Disclaimer: I'll be using the gender-neutral pronoun "xe" for the singular third person.

After escaping from d'alar'cop's cellar, Doorknob♦ was understandably upset. After almost two months of planning, xe gathered some support and the revenge scheme was enacted...

d'alar'cop awoke in a darkened room on a hard surface. Xe was sore from lying there for some unknown time. As soon as xe shifted xyr weight to stand up, lights came on all around the room. Blinking in the sudden brightness, xe took in xyr surroundings. Xe was on a raised daïs in the middle of a round room. A soft glow emanated from underneath and illuminated most of the room. There were 31 other puzzlers in the room, each in their own alcove. The recesses were painted a variety of colors and even the daïs was painted blue. Each puzzler was either staring at d'alar'cop or facing directly away. In front of each puzzler was a set of two lights that was facing the daïs, facing the alcove, or turned off. (AJ Henderson was staring directly into two powerful lights blasting into xyr face. Ow.) Just as d'alar'cop had finished taking this all in, all 31 puzzlers began to chant in unison:

You've been naughty, kidnapper
Taking prisoners, doing wrong
Now it's time for you to learn
If you're mean, you will get burned

You are trapped here in this room
From that daïs you may not move
You must solve our riddle soon
Or from our pack you will be hewn

The door at south is your escape
But it shan't open lest you say
The secret message known to us
Speaking quickly is a plus

Poison daggers now descend
From ceiling to your flesh to pierce
They will slow your very breath
Bringing soon a painful death

If you belong then you will see
An answer not quite seen by thee
Although mad we are not cruel
We shall grant a single tool

You have a laptop, internet
Seek the answer on the web
Careful, though, where you tread
There are tricks and traps ahead

d'alar'cop's eyes adjusted to the light during the chant and xe could see the laptop. Thankfully, it's already booted up and xyr favorite browser was open to a blank tab. With a quick glance upward at the glistening blades, xe set to work as the puzzlers started up their chant again.

How can d'alar'cop find the password?

Diagram of the room: (The diagram was made in Excel. Any minor errors in position or orientation are not part of the puzzle.)

Diagram of the Room

Puzzler Positions:

1: Rainbolt
2: Andrea
3: RBerteig
4: zar
5: mau
6: SztupY
7: Hubble07
8: senshin
9: The Wobbuffet
10: Adele C
11: AJ Henderson
12: user88377
13: Doorknob♦
14: gsingh2011
15: bluefeet♦
16: Robert Cartaino♦
17: Raystafarian
18: vivekpoddar
19: glenneroo
20: James Jenkins
21: Young Guilo
22: CaffeinePwrdAl
23: DaG
24: crownjewel82
25: Piero Alberto
26: Michal
27: Danubian Sailor
28: Crispy
29: Gilles
30: strikers
31: igelkott
32: d'alar'cop


Trap Level 1 found by Sebu (+1)
Trap Level 2 not yet found
Trap Level 3 not yet found
Password found by Shawn Holzworth (Tick after another day or two to keep it active so maybe people will try to find the remaining traps)

  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand why using "Xe" if both d'alar'cop and Doorknob are males. $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Jul 7 '15 at 21:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @VictorStafusa Because I didn't know their genders. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 7 '15 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ I'm leery of the profile links. Puzzles aren't supposed to rely on changeable information, and the only information on a SE user's profile page that isn't changeable is his/her user name, which obviates the needs for links. Is this puzzle still going to be valid 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year from now? $\endgroup$ – COTO Jul 7 '15 at 21:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @COTO I suspect it's the user IDs (Rainbolt 74, Doorknoob 39, and so on), which are even less changeable than the usernames. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jul 7 '15 at 22:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ So, according to this post, moderators have the ability to suspend users, cast binding votes, search for deleted posts, kidnap members, and remove bounties (among other powers)? Very informative! $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Jul 7 '15 at 23:26

Well what do you know, it seems rand al'thor was on to something:

When you take the user id numbers for users 1-31 as ascii, you get a message:
JET Fuel_CAN't-m3l+~S┼Éé| Bèams

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @mmking I think it's fun and the point is to write better puzzles, right? It doesn't matter what you're hiding; the interesting bit is how you're hiding it. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 8 '15 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Oh great, so now I can be afraid to be part of any puzzle, as my user ID translates to "U" $\endgroup$ – SztupY Jul 17 '15 at 21:59

Transform the colours into numbers by

using their RGB codes: red is 100, green is 010, blue is 001, cyan is 011, magenta is 101, yellow (not used) is 110, white is 111, black (not used) is 000.

Then going round from 1 all the way to 32, we get the code:

010 100 100 100 010 101 111 100 001 111 111 100 100 001 111 101 010 100 100 101 001 001 001 001 010 011 100 100 011 100 100 001

Change the spacing to get:

01010010 01000101 01111100 00111111 11001000 01111101 01010010 01010010 01001001 01001110 01000111 00100001

which we can convert using

ASCII code

to get


So Trap Level 2 is a red herring!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ RE|?È}RRING! - You set off the alarm! $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 16 '15 at 20:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This was actually Trap #3 because it involved more steps. It shall receive the +100 bounty once it's able to be rewarded. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 16 '15 at 21:08

At least I got the first trap:

Morse code, with light toward 32 as - and away from 32 as . read from 1 to 31 gives "Don't give up, try again" with a little Formating on my Part.

And I will try again :-D


And I've found Trap Level 3 as well! :-D

Look at the numbers 1-32. You need to look inwards to read some of them and outwards to read others. Let's use 1 and 0 respectively to denote these two types of number. Let's also assume (since it gives the right answer) that 32 is towards the top rather than the bottom, so that it's 0 rather than 1. Then the numbers 1-32 give the code 01001110010011110101000001000101.

Space it out as 01001110 01001111 01010000 01000101 and use ASCII code again

to get


So we've found a 3rd red herring, and the final answer (or Trap Level 4) is the message found by Shawn Holzworth.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This was actually Trap #2 because it involved less steps. It shall receive the +50 bounty once it's able to be rewarded. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 16 '15 at 21:08

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