# is this puzzle HARD enough for you?

My OH my! Seems like you’ve just been kidnapped and brought to an extremely Secret Club underground — a rigid yet well-structured society that guarantees luxury and opulence to its members: promising access to ALL the wealth of the Earth!

you’re their newest potential member, but the process of joining is not easy at all (if it were, then we wouldn’t be dealing with extreme global wealth inequality, but that’s a story for another time).

those old, scratchy-voiced leaders only gave you these numbers to decode your new name:

10 5 4 1 8 6 5 10

you’re stumped for a few minutes, but suddenly everything made sense: because fortunately, you are as enthusiastic about the field of [redacted] as you are about fighting for the plight of the oppressed masses.

“it’s •••• ••••!” you exclaim. “and that is a terrible name!”

and it is a terrible name — but you claim it, you join their stupid club, you clean out the society of its wealth, and you use the money to blah blah blah basically a happy ending for everyone (except those dodgy old stooges).

——

Note: There is only one step that requires external knowledge (in the field of [redacted]). All additional clues pertaining to [redacted] were given through this post. If you figure out the additional clues, you will know what EXACTLY to search for.

Regarding the edit (solution spoiler):

I am aware of the formatting and capitalization rules. The uppercase letters spell out MOHS SCALLE, hence the deliberate lowercase letters. Basically the suggested edit removed these, which I agree may not be the most significant of clues, but may have helped someone nonetheless.

Your new name (although you don't like it much) is:

Because the numbers refer to:

the first letters of minerals in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Specifically here, the minerals of interest are:
10 = Diamond
5 = Apatite
4 = Fluorite
1 = Talc
8 = Topaz
6 = Orthoclase feldspar
5 = Apatite
10 = Diamond

There are references that point us towards this throughout the text, including:

- mentions of this being an 'underground' club (like these minerals in their natural state);
- adjectives like 'old', 'rigid', 'scratchy', 'luxury and opulence', and 'the wealth of the Earth' which point towards characteristics of several of the minerals on this scale;
- and, of course, the title with reference to being 'hard enough'!

• Succinct summary! You’ve listed all the references except for one. It’s not as significant, so I think you didn’t need it anyway. Great job!
– andi
Jan 9 '21 at 17:12
• I believe the "My OH my" part is also a clue Jan 10 '21 at 2:38
• @andi you might want to rot13 that Jan 10 '21 at 4:24
• @htmlcoderexe thank you! Rot13 version of my original comment: “Correct. In fact, the rot13(pncvgny yrggref sebz gur fgbel fcryy bhg zbuf fpnyr) which was the best I could do.”
– andi
Jan 10 '21 at 4:53
• @andi Wow, I didn't even spot that one despite it hiding in plain sight! I shan't edit that in as you've already explained it in the question now, but I probably should have noticed it given the formatting of the rest of the question...! Wood. Trees. :)
– Stiv
Jan 10 '21 at 12:28