One day, in the future, a magician wants to show that he can see the future.
To prove this, he shows the next world cup winner.
The world cup is entering half quarter final, so there are 8 countries competing.
He creates 3 4x5 tables, and shows it to the public.
But the tables are encrypted, he has the key.
Ha says each table represents a letter, so the 3 tables represent the country code in 3 letters.

enter image description here

He says, he is not showing the country name directly, because it is against the universe law.
He will reveal the name after the final competition.

For example if China is the winner,
after applying his chiper key, to every cell, the tables will seem like this :

enter image description here

The key is checking each cell, if it right the cell will turned red,
and if it wrong the cell will disappear.

Of course this is only his magic trick.
Actually he has put all the 8 countries code to his tables,
he just have to give the right key (he has 8 keys, each key reveal a country) to reveal the winner.

The Question

What are the country codes ?
what are the keys to reveal the countries code ?

  • $\begingroup$ What is that 'ARE' highlighted with red? $\endgroup$
    – EKons
    Sep 2, 2016 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ I take names of the country in random from the link I provide, so all country in the world may appear in my puzzle. $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2016 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ I don't mean the UAE, I mean, is it like, a possible country? $\endgroup$
    – EKons
    Sep 2, 2016 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you find one, See the table in the link I provide it is United Arab Emirates (ARE) $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2016 at 6:58
  • $\begingroup$ I said, is it one of the 8 countries? I saw it's UAE (united ARab Emirates), but my question is different here. $\endgroup$
    – EKons
    Sep 2, 2016 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


I think the following patterns will do it:

Four countries are hidden behind the formatting of the numbers:

Left-aligned numbers give THA (Thailand)

Large-size numbers give PAK (Pakistan)

Underscored numbers give POL (Poland)

Red numbers give ARE (United Arab Emirates)

Other four are related to the values of numbers - actually to the binary representation of those:

Odd numbers give BDI (Burundi)

Numbers with a 1 in the second least significant digit of their binary representation give CRI (Costa Rica) - although the C is not the exact same shape as in the example CHN

Numbers with a 1 in the third least significant digit of their binary representation give FRA (France) - again, the A is different in shape from the ones in THA, PAK and ARE

Numbers larger than 7 give IDN (Indonesia) - the N is differently shaped than in CHN

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ If this is soccer/football, this has got to be the most unlikely set of quarterfinalists ever. THA/BDI/ARE/PAK/IDN collectively have only ever qualified for 2 WCs, have lost all 4 WC games they've played, and two of them are in the bottom 20 ranking-wise in the world. I know it's just a puzzle, of course, but... $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2016 at 13:49

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