19
$\begingroup$

Welcome back to the Density™ series! I had intended to make these more often, but then... well... 2020 happened. Anyway, I finally got round to creating the second puzzle, and perhaps it may hint at one of the things that distracts me from making puzzles...

The previous Density™ is here: The first Density™ Puzzle!
If you'd like to create your own Density™ puzzle, the rules are as follows:

1. The resolution of the grid is 72x72 squares
2. No words, text, numbers or symbols can be used
3. The tags should indicate what types of solving strategies are required
4. You must specify the number of words + letters in the final answer


Density Puzzle #2

We're finally back from our island holiday, but what has OP spent some of his time doing over the last year since the first Density™ puzzle was created?

Density Puzzle #2

Final answer: (10, 5, 4)

Vague, slightly cryptic hint:

Hint 1

Second hint:

An alternative name for tic-tac-toe may come in handy

$\endgroup$
6
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm goin' coconuts trying to figure this out! On a more serious note, will you accept partial answers? $\endgroup$
    – Nilster
    Dec 11 '20 at 3:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Nilster for sure, partial answers (or thought processes towards an answer) are a great starting point $\endgroup$
    – Dmihawk
    Dec 11 '20 at 3:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I've noticed a few different things, but haven't posted an answer because I haven't gotten any sort of recognizable message yet (or any other type of confirmation that I have successfully done A Thing) $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Dec 11 '20 at 4:00
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi I'm glad you haven't solved it in under 5 minutes this time! $\endgroup$
    – Dmihawk
    Dec 11 '20 at 5:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dmihawk I'd hold off for now. If nobody else posts an answer by tonight then I'll post a partial with some findings so you can maybe judge better which parts were more recognisable than others... :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 13 '20 at 8:09
14
+100
$\begingroup$

First, look at the fish:

The letters upon them clearly spell out the word 'COCONUTS'. This is a prompt for us to examine the coconuts on and around the tree.

When we look at the coconuts we notice that:

Each coconut is 6x6 pixels in size, with a single white pixel within it. It is crucial to note that if we label the pixel in the top-left corner of the 6x6 grid as 'A' and proceed along the rows with subsequent letters of the alphabet, the positions of the white pixels spell out the letters 'C, O, C, O, N, U, T and S', as a nice self-confirmatory hint:

enter image description here

This is a hint as to what should be done with the fish - we need to overlay a similar 6x6 grid of letters on their internal shapes, which are also 6x6 pixel grids.

While I was able to suss which pixels are important within these without it, there is a visual hint provided by the OP as to what to do next - the sun:

The sun is a common pictorial representation of the Fibonacci sequence. The sequence here is:
1 orange - 1 green - 2 purple - 3 red - 5 grey - 8 brown - 13 blue - 21 yellow

So, to return to the fish, what we need to notice is that:

In each fish there is one colour which is used only once. And - would you look at that - reading the fish from top-left along the rows, that odd-pixel-out always corresponds to the equivalently-positioned colour in the Fibonacci sequence above! i.e. In the first box, the odd-pixel-out is orange, in the next it's green, then purple, red, grey, brown, blue, and finally yellow - exactly as per the sun hint provided by the OP.

We can then translate these:

Using the same decoding method as hinted via the coconuts. Interpreting these pixels using the 6x6 letter grid yields the letters: ZERO@ICA, where '@' here represents the 27th pixel in the grid, which is obviously beyond the normal scope of our 26-letter English alphabet...

So how do we fill the other boxes in order to make sense of the 27th position? A slight nudge from the OP in comments led me to realise that with 10 spaces remaining, it is highly likely these should be filled with the digits 0-9. This means our fish code yields:
ZERO
0ICA

enter image description here

Note here that the positioning of the fish bottom-left is important - as per the first clue...

...it is in a subscript position, slightly lower than the others..

This helps us answer the . Because what we are looking at here is:

'sub nought' (the subscript '0'), the letters 'ICA', all of it below the word 'ZERO'. In other words, the OP has mainly been playing:

Subnautica: Below Zero, the open-world survival action-adventure game!

Got there at last! So it turns out the 19-pixel high seaweed strands which produced some Morse code gibberish are purely coincidental - d'oh!

$\endgroup$
13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ooooh you are getting amazingly close! Something to consider... rot13(lbhe N-M qrqhpgvba vf pbeerpg, ohg tvira gur tevq unf 36 fdhnerf, jung qb gur erznvavat fdhnerf zbfg yvxryl ercerfrag...?) $\endgroup$
    – Dmihawk
    Dec 13 '20 at 18:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dmihawk Ah, of course! I'll play around with that a little and see what emerges then... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 13 '20 at 19:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ First part of the rot13 is correct (the part in parentheses specifically), remember that the rebus tag is part of it... $\endgroup$
    – Dmihawk
    Dec 14 '20 at 18:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dmihawk Just FYI, I am still thinking about this, not ignoring it, but still struggling to see what to do next. Your first hint seems to be pointing towards something connected to rot13(sbagf, sbeznggvat, znexhc, gbbyonef, rgp.) but I can't put my finger on it. And while I know what word hint 2 points towards I still can't fit it into the rebus. Will post if something strikes me! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 16 '20 at 9:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well done! The seaweed was pure coincidence lol (I added it quickly in MS Paint) $\endgroup$
    – Dmihawk
    Dec 16 '20 at 10:29
4
$\begingroup$

This is a partial answer.

Potentially useful information that I definitely know:

The sun is a Fibonacci rectangle.

The coconuts are 6x6 squares. When they're projected to a 6x6 alphanumeric grid, the holes line up with the letters: C, O, C, O, N, U, T, S

The jumbled colors on the fish correspond to those on the sun

The 'N' fish is 3 pixels lower than the others

A theory:

Because the fish and the coconuts are the same size, the fish can also be projected to an alphanumeric grid. If the letter on each fish is found on the grid, the corresponding colors will be:
Purple, Red, Blue, Red, Green, Green, Grey, Tan
Because these colors correspond to those on the sun, one could convert the colors to numbers in the Fibonacci sequence:
2, 3, 13, 3, 1, 1, 5, 8
If these are translated using the A1Z26 cipher, one would get:
BCMCAAEH
This is an anagram for the following phrases:
BEACH CAM, BACH MACE, CAB HE CAM
Clearly, these are all nonsense. However, this isn't necessarily the end of this theory. It's reasonably likely that A1Z26 is not the correct cipher, but a hidden clue might lead to the correct cipher.

I apologize in advance if my thinking is way off. I'm still not entirely sure how Density™ puzzles work. :)

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Fantastic progress! $\endgroup$
    – Dmihawk
    Dec 13 '20 at 18:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.