Imagine there is only one cookie jar left in the universe and you found it in a room. Sadly, it is closed and can be opened only with a 3- number combination in specific order. Along the cookie jar you found 3 other items , suspected to be clues for the combination:

Item 1:

Hand clock showing time 03:00:10

Item 2:

A circular disc with 7 sectors each having different number, colour and picture:

1- Indigo - Wafer

2- Brown - Pizza slice

3- Pink - Chocolate

5- Yellow - Cotton Candy

6- Orange - Liquor

7- Blue - Toffee

8- Green - Chips

Item 3:

3 balloons with strips in line

Yellow balloon with blue strip

Red balloon with blue strip

Yellow balloon with red strips

Also the Wall of the room bears an inscription:

use 2/3 and get _ + _ + _ =16

Find the combination to open the jar.

Adding a hint :

Walls says use 2/3 means 2 items out of 3 and one item is just for distraction. _ + _ + _=16 tells that sum of three numbers of the combination is 16. Rest is up to you.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If we try the wrong combination, does the cookie jar explode? This is important for my performance under pressure. $\endgroup$
    – Reti43
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ lol. It doesnt @Reti43. But someone will maybe steal it from you if you try too many combinations and take much time as it is the last cookie jar and who doesnt want it $\endgroup$
    – prog_SAHIL
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ are there even any cookies in it?? Why bother? ;0) $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 14:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The edit changed item 2 in tabular form, but changed 8 - Green to 7 - Green. On a similar note, is it intentional that number 4 is missing? $\endgroup$
    – Reti43
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ This setup seems awfully familiar to something I saw on TV. Brain Games, maybe? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 18:50

6 Answers 6


My guess for the combination is



The hint about the wall inscription tells us to use 2 out of 3 items and one item is there for distraction. I have chosen to just consider items 2 and 3 since the clock seems like a number puzzle red herring and the inscription may be giving an additional clue (i.e, use items "2 and 3")

Item 2, the circular disc appears to be missing a sector, number 4. Also, it seems clear that we'll need to link the two items of the puzzle together so the missing colour must be red. Finally, each sector has a picture of a piece of "junk" food and the clear absentee (considering we are trying to break int a cookie jar) is cookie. So, the missing sector is

4 - Red - Cookie

We can imagine the balloons as encoding various three digits codes. For example, a yellow balloon with a blue strip, placed with the strip vertical would appear as yellow-blue-yellow which encodes the number 575. Similarly, the other balloons encode the numbers 474 and 545.

However, adding up these combinations, we get
5+7+5 = 17
4+7+4 = 15
5+4+5 = 14

Yet again we have a gap, specifically for the number 16. Since there was a sector missing from item 2, it stands to reason that there is also a balloon missing from item 3. If we consider the absent balloon to encode a three-digit number in the same way (an x-coloured balloon with a y-coloured strip), then this leaves us with four possibilities for the code: 484, 565, 646 or 727.

Again, given that we are trying to open a cookie jar, it makes sense that we would choose the mostly red balloon, i.e, 484 which corresponds to red with a green strip.

Furthermore, if we consider the balloon colour to encode the type of food that the corresponding jar contains, we could reasonably expect the jar to contain cookie with (perhaps chocolate) chips.

  • $\begingroup$ How do you account for multiple red strips on the last balloon of Item 3? $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Lawrence I actually missed the pluralisation of the word 'strip' on first reading. Now I'm hoping it's a typo, otherwise it puts a bit of a dent in my reasoning. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, we'll just have to see what the OP does. I think your answer is more coherent than mine. I assumed the 4 was missing to make space for the higher numbers. But since it's all imaginary anyway, there's no reason why the disc should be limited to 7 sectors. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ @hexomino, very good reasoning but missing numbers and 7 sectors are just a illusion, the missing numbers have nothing to do with the combination. Above all , another hint, all the sectors of disc have no primary colours so red being a primary colour cant be imagined on disc. $\endgroup$
    – prog_SAHIL
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 5:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No worries, I would feel bad if I got any credit for you getting the right answer. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 16:11

I think the combination is



Item 3:
1) Yellow balloon with blue strip -> yellow + blue = green
2) Red balloon with blue strip -> red + blue = indigo
3) Yellow balloon with red strips -> yellow + red = orange

Item 2:
green, indigo, orange -> 8, 1, 6 -> 8 + 1 + 6 = 15 ... so close, let's try something else.

What can be green in Item 2? liquor -> 6
What can be indigo? cotton candy -> 5
What can be orange? toffee -> 7
Which give us 6 + 5 + 7 = 18 ... not good :(

Last try:
Green associated with chips -> chips can be yellow -> 5
Indigo associated with wafer -> wafers can be pink -> 3
Orange associated with liquor -> liquors can be green -> 8
Now 5 + 3 + 8 = 16, great, a bit twisted but why not :)


Here's another guess.

Let's ignore Item 3.

As before, Item 1 has the hour-hand, minute-hand and second-hand of the hand clock pointing to 3, 12, 10 respectively.

Take these as incremental indexes into Item 2, where we are free to pick the start. E.g. if we pick the starting sector to be 1, we move up 3 sectors to sector 5 (yellow - cotton candy), then go around 12 sectors to sector 2 (brown - pizza slice), and finally around 10 more sectors to sector 6 (orange liquor). This gives us a combination 5-2-6, but they don't sum to 16.

Trying all starting sectors and summing the selected sectors, the only set that sums to 16 is 6-3-7, which the hero enters to open the jar.

Previous guess

Using the inscription regarding "2/3", consider the hand clock (i.e. a traditional round-faced analogue clock with an hour-hand, a minute-hand and a second-hand). The hands point to (approx) 3 (hour-hand), 12 (minute-hand) and 2 (second-hand). Consider the hint to mean ignore one of these hands. Since both 3 and 2 appear on the inscription, ignore 12.

Hours comes before seconds, so choose item 3 (pink chocolate) on the disc as the first number.

Next, suppose 2 refers to the second balloon: red with blue stripes. There isn't any red, but orange is close. Taking them in the same order, the disc gives us 6 and 7 as the second and third numbers. The food type is irrelevant here.

The verification step: 3 + 6 + 7 = 16 checks out, so use the combination 3-6-7.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have no idea whether this line of reasoning is at all justifiable in this kind of puzzle (I feel the puzzle is too unconstrained), but the numbers seem to fit. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Reti43 The minute hand points to 12 at each hour on the hour, and it's only 10 seconds after the start of the hour, so the minute hand would still be close to 12. I'll edit to clarify. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ Aah. I think it would be more clear to say that you translate the hours/minutes/seconds to the literal clock values each respective hand is pointing to. $\endgroup$
    – Reti43
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Reti43 I thought I did when I prefaced them with "The hands point to". :) $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 9:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "X isn't right but Y is close enough"... somehow I don't think that would really fly. $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2016 at 14:39

I think it is:



Based on @Lawrence's answer, you use the hands as indexes into the disk, but here, you restart at n each time. For n=3 it gives 574.


Or..(based on Mujika's answer)

Green associated with chips -> chips has 5 chars -> 5
Indigo associated with wafer -> wafer has 5 chars -> 5
Orange associated with liquor -> liquor has 6 chars -> 6



I think the code is:



Using the clock in clue 1, the hour hand will be on the 3, or quarter past, the minute hand on the 12 and the second hand on the 2, or ten past. The disc should be placed on top of the clock and rotated until the sectors above each hand sums to 16. Thus the hour hand will be on 1, the minute hand on 7 and the second hand on 8.

A picture:

enter image description here


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