# Density-type puzzle: Having A Good Day?

Here's another Density puzzle. I've got to say, I really like making these. Part of this is pretty simple, and part of it is much more complicated. Let's see what happens! Here it is:

Solution: (3,1,4)

Hint 1:

I am quite fond of disguising Morse code.

• I think this doesn't count as steganography. Steganography is when a coded message is hidden in something which seems like it doesn't contain any coded meaning at all (like an innocuous letter which is actually a cry for help when you read only the first letter of each word, that kind of thing). This image looks like a coded message as well as actually being one. Dec 19, 2019 at 16:56
• Makes sense. I'll fix that on my other puzzles as well. I wonder if you can solve this one? Honestly, I'd be surprised if you couldn't. I think it's pretty easy once you figure out the main trick. Dec 19, 2019 at 17:14
• Aren't you missing the final "Solution: (...)" clue?
– Jens
Dec 19, 2019 at 23:53
• Oops. Sorry about that. Dec 20, 2019 at 13:01
• So I have been able to translate the border message (as you say, straightforward), but I'm yet to get anything out of the central blocks. A few observations that may help somebody else: (a) rot13(Va rnpu oybpx bs avar 'cvkryf' gurer vf bar juvgr qbg cre pbyhza.), (b) rot13(Guvf jbhyq yraq vgfrys avpryl gb fbzr sbez bs greanel genafyngvba, ohg V nz lrg gb ergevrir nalguvat bs hfr: gur oybpxf jbhyq fcryy PTUZAAGI vs gbc vf 2 naq obggbz vf 0), (c) rot13(V nz vapyvarq gb guvax greanel vf vaibyirq nf gur oybpxf jbhyq gura unir orra neenatrq va nfpraqvat beqre). Will keep thinking!
– Stiv
Dec 21, 2019 at 9:11

The answer to this puzzle is:

HOW U DOIN'?

First, focus on the border of nine sets of black/grey squares separated by bars. This is:

Morse code, where a black square is a dash and a grey square is a dot. The bars separate letters. Starting top middle and proceeding clockwise, this spells "AN ANAGRAM". This suggests that the eight squares in the middle will produce the eight letters required for the solution once their order is rearranged.

Next, turn your attention to the eight central blocks of nine black-and-white 'pixels'. Since there is exactly one white pixel in each column we can infer that these are:

Ternary encodings of letters, where a white pixel at the bottom indicates a '0', in the middle indicates a '1', and at the top indicates a '2'. The eight blocks therefore encode the digits: 010, 021, 022, 111, 112, 112, 202 and 211.

However, there is a slight twist here...

The ternary digits do not translate directly into A1Z26, as some puzzlers (myself included!) might have anticipated. Instead (as clarified by the OP in a comment) they are zero-indexed, i.e. they translate instead to A0Z25... Carrying out this translation results in the eight letters: DHINOOUW.

To find the solution, we need to:

Apply the anagram hint from the border to these eight letters in order to come up with a phrase in the format (3,1,4) which means 'Having A Good Day?', as suggested by the title. This lends itself to the final answer of "HOW U DOIN'?" - a way of asking this question most associated with Joey from Friends...

• Nice job, @Stiv! By the way, I like the side trivia. I didn't know about that; I was just trying to make the message shorter so it would fit better. Plus it makes it harder to solve. XD Dec 21, 2019 at 20:38
• It definitely made it harder! I was so sure that the middle letter would be 'I' that it took me ages to spot the truth!
– Stiv
Dec 21, 2019 at 21:03