Previously, in The Catacombs of Cryptos:
1. The Entrance to the Catacombs

The end came long ago.

The wars are long since over.

Little remains and those who have survived struggle.

One of the few places that still stands, however, is the catacombs of Dias Cryptos. My father once described him as a man infamous for his insistence on placing everything he owned into secure areas, using entrance methods known, only, to him. He always claimed that anyone could get in, but my father had never heard of anyone who had actually succeeded. To be fair, the wars were going on at the time, and most people couldn't have cared less about the man's inventions.

To us, however, his inventions could mean life or death. Cryptos was a well known inventor of agricultural, and other, devices that likely could have saved the world's food supply, had there been time to release it prior to the nuclear war. Perhaps it could have prevented everything. Perhaps my mother would be still alive, now.


Myself and six others traveled to the catacombs in an endeavor to obtain these items with a faint hope of being able to restore these barren lands into a home that the human race can, once again, thrive in. What started as seven of us, however, has gradually been whittled down. The catacombs' puzzles and traps have been harsh. I, myself, now stand as the last hope for the survival of our settlement - of my family - but there is one final puzzle that I must solve, in order to gain access to Cryptos' devices.

I must try.

I find myself in a room with a number of paths, one to the left, one to the right, one straight ahead, and another above me. In each direction, however, there lies another series of doors, each numbered one through five, for a total of twenty possible doors to choose from. As I slowly approach one of the doors, several devices, in the ceiling, retract. They're definitely gun turrets, of some kind, and they're pointed straight at me. I've seen these before; Picking the wrong answer will spell a quick death. I take a few steps back. I must make sure to get this right, the first time, or I doom us all.

In the center of the room is a stone with an image engraved upon it.
Image of an eye, closed

From the corner of my eye, I notice what seems to be a grid of letters and numbers, on the floor. After clearing away the dust and debris, it becomes easier to discern.

C 1 1 W 1 V 1 1 1 E 1 1 B 1 1 E 1 1
1 1 1 1 K 1 1 1 P 1 C J 1 J F 1 1 M
1 P E F K R N I W V 1 W 1 B 1 C R B
1 1 1 J 1 U 1 L H 1 1 J 1 X Q 1 1 1
1 Q I 1 U P 1 1 1 M 1 1 T 1 1 1 O 1
D W 1 E 1 1 1 F 1 T G T 1 D K 1 1 1
1 C 1 M F 1 1 O 1 S M 1 1 Q 1 1 1 C
K 1 G A 1 1 1 1 T 1 1 1 C I D 1 1 A
1 T 1 1 1 Q B A H V Y 1 U J 1 1 U F
1 K L 1 W 1 1 S 1 C P 1 1 G 1 A 1 1
X H 1 1 1 1 1 1 R 1 1 X V 1 D 1 1 O
1 1 1 R 1 S U R 1 U 1 U F K 1 I A N
D 1 I 1 1 1 1 A 1 R 1 V 1 J 1 D 1 1
1 F 1 T V N 1 D Q 1 1 1 G 1 1 U X 1
1 G G P 1 1 R E J N D B 1 E 1 E F W
F 1 1 H 1 H 1 1 1 L 1 1 1 P 1 N 1 L
1 1 1 1 I 1 T 1 G C J P 1 J Y 1 1 1
1 K M C S T 1 E 1 1 1 S T N L F 1 N

Clearly I've found the clue that was intended to be used to solve the entrance puzzle, but now I must find out what it means, so I can decide which door to take.


  1. You might have better luck if you look with something, other than your eyes, at first. What? You've already done that? But you're not done, yet.

  2. The secrets you seek are contained within the gems.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hmm.. 18 characters per row X 18 rows = perfect square. significant? $\endgroup$ – zipzit May 3 '16 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ I also noted that the image has 5 eye lashes, similar to what I imagine the 5-way split in each path will look. $\endgroup$ – ChronoD May 3 '16 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ The image has a lot of '1' characters that look, at first, like a path through a maze, but on closer examination, aren't. $\endgroup$ – Guntram Blohm supports Monica May 3 '16 at 19:48
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Simple. The eye has 5 lashes, and if you look at grid position (5,5), you can clearly see the word UP, so we take the upper path. Then we notice the subtly hidden "1"s throughout the grid, so we know that we should take door one on that path... Gah! Why are these guns shooting at me? $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 3 '16 at 22:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More 5-ishness in the grid of characters: 25=5$\kern1mu\sf^2$ different letters (no Z), fairly evenly distributed; exactly 2/5 of letters have even counts and exactly 3/5 of letters have odd counts. More unlikeliness: 11 alphabetically adjacent letters (J-T) have odd numbers of counts, in the face of less than 1/20 probability that 10 or more consecutive random numbers out of 25 are all odd or even, when 3/5 are odd as here. (Less than 1/50 probability if 1/2 are odd, as would be expected.) $\endgroup$ – humn May 4 '16 at 7:11

We want to

open the fourth door on the right.


the table in 2 x 3 cells yields a message in Braille.

Gems of four are cells that are surrounded orthogonally by 1's.

This yields

enter image description here

Gems of...

...six are pairs of cells that are surrounded by 6 1's.
This yields FOUR
enter image description here

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Partial answer:

The Entrance to the Catacombs (the prequel to this puzzle) had the answer SIX. Groups of six with a closed eye together hint at Braille. Interpreting 1 as a bump, we get the message:


So... I guess we need to divide the letters up into groups of four somehow to get the right path, and we take door 1 on that path.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... if I look at that sentence. Three words have four characters "Gems Four Show" and only one word has six characters "Number" Could the solution be as easy as 3 and then 1 (i.e. the word count from the translated braille sentence)? Unfortunately the first choice is not 1 thru 4, its left / right / straight / above (or up?) $\endgroup$ – zipzit May 4 '16 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha: What about now? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi May 4 '16 at 20:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think "X" is the only letter to appear in the grid exactly four times. The braille letters within which it appears are O, U, S, D. sudo? $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell May 4 '16 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ Did they even have Unix in Cryptos? $\endgroup$ – zipzit May 4 '16 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ @zipzit Actually "behold" and "number" have 6 characters $\endgroup$ – Neon612 May 6 '16 at 15:43

Working from what Deusovi has found, we expect that we need six of something. The following letters appear exactly six times in the grid: A I V W. I would guess that we want door 1 on whichever path, since A is the only one of those that fit within the 5 possible doors. (However, as Zipzit pointed out in the comments, the grid is 18x18, and 18 is six threes.)

As for he "gems of four," since we have so little to work with they must be within the grid itself. I tried breaking the grid into quarters, but found nothing of note.

Next, I attempted to remove all letters, leaving only 1s; I believe this is how Deusovi found the first message, but maybe someone else can find something new in it.

 11 1 111  11 11 11
1111 111  1  1  11 
1          1 1 1   
111 1 1   11 1  111
1  1  111  11 111 1
  1 111 1    1  111
1 1  11 1   11 111 
 1  1111  111   11 
1 111       1  11  
1  1 11 1   11 1 11
  111111  11  1 11 
111 1   1  1   1   
 1 1111 1  1 1 1 11
1 1   1   111 11  1
1   11       1 1   
 11 1 111  111 1 1 
1111 1 1     1  111

On the other hand, if we convert the grid to a single string by reading left-to-right, starting at the top, we find the following letters immediately following groups of exactly four 1s: Q C T A I.

If we look at only orthogonal groupings, there are two groups of exactly six 1s. The letters orthogonally adjacent to them are VKRNIP and DKJGEPYNEUDI.

I'm largely just grasping at straws, but maybe there's something in this madness that someone can use.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think there's anything else in the 1s. That's how I got the Braille. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi May 4 '16 at 20:21

Mounting on Deusovi's answer: "Gems" could be "words", since it's a word puzzle.


There are 3 words with 4 letters in that phrase, and 2 words of six letters. This can mean: path 3, door 2.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Path = 3, what does that mean? The choices are left / right / straight ahead and up (or above) not necessarily in that order. So what is #3? $\endgroup$ – zipzit May 4 '16 at 23:59

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