Chat. I've created a chat room in case anyone wish to discuss this further.

Preface. This is the first time I'm creating a puzzle. Since I find enjoyment in science and technology, the series of puzzles I'll be creating will revolve around such topics. I might provide warning as a form of hint when technical knowledge are required. Fret not, it would not be too advance. I hope you will enjoy solving them.

Background. Professor Swannie Taco is a genius in most fields of science and technology. She is probably hated by her parents, and her name is a perfect evidence. After Swannie went missing a few months ago, strange letters from her kept appearing on her G+ account. Nobody knows who exactly post these messages, nor understand the content of these seemingly cryptic memo.


1. For this particular puzzle, the only information required to solve it is the post.
2. Knowledge of programming is not required. The necessary ideas are given as clues.
3. At one part of the puzzle, some ideas are simplified. You'll know when you reach it.
4. The "more" links on hints are for interested nerds who want to explore more. It is not required.


1. She is knowledgeable in physical science and computer science.
2. GNU stands for GNU is Not Unix. More
3. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it might not be a duck. More
4. Since physics is fun, reciprocate frequently.
5. Again, she love physical science, you know, like chemistry. More
7. To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion. More
8. Imaginary number squared produces negative one. More

Overview. It was a few months after Professor Swannie went missing, when suddenly, she posted a riddle her G+ page, which seemingly tries to predict the doomsday.

Post. Definition of dynamite: Imaginary For all cases, functions are not sensitive... Every iteration, a year went by... When the next struck, doomsday shall arrive... I shall overturn this world through my wisdom of science...

Task. Figure out the date of her predicted doomsday.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Take a look at clue 4. Might help. $\endgroup$
    – user5508
    Nov 16, 2014 at 14:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @A E It looks like an IP address and port, and port 52 is "Time Protocol". That might either be a huge coincidence, or it's a server you can somehow connect to. $\endgroup$
    – crgsqdmn
    Nov 16, 2014 at 18:03
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ 66,7,95,53,52 are the atomic numbers in the made up (imaginary?) chemical compound DyNAmITe. $\endgroup$
    – aschepler
    Nov 17, 2014 at 1:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @mdc32 I just went with "what if the numbers are atomic numbers?" and there it was. $\endgroup$
    – aschepler
    Nov 17, 2014 at 2:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Every iteration, a year went by..." made me think of this: xkcd.com/505 :) $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2014 at 2:47

4 Answers 4


Is it in four years? 'When the next struck' I interpreted as 'when dynamite is dynamite again'. Every year the function is applied. After one year dynamite becomes i * dynamyte. after two years i * i * dynamite = -1 * dynamite. After three years i * -1 * dynamyte = -i * dynamite. After four years i * -i * dynamite = dynamite again.

  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right track... Just tell me the exact date. You can leave out the year if you want, but you can just assume its the day you're doing this puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – user5508
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ Argh! You beat me by less than a minute! :-) $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor great minds think alike :) $\endgroup$
    – Ivo
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @nexolute - You could post an answer with your intended solution, just for interest's sake. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 15:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @randal'thor I will write one to explain everything now. In the meantime, I've already posted the second part of this puzzle. You can check it out. :D $\endgroup$
    – user5508
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:27

Is the answer

16 November 2018?

As @aschepler already noticed, the numbers give


so we have

Definition of dynamite: Imaginary DyNAmITe. Functions are not case-sensitive, so (dynamite) = $i$*(dynamite). Iterate to get $i^2$, $i^3$, and so on. "Every iteration, a year went by" - so it takes a year to get from each power of $i$ to the next. To get back to where we started, we need 4 iterations ($i^4=1$), so 4 years from when the puzzle was posted.

I can't figure out how reciprocals and trig functions factor into this... It seems to fit all the clues except 4 and 6.

  • $\begingroup$ You're late by a minute. Great work though. $\endgroup$
    – user5508
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:12

Here is my expected solution, which I did not reinforce it because I think I did not lead you properly to this answer. The spirit of the chosen answer remains the same.

Doomsday occured at:

29 February 2016

To figure this out, first realize that:

The IP address is not actually an IP address, its just atomic number in disguise (hence the duck and chemistry hint). It will spell out DyNAmITe.

And then:

Because its case-insensitive (from the actual post), dynamite := imaginary dynamite. Such definition is recursive (hence the bunch of recursion hint, such as GNU), we expand it. Look at the accepted answer for detailed explaination.

Finally, we link them all up:

Most of the clue is trying to bring upon one word, period. Well, you might think period is a clue for periodic table, it is just a coincident (or is it), but it actually refer to the period in the math and physics sense. Every iteration a year went pass, so something with period of 4 years will be the leap year. Of course, leap year don't strictly occurs once every 4 years, hence the clarification I made that indicates I simplify certain stuff. Here is an algorithm to determine if your year is a leap year.

  • $\begingroup$ What about reciprocals and trig functions (hints 4 and 6)? $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 15:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Reciprocals of frequency is period, and those trig functions are periodic functions. $\endgroup$
    – user5508
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:41


There is no doomsday.


As aschepler pointed out, The numbers refer to the compound DyNAmITe. If Dynamite is defined as negative DyNAmITe (ignoring case in the function not sensitive to it), the list will never iterate to the next value. It's a recursive loop. Doomsday will never arrive.

  • $\begingroup$ You got the case insensitive part right, and treating dynamite as a function is absolutely correct too. But dynamite is defined as IMAGINARY dynamite, not negative. You're on the right track through, answer is indeed a date. $\endgroup$
    – user5508
    Nov 18, 2014 at 2:31

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