# A “Puzzling” Cipher

I thought I'd put together a simple cipher for all of you Puzzling lovers out there. If you need help, you can always look to the wisdom of the past for guidance. The answer is a single word, and each number below corresponds to a single character:

6, 7, 56, 10, 62, 21, 1, 43, 19, 27, 28, 61, 35, 48


Good luck!

Off by one errors abound:
Apparently I need to go back to primary school and learn how to count again.
All the numbers above 21 in the original puzzle were 1 too small. I've fixed the list, updated it, and double checked my counting this time, so it should be solvable now.

Hint 1:

Like any good puzzle, this relies on the wisdom of those who have come before, reaching back to the earliest foundations.

Hint 2:

While a society may define themselves by their wealth or status, what really counts is their overall character and the questions they ask.

Hint 3:

What do we really want? Fame and reputation are fine, but it's the title's we earn that are worth the most.

• Is the solution word actually 14 non-repeating letters of the alphabet? – Dr t Dec 12 '17 at 19:57
• @Drt There are repeated letters in the final solution. With my method of encoding, each natural number (to a certain limit that will be clear upon solving) corresponds to a single letter, but each letter is represented by multiple numbers. – DqwertyC Dec 12 '17 at 20:04
• Edited my answer after Hint 2 ... I feel like I'm even closer, but still not quite there yet. – Rand al'Thor Dec 15 '17 at 17:38
• darn just realized this was never solved – Quintec Feb 14 '18 at 1:53
• @thecoder16 Yeah, there were some issues... It is doable (since I caught the off by one error), but it is also a bit of a mess. The "timey wimey sci-pher", published a bit later, revisited the same concept, but was better executed. – DqwertyC Feb 14 '18 at 14:36

My guess, based on "look to the wisdom of the past for guidance" and strengthened enough to post an answer by the new hint, is that these numbers represent

early Puzzling.SE users with those numbers as user IDs.

6, 7, 55, 10, 61, 21, 1, 42, 19, 26, 27, 60, 34, 47

But I can't see how to turn each of those names into a letter. Maybe it's

6, 7, 55, 10, 61, 21, 1, 42, 19, 26, 27, 60, 34, 47

Edit after OP's comment: OK, it's

not post ID but question count that matters. Looking at this list of the 145 oldest questions on the site, we can pick out the ones indicated.

6, 7, 55, 10, 61, 21, 1, 42, 19, 26, 27, 60, 34, 47

Edit after Hint 2: now we should probably

count characters in these posts: the 6th in question #6, the 7th in question #7, the 55th in question #55, and so on.

Including spaces? Including markdown formatting like >? Including title text? I can't actually figure out any way to count which gives a meaningful answer.

• You're definitely on the right track, though I'll admit I didn't understand how the numbering of posts worked, so the path to the relevant information isn't as straightforward as putting the numbers into the URL. If I do a future puzzle in a similar vein, I'll keep that in mind. – DqwertyC Dec 14 '17 at 17:43
• Maybe it refers to posts created by DqwertyC themself. – J. Siebeneichler Dec 15 '17 at 17:21
• "not post ID but question count" what's "question count"? – FireCubez Nov 22 '18 at 10:22
• @FireCubez Count of questions. – Rand al'Thor Nov 22 '18 at 10:26
• ?? How ca you identify the questions by the count of questions – FireCubez Nov 22 '18 at 10:47

CONUNDROPHILIA

an apparently nonexistent word, but one which clearly means, "love of puzzles", and relates to the question title.

I solved the puzzle by:

building on the discovery of @Rand al'Thor (with the help of hints from the OP) that the numbers in the puzzle refer to sequential numbers of questions historically asked on the site (e.g., the oldest question asked is #1, second-oldest is #2, etc.). These numbers are different from the question 'post ID' numbers.

I took the number of letters in the titles of each of these questions (including spaces), and converted to the corresponding letter of the alphabet, after performing a mod26 to put the numbers into the range 1-26. As an example, the title of the first of these (100 Prisoners' Names in Boxes) has 29 letters, including spaces. With a mod26, this becomes 3, which corresponds to C. So the first letter in the answer is 'C'.

The 14 questions corresponding to the 14 numbers given by the OP are the following, in order used (6, 7, 56, 10, 62, 21, 1, 43, 19, 27, 28, 61, 35, 48):

100 Prisoners' Names in Boxes
Learning to Solve a River Crossing Puzzle
Burning ropes as timers - How many time intervals can be measured?
How many chess pieces does it take to "cover" all spaces on a chessboard?
Are there any puzzles/riddles left from ancient times, to which no answer is known nowadays?
Strategy for speedsolving 2048
Are there "rules" (or consistent conventions) that limit when the NY Times Crossword can deviate from rotational symmetry?
Magic square with the position of 8 fixed
What is the largest tile possible in 2048?
MPire coloring game basic strategy
How to avoid getting “stuck” while generating sudoku puzzles?
What is the fewest number of filled-in squares required to uniquely define a magic square?
How to determine if a Rubik's Cube is sufficiently scrambled?
Removing numbers from a full sudoku puzzle to create one with a unique solution

Note that there are some slight discrepancies in the current sequential numbering of some of these questions, perhaps due to deletion of past questions occurring sometime after the OP created the puzzle.

• @DqwertyC - I posted an answer to this question one year ago. When you have a chance, could you please take a look at it? Cheers. – Lanny Strack Apr 17 at 12:10