It’s a picture puzzle!

enter image description here

Be sure to click the image to enlarge it. To win, you must provide the plaintext AND describe how the cipher works. For example, from what real-world object did this 8-panel symbol come from? What is the underlying logic behind it?

Here are a few hints:

  1. The image reads left to right. When you get to the end of a row, continue to the beginning of the next row.
  2. An X in the plaintext could be an X or a Z.
  3. The following symbol is a D:

enter image description here

This is a cross post from my puzzle blog (link in my profile).


1 Answer 1


I think the plain text is:

To light a candle is to cast a shadow.

Which is:

a quote by author Ursula K. Le Guin.

This is got by:

Each lit block on top = 5. Each lit block on bottom = 1. Add them together to get a number that corresponds to a letter.

followed by the direct relation:

0 = a, 1 = b and so onwards

The symbol is from

The Mengenlehreuhr, or Berlin Clock

The original...

... clock is based on set theory, and many suspect it is the Berlin Clock mentioned in Kryptos K4.

  • $\begingroup$ Great job! One minor thing: A does not equal 1. It equals 0. B=1. >>im guessing from the title its in reference to a CPU/GPU power connection It's really more of a play on words. There's one particular portion of that word that will lead to the symbol origin. If anyone wants to answer the origin question, I can add it to the solution. Also, what famous person said the plaintext? $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2018 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ @TonyYoungblood in that sense yea xD. i just added an extra 1 in my formula to have the letters be one indexed $\endgroup$
    – Nobody
    Jan 23, 2018 at 5:24
  • $\begingroup$ @TonyYoungblood - given that the top row is multiplied by 5, is the real-world origin of this tally marks? $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Jan 23, 2018 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ Gotcha. It's just easier to calculate any given letter with A=0. For example, to know the first symbol is a T, you see three "5" symbols and four "1" symbols. 5+5+5+1+1+1+1= 19. If A is zero, T is 19. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2018 at 5:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Phylyp, nice answer but not what I had in mind. I actually pulled the image directly from a photo someone took of the real object. Then I cropped it and pasted the lit sections where needed. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2018 at 5:31

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