46
$\begingroup$

This is part of a series which I'll be continuing if this goes down well enough. If you have any feedback on the puzzle (too hard, too easy, not clear enough, etc) I'd appreciate it so that future puzzles can be better :-)


You wake up and log on to your computer. You log on to Puzzling.SE, browse some puzzles. You spend half an hour trying to think of number sequences because you're really desperate to go to a party, then after coming up with nothing, you get grumpy and decide to have a bit of fun - trolling people on StackOverflow with questions about the best way to become a lion tamer, for a career programmer.

You hop on over to StackOverflow, but as the page loads, something is clearly wrong. You can't click on anything, all of the questions in the list seem to be related to how to animate blood-effects in Javascript, and red pixels start coming down from the top of the screen. As they dribble down over more and more of the screen, some gaps are left in the middle of the screen which forms words, the "blood" drops flowing around them.

It reads:

Ha ha ha ha ha...
Pathetic newbie programmers, WHERE IS YOUR GOD-OBJECT NOW?
MUA HA HA HA HA!

-The SErial Killer

Terrified, you just sit there staring at the screen, until suddenly it redirects to a terrible, terrible thing and you snap into action, closing the window. You're not sure what exactly is going on, but in a rare moment of genius you realise that "SE" could refer to "Stack Exchange", and decide to see if any other sites on the SE network have been brutally murdered.

As you pull up the network sites page you see that yes, there are some other victims in this heinous crime. With no clues to go on, and nothing but a refined puzzling nose from weeks wast...err, spent on Puzzling.SE, you steel yourself and vow to bring the person or persons responsible for this to justice.

The only question is ... where do you start looking?

A hint for you, to narrow the search:

I didn't spend all that time making a fancy image for nothing you know! Graphics are hard (you can tell because of how cheesy it is :-P)

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ By "where do you start looking", do you mean on which SE site? $\endgroup$ – Scimonster Nov 11 '14 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Scimonster I mean "where do you start looking?" :-) I don't think I need to start narrowing things down just yet. If people struggle with it, I'll consider hints, but I've only just posted it and would like to get a feel for what is and isn't well-scoped $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 16:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ History of Science and Math is not in your picture. Relevant or did you just take the screenshot a few days ago? $\endgroup$ – Martin Ender Nov 11 '14 at 16:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MartinBüttner irrelevant. I took the screenshot in the last 48 hours, but there are no sites deliberately missing $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 16:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Seems like the multiple part puzzles are starting to catch on. $\endgroup$ – michaelpri Nov 11 '14 at 19:07

12 Answers 12

42
$\begingroup$

Moderators. The "killed" sites are StackOverflow, Ask Different, MathOverflow, Reverse Engineering, Robotics, and Travel. The capital letters of the names of the "killed sites" are SOADMORERT, which when you jumble, you get MODERATORS.

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Oooh, I think this one might be it. It seems too convenient to be a coincidence. (Also, it fits the title.) $\endgroup$ – Doorknob Nov 12 '14 at 3:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You cast your eyes over the the list of murdered sites, and in your best Scottish accent you announce "Och! There's bin a murrrrrrder, and ah nae where ahm going tae look!" (OOC: Sorry, Scotland). (IC) Tentatively, you click through to the Moderators stack and realise that yes, you have come to the right place, but you almost wish you hadn't... $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 12 '14 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ (OOC) Well done on the right answer, I'm glad someone picked up on that :-) I'll post part 2 in a little while - I've got to head off to work any moment $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 12 '14 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ Fell asleep before I could unscramble it. Well done, and it gives me a little tickle to know I was at least on the right track :) $\endgroup$ – lc. Nov 12 '14 at 8:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ :/ Those capital letters were the first thing I looked at, and I just didn't see the anagram. +1 for being less blind! $\endgroup$ – Martin Ender Nov 12 '14 at 11:09
19
$\begingroup$

Yeah, it's been answered, but what the hell.

An important part of any murder mystery is the murder weapon. Finding that often gives you a solid lead. Based on the copious blood, and the fact that the icons remain intact, we can hypothesise that they were stabbed, so we're looking for something sharp. TeX-LaTeX has a pair of those nasty braces, SuperUser has a nose that tapers to a point and you could definitely do somebody a mischief if you flew Arqade into them.

But wait!

Travel's icon is missing. And with three points, it's a murder weapon just waiting to happen. But it'd be difficult to use - it's evidentially not made to be held comfortably. Which leads us to Role Playing Games, who I posit took the feat Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Travel Icon) and took down some of his friends in a Pathfinder session gone horribly wrong.

Bonus pun:

'Die' indeed. Looks like their saving rolls came up snake eyes.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (OOC) I wish I could upvote this more times. I really wish I could ^_^ $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 12 '14 at 9:56
7
$\begingroup$

Travel seems to be the oddball in the group, and as pointed out in a comment by Martin, it has no icon and name in the background, unlike the others. So I'd say go to the site Travel and find out what's up. I'd also put some sort of monitor on "Server Fault", "Super User", and "Programmers" and any other software type sites.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Note that Travel isn't just the only one that's thematically far from the others, it's also the only one whose icon and background colour are missing in the picture. $\endgroup$ – Martin Ender Nov 11 '14 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ True I'm gonna edit that in @Martin $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 11 '14 at 16:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You try to visit the Travel.SE site, but things are even worse there - you get the same blood effects, but as you read the message, the page redirects to something awful (har har). You don't notice any unusual activity on the other software sites - is everyone but you blind to what's going on here? $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 16:28
7
$\begingroup$

I'd look in

Graphic Design, because these blood graphics are too pretty. Graphics are really hard! Plus their name is red, like blood.

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ You decide that the narrator is absolutely freaking amazing at graphics, despite his warnings to the contrary. In a blissful, happy-go-lucky mood you trot off to the Graphic Design stack, where you see 19 of the first 20 questions are by some mug called Joe asking how to do basic things like take screenshots, change the colour to red in Photoshop and so on, and the last is him trying to bribe someone else to do it with chocolate. You feel like you should recognise the name, but it eludes you... you return to the main stack a little confused as to why you ever went there $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 12 '14 at 8:04
4
$\begingroup$

Android Enthusiasts. GOD OBJECT related to object-oriented-programming which means Java. And Android main language is Java.

$\endgroup$
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ You go to the Android Enthusiasts site. Four hours and eight cups of delicious java coffee later, you feel that you're not really accomplishing much apart from realising just how much fun it would be to work in a Google Bakery making Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwiches all day (OOC: God Object is just a programming twist on "Where is your god now?") $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 16:24
4
$\begingroup$

Maybe a little bit obvious but..

If I need to find where is the GOD, I could start searching in christianity

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ You feel a little pious. A light shines down on you from above and you hear choral music. As you start browsing Christianity.SE, you feel at peace with yourself, until you realise your mum is stood behind you with a touch and CD player. "Not again, mum!", you cry, and she apologises. "I'm just trying to keep your spirits up, dearie - it looks like your deep in thought and I thought this might help". She ambles off, and you go back to try again. Maybe this whole God thing is a bit of a distraction, even if it was a good idea $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 22:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Joe, I would scared to death if that happens. $\endgroup$ – Emi987 Nov 11 '14 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe: That's a very nice story telling! I guess you're experienced in board games? haha [@moderators: sorry for using this comment for unrelated comment! =p] $\endgroup$ – justhalf Nov 12 '14 at 6:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Btw what does OOC stand for? $\endgroup$ – justhalf Nov 12 '14 at 8:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @justhalf (OOC) Out of character (and IC is in character). I just felt like keeping the flavour of the puzzle running through the comments, it's a bit different to just going "nope, nope, nope" at everything :-) $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 12 '14 at 9:31
4
$\begingroup$

From the picture I think its clear that (well....ugh only after the hint though)

Robotics

is the place to look because

Thats where it says "we will conquer" but in other places it says Die

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ You pull up the Robotics stack, confident of discovering something. Unfortunately, it seems like all you discover is another murdered site, which redirects your browser to something which doesn't bear linking about. You close your browser in disgust, but appreciate that if nothing else, at least it was technically on topic for the Robotics stack $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 12 '14 at 8:00
3
$\begingroup$

Where do you start looking?

The web inspector of your navigator. Since it's a JavaScript, you will have access to the source code since it's download by the browser and that's the first place you should be looking for clues. Maybe it is probably an extern script and you'll maybe see the domain origin!

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ You pull up the console - AHA! A message from the person or persons responsible! It says "You are far too caught up in the window dressing to find us!", followed by a syntax error. You get the feeling that you're far too caught up in the window dressing and decide to treat the puzzle more like a typical puzzle. Maybe the internet isn't just for geeks who know their stuff $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 21:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Joe Damn, life as non-geek sucks :( $\endgroup$ – Karl-André Gagnon Nov 11 '14 at 21:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (OOC) You're just too clever for your own good :-) $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 21:40
3
$\begingroup$

HSM (History Science and Math) has apparently been taken over or deleted altogether in an effort by the newly self-aware robots who "will conquer" to keep the necessary knowledge from us to do anything about it (as well as most of the 'programing' sites). I immediately search Robotics for clues to help me find the lost HSM.SE site and try to discover what they are attempting to hide from me.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You have it, you're sure of it! Some sites aren't there, it has to be right! (OOC) For some reason, 2 sites don't appear for me at all in the list. They're not missing intentionally, I just can't get then, not sure why. Martin spotted this in the comments on the OP. Sorry (IC) Verily, you are disappointed that the narrator broke character because he's about to go to bed $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 23:28
2
$\begingroup$

You should probably put up a support request in stackapps so that more people will be aware and working on the problem, a wild wild guess

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's not anywhere near that literal. There are clues in the question (one really big clue) to solve $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe are you up for the day (I know its pretty early) if you are have a look at my other answer $\endgroup$ – skv Nov 12 '14 at 7:05
2
$\begingroup$

Start looking in

Web Applications or Webmasters

Because

a) All the questions were about animating blood in javascript
b) The blood comes from the top (both are on the top of the all sites page)

Comedy reason

3) Web coders can never figure anything out on their own, there is probably a post that reads "how me hack a SE website?"

Alternate Answer:

Look on your own computer, if nobody else has noticed, it's probably your local machine that's hacked, and not SE.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You have an epiphany moment - if you plotted a front end developer and a serial killer on to a Venn diagram, there'd be an unreal amount of overlap, you'd better check them out. Unfortunately, they seem just as confused as you, and all the questions are people wondering whether they've unwittingly helped a dangerous individual. Then you feel a bit chagrined at your bias against web developers - years of IE6 could do that to anyone. You decide to keep looking around. $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 21:34
2
$\begingroup$

Meta-stack exchange

That's where you find out what's up.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You jump on to the meta stack, but as soon as you get there, you realise you've been down this road before - a support request on the StackApps was too literal and not puzzley enough, you feel sure this is too. Rather than spend your time here contributing to the many valuable and worthwhile posts that everyone else should definitely check out, you know your true mission is more important. You keep searching, trying to make sense of where that funny image came from and what on earth it might be telling you. $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 22:59

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.