This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #1: Restricted Title: xkcd 1xxx

Why is this taking so long to load?

enter image description here

Relevant stillframes (can be solved without the .gif, but the animation does contain one hint)


Looking at the GIF, you can see that the current shape is always offset by about 30° after each anti-clockwise rotation. No further information from the GIF is needed, everything else is also in the PNG.

Black lines will need to be added to the shape

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I think this might be one of those puzzles that looks difficult but once we see the answer, we will kick ourselves for not thinking of it! I have spent a few hours at least on this, no luck yet. $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Jul 14 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ ^ Same, I've been looking at this for ages but I have no idea how to process it. I had already observed before the hint was released that rot13(rnpu evat-yvxr funcr'f raq fgngr jnf bssfrg ol n ovg sebz vgf vavgvny fgngr), and while I was happy that the hint confirmed that, I am still basically stuck as I did not obtain any new significant information. D: $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Jul 14 at 14:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @VarunW. I only did that to visualize clearly when the relevant states inside the gif are, i.e. all the stillframes. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 5:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just to be sure... no knowledge other than trivial is needed? $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 13:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Prim3numbah Correct. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 13:04

2 Answers 2


Looking at the gif, each shape rotates 390° counterclockwise, or 30° more than a full rotation. We can imagine that this extra rotation is actually retained by the next shape, and the one after that. In other words, the second shape is 30° counterclockwise offset from its original position, the third shape is 60° offset, the fourth shape is 90° offset, etc. Thus, to find the original, unrotated shapes, we can rotate each shape clockwise by that amount. Doing so gets the following shapes:
Rotation Image

Now we can look at the crosses associated with each shape. If a cross has its vertical line shaded black, then the shape must have a vertical line added. Likewise, if its horizontal line is shaded, then we must add a horizontal line. This results in the following: Added Rectangles Image

We can now read out the final answer to the puzzle: WHILE(TRUE).

  • $\begingroup$ Very impressive. I wouldn't have gotten that given infinite time. Lol. Still a great puzzle! $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Jul 20 at 13:00

Partial answer:

I can't shake the idea the frames correspond to

semaphore letters

with the gaps indicating

the flag positions

Which taking the png at face value yields


assuming I've looked them up correctly.

That doesn't help much, so possibly the line on the cross indicates

The orientation you should look at certain frames from

but I haven't yet found a combination that works.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Semaphore is not used in this puzzle. $\endgroup$ Jul 14 at 16:21

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