Last summer I spent my vacation in Gottingen - a beautiful city in the heart of Germany. I needed some help reading a map I got from my hotel, so approached a policeman on the street who seemed to be writing a ticket for illegal parking.

-Sorry for interrupting you sir, can I ask you a question? - I inquired.

-I have a ticket to write here boy, can you wait for a minute? - replied the policeman, visibly agitated.

-No problem sir. - I said and stepped respectfully aside.

-This smart ass has been parking his car here illegally for 10 days. In Europe we don’t condone such behavior. - the policeman shared his frustration. - Do you behave like this in your home country boy?

-No sir. - I replied with all the humbleness I was capable of.

-500 Euros - this should teach him a lesson. I don’t think he will risk his license by parking on handicapped spots anymore. -complacently concluded the policeman and signed the little paper.

-I guess... Who would want this? - I confirmed.

The policeman put the ticket on the windshield diligently, hid the pen back in his shirt pocket and addressed me eventually:

-You said you have a question for me boy. Go for it.

-Uuuhm… I got this map from my hotel and on the diagonal I noticed some strange sequence of numbers - 10, 7, 2, 4, 2, 8... Can you tell me what these numbers stand for? -I explained.

-I have no clue. -nonchalantly replied the policeman and without saying any other words, left.

Please excuse my flawed writing, this is definitely not one of my biggest talents.

Update: I feel the problem is too cryptic, so decided just to post its solution below.


The city of Gottingen is not really important, just liked the way it sounds.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice story! I can't really understand what do you mean with diagonal. Are the numbers in the middle of the map and written diagonal to it? $\endgroup$
    – Wa Kai
    Aug 25 '15 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! The numbers start from one corner of the map and continue along diagonal towards the opposite corner. $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '15 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification. Are there any other numbers on the map beside the ones in the diagonal line? $\endgroup$
    – Wa Kai
    Aug 25 '15 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, there are several more, but I don't think they will give much additional help. $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '15 at 8:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You might want to add at the end: "What is this story really about?" or "What is the hidden message or messages in this excerpt?" $\endgroup$
    – Kingrames
    Aug 26 '15 at 13:00

I made up the puzzle late last night and even though it seemed good back then, I feel it may be too misleading now. In order to save you the hassles, decided to post the solution as well.

All the clues are in the boy and the policeman's replies. There are board game references throughout, including:
Ticket to Ride
10 Days in Europe
Guess Who
The sequence references to the famous board game "Sequence" and the numbers are the ones appearing on the diagonal of the board.

This may be too cryptic for most of you, I guess will stick to the math puzzles mainly:)

  • $\begingroup$ It's a great idea for a puzzle, but unfortunately unless someone is familiar with all those board games, they'll be unlikely to even have a chance at solving it. Maybe if you'd put in some references to "board games" somehow, to let the solver know what they were looking for...? $\endgroup$
    – GentlePurpleRain
    Aug 25 '15 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, probably I could put more clues, especially in the title and maybe on a map I draw, but I guess it's too late for this. $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '15 at 15:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Since you've answered your question, I guess it'd make sense to mark it accepted too. $\endgroup$
    – CodeNewbie
    Aug 26 '15 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ I like it! But if you are looking to improve the puzzle, you might add some more references. Cram everything you can think of in there, from Settlers of Catan to Kill Dr. Lucky and perhaps even games like Chess and Checkers. (Chess and Checkers are so ubiquitous that they wouldn't even stand out) $\endgroup$
    – Kingrames
    Aug 26 '15 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestions guys. I also got some more ideas, hopefully will improve it next time. Flagged the question for deletion, hopefully the moderators will look into it soon. $\endgroup$ Aug 26 '15 at 14:33

Just a shot in the dark:

It might have a connection with your story and it is sth. that a policeman don't know. In your story the illegally parking car is blocking a parking spot for handicapped people.

So the connection might be:

These numbers are representing zones in the city and the lower they are the easier you can get there/reach them with a handicap, like sitting in a wheelchair.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reply Kai. Unfortunately I had a bit different idea, which may be too hard to guess... $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '15 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hehe, as I noted, it was only a shot in the dark. I wouldn't have found the solution by my whole lifetime. maybe because I am no native speaker :-) Was fun anyways $\endgroup$
    – Wa Kai
    Aug 25 '15 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, probably I wouldn't have found it myself if someone asked me:) $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '15 at 14:52

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