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You're running late to your first day on the job and after arriving at the meeting location, you see the orientation group just leaving without you through a door with a keypad.

enter image description here

Panicked, you confirm the door re-locked, and then pound on the door with no answer. In a last ditch effort, you ask the only person around, a janitor, if he knows the combination.

"24 equals."

You ask him to repeat himself since he's mumbling slightly.

He shouts at you, enunciating slowly and clearly, "24 equals!". Then he walks away looking angry.

After saying your thanks, you try it but immediately realize the combination isn't long enough. To submit a combination, 4 of either the numbers, X, or + need to be entered followed by the equal sign.

What do you do?

NOTE: Guesses are welcome, I can say if the combination works so you can put yourself in the story. There is no limit to the number of guesses.

NOTE 2: Random guessing isn't necessary (or how could this be considered a puzzle?)

Hint:

You notice the janitor doesn't seem like a guy who likes riddles or math.

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13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = . 24 equals. $\endgroup$
    – Munesawagi
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Angelplayer **** = 4 characters $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 17:21
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Raystafarian There's no 0. My first thought was "204=" ("twenty" followed by "four") which I didn't put up as an answer for the same reason. $\endgroup$
    – hvd
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ I guessed 1440 - I deleted it too soon. There's no 0 thanks @hvd $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 17:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I like the original wording; "enunciating slowly and clearly" seems misleading. $\endgroup$
    – Solocutor
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:27

11 Answers 11

10
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It then dawns on me:

21+4=, guessing that the janitor interpreted the plus sign as a t. (sound: two-one-tee-four)


Old answer: I enter

2134=

because I believe

he slurred the 213 together to sound like "twenty".

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  • $\begingroup$ You try 2134 and it doesn't work. But you feel like you're getting very close. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ The question states that the janitor enunciated clearly. I feel like it would be hard to slur numbers together given that wording. $\endgroup$
    – dpwilson
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ but that's twenty one t four equals $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ @question_asker When people say combinations, they generally say each number (one two three five not twelve thirtyfive). "Two one tee four" $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ @BrianRisk It's been explained by the OP that the = sign submits the code. It does not occupy a spot on the display. $\endgroup$
    – Scott M
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:37
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How about

2222

We don't know what the janitor said exactly:

it could be "twenty-four equals", but also "Two. Four equals."

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  • $\begingroup$ 2222 doesn't work. But you feel like you're on the right track. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:34
1
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I'm a little unclear how the keypad works but I'm game to guess.

2 x 12 or 12 x 2. I am assuming the operators can be code entries.

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1
  • $\begingroup$ Operators are code entries and equals submits it, but neither of these work. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:21
1
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How about:

12*2

If that doesn't work, I would try

2*12

On the other hand, we may also do

4*6= or 6*4=

if the = sign counts as a symbol.

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  • $\begingroup$ The equals sign doesn't work unless 4 entries are put in, and the other combinations don't work. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:22
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12x2 or 24x1 or 19+5, 18+6, 17+7, 16+8, 15+9, 25-1, 26-2..... i am tired of trying more...

since there are 4 characters to fill it and all are equal to 24.

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8
  • $\begingroup$ You beat me by 1 second. $\endgroup$
    – wythagoras
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ or 22+2 or 23+1 or 21+3...etc $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ You try all of these and none of them work. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha You're close though. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Well we don't have a 0 on the keypad... $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 17:28
1
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Guess#1: I type

204=

Because

Twenty, Four, Equals

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3
  • $\begingroup$ no zero on the keypad $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ oops. Should I delete this, then? $\endgroup$
    – Solocutor
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ that, my friend, is up to you. I ain't your dad. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2016 at 17:36
1
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I type in

2424

To see what happens. I could be here all day, though.

It doesn't work.

I try:

24==

I wonder, to myself, if I misunderstood the mumble. I type in:

2+4=

Exasperated, I give one last try, before leaving:

23++

As I'm walking away, I realize that it would be a terrible first impression to just not try for more than a moment. I quickly type in:

+4+4 Maybe he meant Twin T4 and the + is the T?

A bang on the wall.

2+34 Two and 3 4?

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  • $\begingroup$ You try 2424 (equals) and it doesn't work. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Neither of the other two enter because equals only can submit 4 previous entries. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ +4+4 doesn't work either. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:00
0
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I'll press

789+

Because

7+8+9 = 24 and it uses a character from each column

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1
  • $\begingroup$ 789+ doesn't work (and any combination of this) $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:52
0
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Is it

2184=

Because he slurred

218 ~ "twooneeight" ~ "twenty"

Or maybe

1234

because

1 x 2 x 3 x 4 = 24

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3
  • $\begingroup$ You try 2184 and it doesn't work. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ do I need to comment for you to get notified again? I edited in another guess. $\endgroup$
    – DrewJordan
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ 1234 (and any combination of it) doesn't work either. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:00
0
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I would just put 24equals as

204=

May be he just meant 20,4 and =

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-1
$\begingroup$

24 equals


24 equal s


24 equal 5


24=5

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