THE DOMINO THEORY

by Greg Lohman

Solution: NATURAL TWO

This puzzle is a series of leaps from one website to another.

On the first image, adjust the contrast until you can read the rest of the text, which tells you to go to www.freewebs.com/greatgazoo.

There you'll find a green image, where each shade of green is defined by a hexadecimal string of the form 33XX33, where X=A, B, C, D, E, or F. Read from top to bottom, it spells DEFACE. Replacing "put your answer here" with "deface" gets leopards.portnoy.org/deface.html.

On that site you'll find ten images, all the same. Each of the images is a rebus of GEOCITIES (GE + OC + I +TIES), but each image is in a different file format. In order, the first letters spell out BIGJETPIPE, meaning www.geocities.com/bigjetpipe is your next destination.

Once there, you'll get a PowerPoint file that's a picture of some shale. Delete this to see a picture of a cake. Delete it to see an onion, then the box of Photoshop. Finally you see the logo of Friendster and the question asking what the pictures have in common. The answer is LAYERS. So head to www.friendster.com/layers.

On that site is an image of more colors. There is a row of 26 different colors, followed by a row of 22 squares which repeat colors from the top row. This is a cryptogram-the first row is a key for A-Z in color format. Translating the second row gives: YOURANSWERISNATURALTWO.

Page title fixed in 2010 by the archivists of Beginner's Luck. Was "Stage 1: Adjust the contrast til you can read the rest of the text, which tells you to go to myspace and find the correct profile"