Remember I told you that I am slowly turning eccentric? Well, turns out, it's worse than I had imagined. See, writing some random words on a piece of paper is one thing, and taking apart the hands of a brand new, perfectly functioning clock for no apparent reason, putting them inside a passcode-protected safe, and then forgetting entirely about that password is another. And guess what? That's exactly what I did. Genius, right?

To make matters worse, the wall is a complete mess with all sorts of random papers and post-it notes. I could deal with that, I've learned to live with that by now; but the clock! I need those hands! I know they are inside that safe, but until I manage to remember the four letter code, time won't change for me. Which is bad. Very, very bad.

I tried to guess the code though; if my feeble memory is to be trusted, it's composed of two words, and it's something to do with...Pagodas? I...I dunno.

Now you're my only hope. To make your job easier, I have attached a photo of my wall.


Also, here are the close-ups of those papers:1, 2, 3, because, y'know, just in case. And here's the text version of everything in here, so that you don't have a chance to whine "ugh, transcription".

I'm counting on you. Can you figure out the 4-letter passcode for me?

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe colors around clock -> hex -> text, but no idea if it will be worth it. I would also probably place 1-8 answers into Clock grid (notice small 1 and small 8 there), but no idea how to get over text, since nothing fits so far :/ $\endgroup$
    – Jan Ivan
    Jun 1, 2017 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


Part 1: Solving the Clues


Each of the right-hand side clues leads to a 4-letter phrase. The left-hand side gives you another clue to the same phrase, but each word is clued separately. For instance, in clue 8, "Country" is LAND, and "belonging to me" is MINE. This makes a LAND MINE, something that explodes.

User Manual

These are simple cryptic clues. As the phone number suggests, the answers are all four letters.

List of solutions


1. F(A + K)E
3. C_ + HID
4. DEAL*
5. _BACH_
6. (-c)LICK(-s)
7. _FLEA_
8. EG + A + D_



Part 2: "Navigating" the clock

By two of the corners on the clock, we see the numbers 1-8. We can write the Octashop receipt answers along the rows of the grid, nicely filling every square.

The answers from the clock manual are all four letters - but they're also all only letters between A and L. This, combined with "A-One", hints that they should be converted to numbers on the clock.

Use those words to draw a path. For instance, here is the path for FAKE:

enter image description here

It intersects itself on the A in SACK RACE. In fact, every path intersects itself - and not just that, but the intersection happens exactly once, and on a specific letter.

These letters spell the word AEROFOIL.

Part 3: Doing some Math

Or rather, reading something that looks vaguely like math if you squint.

As the paper hints, "the shaded cells are already filled in because of a result of Clock et al...". We can write the word AEROFOIL into the grid's shaded squares. Then, the set gives us the "row-wise values" - that is, the words reading across the grid.

(Of course, sets are orderless, so we have to figure out what parts of the clue go in which rows.)

Filling in the grid fully gives:


The paper says that the solution is on the secondary diagonal: reading from top right to bottom left gives us the passcode, A GOD. (It's a substring of PAGODA!)

Amusing easter eggs

  • The abbreviation "Anko" in the Octashop receipt has four letters, like all the clue answers.
  • "Wisemann" sounds like "wise man", which we'd hope a puzzle solver would be.
  • Unless a "Wisemann grid" is significantly different than a regular one, the theorem is clearly false - there are two ways to color a grid as a checkerboard.
  • The "lorem ipsum" text in at the bottom of the sheet seems to be slightly different from the usual. I don't know if this has any meaning - it's left out of the transcriptions, and could just be an artifact of the lipsum package in $\LaTeX$.
  • The "math" starts at page 4, section 4.
  • $\begingroup$ @Sp3000: Ooh, nice find. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jun 1, 2017 at 15:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ -1, too much time elapsed between posting of complex puzzle and posting of its solution, and solution is not clear or complete. What is PSE coming to? $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Jun 1, 2017 at 15:19

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