Matty mouse is freshly recovered from a traumatic owl encounter and is looking to relax.

When he gets back to his home, he heads down to the local hole-in-the-wall. But unfortunately for Matty, there is new management. The establishment has been rebranded the Cool™ Club, and they have a bouncer at the door.

As he walks up, he sees a Cool™ Kid walk up to the Bouncer Who Is Quite Good At Intuiting Homophones™ and says, "Awww man, just let me in; you know me—I just forget passwords is all."

The Bouncer says, "You know the rules."
The Cool™ Kid whines pleadingly.
The Bouncer says, "You get seven attempts. I'll respond to each one with a number."

The Cool™ Kid moans pathetically then says:

> 5, is the bouncer's response.

Baaa! the Cool™ Kid bleats.
> 4

> 2

> 2, comes the abrupt response.

> 2, comes the same intimidating response.

> 3

> 9

Excited, the Cool™ Kid squeals!
But the bouncer says, "Okay, that is seven attempts".
The Cool™ Kid's jaw drops.
"ONE MORE, PLEASE!" he grovels Cool™ly.

"Password or leave."

Drooping his head, the Cool™ Kid crawls away.

Matty gives the Cool™ Kid a confused look, walks up to the bouncer, says the password and Struts In Suavely™ to enjoy the hard-earned Cheeses of his labour.

What is the password, and how did Matty figure it out?

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    $\begingroup$ The dialogue in the question is very confusing. Can you clarify who is saying what? Is the bouncer asking questions and the Cool™ kid responding, or vice versa? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ Password is a word that is supposed to make the bouncer respond 0? It's a little unclear in your question what the password is supposed to be and what properties it should have. $\endgroup$
    – mmking
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Goinghamateur i thought it was clear ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ Why is there 2. and "2"? If he is speaking wouldn't the quotes be implied in all cases, or is the bouncer saying "two-dot" or something? $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Goinghamateur, I don't think making a question vague and hard to understand makes for a "better" puzzle. I understand the inclination to make a puzzle "harder" so that it doesn't get solved right away, but I would suggest resisting that inclination. And always make your puzzle clear and easy to understand, regardless of how difficult it is. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


Any chance the answer is not a word, just a sequence of letters?


It fits if you

play mastermind, correct appearance of letter is worth 1 point, if also in correct position 3 additional points.

For the answers:

BARE = 4 + 0 + 1 + 0 = 5
BAAA = 4 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 4
TEAR = 1 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 2
EARS = 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 2
SETA = 1 + 0 + 1 + 0 = 2
STAR = 1 + 1 + 0 + 1 = 3
REST = 1 + 0 + 4 + 4 = 9

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well I guess I need harder puzzles man... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ I found this one pretty hard, I stumbled on the right track quite early but just couldn't get a proper word to fit in. It's a nice twist, it leads you astray by playing with your expectations. $\endgroup$
    – Moghwyn
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ Well I guess a good puzzle can leave some asking for more hints, while others plough ahead and do it. Well done... now to make a harder pattern puzzle with 7 layers of indirection and hexidecimal. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ I've played mastermind before, but I've never heard of a scoring system. The boxes of mastermind I have at home have white and black pins that designate whether a color tab is in the right spot/the correct color but wrong spot. I had considered mastermind but this made no sense to me since apparently there's a word + points version I've never heard about $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Mastermind pin combos is Base4 of this system. So 1 black 1 white is 11 which is 4+1 = 5. Orginally I was thinking of doing 2, 11, 21, 3, 12 etc but I thought people would associate that with mastermind too fast. Oh well moghwyn is a fast fellow nonetheless. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 17:48

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