What's the answer to this puzzle?

enter image description here

Text version of the numbers under pattern:


Hint 1:

Find the hidden special pattern.

Hint 2

I'ts actually a familiar sequence. Can you find it?

  • $\begingroup$ I have to remark that the first four digits of the pattern, 1123, correspond to the date when this puzzle was posted, 11-23, which is one or more holidays. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ @codewarrior0 I see, but not related to holidays or similar. The special pattern refers to something else. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ Just to add the addition of the two ys could explain the title $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @PrinceDeepthinker You're correct regarding the numbers which leads to the letter you found. But on the jacks, no. It's something completely different. Try to apply the rebus tag somehow. What can they mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ I think i got the rebus but could you drop a hint for the last part? $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


The answer to this puzzle is:

WINSTON CHURCHILL, who was Prime Minister of the UK not once, but twice (as per the title) - from 1940-45 and 1951-55.

We get this by combining the answers to each of the 3 sub-puzzles...

1. The array of numbers, headed 'pattern':

This grid conceals the sequence of prime numbers from 2 to 59, snaking a path across the rectangle in the shape of the letter 'M':


In other words, we have a PRIME M - words suggestive of 'Prime Minister'.

2. The rebus involving four jacks:

The black rectangle suggests the shape of a national flag, the two spaces in parentheses suggest the corresponding country name has 2 words, and the image below shows the set of all four Jacks in a deck of cards, i.e. the union of all the Jacks. So we need a two-word country whose flag is the Union Jack? That would be the United Kingdom...

3. The 'nth' boxes:

It is suggested that we look for 14 digits that can be split into groups of sizes (3)(2)(3)(3)(3) that appear in a row of the initial 'pattern' grid among digits that were not used in the original prime number pattern. The only row containing 14 unused digits is the top one:

Unused digits in top row of pattern highlighted

If we split '23367197257173' according to the enumerations in parentheses, we get: (233)(67)(197)(257)(173). Notably, each of these numbers is a prime number. The use of 'nth' throughout this step suggests we should see 'what number prime' each is, as in what position does it occupy in the sequence of all primes. These are, respectively, the 51st, 19th, 45th, 55th and 40th prime numbers.

If we match up these to the five ordered colours above we then get: green=51, red=19, yellow=45, blue=55, and orange=40. But what to do next?

Well, how about reordering them by rainbow order: red=19, orange=40, yellow=45, green=51, blue=55. Now, we have something suspicious - a single 19 (often appearing as the first two digits in important years in recent history), and four numbers in a fairly small range, in ascending order. Couple this with the fact that the two rows of 'nth' boxes separated by dashes look like they might be runs of years, let's colour the boxes like this:

Coloured nth boxes

If we substitute the numbers back in, we get two year ranges: 1940-1945 and 1951-1955.

Putting this all together...

We have 3 clues that clearly point towards the identity of one particular man... Prime Minister, United Kingdom, and 1940-45 & 1951-55... Who else could this be than Winston Churchill?!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great job :) You explained everything very well too! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 15:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ahh they were primes in the last part haha good one $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 16:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How do I upvote more times? You, sir, are brilliant. Kudos to both the puzzle maker and the one who solved it. $\endgroup$
    – Stevish
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 19:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stevish Very kind of you, thank you for the compliments :) I always aim for quality, and I'm happy when I hit it! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:40

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