First is a game of words and numbers with no 0's. Then is a science puzzle where you'll use only the first of each. Answering the question will be easier than finding it.

Flex on fax I gave.

Can't Won't just type on a whi-....

Seek pattern, hexagon is in it.

Next existing.

A hoax @ helix.


Out foxing you is fun.

Box that fox on oxo six!

Not easy work hexing you...

Your buttox are very big... interesting.

Annex haux hoverers!

Latex is interesting too...

  • $\begingroup$ Apologies for the mistake. Updated by removing "Can't". $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '16 at 8:59


Brent Hackers


As noted by Gareth McCaughan there are many occurrences of X, I and V. It's also notable that there are no occurrences of D or M. There are, however three L's and a C, striping out the Roman numerals from each line they are all still valid:\begin{align}LXXIV&=74\\CI&=101\\XIII&=13\\XXII&=22\\XLIX&=49\\XIV&=14\\XII&=12\\XXXIX&=39\\XI&=11\\XVIII&=18\\XXV&=25\\LXIII&=63\end{align}

Taking each as

an atomic number
and taking the first letter of the chemical symbol we get:

74 101 13 22 49 14 12 39 11 18 25 63
 W  Md Al Ti In Si Mg Y  Na Ar Mn Eu
 W  M  A  T  I  S  M  Y  N  A  M  E

So, I suppose

The C at the start of "Can't just type on a whi-..." was either a mistake or red herring ("with no 0's"!! - thanks humn), because $I=1\rightarrow H$

  • $\begingroup$ @humn Ah, yes the title, now it makes sense! $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '16 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ Quick. Correct answer, well explained. +1. (Bloody "C" GAH!) $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '16 at 4:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers You mean "+I"? $\endgroup$
    – palsch
    Jun 29 '16 at 5:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers You can fix the C problem by replacing "Can't" with "Won't". $\endgroup$
    – Nzall
    Jun 29 '16 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Nzall Fair point. May as well. $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '16 at 8:47

[Extremely incomplete and possibly entirely wrong.]

What a lot of

"x"s. Some "i"s too, though curiously not a lot of "v".

Let's try

extracting Roman numerals. (Which, aside from being suggested by the selection of letters in the question, also have no zeros.)

The result is, if I haven't missed any,

xxiv i xiii xxii xix xiv xi xxxix xi xviii xxv xiii = 24 1 13 22 19 14 11 39 11 18 25 13

but at this point I'm not sure what to do.

Convert in the obvious way to letters? The 39 seems like an obstacle, and in any case we get XAMVSOK?KRYM which doesn't seem helpful.

Or maybe, given the reference to science,

treat them as chemical element numbers? That gives Ch H Al Ti K Si Na Y Na Ar Mn Al; "using only the first of each" yields CHATKSNYNAMA or CHATPSSYSAMA if we use the first letters of names rather than symbols, and this doesn't seem promising.

  • $\begingroup$ Not that it makes a difference, but chromium is Cr, not Ch. $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Jun 29 '16 at 0:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's suspiciously close to WHAT IS MY NAME? I see you've missed some L's ;) $\endgroup$
    – Will
    Jun 29 '16 at 2:07
  • $\begingroup$ Bloody close. +1 $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '16 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, yes. I am an idiot. (The "Ch" is not because I don't know the chemical symbol for chromium, by the way, it's because my idiot brain was thinking about the CH you get from taking the initial letters.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jun 29 '16 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ Incidentally, the next time I see a puzzle from Brent Hackers that I don't immediately see how to attack, I think I shall post an answer that just says "The answer is 'Brent Hackers'". $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jun 29 '16 at 12:58

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