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Letters In Boxes #12

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You Are Games

Letters in Boxes #12

ArtbegottiThis heavily mathematics-oriented edition of Letters In Boxes has been brought to you by the number 10. But why, if it's the 12th in the series? Because 10 is what 12 looks like in base-12. Base-12 is an interesting number system, when you think about it. If we lived in a base-12 world (instead of the base-10 world we have), there'd be ten inches in a foot, 50 seconds in a minute, and 20 hours in a day. Cool, huh?

Letters in Boxes #11 - Puzzle 1To solve this week's puzzles, you need to know a bit about mathematical bases, and the easiest way to explain it is by looking at the base-10 system we're used to. When you see the number 179, we know that it's the sum of 9 ones, 7 tens, and 1 hundred. (These values are calculated by 10 to the 0th power, 10 to the 1st power, and 10 to the 2nd power.) But when you calculate the same value in base-12, you'll find that it's made of 11 ones, 2 dozens, and 1 gross (12 to the 0th, 12 to the 1st, and 12 to the 2nd powers). In other words, as you move from right to left the value of the digit in that position multiplies by the base number.

So armed with that little bit of knowledge, you should be ready to tackle this week's excessively numerical challenge. (Hint: Expect a lot of A=1, B=2, etc.) Click on the image below to open up this week's starter puzzle in a new window. When you think you've solved it, change the filename (in this case, "dimeadozen") to your answer, making sure you keep the same directory and .gif extension. If you're right, you're straight through to the next puzzle. If you're wrong, you'll get an error message, but you're free to recalculate your work and try again.

Letters in Boxes #12 - Puzzle 1This batch of puzzles contains four puzzles to solve. On the fourth puzzle, you'll find the email address for sending your final answer. We'll hand out a prize to the first correct entry we receive, plus ten additional randomly-selected correct entries. Please include your Casual Gameplay account display name with your entry. You must be at least 13 years of age to enter. Only one submission per participant, please. Offer void where prohibited. Your deadline for submitting your answers is Monday, August 29th at 11:59 PM (GMT-5:00). Can you become the Ace of Bases? Play along to find out!

Update: Congratulations to these eleven winners! :D

  • ViciousChicken ...First!
  • Ajslama
  • nqeron
  • han519
  • donhuando
  • DebbyA
  • Chaos
  • ladodger
  • Vespert
  • Nigma
All eleven winners were given a choice of prizes or an entry into our GRAND PRIZE drawing held at the end of August! Congratulations and thanks for playing with us! Look for another Letters in Boxes again soon!


Yes! YES! More LiB! Finally!

Let's get working on this.


Wait... I missed an installement? :(

Anyways, I don't understand anything at base 12, but I'll try my best to understand...


And now that I think I understood (please excuse my triple post) I'll try and understand the puzzle. Hopefully I won't crack my skull!

Maybe the different hues in squares represent different numbers?
Or letters?
Base 12?
Numbers to calculate in base 12?

Maybe the whites are ones,
The grays are dozens,
And the blacks are gross.

Nope, I think I'm totally over-thinking myself.
Damn, now I wish I followed in math class :S


I realise I didn't do 11 either! But this one looks fun (love Math) so I'll do 11 after :)

Just had an idea for puzzle one, so I'll be puzzling now :D


Maybe the board has something to do with the table of elements?
Wait... That's physics, not maths...


Huh? 179 in base 12 is 12B, not 12E. E shouldn't be part of a base-12 system at all, right?

... at least, that's assuming we're using the typical numeral progression. Are we to infer something atypical is going on here?

jakramer75 August 25, 2011 11:35 AM

cheeken, there are a couple of regular conventions for writing in base 12. The numbers either go 0-9, A, B OR 0-9, T, E.

I think 0-9, X, E is even acceptable.


I'm trying to find a relation with the boxes and colors to any mathematical principal I know, yet I can't really think of anything.


Wow... first one has me scratching my head. I did note one thing:

There are the same number of non-black boxes as there are letters in the title of the first GIF.

That doesn't seem to get me anywhere, though.

ViciousChicken August 25, 2011 11:38 AM

cheeken: I think he's just using E to stand for Eleven. Not quite standard, but works ok.

I think there is a mistake though in saying that in base 12 there are 1000 minutes in a day; it should say A00, or T00 (T for Ten).

General tip for the puzzles:

Don't get stuck thinking base 12. That was only meant as an example. Consider other bases (2, 3, 5, etc).

[Yes, you're right, there are A00 minutes in a day, base 12. I'll update the post above. -Jay]


@jakramer75 - Aha, thanks! I stand corrected. I had no idea duodecimal was a special enough case to have "custom" numerals. Hopefully the ambiguity here doesn't effect much confusion translating between letters and numbers ...

jakramer75 August 25, 2011 11:51 AM

Hint for 1

Note how many different types of squares there are and use that as the base for translating the picture into numbers and then letters


Wow... first one was tough even with the hint, but finally got it. Thanks, jakramer75.

donhuando August 25, 2011 12:21 PM

Questions for #1:
(If they are close then they will make a big spoiler I guess)

Are there actually 4 colors there? white, gray, black and empty?


is it some kind of math problem? i tried addition and subtraction and got nowhere. i will check multiplication also

jakramer75 August 25, 2011 12:24 PM


Ignore the empties.

Think of each column as a number.

top row is base^2
middle row is base^1
bottom row is base^0

ThemePark August 25, 2011 12:24 PM


The answer to 1. is no. Read jakramer75's hint, and my hint which is to look at the top squares and see if you'll notice something that is key to solving the puzzle.

Also, think about why the squares are set up in that exact order.

donhuando August 25, 2011 12:38 PM

@jakramer75 and @ThemePark
Thanks. I made some progress I guess.
I have a follow up question though:

I guess I know which numeral one of the colors stands for, do I need to know what the other two mean, and is there a logical way to find that out?

ThemePark August 25, 2011 12:39 PM

Okay, I'm pretty at wit's end about #2.

I'm thinking that each word or each column can somehow be transformed into a letter, and that will give us the solution word.

I have tried converting the letters to numbers as mentioned in the review, I have tried converting them with base 36 and a special base 26 starting at A instead of 0. I've tried converting it with base 3, still having it in mind from #3 and finding out that there were a lot of letters which could be representatives of numbers expressed in base 3.

If there were numbers at each row, I would know what to do but then it would be a logic puzzle and not a math puzzle. So I'm out of ideas.

ThemePark August 25, 2011 12:42 PM


The only logical way to figure it out is to try both possibilities. That's what I did. So no, in a sense there isn't.


For #1

Each box color represents a different numeral, and each column represents a letter of the alphabet once you do the correct base conversion

donhuando August 25, 2011 1:27 PM

I finally got #1.
But there is a problem:

besides not finding a way to determine which of the other two colors is which numeral, there is also the problem that you need to assume that there is no 000.



Well, the number 0 does not appear in the traditional A=1,B=2...Z=26 mapping...so if you get a 0 as a column total, you know you're on the wrong track.

Along those lines,

none of the columns in puzzle #1 has a leading zero.


@ThemePark, on #2 wouldn't you have to use

at least base 10 or higher? That is, assuming you convert the letters to their corresponding number in the alphabet, 1-26, with numerals 0-9 represented.

ViciousChicken August 25, 2011 1:51 PM

@ThemePark, re: #2

The solution is actually pretty simple, although it does take a leap of logic to get started. Different letters can mean the same thing. To point you in the right direction, see if you can notice something unusual about the words as a whole, particularly "ouiji". Why did they need to use such a weird word?

re: #1

There is a logic in the connection between colors and numerals, in the sense that grey is in between black and white.


@VisciousChicken: Excellent clue on #2. Thanks!

I have to say, though, that when I arrived at #3, I thought I was in the wrong place.

ThemePark August 25, 2011 2:10 PM

Thanks, ViciousChicken. As soon as you mentioned that word, everything clicked into place in a matter of seconds.


Interesting observation about #3:

The HSL numbers don't correspond to the same color that the RGB numbers do.

I'm not sure yet what to do with that information, though.


I don't understand ViciousChicken's clue on #2. :-(



Yes they do. Cue everybody going and powering up MSPaint....

ThemePark August 25, 2011 2:25 PM

Already did that MdB, and yeah they do, actually.


#3 is pretty quick and easy...

provided that you know some basics about how computers are set up to work internally.

Now why does #4 hold it's hand out with an easy pattern and then pull it away when you try to use it!? Herrings are red, violets are blue...


number 4 does so much look like there is a mistake on the last line....

donhuando August 25, 2011 2:45 PM

Would being colorblind be a problem for solving #3?

childofsai August 25, 2011 2:47 PM

I hear you mdb - spotted the same pattern...

ThemePark August 25, 2011 2:49 PM

Does #3 involve:

Converting the numbers to binary and then ANDing them? I would think not, but that is the only way I can see that pertains to thomstel's hint. And the sad part is that I work in the computer business :-(

childofsai August 25, 2011 2:52 PM

everyone's using MSPaint for number 3, but actually thinking about another well known "Paint" program's way of looking at colour got me onto this...


solving #3 doesn't involve colour so you are ok donhuando


ViciousChicken's clue on #2 didn't help me at all.

I don't suppose it has anything to do with

the words' values in Scrabble

, does it?


Hint for #3:

Only 3 of the numbers are important.

You can tell which three because they convert to letters easily and spell out the answer.

donhuando August 25, 2011 2:56 PM

never mind about #3, being colorblind didn't hurt me in any way (for the puzzle).

for #4: I noticed something

There is something in common for all rows except the last one. could it be a red herring?


Having a devil of a time with #1.

I know white is 1, gray is 2, and black is 3, but whenever I try to convert the sequence from base 3 to base 10, converting the numbers into letters yields gibberish.



The first four words are correct. The fifth isn't. What other base number system do computers regularly deal in?

childofsai August 25, 2011 2:57 PM

omg, I think I got number 4! Could it be I was first? (I never get first!)...


Hint for #1:

Going by base-3 (0, 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 20, etc...) how many numbers are between 1 and 1000?

In regards to the colors, ViciousChicken gave a huge hint for that.

childofsai August 25, 2011 3:01 PM

and yes the

Square Root

is a red herring.

Focus on the first line which is given to you. It provides the connection to all the other lines...

donhuando August 25, 2011 3:04 PM

Hints for #2:

First see what ViciousChicken wrote about one of the words.

try to see what makes that word special? not only in comparison to the other words in the puzzle, but in comparison to most (all?) words in English.

Then notice what ViciousChicken wrote about it being simple, and in a way it is simpler than puzzle #1.
and a bigger hint:

imagine if you could let your computer try to solve it for you

ThemePark August 25, 2011 3:10 PM

Thanks, thomstel.

I had gone down that path before but quickly went away from it as I was getting gibberish, since I thought all 6 values were part of the answer.

Also got #4 now. Focusing on the first line made it all click in my head.

This has been a very enjoyable LIB. I especially liked #1 and #4, very well executed, Steve!


Huh... it works in Paint? Strange. I opened up MS Word (because it was convenient) and went to the font color dialog. In that one, the HSV numbers for the given RGB numbers are different from those given, and vice versa.

ThemePark August 25, 2011 3:14 PM

That's because in Paint it's HSL, not HSV.

Another hint for #4 for those who need it:

It's basically all about the theme.


urrgghhh #4 is driving me nuts.

I've worked out a sensible answer to the square root of the last line but it looks like that is red herring from other comments.

What am I missing?


Blargh, breezed right past me ThemePark!

All I'm seeing on #4 is the red herring and too much base5 stuff now. Gotta take a break and come back...congrats to you and childofsai!

donhuando August 25, 2011 3:24 PM

Question about #4:

do i need to convert to base 100?. I tried and for a few of the rows there is no problem but for 3 of the rows I get numerals which I can't represent with digits...


Wow, #3 was almost -too- easy...on to #4 then.

Hint for #2:

Once you figure out what letters are what, it's as easy 1, 10, 11!

For anyone having issues with #3:

Relax. You don't need to feel so hexed about it.

ThemePark August 25, 2011 3:28 PM


You're looking at the numbers the wrong way. Switch your view.


solved #4 and email sent. Thanks for the hints people.

I think my alternate solution to #4 is better though...

Take the square root of each number in base 6 (the last line only works in base 6) and then take the result as being in base 5. This then gives you ZGFJI which has 5000+ hits on Google so it has to be a word right?

(I so thought I was on the right track when I worked out that you could calculate the square root in base 6.. The equals sign didn't seem quite right but if you took the left hand side to be in base 36 and the right hand side to be in base 6 then this worked out too...)

Oh and none of the above helps you find the right answer - it has nothing to do with square roots. Base 6 might be a bit useful though but only a bit.


#4 hint

all your base are belong to us

Sorry, that probably doesn't help you that much but it does fit (ish) and made me smile when I thought of it.

donhuando August 25, 2011 3:48 PM

I tried to look at it the other way but:

the only other option I found was base 5 on the right and base 25 on the left. but I can't figure out how to use that



It is the last puzzle. It isn't going to just use one base, it is going to use lots!


Wow, I'm feeling stupid this week. For #4:

Observation 1: If you assume that the two sides of the equals sign are the same number in different bases, you can make the first line work any time the base on the right hand side is a square of the base on the left hand side.

Observation 2: Since there are no digits on the right hand side higher than 4, base 5 makes the most sense. That would make the left-hand answers (in base 25) be 10, 121, 1o, 1b, 40, and 2o. That seems useless. If instead you do a direct mapping of the digits to letters without using 0-9, you get J, ABA, AX, AK, D_, BX (not sure what to do with the zero in that case). That also seems useless.

In short, I'm lost.

ThemePark August 25, 2011 4:03 PM


You are very close with observation 1. But both numbers are not bases. And you're right about something being the same throughout.

donhuando August 25, 2011 4:13 PM

Still stuck on #4.

I tried different bases for each line, but I'm not sure how to choose the base for each line. I tried to take according to the largest digit each time but it didn't get me anywhere.


Holy cow, I think I just got #4. O_O;

The logic on this one seems a bit backwards to me, though.


#4 @donhuando

The equal sign is misleading. The left and right side are related but they aren't directly equal to each other.

And maybe one side is all the same...


Holy cow! Yeah, I also just got #4, and I agree with you Onyx Mouse,

... the logic seems backwards. At least there's a clear ah-hah moment for this one!

donhuando August 25, 2011 4:29 PM

Solved #4!
Now I feel really stupid.

and now I understand why ThemePark's sentence to kdausman seemed strange
Nice hint ThemePark!

negating something kdausman never said... too bad I didn't understand it and spent a long time just trying lots of bases

donhuando August 25, 2011 4:33 PM

About #4:
I actually solved this because I noticed (don't read on if you haven't solved yet...)

that there was no reason for the 100 on the top row on the right to have each digit in a separate box and the 10 on the left to be in one box, and then I had that ah-ha moment, so I guess that was supposed to be the hint for not being mislead by the equals sign


Hints for all!










Done, but a bit late to give out any hints. :-(

#2 held me up a lot longer than it should've, because

the "ouija" hint made me think that perhaps the shape of the letter led to some binary digits: o => 0, u => 11, i => 1, and so on...

Trust me, that approach doesn't work...


Just as I was solving #4, stupid cat bites right through my mouse cable. I had to finish with the trackpad. Nobody likes trackpads.

Stupid cat.


I like trackpads!

And trains too...


Hmm... Even with all of the hints gathered up, I can't manage to find a solution for #1.

I tried converting from Base 3 to Base 10, and from Base 10 to Base 3.
One does YGISBU, and the other does RIIDJLFIEJJHSEJKFLG ( what the fu- )

Will dance for help.


I'm confused on # 1... feeling dumb cuz i can't find what number goes in what box... any help (preferably not repeats of help, but new hints)?


Hints on #1:

Six columns...

..it's not much of a stretch to guess that the answer has six letters.

Three colors of boxes...

Perhaps this problem is in base 3.

The question, then, is which color corresponds to which digit (0,1,2)?

There's only six combinations...try 'em all!


i am still stuck on #4, could use a boost


Loved this set! I was worried Steve would have run out of themes by now, but clearly he has not.

The mixed media of #3 was a very nice touch - it started to feel like an ARG for just a minute.

#4 was slightly misleading, though, as the design makes you think the first line is part of the solution. Other than that TINY gripe, the puzzles were superb!



If you got as far as YGISBU, you're on the right track - you've just got one critical thing backwards. Obviously, the absence of color means zero...but think light, not pigments!



I too got YGISBU the first time. Your reasoning is correct, but the numbers aren't in the right order. Rather than 0 being empty, maybe it should be dark instead?


Thanks, guys.
On to number two, now.

Woah... this looks complex.
Yet very simple.
Like every other puzzle.


Well, as I can see:

Every row is a five letter word.
But I'm particularly dazzled by the word "ouija". Is that even a word? Maybe another language? Use google translate?

But then I remember all puzzles have to do with math. Does this have to do with more bases?


I have not commented on this site in a LONG time (Hi Jay! miss me? haha), and I've been playing games in secret for over a year, including faithfully following the entire LIB series. I was so excited to find one based in Math--and then realized how much I've lost since art school has kept my life pretty math-free since 2005. Oops.

I'm on Puzzle #2, and after reading EVERY CLUE PERTAINING TO NUMBER 2, I'm still stuck:

I have

converted the alphabet into their number positions (A=1, B=2, etc.), but aside from the final column dividing easily with Base 5, I've found nothing.

On another track, I saw a clue "2", the idea that letters can equal the same thing, and one about letting the computer solve it... which have all led me to investigate via binary... and have no luck. Maybe I've just done it wrong?



Wow, I'm sorry I got started on these so late. I was a math major in college, and every one of these was obvious except for #2, where I kept over-thinking it and so went down several wrong paths.

I suspect other people are still stuck, though, so I'll throw in my own hints for the heck of it. I hate it when a "hint" is essentially "telling you the answer", so I tried not to do that.


There are obviously only three different kinds of boxes. You're not working in base-12 here.

On a personal note, this one was sort of funny, because when I was in college, I invented a method of coding messages that was pretty much exactly like this. It's obvious I wasn't the only one to think of it though, since 26 letters in the alphabet seem to imply (to me) an obvious opportunity to convert numbers into base-27. (Which was not the base I used for my code, nor is it the base here...sort of.)


Let me tell you where *I* went wrong. I thought to myself, well, there sure are a lot of vowels in that word...but that can't be significant! I was wrong.


In html, you don't represent colors in base-10. Do you know what base you do use?


Yes, every one is a square number, but not in base-10.


Following up on B Brucker's clue for #2

two kind of letters
two digits

and that's all you really need to know

Pixelated August 26, 2011 6:31 AM

Ah, darn it! Just got on the computer for the first time today, and I'm a little late to get into this LiB I've been waiting for all week. >:I

Whatever. #1 took me a lot of hints to solve; I generally got on the right track with

getting that each column was a three-digit number in base 3, but it took me quite a few hints to work out which numeral was which colour. I originally assumed empty was 0, white was 1, grey was 2 and black was 3, leading me to try and solve it in base 4. Again, took me a fair few hints to lead me to my forehead-slap answer.

I'm quite proud of myself for #2, because I'm usually not very good at these LiB (although I enjoy them immensely), and I got it mostly of my own accord. Once ViciousChicken asked

why they'd use the unusual word 'ouija',

I got the rest by myself rather quickly, and I'm still quite happy.

Just got onto #3, and chuckled because it looks rather interesting.

Also, just in general, I'm really really enjoying these LettersInBoxes, JIG. Nice job with them. I only started with last week's (#11), but had so much fun with it I went back and did several older ones. Hope these continue for a long time to come.

Pixelated August 26, 2011 6:35 AM

Also, I should add that I had to do all working out, including base conversions, for #1 on paper, as I only got to look at the puzzle on my mum's smartphone and then scribble it down on paper in a minute.

Really, the answer doesn't require much complex base conversions, but considering that
(a) in my working out, I tried a lot of base 12 stuff, and
(b) base conversions are my least favourite part of math,
#1 was a pain.

At least I'm on a computer now, with access to a base converter. Ahh...

Pixelated August 26, 2011 6:51 AM

Took a break, came back to take a shot at #3. Turns out it was way, way easier than I thought. In fact, you don't need to do any base conversions - or any maths - if you have the right program.

Photoshop magic!

I opened Photoshop, and entered the RGB values in manually. Hey presto, Photoshop automatically gives you the HTML color code.

I feel like I've cheated. Probably have. Nevertheless, onward!


Lovely set of puzzles again. I feel number 3 was a bit easy and number 1 was a bit hard for a starting puzzle. Perhaps they could have been swapped?

Anyway, fun to see a numbers in boxes instead of a letters in boxes. It's much easier than the crossword-like puzzles, for people who don't have English as their native language.

And to help the people stuck on #2:

entry = apply


Clue for Number 2:



Looks like in the half an hour I took to get to the 4th one someone beat me to the vaguely helpful clue. Nice to see someone thinking the same way as me though. Still slowly slumping through number 4, another nudge or two in the right direction would be nice.


And the beauty of the power of posting. A rather cryptic hint for number 4:

You should be focusing on one central thing then applying what you've been given.

Pixelated August 26, 2011 9:26 AM

Ah! Got 4.
Eventually realised that there was a reason that

the 10 fit in one box, and the 100 was spread over three boxes.

And then I got very close to the answer, but I did a little bit of maths wrong and thought that the trail was leading nowhere. I went back to the comments, and I kept feeling that what I tried before seemed to fit with all the clues. Redid my maths, and everything worked properly. Emailing my answer now, and good job with this LiB, JIG. C:


I got confused at #2, since I'm not american nor english and:

I learned "y" as a vowel at school


I'm stumped on #2...
Even reading all the hints doesn't help me out...

I thought of changing all consonants to 0 and all vowels to 1, and vice-versa, but I only get gibberish with letters like FDBCD or BDFED... This is confusing.


@Vince: For #2:

You're on the right track, but going in the wrong direction.


still no dice on #4. any other hints?


Alright, i think I get #1 now, but how do I change a 3-digit number into a letter?


@ladodger: How far along on are you on #4?

Baseball would be a very different game if there were six different bases on the field.



Once you have your 3-digit numbers, convert them into decimal. That will give you some numbers between 1 and 26.

1 and 26, hmmm. Wh1t 5ls5 h1s 26 9t5ms?

(You may have to do this a few times before you find the correct mapping of colors to digits.)



ok, so do i make it Box.boxbox or boxbox.box? and am I right in thinking that the #s that the boxes represent are

0,1, and 2??

nerdypants August 26, 2011 7:50 PM

I think I have to give up. I've been working on #1 for like a day, and I can't make any sense of it at all. I have made no progress whatsoever.

I really wish this had been a word puzzle instead of a math puzzle.



It's a three-digit number, BoxBoxBox, read from top to bottom.

The problem is, that three-digit number is not in base 10. You have to convert it to base 10, and then you'll end up with some numbers between 1 and 26 (assuming both your color-to-digit mapping and your base 10 conversion are correct, of course).



Each column translates to a number in trinary (base 3), read top to bottom.

Black is 0, gray is 1, white is 2.

nerdypants August 26, 2011 10:34 PM

THANK YOU SO MUCH! Finally got it.

nerdypants August 26, 2011 11:16 PM

Aaand now I'm stuck on #2.

I get that I'm supposed to be changing all the vowels to 0 and consonants to 1 (or vice versa), and that I'm supposed to be reading the numbers vertically, but I'm still ending up with gibberish.

I think maybe I missed a step?



You're on the right track, but going in the wrong direction.

nerdypants August 27, 2011 1:43 AM

OtherBill, about #2:

Do you mean that I am literally reading in the wrong direction, or that I'm doing something else wrong?

Because I feel like I've tried reading it from every possible direction: forwards, backwards, up, down... Nothing works.


@nerdypants, once you have done your conversion

of vowels and consonants, there is another conversion you must do.

the last conversion will be from the result of the second conversion to the alphabet.



Each five-letter word converts to a five-digit binary number.

Convert those numbers to letters, just like you did the first time.

Pixelated August 27, 2011 6:27 AM


It took me a while to understand what you meant about the box.boxbox thing. No, when OtherBill said 'decimal', he wasn't talking about decimal points; decimal is another word for base 10. He meant to convert your three digit number into base 10 (which will give you a number between 1 and 26, etc).

As to your second spoiler, that is correct.

Pixelated August 27, 2011 6:30 AM

Oops, I didn't see Page 2 of comments there. hhii8888 already got an answer for that, it seems.


For #3, I'm guessing we need to

look in the boxes, as it is "Letters in Boxes", and not "Puzzles on Paint's color selection".


Oh! I think I know what to do!

*opens Photoshop*
Hope this hint helps. ;)




Familiarity with HTML will help greatly here.


Yes, that's exactly what I thought.
On to #4, now. Maybe I'll actually make it this time!


#4 is particularly easy! Now to send my answer...

It's funny how the first puzzles were tough, but how I flew just by #3 & #4. Great job making these puzzles, Steve! I enjoy playing them and I'm always eager for more. :D


Yeah, I figured out #1 yesterday, but it was late, so i decided to not post until the morning :P for anyone that is stuck on #1, Ryusui's comment saying what each color means helped me a lot!

Now (as sad as it is...) I'm stuck on #2... I haven't checked the other 100 comments yet, so i will post if i get it right:)


alright, I get that I'm supposed to convert the letters into

binary using the consanants and vowels, but what do i convert the binary into? Text? a base?


Just about at wit's end with #4

On one hand, people are saying it uses more than one base. On the other hand, the only base people are alluding to is 6. And yes, I have calculated the square roots of all of the numbers in base 6, by hand with random trial and error, because I couldn't figure out any other way to, so now I have a list of numbers that I have no idea what to do with. My next thought was to convert those numbers into some other base, but that led me nowhere useful.


@Isi (and others):
You might find this page helpful:



Second verse, same as the first: convert the code into numbers and solve alphanumerically.


10=100; 2=1100100

nerdypants August 27, 2011 4:07 PM

Still stuck on #2.

I have converted the letters into binary. I have done to those numbers what I did to the numbers in the first puzzle, to end up with a series of two-digit numbers. I have converted those into letters. And I still have gibberish.

I am about to Hulk out on my computer here.

nerdypants August 27, 2011 4:17 PM

Oh no wait, I got it!

Those Ys at the end of "entry" and "apply" are consonants in the puzzle. They really should be vowels, since they're making "ee" and "aye" sounds instead of a "yuh" sound.



Yeah, the traditional five vowels are in play here. Y is a consonant, not a vowel.

nerdypants August 27, 2011 5:33 PM

And, finished! I got 3 and 4 fairly quickly.

Hint for #3:

This one was a Really Great Box puzzle. Took me about six minutes to solve.

Hint for #4:

Don't be a square. Cover all your bases.


ok, now I get that I have to do the same thing as the

first puzzle, but what base do I make it??


nvm, power of posting (although this is the first time it's happened!) the real hint for 2 is

do EXACTLY what you did in #1, but add a step in the begining

I hope this helps! On to 3 (which i actually tried to manipulate once i saw it lol)


OMG I cannot figure out #4 for the life of me. I get that

each number is 10 squared in a different base (2,3,8,9,5,6) but what do I do next I don't get it.

please help.



What's the simplest thing you can do with numbers that you did in the other puzzles?


About #4,

the "10" is supposed to be part of the final answer or it only has 5 letters?

nerdypants August 28, 2011 2:14 PM

Rgandum, about #4:

No, the 10 isn't part of the answer.


Thank you Rgandum & Nerdypants. After 24 hours, I finally figured it out thanks to your last two comments (well and all the others that helped me get to that point)


Yes! Looks like I was right about that!
It's funny how I was wondering if there wasn't a trick for puzzle #4, as the answer looked pretty straightforward.
But I guess not, maybe that's just to make us think we're off track! Hehe, you clever puzzle makers :P


Many of us (OK, at least one of us!) lost power during Hurricane Irene and weren't able to complete the game. (My power, phone, internet, etc were out Aug 27 through Aug 31). Having said that, I most likely would not have finished this one on my own nor would I have submitted my answers. Still, there may be many others out there who missed their chance all because of Irene. Just sayin'.
[But NOT complaining! After all, I survived a Hurricane and an Earthquake in the span of four days!]


dude i hope you're o.k.
i heard irene was really bad there im in france and i saw it on the news i thought of all my buddies in the states.
it's kinda too bad not having internet for four days i dont know if i would manage.
take care dude

~ Ion


If, this week, we did math puzzles then I cry foul for misuse of "=" in puzzle #4. In math, the equality symbol means one and only one thing: the object on the left is identical to the object on the right.

My other complaint is the opening paragraph of this LiB, while amusing, is completely wrong. We do not live in a base 10 world. We use different bases every day, in ordinary ways, specifically in the examples that were noted. Feet and inches are calculated using base 12 math. Seconds, minutes, and hours are calculated using base 60 math. Most importanly, I must point out that foot-long rulers do not have ten inches and never will, no matter what base you use. An inch is always the same length and a foot is defined as having 12 inches. The way that base 12 comes into play is that we say that a ruler has one foot and zero inches, which we write as 1'0". 1'0" is nothing more than 12 inches written in base 12. Nobody goes around calling 1'0" ten inches. But, that's what the paragraph implies would happen in the magical base 12 world. I hope this demystifies non-10 based math.

[Just to back up Steve, our LIB puzzle master extraordinaire, these are riddle puzzles, and as such, things aren't always what they seem. There is no such thing as a "misuse" in this context, especially since the puzzle, for which you are calling exception on, is perfectly logical, even if a little misleading. And as for the other complaint: Come on, cut Steve some slack. What he wrote is not completely wrong. The base 10 number system absolutely predominates much of our every day lives, especially since most countries use the metric system, which doesn't include feet and inches. -Jay]


While feet occur every 12 inches, we count to 12 in base 10. The same goes for seconds and minutes - the numbers that make up our time system are counted using plain old base 10.

Steve is very much correct to claim we live in a base 10 world, as our number system, what every child on the planet is taught, is strictly base 10. This is why 10 in hex is represented by the letter A, because our number system lacks the ability to natively represent something in base 16.


I'm afraid I'm just too dense to get #2, even after all of this time. :(


Ah, attack of the second page. As in, I didn't see there was also a Page 2 of comments :P

I was apparently doing the right thing all along... but in the wrong direction :/


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