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.

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361 thoughts on “Contest: Use Your Brain, Win a Puzzle”

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

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

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

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

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

  4. 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?

  5. 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?!

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

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

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

  8. 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…)

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

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

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

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

  11. Level 3 PW should be working. Make sure the string of 18 numeric digits are typed in sequentially. Anyone with success?

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

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

    1. beat 3! but unfortunately I have to get back to work.

      Good luck, and may the best Grok win!

    2. Luckily my 12 year old got home and is now working away on it. I got to level 11 or something, he’s taken it on to 19.

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

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

  16. Let me point out that this is anyone’s game. The puzzles get pretty difficult from 4 on, any of which could stump and stall a front runner. So even if you visit this post late give it a shot. You may end up the winner.

    1. Five is insane! I get that all the numbers are _____ but I don’t know if that’s relevant to the answer.
      *head on desk*

      I have to go home eventually…it’s 5 already here on the East Coast! 🙂

        1. Same here, Although the hint on 5 confused me more than just the numbers themselves.

  17. 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!!!

  18. 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.

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

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

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  23. 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? 🙂

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

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

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

  27. How many levels do i have to get through on level 3??!?! I’ve finished 21 levels. Did I miss it back there somewhere. I’ve written down all the intermediate steps…

  28. Level 5 is way to vague, I know the source of the numbers but nothing to point to a specific password…

    1. I just found the source myself, but I’m not sure how that makes the password.

  29. um… is it just me or is Level 2 off? 2nd row horizontal and 2nd row vertical end in different numbers.

  30. Just started and can’t get the second (Sudoku Puzzle)Password to work. I’m certain the numbers I’ve used are correct on the puzzle, and I’m filling them in starting on Row One (Left to Right), Row Two (Left to right), Row Three (Left to Right), and it isn’t accepting the code.

    Am I missing something in the directions of top three rows left to right and top to bottom?

      1. There must be multiple solutions to this problem because I’ve checked the solution and it is correct. However, it is not opening the next level.

        My solution goes:

        123465
        231546
        516234
        465123
        642351
        354612

        This isn’t opening the password

        1. Read the instructions more carefully, it’s not just the rows and columns which must be unique. Hope this doesn’t disqualify me.

  31. They get “pretty difficult” from 4 on?? I’ve been stuck on 4 for an HOUR now. If they get harder, I’ll be up all night doing this. Can’t. Give. Up.

  32. Mark, I know the answer to level 6 but there is no link to continue on to level 7 where I can enter the answer for 6. What gives?

    1. GOOD! you can take a break for a while 🙂 Give those of us at work behind firewalls a chance 🙁

    2. Yea, I hope it takes you all day because there is no way I can get away with doing level 3 while I’m at work.

  33. Level isn’t making sense to me yet. I keep wanting to get mathematical with it.

  34. I’m unable to pass to Level 4 because the Bloxor game isn’t allowing me to use the Spacebar. I call shenanigans.

  35. 6 is killing me, know the answer, even found the entry to 8… but not to 7… ahhh!

    1. also found the entry to 8 haha, but can’t do anything with it without a puzzle to solve!

  36. I think we should be able to give hints! Humans are smart because we’re able to work as a community to share intelligence 😛

  37. I’m stuck on level 4 – flash does not run on my computer.

  38. Mark, throw me a bone here! I mean that figuratively of course… I’m still sitting on the level 6 question looking for an exit… had a lot of good thoughts but nothing panned out.

  39. I (finally) got through the first 4, but I think I may have to quit at 5.
    Is there any way we can all get the questions and answers later?

  40. Does anyone have the question for level 6?… Are we supposed to be on the “Answer” page?

    All I see is “Protected: Level 6” and a textbox… help?

  41. Are the last 2 words of 4 “with never”

    I can’t make anything intelligible with the first word.

  42. “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”

    A body of water! Water “runs” (e.g. rivers), has waterfalls (mouth), foam (head, like you see on beaches), and a bottom (a bed, like the ocean floor).

    1. Blast. I apologize. I thought this was a contest in which one was supposed to immediately comment on the post after having identified the answer to the first riddle.

      Sheesh, and I’m usually meticulous in reading the entire post before posting.

        1. yea… I have NO idea… I cannot figure out these damn numbers…

  43. I would absolutely love to get to #7… but I can’t figure out how, even though I have the answer for 6. Please help!! I bet with a few more brains on 7 we can figure it out!

  44. Ok Mark, I know the source of Level 6, but nothing I type in is letting me through. Help?

  45. There’s flash on 4? I can’t see any flash. Is that why this is making no sense?

  46. what a great challenge! Well done Mark!

    now if i could just solve that darn grid!

  47. Still can’t find a way to get to #7… I feel like Grok would smoke me in an IQ test right now.

  48. Ok, I’ve been at this for hours and am stuck on Level 6. My hubby is mad because I neglected him to try to beat this, and if I continue I will not be able to get adequate sleep. Sooooo…..I’m going to have to quit 🙁

  49. How many levels are there in total?
    It would be nice to know if we are half way there or no where near….

  50. I don’t suppose we can have a hint on how many letters/numbers are in the pw for level 5 please….

  51. Figured out what 5 is but can’t think of a password…argggh!!

    1. M2, I have tried every possible combination and can’t get it. I’m starting to think my caps is broken.

  52. I got a correct answer for level 3 but not the one it is looking for

    1. UGH… no. bah! I kiiinda get the clue. maybe? haha. The grid could be anything… hmmmm

  53. I think I have number 6, but I can’t figure out how to put it in as a password.

  54. Can I have a hint on how the password is written. I know what puzzle is I just can not figure out how to enter the password

  55. 6 is not giving a box to put the answer. Changed computers and browsers and no where to enter it. Am I missing something?

    1. Having the exact same problem. Tried Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. Cant see the box. Ready for 7 if I could get to it!

  56. AHH I am puzzle 5 not six. I can not figure out how to enter the password. I know what the numbers are I just can not figure out what the password is.

    1. See. I think Mark just wanted to boost his site’s “hit and stay” count. How many hours have we all had that damn grid open? lol

    2. Maybe the real test is to see if we’re smart enough to stop working on an impossible puzzle!

    1. I even started looking at source code and looking up synonyms lol. I had what the numbers were right away but something must be mis-spelled or what.

      1. Woohoo! Made it to level 7! 😀 I finally figured out where to put the answer! 😉

        1. Argh, it’s driving me crazy. I feel like I’m trying to start a fire by banging two coconuts together.

          I have the answer, but I DON’T know how to use the tools!

          1. Steven, I’m on the one where Hunter Grok and Gatherer Grok and banging their heads together 🙂

          2. Heh, okay, I’m up on 7 now. Annoyed at how I had to solve 6 because I was very, very close for ages. But now I’m just staring at the grid, reloading occasionally hoping it will change!

  57. Almost 10:30 EST and work early tomorrow so I have to go. It was fun. Best of luck everyone!

  58. FYI – I will add another hint tomorrow morning to Level 7 if the contest is not over by then. Good luck, everyone!

    UPDATE: Around 8:30 am PST or so.

  59. How many levels of Bloxorz do you have to get through? I’ve done 13 and still haven’t arrived at the level.

  60. Stuck on 4. I know I’m making it more complicated than it is.

  61. Mark, you know you’re going to have to give us the answers when someone wins.

  62. I’m flexing my Primal Blueprint right to low stress and bowing out of this one. HA!!!

  63. Giving up for the night. I know what the numbers are, but can translate them into a password. I’m gonna get kicked out of Mensa for sure.

  64. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of puzzle #5 is 🙁

  65. I can’t figure out how to enter the solution to puzzle 6. I must have the answer wrong.

  66. Jeez I haven’t even looked yet…I went to work (In a restaurant-no computer time) at 9:00 am eastern..and I just got home at 11 Pm. Shoul I even look into this? Or will it induce an all nighter? Oh well, a glass of wine and some quality sleep would be nice, nite!

  67. Man, I’m getting nowhere on 7 🙁
    I wish we had a grok chat for those of us working on it… 🙂

  68. I have been looking absolutely everywhere for the answer to number 5, and it’s driving me crazy! The hint doesn’t seem to help at all!

  69. 5.5 hours and I’m stuck on #6 because I can’t figure out where to answer it!

  70. Can someone please please please send me on the right direction for 5?

  71. Terribly impressed with those of you who have gotten past bloxorz. I never would have played this flippin’ game to level xxx if I wasn’t looking for that layout. And I know I’m not going to win … all I can look toward is the neural stimulation that will keep my brain young.

        1. I thought it was a 10×10 grille cipher, but I’m not so sure any more after the latest clue…

    1. If you beat the challenge, want to come to tinychat dot com slash level7 and give us hints on 7?

  72. I think I’ve figured out what level 7 is, now I just need to solve it.

  73. I must be left in the dust on Level 4.

    It’s killing me over here!!

  74. To collaborate on Level 7, goto
    peister dot com slash 7
    username is 7, pass is same pass as to reach level 7

  75. Yeah lvl 5 has killed my sleep tonight… i am chalkin this one up to lack of sleep will be smackin the forehead when i wake up tomorrow with a big, “duh!”

  76. Damn, I just saw this! I hope I’m way smarter than everyone else, here I go…

  77. I’M stuck on Level three because the game won’t let me use my space bar!!!

  78. I know what #5 is, but am not sure of the term Mark is looking for.

  79. i just solved 4, 5, and 6 within an hour after being stuck on 4 FOREVER… and now 7 is getting under my skin

  80. Okay so Level 4. . . . is it easier than I am making it out to be? I have tried every numerical combination I can think of and nothing comes out with a real word

  81. I don’t get it I have been stuck at 5 for way to long. I have put everything in that I could find and nothing is working.

      1. i can’t get it!!! i know what the clue is about, but i’ve tried everything!!!

  82. Any hints on #5. Like the first letter or something? I know what the numbers are I just don’t know the term Mark is looking for.

  83. 5is driving me crazy! Been contemplating it since 6pm CST yesterday!

  84. Only discovered this post this morning (europe) so some people had a lot more time. I still got to the 5th puzzle but haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

  85. 7 is making me see people like the guy Russel Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.

  86. Any hints on 5 would be HUGELY appreciated. I don’t care about winning, I just want to try the other puzzles, and 5 has me totally baffled. surplusj at gmail if anyone’s on gchat.

  87. my phone won’t play bloxorz.
    I know the password though, cause i used my brain a different way.
    taking myself out of the race of course by taking alternate path.

  88. I have the same problem on level 5… I know exactly what those dang numbers are, but I am at a loss what the term is to call them?

    Marc, any help?

  89. GROK ON..A Grok would of moved on from this problem otherwise he would starve to death trying to figure it out.

  90. OK – I worked out where to put the answer, but now I cannot see the Level 7 puzzle!!! I just see the place to enter your answer for Level 7 – without the puzzle showing – AGGGHH!!!

    1. OK – Got it – silly me!!!

      On level 7, not sure what I am looking at – never been good at this sort of puzzle…

  91. Now I know something is wrong with the pw sections. I quit last night and there was no information how to save your level you were on. So I had to start over this morning, and I kept all my pw’s. Well, pw for level 2 is not being accepted (18 digit number). So I guess level 5 is a hit or miss.

  92. If the contest is driving me this crazy, do i even want this prize?

    Yes…yes i do…aaargh!

  93. no winner yet? I don’t know if I’ll have time to continue today, but I still look forward to it.

    Does this post win for most comments?

    🙂

  94. Is everyone else but me past 4? I must be over-thinking it because nothing is working for me.

  95. Hey Mark, will you please display all the puzzles and all the answers once this is all over? I fear I’m not clever enough to get to see them all, but I like puzzles none-the-less. It’d be awesome to get to enjoy them outside of the contest.

    Thank you kind sir, for flexing my brain.

  96. Perhaps it’s time for another (helpful) hint for level 7? Eh? Ehh? 😉

  97. No rush to give people hints on the later ones… gives the rest of us working stiffs a chance to catch up some!

  98. Thanks Mark – even more confused!

    1.40am here in Sydney – breaking Law #6 big time!!!

  99. Level 7 now has a new hint. New hints will be added to Level 7 every hour on the half until someone wins the contest or I’ve all but explained how to solve the puzzle. Have fun!

    1. Eh, it might be more fun to space out the hints so more folks can have time to work on it. But that’s just my thought.

      1. Don’t worry, the hints so far aren’t really helping. Or, they haven’t helped me, personally 🙂

    1. Yes! It took forever to get through all those bloxorz games. Now that I mastered that game, I have to completely re-adjust my thinking to figure out level 4!

  100. The chat has not been too useful in solving level 7…but it *has* inspired me to make bacon for breakfast! (someone in the chat dreamt that the password for 7 was BACON, and woke up and tried it)

  101. This Challenge is for US citizens ONLY – no way I can stay up till 3.30am for the next hint!!!

  102. Well the level 4 Flash game isn’t running properly on my linux system so I guess I’m out of luck. enjoyed the first three levels, though.

    1. You can get past the level without playing the game if you are resourceful enough.

  103. I went to bed last night still trying to figure out puzzle 5. I ended up dreaming that we went to a retreat center where Mark and his wife were speaking. We met mark, but I was too shy to say anything. Then he got up and went to the bathroom and we were talking about his lunch. It was a container of grass. LOL

  104. So I have been working on level 4 for 3 hours only to look in the comments and see there is supposed to be some kind of flash game. I can’t see that so I guess I am out.

    1. I’ve had several epiphany’s on level 4…so far none of them have panned out!

  105. I SEE the answer for number 5…its right there. What do you want me to type for the love of God!?!

  106. I even called in people who make tons of crypto challenges and give talks on breaking crypto/puzzles….and nothing! 😛

  107. What is the answer to # five. I can not think of anything else to put. I know what the numbers are ,I just can’t figure out what the password is. Am I thinking too much? Is it obvious? I just want to see the next puzzle.

    1. You’re right where I’m at…I know what the numbers are…not what the answer is

  108. Are people collaborating on this anywhere? I literally cannot focus on anything else because I can’t stop messing with this dang cryptogram.

  109. I hope everyone realizes that the prize is… an even harder puzzle… There is no end! (ok. ok. and bragging rights)

  110. 11 lives can be saved if the Groks develop the following plan:

    They assign the number 0 to the red feathers and 1 to the yellow feathers. The last person in line adds up all of the yellow and red feathers; if the sum is even, he says “red,” and if the sum is odd, he says “yellow.” He has a 50/50 chance of being right, the only one not guaranteed to survive. Subsequently, all of the remaining Groks down the line can determine what color their own hat is by adding up all of the feathers in front and the numbers called out behind them (except the very last Grok – the first one to call out his answer). For example, if the first color called out is “yellow,” the Groks in front know that there are an odd number of yellow feathers amongst the first 11 Groks. The 11th Grok in line can then determine whether there are an odd or an even number of yellow feathers in front of him, and thereby determine what color feather he is wearing.

    1. Do I need to leave my contact info? begavett [at] yahoo [dot] com

          1. Maybe – I definitely over-thought it for a looong time 🙂

          2. Bah! haha. And I’ve even seen Level 8’s riddle before. 🙁

          3. Congrats to you guys who got to 8! since its solved, it is back to real life for me! Thanks for a fun challenge Mark!

        1. FYI, I’m not the same Brandon involved in the collaborations with Jolly discussed above.

  111. I can’t see the flash game either. It only took me about 10 minutes to solve the first two, I wanted to see how quickly I could do this 🙁

  112. #8 answer —You have a 100% chance of saving all but the last GROK, and a 50% chance of saving that one. Here’s the strategy the Groks have agreed on. The last Grok counts the number of yellow feathers worn; if the number is even, the last grok yells “yellow”, if odd, yells “red”. If the the 11th grok hears “yellow”, but counts an odd number of yellow feathers, then his feather must be yellow so that the total number of yellow feathers is even. If he counts an even number of yellow feathers, then his feather must be red. If the last grok yells red, then #11 knows that there are an odd number of yellow feathers. So #11 counts the number of yellow feathers he can see. Again, if they are even, his feather is yellow, if odd, his feather is red. The 11th grok then yells out the color of his feather and is spared. The next prisoner now knows whether the remaining number of yellow feathers, including his own, is odd or even, by taking into account whether #11 had a yellow feather or not. This continues until the end. This saves all but the last grok, and there is a 50% chance that his feather is the color he shouted out.

  113. ok then, what was Level 5? I found the numbers to be the number of posts in the archives but could not figure out the password it was looking for to get to 6.

  114. Hahahha, I had actually written out the 888 number, but did not make the connection to it being a phone number! I wrote it out vertically, which is too bad because I think seeing it horizontally would have been more helpful 🙂
    Congrats to the winner!! Mark and staff, thanks for putting together this awesome contest!

  115. I just called and was told I was fourth! Man, I decided to take a break and have lunch and look what happens!

  116. well played Mark and staff! awesomely difficult and yet addicting puzzles.

    congrats to the two who figured out #7!

  117. Congrats to Brandon. I was close behind but I didn’t type fast enough after making the phone call. Great contest Mark – even if it did cause me not to get enough sleep last night.

    1. Thanks! I guess I can attribute my narrow victory to a good primal night sleep 😉

  118. Oh man. I had the 888 number written down on paper hours ago! Didn’t make the connection 🙁

  119. On level 4… I’ve now checked it on Mac in FF and Safari. I’ve checked it in Windows on IE and Chrome. I don’t see a flash game anywhere. All I see is a three word cryptogram. What am I missing?

    1. OK, so after staring at 4 for a few hours, and deciding I was defeated by the fact I don’t see some flash that is supposed to be on the screen, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks!

  120. OH. MY. GOD. I consider myself a pretty smart guy, and love a good mental challenge, but in order to avoid throwing myself out the window (in the classic Grok pose), I bailed after level 17 of Bloxorz, or whatever it’s called (I can’t even bring myself to look for it again). AARRGGHH!!! Meditation is Primal, isn’t it?

  121. Level 4 with the addictive games took me too long. Stayed up too late.

    Need to find my muse so I can do the 4HWW ala` Tim Ferris.. That will allow me to be at home for more important opportunities like this!

  122. Firstly – Congrats Brandon!!!

    HOWEVER:

    Mark – I did enjoy the challenge – but mate – you should have told people this was a US only competition!!!!

    I stayed up very late here in Australia trying to work out puzzle seven, I was even in a group chat collaborating to solve the answer, and Brandon was on that. I know there was at least one other Aussie up late as well (Paleo_Rob).

    After your 4th hint for number 7, I numbered the columns as suggested, and even got the 888 for the “R”s, but the clue was irrelevant to me. Not that I didn’t understand – it is irrelevant as a “clue”.

    888 numbers are US phenomenons – we don’t have them in Australia (likely other countries don’t have them either), so there was no way I was going to have an “ah-ha” moment (like I did for Level 5 with the “Play”)

    Even if I had for some reason known about 888 numbers you cannot call them from outside the US, so non-US residents were excluded from being able to complete the challenge!

    As I posted previously, in the efforts to participate in Law#10, I was breaking Law#6.

    Wouldn’t have minded IF I actually had a chance, but must admit pretty annoyed to find out I never had a chance to solve the puzzle, even if I had the brains to work it out!!!

    Sorry, I thought this was an absolute ripper of a contest, until I just found this out.

    This isn’t about being a sore loser (I know some will think it is) – I actually never expected to be the 1st to solve it, I really didn’t, I know I wasn’t anywhere near the first to level 7 (also due to timezone). I also wasn’t sure I would be able to even solve the whole thing – BUT in the spirit of “use your brain” – I just wanted to be able to have a go at solving it.

    I’m sure I wont be the only ex-US member to be slightly peeved about this.

    Other than this annoyance – keep up the awesome work – and thanks for sharing you knowledge with us.

    Cheers,

    Luke

    1. Luke,

      Sorry to hear how frustrating this was for non-US folks. Not that it will make you feel any better, but I’m not the same Brandon that was in on the group chat – I managed to get lucky by myself!

  123. I thought the answers were supposed to be up. It time i guess. I don’t know where to find them

  124. Answer(i hope its ok to post now for the hapless) for level 2 :

    425163
    231546
    514632
    163425
    642351
    356214