Card 0: title

the answer to each card is a single english word
the cards dont have to be solved in order but some cards refer back to previous answers
each card has a title which is a clue that is usually essential to the puzzle
sometimes the title has to be interpreted cleverly
good luck

Card 1: -55






Card 2: 1+2=


Card 3: why not


Card 4: cardinal NEWS

24 2 0 23 0 3 3 23 2 0 34
4 34 4 4 0 3 2 0 2 24 0
2 2 2 0 123 2 12 12 0 3 13

Card 5: sewoh?

                   \    /
               _/\_/    \_/\_
              \              /
              /_            _\
                \          /
     _/\_      _/          \_      _/\_
    \    /    \              /    \    /
_/\_/    \_/\_/              \_/\_/    \_/\_

Card 6: it's python

''.join(card[i].ans[-i] for i in (1,2,3,4,5))

Card 7: five by five

step 1) determin. the previous answers 2 through 6 in order
 (step 1 should require computer assistance)
step 2) verify that the plural is a name
step 3) shake well


graph with 33 vertices

Hint 2

2-6 have been determined but that's not step 1. what is "determin." and why should it require computer assistance?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm trying to work on Card 4, just a quick check: are you sure the second line has only ten numbers? $\endgroup$
    – Aioros
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Aioros, No.. I'm not sure.. I don't know how that slipped in. It's fixed now, sorry about that. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ I had a go at card 7 below $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @DrXorile, I saw. You got step 1 but you skipped step 2. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I edited, but I'm still not sure about step 2. So the number is correct (amazing job creating this puzzle, btw!), but is it correctly translated back into 6 letters? It seemed a departure from the 5 letters used so far... $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 0:03

3 Answers 3


Partial answer:

Card 1:

Count the W's in each line, interpret as two-digit numbers, and subtract 55 to get 22 01 21 12 20. With 1-26 representing A-Z, this spells VAULT.

Card 3:

Take the first letters of each word without a y to get MERGE.

Card 5:

The title is an anagram of "whose?". Part of the Koch snowflake is shown, so the answer to "whose?" is "Koch's". This anagrams to SHOCK (or HOCKS).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ About 5, the answer is meant to be the former. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 4:35

Partial answer, building on f*'s answer to the first card.

Card 2:

The card reads 1 + 2 = npwan. 1 refers to the word on the first card, VAULT. The plus means to add the letters' indices (starting with A = 0) individually without carry, i.e. modulo 26. The resulting digits are interpreted as letters again, which yields ROBOT.

Card 4:

I haven't got an answer, but I suspect that cardinal news refers to the cardinal directios so that 1 is north, 2 is east, 3 is west and 4 is south. The numbers are combinations of these directions or 0. All numbers point inwards; there are no Ns on the top (north) row and no Ss on the bottom row. But what to make of that? No idea.

Card 6:

Using Dr Xorile's pattern matching, but taking the last letter from the first card, the second but last from the second, and so on, the pattern is TOR?S, which could be TORUS. (That would also fit in with the clue that the plural, Tori, is a name.)

Edit: A bit of progress!

Card 4:

My assumption that NEWS are the cardinal directions was right, I guess. If we take the 33 numbers as points on a grid and then draw connections to neighbouring nodes in the respective directions, we get:

connected nodes

This requires some editing.

The outer border is just decoration. If we remove it, the grid looks like:

connected nodes wothout border

This step seems to require some imagination, but ..

The forms of the u and the t leap out, but the other letters aren't as unique. The first could be b, G, h, n, o or S. The third coulod be r or c and the fourth could be an o or an n, depending on whether the borders are just borders or part of the letters. But checking for /^[bghnos]u[rc][no]t$/i in a (rather small) dictionary yields just BURNT.

This solution also fits nicely with ...

... my earlier assumption that the word on the sixth card is TORUS.

If the above and f'''s solutions are true, the 5×5 grid is:


And now, "shake well". This looks as if we need an anagram of sorts, but I haven't got a solution for that.

  • $\begingroup$ To make sure you know, for card 4, I accidentally forgot to write one of the numbers in line 2 so line 2 only had 10 while the other two had 11. I fixed it now. Sorry if this caused any problems. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ I'm stuck on Card 4 so I'll try and help here: I think it has some kind of drawing or visual element, so I tried highlighting the cardinal points on a grid of adjacent cells. I ended up with something looking like this. Doesn't look very good, I must admit. $\endgroup$
    – Aioros
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Aioros I've been thinking along similar lines, but without any useful result. I've tried to draw arrows and walls, but I can't see a five-letter word here. The 11 numbers per line could mean that we have to look at the 10 (5x2) gaps between the numbers. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ Looking good so far. I have an idea for the last card, but right now it's not really working. Could @BenFrankel maybe confirm that the first six cards are correct? $\endgroup$
    – Aioros
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ Confirmed. Great job so far :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 18:20

Card 6

Turns/torus/tyres etc, based on f"'s answers and guessing the most likely results for t?r?s. Much less conclusive when I've read the clue properly. It looks like they may all be 5 letter words

Card 7

wiles Guessing that determin. means take the determinant, and that a=1,b=2..., the determinant of the matrix is 125239. There's various groupings that could work, but Lewi (12 5 23 9) is such that adding an "s" gives a name (lewis). Mixing that up gives you wiles.

  • $\begingroup$ Which means card 2 should end in w and card 4 should end in a $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 5:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The code reads ans[-i], not ans[-1], so the pattern should be tee ? ar ? ess, no? $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 6:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ With relation to card 7, Five by five, may reference to making a 5x5 matrix using the answers from Cards 2-6. $\endgroup$
    – Takeshi
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ Oh good catch. I didn't read it carefully enough $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Well done with Card 7, I found the determinant but couldn't figure out that "lewi" grouping. $\endgroup$
    – Aioros
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 8:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.