Dotting the eyes and crossing the teas. But where is the PIN?

This puzzle belongs to the puzzle series: hyper-modern art

The two friends move on to the next room.

"You know what, the moving and flashing painting next door was nice."

"I'm glad you found something you liked. How about this piece? A plain painting combined with a real keypad being glued in. I wonder if we really need this PIN to get to the next room...."

"Likely. What is the painting called, maybe there is some hint?"

"It's strangely called Dotting the eyes and crossing the teas."

"Oh, well. I guess you better take out your HUD, because I will definitely not touch the keypad without the proper code. I've been burnt before, you know...."

The task is to find the 7-digits PIN code from this image and to explain how it can be found from the image. It is coded into what you see, so no need to get number crunching with the digital data.

I've added the tag on purpose and you may want to post partial answers or comments as well. (Seeing the thought-process of solvers helps me improving my puzzles. And, ah, to spot mistakes, if there are any.)

• Some thoughts: The bumps and triangles could be the tops of the letters i and t in some font, and we might have to figure out what each gear's phrase is. (Alternately, the gaps in between might make numbers if we position the gears right on the two lower circles.) If the top circleis rotated clockwise, both of the... things... will rotate downwards; if it's rotated counterclockwise, both of them will go upwards. Triangles may indicate balances, or proper direction of rotation.
– Deusovi
Jun 21, 2016 at 23:44
• (Also, BmyGuest, have you ever thought of making a puzzle hunt based around these? If you're interested, I'd love to work with you - I've got a few ideas for hyper-modern art puzzles myself.)
– Deusovi
Jun 21, 2016 at 23:46
• @Deusovi a collaboration puzzle would be great. It's just that my time working on puzzles is very irregular depending on family and work. But we are not in a rush neither, I guess. So yes, let's discuss such a thin in a chat. Jun 22, 2016 at 5:48
• @Deusovi "Things" = Starship Enterprise shadows? Jun 22, 2016 at 17:10
• 13 upvotes is not enough for this puzzle! It's original in style and seems fairly straightforward once you know the answer, but it took some good thinking and insight to get to that point. (That's the mark of a good puzzle in my book!) +1 +1 +1 Jul 16, 2016 at 3:22

The PIN is:

3352752

The result came from a great group effort. I hope I've correctly identified and summarized the process followed.

From Wesley Situ:

The two wheels will be turning in opposite directions. Three wheels have the 'ascending t notch' (for lack of a better description) going counter-clockwise (Red, Cyan, Blue) and three have them going clockwise (Green, Magenta, Orange). We can then pair them up with one another as the 'ascending t notch' will cause those things on the sides to bend downward, then snap quickly back up (think of the Wheel of Fortune wheel). I'd like to think that this causes some kind of sound to play so we'll hear a bunch of clickety clack.

With that information, we looked into pairing the cogs together. From Poolsharker, GentlePurpleRain, and LeppyR64:

There are three pairs of gears that complement each other.

Blue 21202122201000121222121
Green 01020100021000101000101

Orange 10122021210221001021222
Magenta 10100201012001221201000

Cyan 12202101002010210010200
Red 10020121220212012212022

All pairs line up on the bumps (the 1s) and no two triangles (the 2s) ever overlap. There are a couple places where the flat areas overlap. A graphical representation of the above:

With that knowledge, we looked into what it could mean. From LeppyR64:

The machine generates:

Morse Code

Here are the possible orientations and assignments:

Orange/Magenta
..-. . -.. -- -. ... | FEDMNS
--.- - .-- .. .- --- | QTWIAO
... .- -- ..- . .-.. | SAMUEL
--- -. .. --. - -.-- | ONIGTY

Red/Cyan
--.- . ..-. .- .. .-.. | QEFAIL
..-. - --.- -. -- -.-- | FTQNMY
..-. .. -. .-.. . -.-- | FINLEY
--.- -- .- -.-- - .-.. | QMAYTL

Green/Purple
. ... . . .-. ...- | ESEERV
- --- - - -.- ---. | (Error)
-... .-. . . ... . | BREESE
.--- -.- - - --- - | JKTTOT

Orange/Magenta - SAMUEL
Red/Cyan - FINLEY
Green/Purple - BREESE
His last name is of course, MORSE

From here, we focused our attention on the PIN pad. From Verence:

Morse invented the telegraph in 1836 and died in 1872. 1872-1836 = 36=6^2, 1872*1836 = 3436992 This could mean that the "t" stands for "telegraph" but what is "i"?

And extended from the train of thought of Verence, I found:

What if the Sun and the Cross symbolized Birth and Death. Morse was born in 1791 and died in 1872.
1872-1791 = 81 = 9^2. 1791*1872 = 3352752.
The PIN is 3352752

• That is INCREDIBLE! Also great work on the part of the author! Jul 15, 2016 at 23:05
• Good summary! If you attempt to edit my answer you can see how I used the backticks to preserve the formatting of spacing. I'm not going to attempt to edit your post on mobile. Jul 16, 2016 at 3:15
• @LeppyR64 Thanks, I updated the formatting so it looks like yours. Jul 16, 2016 at 5:05
• Perfect. @LeppyR64 Did you conclude Samuel Finley Breese (Morse) by knowledge or did Google come to the rescue? (Personally, recognising Breese as a name seemed like a Minipuzzle itself ;-) h Jul 16, 2016 at 6:50
• @BmyGuest I did Google it. Breese was familiar to me but I couldn't remember where from. I initially did the morse translation with the sloped sides leading in both configurations and got nothing. Then I had Samuel and Breese and Leyfin. Then Google and then I said, "Of course!" Jul 16, 2016 at 12:35

Partial:

A picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes I like numbers.

Here is a definition of the gears in the direction that they spin so that the slope of the triangle shapes would lead into the seesaw pieces.

Don't forget that these are gears, so the numbers continue in a circle. The ends of the lines are adjacent to the start. The gears could be mirrored to fit on the opposite spindle.

2 = triangle
1 = bump
0 = flat

Red - CCW
21202210020121220212012

Green - CW
00021000101000101010201

Cyan - CCW
12202101002010210010200

Blue - CCW
21202122201000121222121

Magenta - CW
00122120100010100201012

Orange - CW
10122021210221001021222


My first look at this and all I could see was this:

Extending off Poolsharker and PurpleGentleRain's answer:

The machine generates:

Morse Code

Using the gears as laid out by GPR:

Marking the start points and rotation directions yields the following codes:
Orange/Magenta - SAMUEL
Red/Cyan - FINLEY
Green/Purple - BREESE
His last name is of course, MORSE

Here are the other possible orientations and assignments:

Orange/Magenta
..-. . -.. -- -. ... | FEDMNS
--.- - .-- .. .- --- | QTWIAO
... .- -- ..- . .-.. | SAMUEL
--- -. .. --. - -.-- | ONIGTY

Red/Cyan
--.- . ..-. .- .. .-.. | QEFAIL
..-. - --.- -. -- -.-- | FTQNMY
..-. .. -. .-.. . -.-- | FINLEY
--.- -- .- -.-- - .-.. | QMAYTL

Green/Purple
. ... . . .-. ...- | ESEERV
- --- - - -.- ---. | (Error)
-... .-. . . ... . | BREESE
.--- -.- - - --- - | JKTTOT

• Love it. I'm going to check your transcription. I think it might make solving this puzzle easier. However, ever so often refer back to the image in order to "think it through" conceptionally. Jun 22, 2016 at 16:02
• @BmyGuest FYI - I started from the top. Jun 22, 2016 at 16:03
• Wow, we're really building off of each other here. Bit by bit. I guess the question is, "Where do we go from here?" Jul 15, 2016 at 14:28
• @GentlePurpleRain That seems to be the trend with every puzzle I've seen from BmyGuest. Jul 15, 2016 at 15:25
• I wonder if the symbols on the keypad refer to Morse's inventions and religion. He invented the telegraph and Morse code, and his religion was either Calvinist (his father's religion) or Unitarian (where he sympathized). All of these have 9 letters, although I'm not sure how you subtract or multiply them... Jul 15, 2016 at 15:49

Let's get this started! From the strange contraption, we can deduce that

The two wheels will be turning in opposite directions. For the images that follow, I will be rotating the center wheel clockwise. This in turn causes the left wheel to turn counter-clockwise and the right wheel to turn clockwise.

So, let's try fitting the cogs into the contraption. We notice that

Three wheels have the 'ascending t notch' (for lack of a better description) going counter-clockwise (Red, Cyan, Blue) and three have them going clockwise (Green, Magenta, Orange). We can then pair them up with one another as the 'ascending t notch' will cause those things on the sides to bend downward, then snap quickly back up (think of the Wheel of Fortune wheel). I'd like to think that this causes some kind of sound to play so we'll hear a bunch of clickety clack.

Here are the fittings that I believe go together

By overlaying them on top of each other, you can see that the 'i' and 't' parts line up so that they will strike the side things at the same time.

Red and Green

Cyan and Orange

Blue and Magenta

A possible direction to go from here

Morse Code
Take the 'ascending t notches' to begin the sound, and the 'i' dots to stop the sound. Consecutive notches would be a tick tick tick '...' and notches that take a while to stop would be a tiiiiiiiick '-'
Side note... "Dotting the eyes and crossing the teas" could be a hint towards morse since the dots of i would be the . and the cross of the t would be the -

• A good start. So you have made a 2D image into a 3D puzzle. Nice. (And good to keep in mind when deducing information from it.) Jun 22, 2016 at 5:59
• Do you think it's significant that the two seesaws things are a little bit different? (I do, just because it's @BmyGuest) I don't know what it means though. Jun 22, 2016 at 15:43
• @LeppyR64 Ahh, nice catch! I didn't notice that before. Jun 22, 2016 at 16:13

I think the PIN is:

3352752

Because:

Build on what Verence said, what if the Sun and the Cross symbolized Birth and Death. Morse was born in 1791 and died in 1872. 1791-1872 = 81 = 9^2. 1791*1872 = 3352752.

Interesting Observation:

Using the numbering from Leppy's post, Green and Blue are opposites that line up on the bumps.

Green - CW
00021000101000101010201
22201000121222121212021
Blue - CCW

However Red only has 6 bumps and the only other one with 6 is Cyan, which is in the same direction as Red.

EDIT: On further review with fresh eyes, they are not opposites...both have a section with three blank spots between two bumps.

• Observations worthwhile to spent time on ... and extend into ideas. Jul 14, 2016 at 15:52
• Good details! Huge bonus! Jul 14, 2016 at 20:45
• The pin is Correct. However, I now need to find out who to award with the "acceptance" and who with the bounty... I feel that, as so often, everybody has really contirbuted. (@LeppyR64) Jul 15, 2016 at 17:27
• @BmyGuest My vote would be for LeppyR64 for the bounty. Turning the cogs into number-line helped me find the match, and then Leppy broke the Morse Code. All in all, awesome puzzle BmyGuest. Jul 15, 2016 at 17:31
• @BmyGuest Time is my gating factor here. I can't accept credit for the bounty or the check. I think someone should write up a summary (I leave for a week's vacation, so that's not me, unless we wait) and accept the check. Poolsharker and GPR were the one's that contributed the actual alignment of the wheels (not to diminish my own abilities), and therefore my vote for the Bounty goes to Poolsharker. Jul 15, 2016 at 18:11

Trying to combine the observations and strategies from previous posts, I noticed that there are three pairs of "gears" that complement each other. Using LeppyR64's notation, and rotating some of the gears, we get the following:

Blue    21202122201000121222121
Green   01020100021000101000101

Orange  10122021210221001021222
Magenta 10100201012001221201000

Cyan    12202101002010210010200
Red     10020121220212012212022


(these are the numbers given by LeppyR64, but "rotated", so some of the digits have been moved (as a block) from the beginning to the end)

Note that in each of these matchups, all the 1s (bumps) match up, and no two 2s (triangles) ever overlap. There are a couple of places where the flat areas overlap, so that even with the two "gears" overlain, there is still an area without a protrusion.

A graphical representation of the above:

Note that the green gear had to be flipped over, then rotated 90° clockwise. The other two gears were not flipped, but red was rotated 90° counter-clockwise, and orange was rotated 180°.

Where to go from here? ...

• Huge progress, I'd say. Thanks for doing it both visually and with the numbers. (Personally, I find 0, 1, 2 distracting and would rather use three symbols, but that's just taste.) Jul 14, 2016 at 19:37
• Ahh, I didn't think of flipping them. Good call. Now the pairs could be placed on the device and there would be a distinct peak either on the left or the right...maybe Morse code? Jul 14, 2016 at 20:44
• Great work! I have an idea that I think will crack this open. This is huge! Jul 14, 2016 at 20:44
• @Poolsharker You seem to have been correct :) Jul 15, 2016 at 15:58
• @LeppyR64 It's been a group effort on a fun puzzle. :) Jul 15, 2016 at 16:21

I also noticed that the gears come in pairs, but I didn't notice that there are some spaces left when merging the two gears, thanks @GentlePurpleRain.

I want to note that the picture name obviously refers to the hint on the keypad. We need to get two numbers: "dot" and "cross". "Dot" - "cross" equals to some number squared and "dot" * "cross" is the PIN.

The "dot" is somehow connected to the letter "i" and the "cross" is "t". In Morse code "i" is "**" and "t" is "-". Now we just need to extract these numbers from the gears somehow.

Since the gears are used to code Morse's name, maybe these numbers aren't related to them directly but rather to Morse himself.

Update: still didn't come up with "eyes" and "teas" but what if

the PIN is 3436992?

because

Morse invented the telegraph in 1836 and died in 1872. 1872-1836 = 36=6^2, 1872*1836 = 3436992 This could mean that the "t" stands for "telegraph" but what is "i"?

I feel that we're very close.

• I'm thinking the dotting the eyes and crossing the teas might be related to the dot and dash (cross) of Morse Code. Jul 15, 2016 at 17:10
• Are you confused here @BmyGuest? Jul 15, 2016 at 18:06
• @BmyGuest This is a slightly different PIN from Poolsharker's. Which is correct? Jul 15, 2016 at 18:06
• Thanks @DanRussell, I was in a hurry and didn't look carefully. Poolsharker is correct. births ear*deathyear. Jul 15, 2016 at 22:31