Down with the man.

Steven
6 years 1 day ago

nope… stuck on 4

Jstrick
Jstrick
6 years 1 day ago

same here

Jstrick
Jstrick
6 years 1 day ago

Lol, this is keeping me from eating..

anzy
anzy
6 years 1 day ago

my brain hurts!

Jaime
Jaime
6 years 1 day ago

Level 4 is making me want to cry.

Sonia
Sonia
6 years 1 day ago

Server won’t come up for me. I guess the site I’d too busy. 🙁

Jaime
Jaime
6 years 1 day ago

holy crap, i got 4.

Richard
Richard
6 years 1 day ago

me too, woohoo!

Steven
6 years 1 day ago

still not seeing 4… feed the baby and maybe it will come to me

Annie
6 years 1 day ago

how far do we have to go on level 3? Either I missed that level or I’m going to be at the computer all day!!!

CBC
CBC
6 years 1 day ago

Got in finally! I did the puzzle, but couldn’t follow the login directions lol. I tried the first three rows and also the first three vertically like it says. I didn’t notice that the first 3 vertical and horizontal are the same! dooh.

Richard
Richard
6 years 1 day ago

ive figured out what level 5 is, but cant think what the password for it would be, damn! SO CLOSE!

Carl
Carl
6 years 1 day ago

Me toooo!

Jaime
Jaime
6 years 1 day ago

This level makes me feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t know how you managed it.

Jaime
Jaime
6 years 1 day ago

I’m leaving work in 20 minutes and want to finish this at home, but I didn’t write down the passwords as I went!

Jaime
Jaime
6 years 1 day ago

Gah, you people beating 5 are killing me. The clue has me so baffled. I don’t know where to begin.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
6 years 1 day ago

Jeez Louise, Mark, how many levels of Bloxorz do you expect us to play? Already up to level 20, and I’m still not seeing the screen shot.

Annie
6 years 1 day ago

I hear ya! I was thinking the same thing! I thought maybe I didn’t recognize that screen!

Melody
Melody
6 years 1 day ago

Seriously – could anyone tell me how many levels?

Melody
Melody
6 years 1 day ago

For others out there – I think there were 28 levels. 😛

elizabeth
elizabeth
6 years 1 day ago

thanks! I can’t wait to be out of this level!

Jolly
6 years 1 day ago

Level 6 does not seem to have a place to enter the answer?

Jolly
6 years 1 day ago

Never mind, solved it.

Ely
Ely
6 years 1 day ago

this contest would probably have been better on the weekend…

Chris
Chris
6 years 1 day ago

Yeah, I’m having a hard time participating at work. I can only hope the puzzles get so difficult that it will take a couple days to complete.

Marie S.
Marie S.
6 years 1 day ago

Well, I was cruising thru them pretty well until the baby woke up and started screaming at me…. Now I’ve got to dance with him in the sling instead of play, bummer 🙁 Oh well, babies are more important right? 🙂

Annie
6 years 1 day ago

I gotta shower…have a massage in a little over an hour 🙂

Greg
Greg
6 years 1 day ago

how many stages is level three?????

Jaime
Jaime
6 years 1 day ago

Ugh, I’ve gotta leave work now. I think Level 5 took a few years off my life. Back to breathing now…

John
John
6 years 1 day ago

I think Level 2 has multiple valid solutions, which makes getting the password difficult.

Chris
Chris
6 years 1 day ago

There is only one solution.

Fatkid
6 years 1 day ago

I was doing good… now stalled 🙁

Wellness Mama
6 years 1 day ago

first four were not too bad, five is stumping me!

Richard
Richard
6 years 1 day ago

..lvl 5, ive tried every possible thing… what the heeeck is it?! *pulls hair ouT*

wpDiscuz