I love programming, it's so fun
Just get every computer in the world
And just do program as much as you can
Because with everyone on your side you can never go wrong with programming
And no, this not clue to the puzzle! I'm just saying programming is the best
Please do program, everyone will help you with your problems
Especially StackOverflow, great right?
Now go on, here's the cipher, ever will you crack it? At 10 o' clock i'm checking to see if you are done.


Can you crack the code? Hint:

The question title hints something, as well as the tags

Hint #2:

I bake pies

Hint #3:

If you figure something out, close your eyes and say it out loud, what you hear is what it is

Hint #4:

Oh isn't it just so tasty when you put some irrational sauce on your pie?

Hint #5:

I have added the tag, but I don't think anyone has gotten to the point where knowledge is needed

Hint #6: (Big Giveaway)

Not horizontal not vertical

Hint #7:

The cipher doesn't have anything to do with the text, it's just the code block. The text is only a hint Kind of misleading, I just wanted to say that the people who are trying to apply functions to the text are doing it wrong. All mathematical operations/ciphers should be done on the ciphertext itself

Hint #8: (Warning: Extremely big giveaway, only use this hint when you totally give up)

"Pi is an irrational number, which means that its decimal representation never terminates or repeats itself." - calvin's hobbies

Hint #9: (Warning: even BIGGER giveaway):


Hint #10:

Line 7. Capital? + "LANG"

Hint #11:

Order you will use the tags:

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ for anyone that wants to try this: the acrostic is (rot13) v wno n cra. idk if this is helpful or not tho $\endgroup$ – Excited Raichu Nov 1 '18 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ExcitedRaichu That doesn't have anything to do with the solution :P $\endgroup$ – FireCubez Nov 1 '18 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ How long should I wait till adding another hint if needed? $\endgroup$ – FireCubez Nov 1 '18 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ You can add hints as often as you want. I generally wait two hours or so in between hints on my puzzles, but it's up to you. $\endgroup$ – Excited Raichu Nov 1 '18 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ Is the phrase: "And no, this not clue to the puzzle!" a deliberate typo? $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Nov 3 '18 at 17:09

Hah, good job, you found it! Puzzling.SE is proud :D'

This was essentially just a guided solution from the OP's clues!

I had never come across this before, but when he talks about sprinkling pie with irrational sauce he means the reference in the clue he gave:

Index pi according to the unique numbers in it (3,1,4,15,...). pi rational numbers. We use 15 because 1 was already found. This makes the result: 43195195867462520687356193644029372991880

Computationally, this gets hard quickly. But when I used this as in a cipher it returns:

Hah, good gn]3 xxt epsil\x1cgw"$Vwtxnlfg2SC$
You'll note that the first ten characters make sense, and that the OP has a reference to 10 o'clock.

So using this, I

Reused the first ten digits of this pi rational number over and over with the output given.

Previous work for the interested...

Here's a glorious failure for others to avoid (in the spirit of @Excited Raichu's comment to the question...)

So, pie and cipher. Or π and cipher. Mmm. And computer programming. Could it be that we should shift out the cipher letter-wise by the digits of π?

Well, that means shifting:




which is:

Ice4 _vng#ijZ.wvw hmvii"gu#&Opx{sfgl2RD#fk&ljusg%>B

Shifting the other way, or using latter combinations of pi (up to about 30 digits later) still leaves nonsense.

So it isn't that!

Edit: The kind of calculation I did was (in Python):

for i,c in enumerate(code):
    decode=decode+ chr(ord(c)+int(pi[i])

where chr() converts a decimal to ascii and ord() converts an ascii to decimal.

I also subtracted and did offsets. Also, I assumed that the "I love programming..." is a clue. Since this is baking, we're just going to add in a bunch of ingredients. The trouble is that if we just add stuff together we rapidly get beyond the 128 that is associated with ascii.

So, for example, I can run

> clue.split()
['I', 'love', 'programming,', "it's", 'so', 'fun', 'Just', 'get', 'every', 'computer', 'in', 'the', 'world', 'And', 'just', 'do', 'program', 'as', 'much', 'as', 'you', 'can', 'Because', 'with', 'everyone', 'on', 'your', 'side', 'you', 'can', 'never', 'go', 'wrong', 'with', 'programming', 'And', 'no,', 'this', 'not', 'clue', 'to', 'the', 'puzzle!', "I'm", 'just', 'saying', 'programming', 'is', 'the', 'best', 'Please', 'do', 'program,', 'everyone', 'will', 'help', 'you', 'with', 'your', 'problems', 'Especially', 'StackOverflow,', 'great', 'right?', 'Now', 'go', 'on,', "here's", 'the', 'cipher,', 'ever', 'will', 'you', 'crack', 'it?', 'At', '10', "o'", 'clock', "i'm", 'checking', 'to', 'see', 'if', 'you', 'are', 'done.']

and the use the number of characters in each word. Also, hundred of combinations just down this path: what do we do with carriage returns? What do we do with punctuation? What do we do with numerals? Should "o'" and "clock" be separate words? etc. But running various combinations with this didn't reveal anything promising that could be tweaked.

Another option is to have the clue converted character-by-character into ascii. But then what? You can't add those numbers because they will go above 128. "Add" is implied by the baking clues - average feels uncontrolled (what do you do with the 0.5s). XOR of the binary? OR? AND? Again AND is implied by the "baking", but XOR is much more common in crypto for obvious reasons (that you either switch the bit or not).

And then add the digits of pi (to the ascii decimal? or the ascii hex? or the ord of the digits of pi).

I tried various combinations of the above and, of course, it was all nonsense. Is the "knowledge" a knowledge of the ascii codes? Or something else? Is the "I love programming..." needing to be interpreted in (hard to understand) english? Or read as a string of ascii characters? Are there other ingredients to be added to the pie? Other "irrational sauces"? e? The golden section? Some root?

I'm sure this seemed obvious to the OP, but the number of possibilities is relatively large here. Sorry if I'm missing the "big clues". Gasp, it's a diagonal! Yay! Now I could do that all again but with 10 times the number of permutations!

Ah, well. Maybe I'll guess the next one...

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are so very close! $\endgroup$ – FireCubez Nov 3 '18 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ You are just rot13(hfvat gur jebat cv), try reading the question again and rot13(cnlvat irel pybfr nggragvba gb gur yrggref), and also, the text doesn't contain the cipher, it's just the code block I posted. The text is just a hint $\endgroup$ – FireCubez Nov 5 '18 at 12:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yep, you got it. I feel I gave way too many hints though. $\endgroup$ – FireCubez Nov 5 '18 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but hard to guess without something. This is where the art of puzzling comes in. Not too much and not too little. I'm looking forward to your next one! Feel free to ask the community for suggestions. Sometimes people write a second puzzle discussing what worked and what didn't about the first one! Afterall, this SE is about the making of puzzles (at least in part). $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Nov 5 '18 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ Check out this answer to see how the clues were meant to be used: puzzling.stackexchange.com/a/74748/51739 $\endgroup$ – FireCubez Nov 6 '18 at 12:51

This is an answer building ontop of @DrXorile's answer and showing how the hints end up where they did. Quotes and clues from my own puzzle are highlighted in bold. Since I am answering my own puzzle, please upvote Xorile's answer as well. They were the one to solve the puzzle. I am only showing the correct way to find out the solution

First you need to read the text diagonally starting from "programming" (not horizonal, not vertical), it spells out "PEPECEGE". say that out loud and it sounds like "PPCG", alias for Programming Puzzles & Code Golf, referencing the very site on SE: https://codegolf.stackexchange.com.


Search for piirational numbers, referenced by "I love baking", and "irrational sauce". The first answer to that question is runnable code which when run, generates the first 10 digits of the 1st piirational number. 10, since I reference 10 o'clock in the puzzle.


Repeat these 10 digits and do a simple ASCII shift on the ciphertext.


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