Solution to For Your Eyes Only
Answer: THE INSIDE DOPE
by Jon Schneider
Solvers are given a link to an ongoing Zoom call. In this Zoom call there is a simple puzzlehunt in the form of an auto-playing presentation, with one puzzle per slide. Solving this mini puzzlehunt gives us the answer to this puzzle. However, there are the following caveats:
- Your team can send at most one team member to the Zoom call at a time.
- While your team member is in the Zoom call, they are not allowed to interact with any writing implements, paper, their keyboard/mouse, etc. — they are only allowed to watch the presentation.
- A team member can leave the Zoom call at any time, but once they leave, your team must wait at least 30 minutes before sending another team member to the Zoom call.
The individual puzzles are as follows:
Slide 1 (Braille): In Braille on this slide is written the answer MICROBIOLOGY.
Slide 2 (Morse Code): In Morse code on this slide is written the answer NINCOMPOOP.
Slide 3 (NATO): In this slide there are eight clues written in a column. Each clue matches to a NATO phonetic character — for example, “Father” matches with Papa, “Male lover” with Romeo, etc. Taking the NATO letters, we get the answer PRIORITY.
|South American dance||TANGO|
Slide 4 (Pigpen): In the pigpen cipher on this slide is written the answer ISOMORPHIC.
Slide 5 (Multiplication): On this slide there are several multiplication problems, with 1–2 digits of the answer highlighted in red. Solving these multiplication problems, taking the parts highlighted in red, and converting to letters (via 1–26 → A–Z) gives the answer DIVISION.
414 * 6 = 2484 91 * 19 = 1729 4546 * 2257 = 10260322 3 * 3 = 9 25 * 78 = 1950 9999 * 8 = 79992 638 * 41 = 26158 491 * 234 = 114894
Slide 6 (Trigrams): On this slide there are 8 trigrams listed in alphabetical order. Rearranging them forms the phrase SOLUTION IS PHILOSOPHIZING.
Slide 7 (Anagrams): On this slide there is a column containing 10 odd-length words whose letters have been sorted. Anagramming them to form common words and taking their middle letters (as indicated by the arrow) reveals the answer MIXOLOGIST.
HUMAN HORIZON PIXEL SYNONYM VALUE ACCOUNT LIGHT CAPITAL ISSUE CULTURE
Slide 8 (Word Search): On this slide there is a 6 by 6 word search along with bars of various colors to the right of it. The colors are in alphabetical order by name; finding them in the word search and reading the leftover letters reveals the answer HIGH SCHOOL.
Slide 9 (Pictures): On this slide there is a picture containing one volcano, two ice cream cones, three olives, four lions, five inkwells, and six nails. Taking the first letter of each item and sorting by number of items reveals the answer VIOLIN.
Slide 10 (Crossword): On this slide there is a 5 by 5 mini-crossword. Solving the crossword and reading the unclued middle row gives the answer IGLOO.
Slide 11 (Riddle): On this slide is written the classic riddle “What has four eyes but cannot see?”. The answer to this riddle is MISSISSIPPI.
Slide 12 (Semaphore): On this slide in semaphore is written the answer INDOOR POOL.
Slide 13 (Sudoku): On this slide there is a 6 by 6 Sudoku puzzle using the letters ACINOT in place of the number 1–6. Solving this puzzle and reading the highlighted diagonal reveals the answer ICONIC.
Each of the thirteen answers we obtain only contains the vowels I and O (this is also partially hinted at by the title, “For Your Eyes Only”). Looking at only the vowels in each answer and treating each I as a 1 and each O as a 0 we can get a binary number per answer. Converting this number to a letter (via 1–26 → A–Z), we obtain the answer to this puzzle, THE INSIDE DOPE.
There are two main approaches to solving the subpuzzles in the presentation: 1. solve the subpuzzle while you’re in the room (and just remember the answer), or 2. memorize the subpuzzle while you’re in the room, and then solve it with resources / your team later. It is therefore very useful to either send a teammate who is very familiar with standard puzzlehunt conventions / codes, or to send a teammate who has a very good memory (or ideally, someone with a combination of these two talents). Certain puzzles lend themselves better to one approach or another — for example, solving the riddle or the crossword might involve memorizing it and looking it up outside the room, but it is probably easier to solve the Sudoku within the room than to memorize it fully.
In practice, we’ve found that most people / solving teams can solve this puzzle in 2–3 trips, although we’ve had a handful of solvers who managed to solve it after 1 trip (and even one solver who managed to find the final answer while still in the room the first time).
Some other specific tips:
- The puzzles involving translating specific codes (Braille, Morse, Pigpen, Semaphore) can be tricky if no one on your team has them memorized. However, if you figure out the meta mechanic from the other puzzles, it suffices to just memorize the encodings of I and O for each of these codes. Pigpen and Semaphore (and Braille too some extent) also have various patterns which make memorizing the code a lot easier.
- In several subpuzzles you can solve for specific letters of the answer (e.g. Anagrams and Multiplication). By carefully choosing which letters to solve, you can wheel-of-fortune the subpuzzle answer while doing a much smaller amount of total work.