My friend has been playing with a program he found. He enters a 5-digit number into the command line and receives another 5-digit number in return. However, after 20 or so entries, he's about done and ready to quit. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a "Quit" or "Exit" button anywhere in sight. These are his inputs and the program's responses thus far:
> 32908 Response: 32837 > 30351 Response: 32910 > 32872 Response: 32872 > 30280 Response: 30354 > 30278 Response: 32874 > 14727 Response: 30246 > 30246 Response: 32838 > 31992 Response: 14767 > 32799 Response: 31992 > 14654 Response: 30283 > 32944 Response: 14802 > 32909 Response: 32909 > 30316 Response: 32944 > 30354 Response: 30354 > 35536 Response: 35504 > 35538 Response: 32946 > 34276 Response: 26468 > 14619 Response: 35503 > 14875 Response: 34098 > 26533 Response: 26432 > ?????
Being a Linux expert, I know that every command-line program like this has a force-quit option, but I can't figure out how the program works. What should I tell my friend to type in place of the question marks in order to quit the program?
I'll add some clarification points to make this puzzle a bit more clear, since it (not surprisingly) has been causing some confusion!
- The story is mostly flavor, so I wouldn't stress too much over it. What you need to know are the entries and responses of the program, and the fact that my friend is trying to 'force-quit' it, whatever that might entail.
- A non-5 digit number probably would end up being an invalid input, though I might have to check that to be sure. Either way, that's not the solution to the puzzle. There is a valid input that will force the program to quit.
- This puzzle will require some knowledge that deems it unsolvable to a subset of the puzzlers on this site. If you're working hard on it and get stopped at that point, I encourage you to post a partial answer so that you can at least get some upvotes!
- The title may be confusing, but I promise that when the solution is revealed it will make perfect sense.
- There is a logical answer to this puzzle, but figuring out how to get there will involve some lateral thinking. I'm fixing the tags around right now and will add a related hint.
Hopefully this specifies everything for you. If you're still confused (which I wouldn't blame you for), here's a hint as well!
The order in which you'll need to use the tags is: cryptograms, lateral-thinking, trivia, pattern. This could definitely be considered open to interpretation, but if you start with cryptograms you'll be on the right track.
There hasn't been much headway on this, so I might have made it a bit too cryptic... time will tell. Anyhow, it should at least be apparent that the 5-digit numbers do not represent actual 5-digit numbers. Try decrypting them in some fashion and see if the result looks like anything you've seen before. Even if it doesn't, posting your results might help other people get to the bottom of it. The encryption method used is not a difficult one.
The given numbers are base 10. What do they look like in other bases?
Hint 4 (a biggish one):
My friend is playing some kind of game with the computer.