John being his usual self forgot the name of his favourite painter. He went to the Oracle for assistance but inadvertently walked in on her while she was busy eating pie. Angry at the interruption, she threw these numbers at John instead of helping him:

888006 2327 5961 697109420
5961 50774051 878144037 2327 114060820

John's not good with numbers. Somebody to his rescue, please!

Hint 1 :

Oracle was eating Pie(pi).

Hint 2:

Decimal places...

Hint 3:

2085 == 'The'

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My thoughts... ROT13: Gur pyhrf tvir njnl gur zrgubq. V svtherq lrfgreqnl vg jnf fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu Cv, V whfg qvqa'g xabj jung rknpgyl. Abj lbh'ir gbyq zr jung gb qb, npghnyyl qbvat vg vf zber yvxr n puber guna n sha chmmyr. Nyfb gurer ner ab pyhrf nf gb ubj znal qrpvzny cynprf bs Cv lbh hfrq. Cv vf ebhaqrq ng gur ynfg cynpr fb genafyngvat guvf pbhyq or engure sehfgengvat. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Dec 18 '18 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe add a mathematics or calculation-puzzle tag? $\endgroup$ – S. M. Dec 18 '18 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ @S.M. added the tag $\endgroup$ – peerless Dec 18 '18 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Astralbee v fhccbfrq gur sha jbhyq or va svaqvat bhg gung vg jnf fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu cv naq nffbpvngvat gur ahzoref jvgu vg. Ohg vg qvq abg ghea bhg yvxr gung naq V fhccyvrq uvagf nf n fgnegvat cbvag. $\endgroup$ – peerless Dec 18 '18 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ accepting the most voted answer.. $\endgroup$ – peerless Dec 18 '18 at 14:14

If we use this web page for reference for Pi we can find that the number 2085 as per hint #3 is at position 5961 after the decimal point. This gives us the value for 5961 as THE.
Using the suggestion by @NudgeNudge that The is 2085 because T=20, H=8, E=5, we can find at displacement 888006 the numbers 451208 which convert to DEATH

888006 2327 5961 697109420
451208 1569 2085 229187914

5961 50774051 878144037 2327 114060820
2085 19522514 231518111 1569 135183257
It looks like the painting is "DEATH OF THE VIRGIN" by CARAVAGGIO
The second line is a reference to The Seven works of Mercy (Caravaggio)
And to answer the question: the favourite painter is Caravaggio

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would think that hint refers to rot13(G orvat gur gjragvrgu yrggre bs gur Ratyvfu nycunorg, U orvat gur rvtugu, naq R gur svsgu.). But maybe your guess is correct! $\endgroup$ – NudgeNudge Dec 18 '18 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ @NudgeNudge You might be right but how would that relate to the first hint? $\endgroup$ – rhsquared Dec 18 '18 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking along the likes of rot13(Nccylvat ebg frdhragvnyyl gb gur pvcure hfvat gur qvtvgf bs cv nf gur fuvsg, gura qbvat gur nycunorg fhofgvghgvba va uvag 3). I've tried that though and I can't make sense of it, but it could be something similar. $\endgroup$ – NudgeNudge Dec 18 '18 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ @NudgeNudge See my edit. $\endgroup$ – rhsquared Dec 18 '18 at 10:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This should be of help: subidiom.com/pi/pi.asp $\endgroup$ – NudgeNudge Dec 18 '18 at 10:26

Thanks to rhsquared:

The first line translates to "Death of the Virgin"
Second line "The seven works of mercy"
And the painter who made those two painting is Caravaggio

I got some weird words like @rhsquared noticed, eg. position 114060820 (9 digits) gives us 135183257 (also 9 digits) which translates to M E R C Y G (13 5 18 3 25 7), not sure if it was an error or am i missing something here


Continuing from the previous answer,

Continuing that pattern, I eventually ended up with DEATH OFI THE VIRGIN
THE SEVEN WORKA OFI MERCYG; I'll assume I made some mistakes but you'd get to Death of the Virgin and Seven Works of Mercy, which are two Caravaggio paintings, thus that would be John's favorite painter.


If anything, the extra letters could be used as a hint towards the painter's name, since they're I, A and G, and with those extra ones you can find all of the letters in CARAVAGGIO in the paintings' names. Doesn't make much sense because the I is already in VIRGIN and the A is in DEATH, but well. Maybe it was an unintended mistake.

All credits to @rhsquared though.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ vg jnf n zvfgnxr $\endgroup$ – peerless Dec 18 '18 at 14:15

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