My friend's talking snake came to me and asked: "Do you want to get rich?" I said "Yes."

Then it told me "I know a place, if you take me there, I will rob from there for you." I asked "Where is that place?". He answered: "I will take you there." Then it told me:

This place is a magical place. It has "Berries each of 9 gram HISSS, Johan Arfvedson found it HISSS, He is second noble person HISSS, and that's start of me HISSS Main thing don't move a degree away from your target, don't waste a minute or second and stay in your direction "

Then it continued:

"This not found where you are looking so add a century to it, they call him Rubi his face is silvery white HISSS, but becomes black in one form and transparent in another form HISSS, he was the first of the hidden lanthano warrior HISSS, and that's end of me HISSS main thing don't move a degree away from your target, don't waste a minute or second and stay in your direction"

Where should I take my friend's snake so that it can rob and make me rich?

  • $\begingroup$ +100 bounty from my side to correct answer with proper explanation after two days for sure.. $\endgroup$
    – Amruth A
    Aug 30, 2016 at 12:00
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    $\begingroup$ nowhere. Robbery is illegal so you'll totally get arrested for being an accomplice. ((Had to comment this xD)) $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2016 at 17:51
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand either. Some people just downvote for the sake of it. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2016 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ Upvotes and downvotes are assessments of quality, not of effort. There's no particular reason why a question someone put a lot of effort into shouldn't be downvoted, if the downvoter thinks it's still a bad question despite the effort. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Aug 31, 2016 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ Although I solved this and picked up a nice quantity of rep for doing so, I have to confess I don't think it's a great question. It's kinda arbitrary to turn chemical elements into degrees, minutes and seconds (and the way it's hinted at is likewise kinda arbitrary); the clues to the individual elements are really too straightforward; the framing story doesn't make much sense (is there any particular connection between talking snakes and chemical elements, map references, or Papua New Guinea?). Of course this is a matter of taste and others may disagree. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


So the point here seems to be to treat each of the snake's cryptic utterances as leading to

a chemical element

and then combine these to get

a map reference in degrees, minutes and seconds (deriving the numbers from the elements' atomic numbers).

The first set:

"Berries each of 9 gram": Beryllium (sounds like berries, atomic weight is 9)
"Johan Arfvedson found it": Lithium (well, he did)
"He is second noble person": Neon (second of the noble gases -- though the "He" at the start of this clue is a bit distracting)

which presumably indicates

that one of our coordinates is 4 degrees 3 minutes 10 seconds.

The second:

"This is not found where you are looking so add a century to it": I guess we need to add 100 to the degrees, or something like that.
"they call him Rubi his face is silvery white": Rubidium
"black in one form and transparent in another": Carbon
"the first of the hidden lanthano warrior": presumably lanthanum (note: the underlying Greek word means "hidden") though I don't understand where warriors come into it

leading us to

137 degrees 6 minutes 57 seconds.

Now, there are some degrees (ha!) of freedom here because

each could be north or south, east or west (but the first has to be N/S and the second E/W because north/south angles only go from -90 to +90). I find that I land in the sea unless I take the first to be south and the second east.

In that case I get to

Papua New Guinea, near to a mountain called Puncak Jaya. It's not clear what there would be there to steal. Looking at the Google Maps satellite view, it looks as if there's an opencast mine or something at the stated coordinates. ... Aha, it's the Grasberg mine which is the world's largest gold mine. I suppose the snake is proposing to steal some gold.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice !!very close it is not ocean .. $\endgroup$
    – Amruth A
    Aug 30, 2016 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ (is it right now?) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ what, _s_tart versus _e_nd? Hmmmmm. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Aug 30, 2016 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ start of snake is 's' and end is 'e' so it for south and east $\endgroup$
    – Amruth A
    Aug 30, 2016 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ Enjoyed your stream-of-consciousness solving. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2016 at 17:48

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