ninebows puzzle

Doctor Q

Original poster
Staff member
Has anyone been working on this puzzle?

http://www.ninebows.com/

There are supposedly nine levels to this puzzle started by Ryan Brooks. That's the first one. The prize is "something of value".

If you solve the puzzle on this starting page, it should lead you to the second puzzle. Ryan claims that an average middle-schooler could solve it.

Unlike the Petals Around The Rose puzzle, where we were all polite enough not to reveal the answer, this puzzle is hard enough that a team effort might be needed.

Dandaman

macrumors 6502
i don't get it. what are we supposed to do? i'm too slow

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Dandaman said:
i don't get it. what are we supposed to do? i'm too slow
i believe it is bianary, which i dont know, hence i dont know where to go from here, interesting puzzle though

Dandaman

macrumors 6502
working on getting the binary right now
will post as soon as i get it

daniel

clayj

macrumors 604
7:09 PM EST, 3/7: I've already figured out the first puzzle, now working on the second.

EDIT: OK, in the interest of speeding things along, here's the solution to the first part:

original binary:
1110000 1101100 1110011 100000
1100111 1100101 1110100 100000
101111 1110100 1110111 1101111

converted to decimal:
112 108 115 32
103 101 116 32
47 116 119 111

converted to ASCII character codes:
p l s
g e t
/ t w o

So go to http://www.ninebows.com/two and see if you can figure out the next step... so far, apparently no one has.

haha

I got it!

dhkkim

macrumors newbie
hard

yes. this quiz is hard.

Dandaman

macrumors 6502
this is what i got in decimal:

224 216 230 64
206 202 232 64
96 236 240 224

but i still don't get it. maybe i'm missing something.

daniel

EDIT: sorry wrong numbers.

dhkkim

macrumors newbie
Dandaman said:
this is what i got in decimal:

224 216 230 64
206 202 232 64
96 236 240 224

but i still don't get it. maybe i'm missing something.

daniel

EDIT: sorry wrong numbers.

oh man. i converted to unicode doesn't work.

dhkkim

macrumors newbie
clayjohanson said:
What, the whole thing, or just the first part?
I just got into the website lol

Dandaman

macrumors 6502
doh! been awhile since i've done binaries. got the answer clay just got now

Dandaman

macrumors 6502
apparently no one anywhere has gotten the second puzzle yet. maybe it's a hoax?????

killuminati

macrumors 68020
Interesting puzzle. After /two I tried /three but a page came up saying that its not that easy oh well i tried

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Oh god, what have you done Doctor Q?

There is like a 30 page discussion of this puzzle at gamedev.net. The smart people over there have been working on it for months now and no one has gotten the second puzzle yet. As far as I know, no one in the world has solved it.

I don't think the problem is that the puzzle is too hard. The creator himself said a middle-schooler with no special knowledge could solve it. However, what makes it so difficult is we have no idea what kind of solution we are aiming for. Is the answer to the second part in the same form as the first, i.e.

p l s
g e t
/ ? ? ?

We don't know. It could literally be just about anything. Kind of makes it pointless. I suggest not wasting your time on this. It will probably never be solved unless the creator puts out some kind of hint.

Doctor Q

Original poster
Staff member
Hmmmm, I wonder if it is "good for you" (brain exercise) to think about puzzles like this whether or not you have a chance of solving it.

I have enjoyed trying different solutions to the second part of the puzzle, even though none of them have produced anything meaningful so far.

Maybe Team MacRumors will solve the puzzle and show the world how it's done!

clayj

macrumors 604
Doctor Q said:
Hmmmm, I wonder if it is "good for you" (brain exercise) to think about puzzles like this whether or not you have a chance of solving it.

I have enjoyed trying different solutions to the second part of the puzzle, even though none of them have produced anything meaningful so far.

Maybe Team MacRumors will solve the puzzle and show the world how it's done!
I left a similar puzzle on a paving tile at Microsoft right before I left there in 2000... basically, it's just the following number:

234311546737130

If you decode this and PM me with the correct translation, I'll give you kudos for being a Clever Person here on the board.

Chubypig

macrumors 6502
clayjohanson said:
I left a similar puzzle on a paving tile at Microsoft right before I left there in 2000... basically, it's just the following number:

234311546737130

If you decode this and PM me with the correct translation, I'll give you kudos for being a Clever Person here on the board.
Wait, have you solved the whole ninebows thing? all the steps?

yippy

macrumors 68020

http://www.ninebows.com:8081/

What is that? If you can find a way to get that port out of those numbers we may have the log in and password as well. Or this could send everyone in completely the wrong direction.

clayj

macrumors 604
Chubypig said:
Wait, have you solved the whole ninebows thing? all the steps?
I wish. No, like everyone else, I am stuck on the whole /two page.

My point was that my seemingly-random string of numbers has meaning, as long as you can determine the algorithm I used to arrive there. Just through sheer bloody-mindedness, you or someone else should be able to figure it out... eventually.

goodtimes5

macrumors 6502a
jamdr said:
We don't know. It could literally be just about anything. Kind of makes it pointless. I suggest not wasting your time on this. It will probably never be solved unless the creator puts out some kind of hint.
You could say the same thing about the phenomenon of electricity and light, but that never stopped anyone. Imagine if Thomas Edison stated your exact words.

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
goodtimes5 said:
You could say the same thing about the phenomenon of electricity and light, but that never stopped anyone. Imagine if Thomas Edison stated your exact words.
Fair enough, but the reward for solving this puzzle is not quite as great as one from making a scientific breakthrough. I guess if solving this puzzle would produce a cure for cancer or something, it would be solved. But since it's just some game, it doesn't seem worth it to me. Games stop being fun or interesting when they are too difficult.

wdlove

macrumors P6
I thought that I would take a look.

1110000 1101100 1110011 100000
1100111 1100101 1110100 100000
101111 1110100 1110111 1101111

Interesting looking set of numbers, but completely lost. It seems that a knowledge of binary is a prerequisite. Kind of reminds me of DNA, the amino acid coding sequences that make up each cell in our body, adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). The human genome.

clayj

macrumors 604
wdlove said:
I thought that I would take a look.

1110000 1101100 1110011 100000
1100111 1100101 1110100 100000
101111 1110100 1110111 1101111

Interesting looking set of numbers, but completely lost. It seems that a knowledge of binary is a prerequisite. Kind of reminds me of DNA, the amino acid coding sequences that make up each cell in our body, adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). The human genome.
We figured that part out already... see above.

I dreamt about the second part last night... it occurred to me that the string of numbers and symbols could be "leet" for something... in other words:

27 26 30+3 11+1 15 22+1 23-1 23-1 22-2​
could translate into:

zt zq eo+e ii+i iu zz+i ze-i ze-i zz-z​
But I can't figure out what you might do with that next.

EDIT: Of course, my leet translation might not be correct. And I tried converting the leet into numbers (zt = 26*20, for example) and summing them (2898), but that didn't seem to work.