6
$\begingroup$

There once was an elf who wanted to send a message to Santa. This elf was a penguin rider and had a large amount of penguins so he laid them in a row with some on their bellies and some on their backs. Below, the sequence is transcribed (0 for black and 1 for white).

What was the secret message?

011111110100010101001100010001100000000100000001 000000010010111000101110001011100010111000100000 001011100010111000100000000010100000001000000000 000000110000000000000001000000000000000000000000 100000001000000000000100000010000011010000000000 000000000000000000000000101110000000010000000000 000000000000000011001101100000001110101101011000 001000000000000000000010000000000010100000000000 000001010000000000000100000000000000000100000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000001000000000000100000010000000000010000000 000001000000100010100010000000000000000000000000 101000100000000000000000000000000000010100000000 000000000000000000000000000100000000000000000000 000000010000000000000000000000001010010000000000 000000000000000010100100100100000000010000001000 101001001001000000000100000010000000100100000000 000000000000000000001001000000000000000000000000 101110100000100100000000000000000000000010111001 000001111001000000000100000010001011101100000001 000000000000000000000000111010111010010000000000 000000000000000011101011111010101011101100000000 000000000000000000000000101110000000000100000000 00000000000000001100110110000000

Note: although there is a RED herring in the above paragraph, the other stuff provide enough hints for this puzzle to be (possibly easily) solvable. This puzzle requires a computer and some prior knowledge (doing transformations on binary etc.), but every stage in the puzzle leads to the next one logically so with a little research and a chunk of free time, I think most people are capable of this. The answer will be a very brief message for Santa from the elf.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ridiculous nitpick, but Santa lives at the North Pole, while penguins are only found near the South Pole. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Apr 14 '16 at 14:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman This happened at Santa's holiday residence. $\endgroup$ – Jack M Apr 14 '16 at 14:57
12
$\begingroup$

The message is:

Hi

Explanation:

Getting all the bits from that message and dumping them in a file, generates an executable that prints ".... ..". This is Morse for "Hi". Also, it is not necessary to make an executable, looking at the bytes you will see the chars "ELF" (ROFL) and the string ".... ..". Hehe... ELF.

Additionally,

the ELF in the bytes is the executable format which is used in most Unix systems except Mac OS X. So, amongst the most common OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux), it should only work on Linux, hence the penguins. (worded by OxTaz)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Any particular reason for a DV? $\endgroup$ – dmg Apr 14 '16 at 8:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 ! Additionally, the ELF in the bytes is the executable format which is used in most Unix systems except Mac OS X. So, amongst the most common OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux), it should only work on Linux, hence the penguins. $\endgroup$ – OxTaz Apr 14 '16 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Wow I did not expect there would be a correct answer an hour after I posted, nice work. OxTaz's comment explains the hints mostly, aside from the fact that Tux the Penguin is the mascot for Linux. $\endgroup$ – Quark Apr 15 '16 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yeah, I totally forgot to explain the stuff around ELF, Linux and penguins, so thakns @OxTaz $\endgroup$ – dmg Apr 15 '16 at 8:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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