During our embedded Linux hacking event in Stockholm on October 20th I ran a little contest for the ones who wanted to participate. I created it entirely by myself to allow as many people as possibly to participate with them knowing me or me knowing them etc limiting the fun.
For your amusement I include the full contest here. If you want to try it out, then make sure you don’t attempt to google for any answers or otherwise use a machine/computer as a help.
Here I just want to mention that, as is shown in the above example question, ‘ace‘ is the correct character sequence and the letters should then be kept in that order in the final question. Also note that a character sequence can legally contain a dash as well. You will get 16 similar sequences of 1 to 3 letters, and those 16 sequences should be moved around to form the 17th question.
… at this point I fired off all the questions one by one at about 15-20 seconds per question. In this blog post I’ll take a shortcut and instead show you the final page I made that showed all questions at once, which I then left displayed for the remainder of the competition time. Click the image to get a full resolution version that is perfectly readable:
My take away from this contest is that it was harder than I anticipated and took a longer time to crack than I thought. I gave away a few additional clues and hints as the time went by, but in the end I believe there were several persons who were very close to breaking it at almost the same time. In the end, Klas and Jonas presented the correct answer first and won the bottle of Champagne. I’m sure you appreciate their efforts after having tried this yourself!
The answers? Are you really sure? The correct answers and the final question with its answer is available…
I had a great time creating the competition and I believe the competitors appreciated it.
Additional trivia: I created the letter sequences for the other alternatives by writing other English phrases and chopped them up, so that they were from actual English and hence possibly more believable.