I come to you with a puzzle that supposedly can be solved without knowing much about Harry Potter.

It has been driving my friend and I completely insane, as we cannot seem to make progress.

Here is the page with the puzzle. All the clues are described there, and supposedly the answer is a set of coordinates.


The diary image links to


In the page with the Diary, you can type into the page on the left hand side.

And the right side spits out results.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Wait, this is some Harry Potter thing and you're asking us to ... type stuff into a diary and read what comes back? Oh, this is not going to end well. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 1 '17 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ ... Ah, I see, that's actually a deliberate reference by the puzzle creator, which makes my attempt at joking about it less funny. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 1 '17 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ this isnt relevant but "hello" triggers "Greetings." and "what is your name" triggers "My name is Tom Riddle. What's yours?" $\endgroup$ – pie314271 Mar 1 '17 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah. So does "My name is Tom Riddle". I'd hoped the creator might have anticipated some such things and put in a funny response. Also, anything containing unescaped quotation marks is rejected. I briefly hoped this might lead to a code injection attack :-) but it seems not. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 1 '17 at 2:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Unorthodox but excellent use of the "riddle" tag here, by the way. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 1 '17 at 2:55

Partial Solution

As noted in some comments, there are certain phrases that give interesting results when input to the diary. "Diadem" and "Dragon" give some interesting answers back.

Of particular interest is this:

Following up on the text for "dragon", which references "liondragons" or, as they're also known in the Potterverse, "Chinese Fireballs" ...
enter image description here

Next up:

Following clues for "Diadem", which mentions disambiguation, leads me to walking the Wikipedia disambiguation page for Diadem. Eventually, the reference to Diademed Monkey gave a diary response that suggests a "different celestial body", which takes me to "Diadem (star)", the diary response for which suggests using the full proper name. Hence: enter image description here

From the Geocaching page for the search challenge,

we find provided coordinates (need geocaching.com account to view) -
N 39° 03.506 W 077° 15.733
Note it is specified that these are not the actual coordinates, so are presumably a starting point to find the actual coordinates.

Using the diary's text,

"Chinese Fireball" gives an algorithm to find the coordinates; it tells us we'll need:
- "the key, 13 digits hidden in some text"
- some "numbers...originally posted" which need to be decrypted
- a "secret passphrase...with the same number of characters as the encrypted numbers"

We have the key (1026042050833, from text for Alpha Comae Berenices).
We have the posted numbers (3903506 07715733 - provided coordinates) - 15 digits.
The passphrase should be something with 15 characters; the diary hints at "Chinese Fireball", but following the algorithm in that text gives coordinates in the ocean off the coast of Newfoundland.

We seem to be missing just that one remaining piece.

What other 15 letter passphrase might it be? Things I've tried that don't appear to work:

  • $\begingroup$ As noted below, "The child is the key". That phrase is 16 characters, and Harry James Potter is also 16 characters.. Tom Marvolo Riddle is also 16 characters.. Any idea which child is being referenced? $\endgroup$ – mkinson Mar 1 '17 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I just noticed that above you've listed it as N 39 degrees, but W 077 degrees. Is this intentional, or is the address missing a 0? $\endgroup$ – mkinson Mar 1 '17 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ I've listed it exactly as it is given in the original posting (and in what I am led to understand is the standard notation for these things). For reasons stated, I don't believe we want a 16 character phrase. (Of course I may be wrong.) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 1 '17 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ Last comment.. Above people mention seeing "Twistleton Scar". If you remove then 0 from the West then you're down to 14 characters which matches that name. $\endgroup$ – mkinson Mar 1 '17 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ Already addressed here. That seems very unlikely to be an important answer. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 1 '17 at 12:35

Ok, from asking random questions I got a response that says he has two or three interests he likes to occupy his mind on at any given time.

When prompted to give your name he asks if you have red hair, which then lead me to ask about Weasley's.

From there you get the reference to dragons. When asking about dragons you get the Liondragons (Chinese Fireball Dragon) and a reference to Transfiguration.

Say Chinese Fireball and you get a reference to Runes, "Fireball Cipher", a 13 digit key assigned to letters a-m, and then again n-z. There's a secret passphrase "could have been anything with the same number of characters as the encrypted numbers", and then use the key to translate the numbers.

If you ask about interests he talks about Divinations and how his professor muttered "The child is the key".

At that point I'm a bit stuck as I'm headed to bed. Good luck.


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