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Puzzle #1

Puzzle Name: Walk to Conference
Released: Available 10/14 6:00AM CST
Download: [PDF] [JPG] - Available 10/14 6:00AM CST

Solved: Yes
1st place: Damian Menscher (2:14:13PM CST)
2nd place: Misha Brukman (2:17:25PM CST)
3rd place: Chris Lattner (2:37:21PM CST)
Solution: "hopscotch"

If the schedule table on the webpage http://www.acm.uiuc.edu/conference/events.html was assumed to be a hopscotch board, the large and long single foot/double foot sequence below the URL on the ad would align perfectly with the schedule from the beginning of the conference to the end. Each scheduled time either had one or two things scheduled in accordance with the feet. The feet were a sort of alignment sequence designed to convince competitors that they were of the right track.

After that, attention should be paid to the many sequences of feet going around the whole page. Each sequence if performed as a hopscotch on the original schedule would land you in a certain time slot (of two or one speakers), each with a unique single digit time (none would be mutli-hour events). If those single digit times were written out in pairs (as the feet sequences were colored in pairs) you would get something like: 88 93 94 97 83 93 98 83 88. If each of the numbers was assumed to be in base 12 (there were twelve different possible hours on the conference page), and was converted to base 10 and looked up in an ASCII table, the word "hopscotch"would be spelled out. Few people got the problem until our "Check all your bases" hint was released.

Puzzle one was only solvable for the first three days of the contest and it's answer was later given to anyone who could present valid answers for puzzles 2 and 3. This was a result of changes to the conference schedule, which this puzzle was dependent on.

News:

10.14.2002 11:24PM CST Update
Todays contest went quite well. 12 people submitted the correct answer, though judging by e-mail volume we've got a feeling a lot more of you figured it out. If you solved todays puzzle and would like to confirm your answer, feel free to submit it to answers@puzzlehack.org.

We may release one more hint for todays puzzle later in the week if we do not see any more correct answers for it submitted.

Tomorrow, there will be a few changes. We will be releasing hints at 2 designated times. Hints will be released at 2:00PM and 5:00PM if at all necessary. In addition we've cleaned up the e-mail process so you should have quicker responses tomorrow.

Great work on todays puzzles. Tomorrows will be more fun. 4 more days to the XBOX.

10.14.2002 5:07PM CST: Update
We have our first round of winners. Congratulations! Special props go out to Misha Brukman, who somehow managed to find a legitimate solution to the problem that we were previously unaware of.

We're sorry that e-mail response has been so bad today. We are working to refine the system so that it will be more efficient and effective tomorrow. If you sent us the correct answer, we have responded. If you sent us anything incorrect, we are still going through those e-mails. If you have not heard from us and have submitted an answer, than the answer is likely wrong. Please continue to submit answers, and we will respond as we have time.

10.14.2002 2:36PM CST: Update
We have our first winners! We will post their names as soon as we have validated their answers.

10.14.2002 2:00PM CST: Update
The following hints have been released:
The answer is one word; and is not a room number. Furthermore, be sure to check all your bases.

10.14.2002 11:09AM CST: Update
Here is your first update. No one has solved the puzzle yet. There are a few people who are starting to come close. DON'T GIVE UP! This one has a few tricks. 1320 DCL is *NOT* the right answer. The first hint will be released at 2:00PM CST. For those of you who are close, this hint will not help. Keep up the good work!

10.13.2002 11:43PM: Update
In our first of hopefully few blunders in the contest, the first puzzle printed in the DI was the wrong puzzle. The correct puzzle will be linked to on this page at 6am on Monday morning. We are upset about this, but the reality is that without hitting the conference website this puzzle could not be solved anyway (hint hint.)


(c) 2002 josh michaels, igor kofman, sam glassenberg - e-mail questions@puzzlehack.org