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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)


Hints:

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

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    $\begingroup$ 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
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    $\begingroup$ @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
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    $\begingroup$ Just to be sure... no knowledge other than trivial is needed? $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Prim3numbah Correct. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 13:04

2 Answers 2

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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).

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

U_LQ / TERI / ENM

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.

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

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