Another old puzzle I dug up from my creations: this time I'll try and add in a bit of story, too. I'll try my best not to throw in any undue red herrings.


"Hey, [insert name here]! It's me, Gwen! Remember me?"

Your mind races momentarily, then it clicks. Gwen, the daughter of one of the world's richest men, is a famous socialite who you once met at a party. What on earth could she possibly want with you? "Uh... yeah, of course. Hi!"

"I remember you told me that you solve puzzles. Well, I could really use your help right now. I'm going to email you a couple of photos..." You hear some clicking in the background, and you call up your inbox immediately. Opening her email, you see these:



She continues, "My dad gave me these solid gold zodiac coins for my 21st birthday, and told me that if I managed to uncover their secret, I would be able to access the family vault! I tried but failed to do so, but if you can help me out then these coins are yours!"

It is true you are good at puzzles, but that isn't the most lucrative career option and a collection of 12 solid gold coins is too hard to resist. You resolve to unlock whatever secrets these coins hold...

1. The pictures are really all you need for the puzzle. There are no hidden clues or hints in the story-line.
2. The back of the coins match the front in alignment, i.e. "Libra knew he would never beat the Twins." is on the back of the Capricorn coin, etc.
3. Some basic knowledge of the 12 zodiac signs will be required.


3 Answers 3


The order of signs in the race has already been found by Dennis. Building on his findings, the password is:


From the clues on the coins we know that ...

... the count of the letters in the names of the signs is important. We also know which clue belongs to which sign.

The password can be found by taking the letter from the clue that corresponds to the length of the name. For example, Capricorn has nine letters and the clue starts with "Libra knew that ...". The important letter here is the 9th letter from the clue, w.

This yields:

Sagittarius: Taurus saw speedy Cancer pass at the last minute
Cancer: The Crab lost only to the archer
Taurus: A clue sometimes offers more than one hint
Virgo: Slow steady Pisces won four others
Aries: Even winning Aries did not make Virgo happy
Gemini: The shortest name came last
Libra: Waterbearer narrowly beat the Lion
Pisces: The mad Bull beat the virgin easily
Scorpio: Running all the way, the Twins almost caught the Ram
Capricorn: Libra knew he would never beat the twins
Aquarius: Count the letters in the names
Leo: Lonely Capricorn was between Scorpio and Aquarius

Put this together and get:

Password Gwen

  • $\begingroup$ And there we go! That didn't take too long, congratulations! $\endgroup$
    – Xenocacia
    Sep 22, 2016 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ (Sorry about my transcription error, should have double-checked that. I've overtyped your edit. I hope you don't mind.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Sep 22, 2016 at 6:20

Partial Answer:

So, from the clues on the back of the coins, we get hints of some sort of race among the zodiac signs (e.g. "Libra knew he'd never beat the twins" implies that Gemini did better than Libra). Reading the clues in order, we know the following details:

  • Gemini beat Libra
  • (used with 6th clue)
  • Taurus beat Virgo
  • Virgo beat Aries
  • (among other things, used with 7th clue)
  • Leo came last
  • Sagittarius won, and Cancer was second
  • Capricorn was between Scorpio and Aquarius
  • Pisces was 8th (I'm interpreting "won four others" as doing better than four of the zodiac signs)
  • Aquarius (barely) beat Leo
  • Aries (barely) beat Gemini
  • Cancer (barely) beat Taurus
Using those hints, I get the following ordering:
  1. Sagittarius
  2. Cancer
  3. Taurus
  4. Virgo
  5. Aries
  6. Gemini
  7. Libra
  8. Pisces
  9. Scorpio
  10. Capricorn
  11. Aquarius
  12. Leo
That's as far as I've gotten, and I haven't even checked to see if this is the only possible ordering (though the ordering is consistent with my interpretation of the clues)


The crab lost only to the Archer

Sagitarius was first, cancer was 2nd

The Shortest name came last

Leo was 12th

Slow Stead Pisces won 4 others

Pisces was 8th

Lonely Capricorn was between Scorpio and Aquarius and water-bearer narrowly beat the Lion

Scorio was 9th, Capricorn 10th, Aquarius 11th

Taurus say speedy cancer pass at the last moment

Taurus is after Cancer (3rd)

Running All the way the twins nearly caught the ram

Gemini follows Taurus (4th)

Libra knew he would never beat the twins, The mad bull beat the virgin easily, Even winning Aries did not make virgo happy

These tell me Aries is ahead of virgo but doesn't really give the order of the last three that I can see

A clue sometimes gives more then one hint

Not sure what to do with this

Count the letters in the names.

There are still 3 I'm not sure about but they all have the same name length
1 Sagitarius (10)
2 Cancer (6)
3 Taurus (6)
4 Gemini (6)
5 Aries/Libra (5)
6 Virgo/Aries/Libra (5)
7 Virgo/Aries/Libra (5)
8 Pisces (6)
9 Scorpio (7)
10 Capricorn (9)
11 Aquarius (8)
12 Leo (3)

So we have

10,6,6,6,5,5,5,6,7,9,8,3 and this is as far as I've gotten. I think the numbers will link back to words/letters in the hints possibly but haven't cracked it yet.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't agree with your conclusion in "Libra knew he would never beat the twins, The mad bull beat the virgin easily, Even winning Aries did not make virgo happy"; did you by any chance mix up the bull (Taurus) with the ram (Aries)? $\endgroup$ Sep 22, 2016 at 4:21

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