I need to get into this building. Next to the only door is a keypad with a simple 10-key numeric keypad.

I hear someone approaching so I hide in a nearby bush to observe.
They walk up to the door, pull out a piece of paper and start alternating between looking down at the paper and pushing buttons which causes the keypad to beep.

I listen closely and hear them push buttons in this alternating pattern:
beep beep-beep beep beep-beep beep beep-beep

They reach for the door as they push the last two buttons and I'm able to see that they push 1-2.

They hurry inside the door and in their haste they drop the paper. I wait a minute and then go pick it up and read the following: THE KEY TO UNLOCK THE BOX

What is the code to the door?

  • $\begingroup$ Is your set of beeps the full set or do the 1-2 come after? $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 7 '19 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ It is the full set. The 1-2 are the last two of the set. $\endgroup$ – MetaZen Mar 7 '19 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ Could you put commas (or something) between the beeps, to more clearly define when the person is looking up and down? I'm assuming it's where each space character is? $\endgroup$ – Caius Jard Mar 8 '19 at 22:32

My thought process

Six sets of beeps or beep-beeps corresponds to six words in THE KEY TO UNLOCK THE BOX. The person looks down for every set which implies they have worked something out from each word. Here the key is that BOX = 12 (1-2 in a beep-beep format)

Drawing on that and adding in quite a bit of guesswork:

Adding the values of BOX together in scrabble gives you 12 so then we have: THE = 6 KEY = 10 TO = 2 UNLOCK = 12 THE = 6 BOX = 12

So my answer is


  • $\begingroup$ Excellent work! Can you double check your math on the 4th word and update so I can check the box for the answer? $\endgroup$ – MetaZen Mar 7 '19 at 21:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Looks like it needs to decrease by one @LioElbammalf $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Mar 7 '19 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ @metazen updated. After all that I couldn't add numbers up! $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 7 '19 at 22:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Looks good. Glad there was enough info to get to the answer. I wondered if it would be too easy or too hard! $\endgroup$ – MetaZen Mar 7 '19 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MetaZen It was just the right level for me, made me think but I wasn't entirely stumped. Everyone is different though, just write the puzzles you enjoy! :) $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 8 '19 at 10:34

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