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You recently applied to a test online for an admission to a secret club and today was the time for testing. You read online that they were looking for people with excellent problem solving skills. You went to the place at the exact time you planned to meet, but no one greeted you. All you saw was a door with a huge sign on - "Entrance test here"...

...You enter in the almost completely dark room with nothing but a small burning candle (looked like it only had a couple of minutes left) and a paper sheet with some text but also a plate with some colored 3D objects on it with different material.


"You have around 5 minutes to look and make sense of what you see before the candle burns out. After 1 hour I want you to give me the full name of a specific person (our top member, actually). If you manage to figure out the name, you've qualified to join our secret club. Good luck."


enter image description here


What name do you give them to qualify to the club?


Note: The puzzle is solvable without the background text/story (which makes this puzzle look more complicated than it is). It's just there for flavor but it has some clues and hopefully it will make sense why I chose those clues once the puzzle is solved.

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  • $\begingroup$ are you sure R11C5 is correct? $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ @LukasRotter Ah yes you're right, error there! Fixed now. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 9:31

1 Answer 1

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The name you should say is:

BOND - JAMES BOND...

Why? Well, there are lots of clues in the text that suggest a focus on...

...seeing - or rather not seeing. The room is dark, the candle won't last long, the mention of 'out of sight' in the title, and the 3D objects on the plate suggest they might be readable in the dark, using Braille.

Braille alphabet

If - using this - we look only at spaces marked with black, we can...

...split the grid into twelve 3x2 Braille grids and read off a message: CRACK THE CODE:

Black Braille letters

If we repeat this process but focussing on red, and recalling that...

...the Braille codes for the first ten letters of the alphabet can also be interpreted as digits 1-9 and 0, then we can extract the following numbers:

347
062
981
407

Braille numbers in red

What next? Well, look at the two columns to the right of the image. These need to be interpreted in the context of...

...the board/pen-and-paper game Mastermind. A circle in the column with two ticks represents 'right value, right position'; a circle in the column with one tick and one cross represents 'right value, wrong position'.

By solving the Mastermind puzzle, we get the solution '007':

First row: third 7 in right space.
Second row: first 0 in right space.
Third row: no numbers in right spaces.
Fourth row: second 0 and third 7 in right place.

Now everything starts to make sense...

The 'secret club' is MI6, the British secret intelligence service, and the 'top member' clued by the puzzle must be the (fictional) spy James Bond, who had the codename '007' in the books and film series.

You speak his name and are admitted into the service... No going back now!

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  • $\begingroup$ You made it ;) Great job! $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 23:10

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