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You find yourself participating in a thrilling puzzle tournament, prepared for any challenge that comes your way.

In front of you, there is a safe. It looks like a large black cube, except for the center that is mostly hollowed out, deep inside which embedded is a digital lock. On top of the safe is a small note that catches your attention. You pick it up and start reading:

Welcome, participant!

Your task is to unlock this 3-foot safe. For that you would need to enter a four-digit code, but be warned: you only get one attempt.

Now that everything is in order, time to get started. Here is a sequence to help you get going in the right direction:

2, 1, 4, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2

We have a lot of players this time. Let's see where you rank!

With a pen in hand, you begin to piece together the clues. After a lot of scribbling, you get ready to enter the code. With bated breath, you watch as the lock mechanism clicks and the safe door swings open, revealing the treasure inside.


What was the code to the safe?

Hint #1

1 2 3
4‎ㅤ6
7 8 9

Hint 2

It's not 7627, and of course it cannot be 47560.

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1 Answer 1

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I think I have a solution, though I'm not sure whether that's the correct one.

The code is 9 2 4 2

Reasoning:

The sequence contains 4 different digits. The text mentions that it's supposed to help you go in the right direction. My guess is that it's literal: the digits specify 4 different directions, of which 'right' is first. Which clockwise would get us:
1 - right, 2 - down, 3 - left, 4 - up
The hint seems to act as a map of sorts, with the missing 5 in the middle potentially indicating a starting point.
On a regular, rotating safe lock a digit is selected by rotating to it, stopping and rotating the other way. We can treat this digital lock similarly: a digit will be selected whenever we change direction.

We start at the 5. The first two instructions tell us to go right and down, landing at 9. The next instruction would take us up (a direction we came from), so the digit we landed on is selected: 9 in this case.
We then go upwards twice and left once. Again, the next instruction would go back down, so we select the current digit: 2.
Next we go down and left, selecting 4.
Afterwards we go up and right to 2.
And the final instruction takes us back to the middle (arguably that's the one that selects the 2).

I'm not entirely sure if this is actually the intended solution. It does result in exactly 4 digits and doesn't leave the grid, but it makes no use of most of the text. The second paragraph includes the numbers 3, 4 and 1, which seems like it should be relevant somehow, but it's not used here.

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  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Lbh'er evtug nobhg gur 4 qvtvgf vaqvpngvat 4 qverpgvbaf ohg guvf vf sne sebz gur vagraqrq fbyhgvba. Gur uvag vf gelvat gb vaqvpngr fbzrguvat ryfr.) $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2023 at 20:24

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