Here is an easy one for you all folks!

121201221 = easy
12121022222211012 = ???

Understand how the first statement is true so you may figure out what ??? is in the second statement might be.


Hints are important to define the boundaries of a puzzle. And without proper boundaries, there is no hope of a proper solution.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Better add a hint earlier else the question will move to too broad section. BTW, does ??? mean its a 3 letter word? $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not entirely sure about that. There can't be many plausible ways to map 121201221 to EASY. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought that with too much explanations or hints that the puzzle would be way too easy. But I got downvoted withing 5 seconds and my puzzle that took me 30 minutes to build up vanished into nothingness. So I edited a little. I hope it won't be too easy now. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2016 at 12:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @lois6b it is a real hint but written in a cryptic way that won't give it away too easily(and make it more fun too) $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2016 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ Unless it is a hint, there might be a typo in the title. $\endgroup$
    – Matsmath
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


The answer is:


How I solved it:

• Convert each letter to a corresponding number, A=1, B=2,..., Z=26
• Convert the number to ternary (base 3) system. Did that because the number only contained digits 0,1,2.
• 12=5=E, 1=1=A, 201=19=S, 221=25=Y.
• Now the tricky part was to break down the second set of numbers in a way so it forms a coherent word and there are multiple ways of doing so.
• In the previous word 221 was letter Y, so pretty obvious that 222 was Z. Two Z in the middle.
The next letter could be 1=1=A, 11=4=D or 110=12=L.
If its L the last 12 becomes an E.
Pretty easy to figure out the first two letters after that.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I immediately noticed second conversion you made, but I wasn't seeing how to separate it >.< $\endgroup$
    – dcfyj
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I thought it was easy, but that was faster than expected... Good job! $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2016 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Apologies for the poor formatting. Still new here and having trouble with the spoiler formatting. $\endgroup$
    – quarkle
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ @dcfyj The 222222 in the middle of the number caught my attention. I might have taken much longer if it was another word. $\endgroup$
    – quarkle
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:36
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ it is only one of the answers: ABABCBBBBBBACAB is valid too, even though it does not mean anything. $\endgroup$
    – njzk2
    Oct 25, 2016 at 17:07

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