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ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.

2014 22:00

1 Disclaimer 2

2 Introduction 2

3 Clues and solves chronologically 3

3.1 ARG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.2 The address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.3 The morse code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.4 The Endercode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3.5 The Minecraft Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.6 Onions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.7 The cheshire Cat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.8 Roll your dice on search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.9 Play it Again, Sam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.10 Everywhere at once . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.11 The game within the game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3.12 We are going to the moon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.13 ROTARY file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.14 I want to believe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.15 Such wow! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
3.16 ...or is it? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

4 The very short version 29

5 My personal synopsis 31
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

1 Disclaimer
I as a person believe that human beings are the dominating species because we are able to coop-
erate. Every great person in history had the support needed to perform that great task. Today1
this ARG was spoiled by a selfish individual. My first intention was to form a private group to
solve the riddles hidden from the public. This however -as I soon realized- would make me no
better. Thus I decided to help as many people as possible to contribute to the solution of the
riddles given to us. Cooperating is the only way.

2 Introduction
2014.06.23: the user ytcoinartist23 posted the following picture on bitcointalk as well as reddit,
cryptocointalk and possibly other sites. From that day onward a search for the private key has
begun. This key currently gives access to 3.5 BTC

1 2014.07.02
3 aka OP, @coin artist
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3 Clues and solves chronologically

3.1 ARG

This first hint posted by OP was this picture:


3.2 The address

Probably even before the first hint was posted the address 1HXUobwcB19cGDrghuh42HDdJdJvrJUEra
was found within the picture. It starts from the 1 in the 3rd line from the top and ends with the
a above the head of Cody Wilson in line 6, row 13.
This was posted on reddit IIRC by the user moinen.[citation needed]
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.3 The morse code

Very early4 the user S4VV4S suggested that the red and green dots might be morse code. Sadly
the idea was quickly dissmissed. Most likely because the breaks between the individual morsecodes
had not been guessed correct.
There have been several clues from OP via the blockchain which increased the prize in BTC
constantly. They are not part of this trail, because it is speculation which clues are from OP and
which are just trolls. If this is of intrest to you, take the address from the section before and view
it with your favorite blockchain explorer.
Several days passed without anyone getting closer to the solution. I had even made a model
of the picture in Java to be able to test possible ideas very fast. While this resulted in plenty
code, strings, hashes, we did not come any closer to the solution. On day 3 the user zonkism
posted a google doc model of the picture 5 while this was viewed at times by 5 and more people
simultaneously, we did not come any closer to the solution. Since the two guys in the picture coded
the dark wallet and the symbol below them (the upside down all seeing eye) people where also
searching for a 12 word seed to restore a possible wallet. The yellow and blue dots in the picture
caused several sleepless nights, because noone understood their meaning. The user jc01480 even
found the code FBI within the source of the picture. The converter tool from
was used and misused for every possible conversion we could think of, we did not come any closer
to the solution.
On day 4 while I had a slow day at work I turned the picture upside down and tried to interpret
the letters anew. It gave me a new code, but we did not come any closer to the solution. User
eldinhadz suggested 3D glasses, it got us nowhere. User mirth23 made the first summary on day
4. While it was good and probably got more people involved, we did not get any closer to the
solution. The picture was analysed from every possible and impossible angle. We did not . . . you
know the rest.
On day 5 the user ryanAC posted several versions of the picture with isolated dots. The users
mirth23 and moinen came up with the idea that the dots are guidposts in a maze. The user
rock collector started to post other pictures from OP. The user Coinkle revealed hidden clues
from OP which had been received via Twitter DM.
Remember - steganography is so effective bc of the volume of noise
theres more than meets the eye
I tried Fibonacci code as well as ITA2 TELEX and any other code I could find, I even tried
to brute force the picture with stegbreak. Finally rgm108 drew the right conclusions from the
blockchain hints and brought back the morsecode 6 . Prospero build on that idea7 and decoded:
talehackevilyokerodeactnestnoontimeapextilttrikekacetratcsekeywisshashaimtecest mthitechoyouti-
idetsiioteenetoetthtipsetetherentistopemordstlwgnyaefdmhthmetnytw tewtpkeuealenedla
Sadly this had errors in it. But later that day the User moinen decoded:
tale hack evil yoke rode act nest noon time apex tilt trick ace catch key wish hash aim tech to hi
techo youth dash one net oath tip set ether ent is top words and nonsense after that.
A little later the user mirth23 confirmed an almost identical morsecode which lead to mirth23 and
me almost simultaneously posting:
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5 -7DWPmKg/edit?pli=1#gid=1931897256
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ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

which was later corrected by the user xELx8 to the final solution:

3.4 The Endercode

With the new hint They can not attack what they do not see we went on. We where still
confused though, not sure if the clue was from OP if we got it right. I posted a summary of the
blockchain hints9 it did not make the clue any clearer. The main problem with the hints was
that it was impossible to tell which hint came from OP. Some addresses where considered to be
from OP just by the amount of BTC invested. The user micaman hurt his head while trying to
understand the color spectrum on a nuclear level.10
On day 5 DobZombie hurt his head as well.11 We still tried to work the picture, to fold it, to
invert the colors, run filters over it. The user elh40257 even tried to listen to the picture. 12
Then OP updated the 1st post:
Update 6/28:
Do not rely solely on Users for solves, double check solves for user errors.
OP made no mistakes.
Portrait is a "shared start point". Google is your friend.
- Public Address has been solved: 1HXUobwcB19cGDrghuh42HDdJdJvrJUEra
- Embedded morse code has been solved: "They cannot attack what they do not see
The user w0lverine suggested that the artifacts at the pictures borders might be of relevance.
On day 6 the user cozk had enough13 and the user Justin00 felt so stupid a hug was needed14 .
Later that day xavier46930 had the idea to google the shit out of our last clue15 , which apparently
was what OP wanted from us. The user codenomnom was the first to behave shady. The post
has been deleted, yet with the update from OP
Update 6/29
- Message decoded has been discovered
and the cached versions of the post from I16 figured the Enderman might be our next
clue. Yet I was unable to find anything in the wiki. The user micaman however found the clue an
hour later.17 .

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ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

This picture:

While I had bad dreams about Enderman and other creatures like the weeping angels from doctor
who, the user moinen posted an improved overlay. 18

18 2014.06.30 in this post

ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

The word contra on the top was immediatly found and later linked to the video game classic contra
by the user xavier46930. OP also posted new hints:
Moving forward: old blockchain hints are no longer relevant.
Current hint: ask a classic, avid gamer
The user S4VV4S thought we might be looking for a shortened URL19 . and Gatekeeper
found the solution beeing .
The link lead us to a page with a QR code that lead us to
where we found a binary code:




I figured out that this was the IP of an Amazon server with port 22 (ssh) open. But I didnt
configure nmap correctly and missed out on the port 25565. The user mtgox555 however found
the port and the minecraft server running on it21 .
OP confirmed this with:
Update 6/30
- Contra code has been solved.
- IP address has been discovered.
While the Server quickly filled, those left behind on the board complained about the next step.
OP confirmed...
- Server has been accessed.

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ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.5 The Minecraft Server

The Minecraft Server presented us with a new set of challanges. It was set to readonly and would
reset every hour. That way we could not easily modifiy blocks. The spawnroom looked like this:

It had a single hole down which lead to the next room.

In this room was some equipment. Weapons and armor which where usually gone within seconds
after a reset. From there you could enter a tiny room with this map:
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Right next to it was the exit out of our initial rabbit hole. From there we could see a pyramid
made of stone:

Note that this has been modified by a player, I will soon explain how this was possible.
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

And a big golden Bitcoin B with a Lavafall

Some of the more experienced

minecraft players soon figured out
that while we are unable to modify
the world, the famous creeper is not.
It was lured around the map to make
it blow up at certain places. This be-
came more and more difficult as the
server was laggy und 10 people ran
around the map. But even if unsuc-
cessful a blown creeper would give us
blocks to place. This gave us plenty
opportunity to mess with the map, as
the modified pyramid in the picture
It was soon clear that we either had
to find 3 wither skulls or somehow
use creepers to pass the blocked pas-
sage in the first room. To put 3
wither skulls on the soulsand that
was placed there in the correct shape
would spawn a wither and free the
passage for those that survive one of
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

the hardest mobs in minecraft.

The user cephl tried to spawn a creeper directly in this room, which required a lot of dicipline
from the other players. To stay alive! To my knowledge this was not successful. A portal to the
end was found and explored. Yet none that made the hard way to and through the portal came
back. If they had not been eaten by Zombies, shot by Skeletons or burned by Lava along the way
the Enderdragon got them in the End. Also very early in the game the room behind the Wither
was entered by an unknown player.
Meanwhile on the board the bitching about OPs decisions kept going. Yet there where also voiced
that understood us as a team22 . Soon the waiting paid off as the user newuser01 posted the first
pictures from beyond the Wither and the overview or maproom23 . Others summoned their kids
to pick their brains about Minecraft and shared the results on the board. The wall of dirt with
Redstone was soon identified as part of a QR code. Yet it was only 1 of 4 parts and most on the
Server had no idea about this post yet.
I only figured this out when I went on the board to update the others about our hunt for the 3
Skulls and to safe the positions of those we found. The user Yemmster soon posted a clean black
and white version of the QR code24 . Cryptozim had the idea the make an overlay25 yet it only
served to pass the time for those unable to join us on the Server.
Meanwhile on the Minecraft Server the player GIGANTOR89 found a platforming game which
lead to this Skull over the Lava:

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ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Only later did we realize that we allready had another part of the QR code in this cave:

OP even placed a very convienient glasblock to take a pictures from.

A little earlier the first skull was found close to a waterfall. While this was the first skull it was
also the last QR code to be found. I have never been there thus I have no screenshot of it, but
Yemmster said that you had to look up in order to see the code.
On the board OP gave us this hint:
MC Hint:
Falling through the rabbit hole,
the end is surely nigh.
I turn to take a final glance,
a distant fading sky.
While its a nice poem I dont think anyone really worked on that. Or maybe this was what lead
so many placers to go to the End. With that much progress in a very short time I had the feeling
that this was the final step. Yet I had to leave. When I came back, sure that someone had allready
claimed the bitcoin, I found a very chaotic Server with frustrated players.
The Server was instable at this point and we had to endure regular disconnects. I was able to
organize a little group to finally get something done. One of the first and easiest things to do
was to get the QR code from the lava platform. The player k0rr3 revealed that the 3rd skull was
in some sort of underground watermaze. While players died like flies in an atempt to find a QR
code within the puzzle, yemmster scanned the maze with an plugin. The hope was that the maze
itself was the QR code. I made a post that I updated several times with clues from other players
in order to keep track of the current status26 . While those left on the board tried to work with
parts of the QR code and players still drowned in a attempt to map the maze, newuser01 posted
the water QR code27 . The user Yemmster kept an updated a collection of the codes on imgur28 .
Yet we still missed the crucial final part.
While we had a working group I suggested we spawn the Wither. I hoped that it would not only
guard the room behind it but also trigger other changes on the Server, start some sort of plugin
maybe. For those not playing minecraft the Wither is no joke if you only have a sword. It can
explode at will (while still beeing alive) and its projectiles remove blocks. While we managed to
spawn it and sneak a player behind its back, I did result in nothing but chaos. The pyramid was
completly trashed, the wither roamed free around the world and most players ran away. Those
that tried to fight, died within seconds.
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28 link:
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At this point it was clear that we had to search for QR code and the forum was eager for an
answer. The next idea was to kill an Enderman in order to get an Enderpearl to get into a certain
room that we believed was not accessible otherwise. The final group was very small and the server
was running more stable, yet we where unable to to kill one. Yemmster however figured out the
pattern. One part of the code with each skull and the final part behind the Wither they help to
spawn. He was shown the entrance to the cave where the first skull was found and took a final
glance at the sky to reveal the last part of the QR code. The Server was quickly abandoned for
the next step ahead of us.

3.6 Onions

The now completed QR code was posted moinen29 which lead to another shortened URL
which redirected to where we
got the file Onion.7z. Even though the file was protected by a password the user Yemmster quickly
revealed the password to be the know bitcoi address 1HXUobwcB19cGDrghuh42HDdJdJvrJUEra30 .
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.7 The cheshire Cat?

Within the Onion.7z was another password protected file named 1.7z and this picture Hint.jpg
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Yemmster also found the clues hidden within the picture.

In the top left corner 7:51 and in the
bottom left corner Bit Sha. Some
users where thinking about bible or
quran codes, while others focused on
the picture itself. Several manipu-
lated versions of the picture where
posted. To me it looked like the face
of Boe, to others it looked like the
Cheshire Cat, like a skull, a jack-o-
lantern, cursive writing, Dr. Robot-
nik or an indian totem pole. Searches
with the image revealed that the
pattern resembles structures of the
moon or carpets other results in-
cluded the perfect girlfriend activa-
tion system or guess which mon-
ster you will become in a click.
The user xELx reserched that the
first Alice in Wonderland movie
premiered in July 1951 as in
7:5131 Following this hint several
versions of Alice in Wonderland where whecked for clues at 7 minutes 51 sec-
onds. The user moinen posted the clearest version of the picture we ever got.32
More sleepless nights. Biblequotes,
RFC1751, apparently the 751 leads
to New York, in chapter 7 of Alice
in Wonderland she is a guest at the
mad tee party and Alice has to solve
many riddles, there is a cat doormat
for day 751, etc.
I even wrapped saran wrap around
my laptop in order to draw the lines
of the picture on it. No, it did not
lead to any more clues, but to a
tip for the nice lady at the univer-
sity cafeteria, who helped me with-
out even asking what I needed it for.
S4VV4S researched OPs book collec-
tion from a youtube video in order
to get a hint which books to check
next33 . As we will see later, this
will be of relevance. Apparently the
Cheshire Cat is imprisoned in Area
51 as protokol researched for us34 .
It was also S4VV4S who found two
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following directly after

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fighting figures in the bottom center of the picture moinen had posted earlier35 .
So the Cheshire Cats and the Skulls and the faces of whatnot where out of the question. We
looked at a landscape. But of what? Another videogame? Minds had been fucked36 . Memories of
old games came back37 38 , S4VV4S found squares in the picture39 and more manipulated versions
where posted, yet it seemed we where stuck again40 . But OP promissed us an update within 24
hours41 .
At the end of day 9, over 1000 posts after the first, still new people joined us42 .
Day 10, OP posted a clue.
A clue was missed, JUST before this...
followed by a Serverlog. Apparently we had missed something. Messages at 7:51 in various time
zone where analysed. Apparently at that time I talked about the waterfall where the 1st Skull
was hidden. So the idea of waterfall hashing came up43 . It took some time off log reading and
complaining about revealed IP addresses until Timmmaahh understood that we missed something
before we the Server was entered44 .
More heads where hurt 45 but OP once again pushed us in the correct direc-
tion46 . Yemmster remembered the name of the Server as Ready Player47
and linked it to one of the books S4VV4s had researched earlier. Mtgox555
found it somewhere and posted chapter 748 which lead to the D&D book
Tomb of Horrors49 and thus the source of the picture.
Another hint by OP50
"Bit Sha"\_specification
and the user Timmmaahh quickly understood that we had to use
SHA-256(SHA-256(Tomb of Horrors)) to get the password51
and the next step was revealed...

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ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.8 Roll your dice on search

The extraction of the files in 1.7z revealed another encrypted file 2.7z and
the picture Elements.jpg:

Those familiar with pen and paper will immediatly see, we had to deal with dice, but not with all
dice. Only with those that are platonic shapes as mtgox55552 quickly posted. While Gatekeeper
was still a bit frustrated the someone else had posted the solution seconds to soon, Yemmster
allready took the picture apart53 . Rgm108 remembered that crystals are also somehow related to
platonic solids 54 while Yemmster allready had a connection between the word Elements in the
picture and the platonic solids 55 .
The ancient Greek belief in five basic elements, these being earth, water, air,
fire and aether, dates from pre-Socratic times and persisted throughout the
Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, deeply influencing European thought and
culture. These five elements are sometimes associated with the
five platonic solids.
Mtgox555 tried to get a password out of these clues, but had no success56 . Gatekeeper used
the mathmatical names of the dice, but had no success either.57 While both mtgox555 and
Timmmaahh tried several combinations of the five elements, their hashes as well as their hashes
hashes, they had no success58 either. In between all the hashes, Kprawn enlightened use with
some dice trivia59 . Apparently the dices now used in pen and paper where not invented for games,
but to teach students platonic solids. Since the classic elements seemed to fail I worked on those
in the periodic table. I even found a D12 shaped crystal60 . No, I did not lead to a solution, so I
researched the possible elements in D&D and found way more than we could ever want. Did you
know that ooze was an element? Me neither61 .
As it was revealed later the user arg found the solution, but did not share it62 . As I allready
mentioned in the disclaimer, this made me consider63 forming a secret group. The user uvwvj also
revealed that should he/she find the solution nothing would be shared.64 So much for the work
that had been done at this point. So many people contributed their solutions and ideas, yet a few
apparently had no respect for that. But as we will see later, for arg this might be just a form of
bragging and args way to spur us to new solutions. After some 30 minutes of bitching and cursing
the solution was revealed by arg.
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Within the EXIF data of Elements.jpg had been a hidden QR code. If you upload the original
picture to the QR code can be found as micaman pointed out later 65 .
This QR code lead to where a quote and another link was found66 .
"Never underestimate the determination of a kid who is time-rich and cash-poor."
The shortened link lead to a file named Again.7z.

3.9 Play it Again, Sam revealed the content of Again.7z67 . A textfile within the number 2147129 and a video
space.mp468 . Together with the quote Never underestimate the determination of a kid who is
time-rich and cash-poor. Those where the clues we had to work now.
Yet as S4VV4S pointed out this did not extract the 2.7z which will be important as we will see
Prospero pointed out the videofile is from 1980.70 Jul 2nd, 1980, 00:02:18, 331369338 unixtime to
be precice.71 Its a video of a rocket flying through space. To me it looked a bit like one of these
USB-Sticks with a display to play MP3s. The rockets display shows ODYSSEY and 8081-
VA015 as well as some other symbols72 that we never figured out AFAIK. OP gave us another
hint73 :
Match the identified platonic shapes to their designated elements in the correct
order. Always apply Bitcoin protocol.
and the almost forgotten riddle of 2.7z was solved by mtgox55574 .

68 va015 odyssey/2014-02-25-119
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3.10 Everywhere at once

The riddle of Again.7z was not yet solved when the next came up. 3.7z was revealed along with
another picture named Algo.jpg

A discussion started wether 214712975 is a triangular number or not. Lets do the test, shall we?
The number to test is x in the formular below. In order for it to pass the test n must be an integer.

8x + 1 1 8 2147129 + 1 1 17177033 1
n= =
2 2 2

17177033 1
= n 2071.76 test failed
At the same time some where pissed about the fact that the hashes for the elements riddle should
have been binary and not hex since bitcoin protocol does it binary.76 People are confused which
path to follow, two riddles at once, clues from both mixed all over the thread. OP gave us another
hint77 .
- **New Hint: Continuing on from "Elements," keep thinking "Greek geek speak."
This hint however was removed quickly78 . This, as we found out soon, would be OPs way to
communicate with us from thereon. Post a hint, wait for it to be quoted and remove it.
The madness spreads, files that should be are not square, dots the should be are not aligned.79
Yet another hint by OP80 :
"- File "Onion" or file "Again," choose a path. Which one leads to bitcoin?
*...Perhaps they both lead to bitcoin..."
Or was it? We had to choose, but as it turned out later both lead us further and throughout the
thread people worked on both riddles.
75 In case you forgot: thats the number we got in the textfile from Again.7z
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Micaman soon encoded the password for 3.7z81

SHA(SHA(Tetractys))82 = cac911c02d8a37ffd20fb99aa21166160bc8f8c3c23ed119cabf36330bb35671
which brought us another step forward, gave us another riddle to solve.

3.11 The game within the game

The 3.7z had the 1982 game Dungeons of Daggorath in it, or better the windows port with
Coin Artist listed under contributors83 . After checking for viruses84 bitcoininformation tried to
start the game and failed85 . Apparently Timmmaahh didnt even both to get the game running,
but focused on the readme.txt in the license folder which revealed more hidden clues86 . Allways
handy to know which license you are dealing with.
And then there was Bitcoin
Rick Hunerlach
November 14, 2002
Satoshi was here
Yemmster revealed that howtoplay.txt, readme.txt and uninst.exe had been edited on June 27th
201487 as well as some of the .wav files in the sound folder88 . Timmmaahh confirms that the .wav
files are those that stay if you run the uninst.exe89 . Not a second played, allready uninstalled.
Thats what you get when you make a game part of a riddle. Protokol soon found QR codes hidden
in the audio files90 . Gatekeeper revealed the words that where edited in the text files91 .
Coin_Artist: A secret
And then there was Bitcoin
more words
Satoshi was here
Thats all there is to it!
Such Wow!
While I remember a discussion about this, the list above should be complete. Arg shares the QR
code from the sound files which lead us to Again.7z again92 . By now the first people can not take
it anymore.93 Afterwards the game was abandoned and we focused on Again.7z94 as apparently
all 5 sound files contained the same QR code95 .
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.12 We are going to the moon

Totally unrelated: while we tried to solve this riddle the price of bitcoin has rissen by 8% and
fallen by 10%. Yeah I will not keep this updated anymore.
Bitcoininformation gave us a nice summary96 :
Always apply Bitcoin protocol - Bitcoin hash is the hash of the hash, so two SHA256 rounds
are needed
Never underestimate the determination of a kid who is time-rich and cash-poor.
2147129 (from Number.txt)
8081-VA015 ODYSSEY (characters in the video from Space.mp4, also the album title this
video is from)
Jul 2, 1980 00:02:18, unix timestamp: 331369338 (timestamp of again files - thanks Prospero)
Space.mp4 itself
Meanwhile OP removed all the hints but these97 :
Portrait is a shared start point. Google is your friend.
Public Address: 1HXUobwcB19cGDrghuh42HDdJdJvrJUEra
Bitcoin hash is the hash of the hash, so two SHA256 rounds are needed
Day 10, people started to halucinate,98 confusion spreaded99 , but OP got us back to reality.100 I
tried to upload the first version of this, 101 but the post was taken down by the mods. Probably
because I did not introduce the file properly.
Micaman came up with the first good suggestion in a long time102 . The video might be a hidden
truecrypt container. For this the filesize must be a multible of 512 byte, which sadly was not
the case. But as Timmmaahh pointed out there is more data than the bitrate suggests, which
might be due to variable bitrate as Prospero argued103 . Prospero also searched all the possible
combinations of our number (2147129)104 and got nothing. The user Voyager posted some proof
that the video indeed contained 2147129 additional bytes information105 . Voyager got the original
video from youtube OP used - sha256sum matched and compared the two files to figure this out.
Apparently arg knew about this allready, but decided not to share106 until now. Arg also shared
a link to the part of the file split from the video.
Mirth23 however did not let go of the game and found another hidden QR code. It pointed towards
the same Again.7z we allready knew though.107
Alphabetacanary revealed that the hidden bytes in the video are another 7z file108 . The data was
rotated as was explained here109 .
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.13 ROTARY file

The new file had to be encrypted, a password or passphrase was needed or as OP used to tell us
a double sha256. Mirth23 did some research on the game and found that 2009 and Thats all
there is to it! are from the original files and had not been added by OP. Apparently there is also
a hidden song if you speed up 16 kaboom.wav by 225%110 . To my knowledge noone figured out
what song this is. OP posted111 the hint
2E as exponential or the hex representation of an ASCII period? Maybe mirth23 was close to
something? Several attempts to basically bruteforce the password where started.
Day 11 (2014.07.03):
The user mirth23 gave us a summary112 of the current status:
Again File:
weird timestamp (331369338)
Unaltered Laffe the Fox video
password-encrypted .7z padding from video file (of length from Number.txt)
From 3.7/DoD
unidentified music in 16 kaboom.wav
the following inserted text strings:
Such Wow!
Satoshi was here
Coin Artist: A secret
And then there was Bitcoin
more words
The bruteforcing attempts to get the password failed113 .
OP gave us another hint:114
"Bitcoin hash is the hash of the hash, so two SHA256 rounds are needed"
which -again- disappeared right after it was quoted. Arg posted another hash115 and as it turned
out later116 arg was 30 minutes ahead of the pack.
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

xELx just posted the solution117 .

ODY55EY 8081-VA015 Shad twice:
The file Crops.jpg was inside the hidden data.

3.14 I want to believe

The picture had a hidden file inside it as was revealed by bitcoininformation118 . The picture itself
shows a known crop circle119120 . Both the date the picture was taken (1601.03.24)121 and the
date the picture was last modified (1980.07.02) had been changed122 . People started to leave123 ,
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

gotten angry124 , but others kept going, kept sharing125 126 127 128
"Beware the bearers of FALSE gifts & their BROKEN PROMISES.
Much PAIN but still time. There is GOOD out there. We Oppose DECEPTION.
Conduit CLOSING." gives the real name of the photo:


When you morse-code translate what is different you get:

----- -...- ----- .- -...- .---- ----- -... .- -... -.-- .- -...- ...--
-.... .-- --- .-- ..--.

Crops.jpg image part has the creation time 1601:03:24 20:18:26.00

The empty spaces represent the binary number of ZERO and the blocks represent
the binary number ONE. Using this cipher we get the following message:
"Beware the bearers of false gifts and their broken promises.
Much pain, but still time. Believe there is good out there.
We oppose deception. Conduit closing. 0x07"
The binary code of 0x07 at the end of the message would produced a bell sound
xELx suggested that one of the clues might be the code we should be looking for129 . As in 0 is 0,
A is 10 and a is 36, so Base62 with the uppercase letters in the middle.
Arg-sidekick130 gave us the quote from above with the correct capitalization:
A conversion to binary however reveals:
Beware the bearers of FALSE gifts & their BROKEN PROMISES.
Much PAIN but still time. BELIEVE: There is GOOD out there.
As we found out later arg and arg-sidekick were working together on this riddle. Itod suggested
that the captialisation of the sentence is a clue or message131
Itod also noticed the space before the question-mark and pondered its meaning. Prospero suggests
that maybe the wow! signal132 is a clue133 and 10 minutes later xELx got it134 .
shax2 Wow! = 807779b76e88b7aa9abc84a126822f76c0f24a28b5eb2ea1baa435eb09f5c155
This was later135 corrected to the double hash of 6EQUJ5. The posted hash however was correct.
Too much excitement?
132 signal.jpg
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

3.15 Such wow!

This however lead us to a new file Wow.JPG

The fist two lines on the left read:

Sha-256 found a hidden xmp packet in the picture136 which cryptozim plotted137 a while later
hoba gave us a nice overlay of both pictures138 . LtPaxIV posted meta information about the
picture.139 ooxtcoo pointed out that the picture apparently was created the same time as the
original 1977.08.15 - 20:09140 . Micaman thought we should keep it simple and just ask aliens for
assistance141 . As arg142 pointed out the filesize seemed to big. I have 2070436 bytes on mine for
3600x2974 px mostly black and white. When I copy pastad the picture and safed it, it actually
got bigger. Not sure what GIMP was doing there and as it turned out there was nothing more
inside the picture. This was the last step, or was it143 ? xELx cought one of OPs hints144 : a
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

link145 to a Just Dance 4 version of the final countdown. A foreshadowing of the end? Or was OP
on her way to venus allready146 , Saying goodbye? Yemmster gave us a dump of the data behind
0xFFD9147148 People were allready preparing their bitcoin wallets for the private key to come149
and arg helped out the newbies150 . Apparently with an iPhones the picture was some form of
zip file151 according to Timmmaahh. But since noone else can confirm this152 153 154 , sha-256
suggests we all get iPhones to check155 . Velkro thought its all fake and arg and arg-sidekick just
wanted it to be over156 . I dont know if you had been with this from the start. On day 13157 I
pulled back to write this summary because I just cant search for clues anymore. The first week I
did nothing but this riddle. Well more about that later in my personal synopsis.
Most resigned to waiting for clues158 and since apparently159 in the past S4VV4S allways got clues
when he asked for them he was send ahead160 .
Arg-sidekick gave another good summary161 . Ill just quote it whole162 :
1. We have one wow.jpg that used to be a tiff. It doesnt open as a tiff anymore,
saved as a jpeg.
2. Inside the jpg it holds some xmp data
3. It seemingly corresponds with the image. Although not 100%
4. Made with photoshop elements, not photoshop as the originals were.
5. There is only two points of change in the image. The title which was replaced
with the original text and a 51 char string and the first header which was moved
up a few pixels.
6. We have 6EQUJ5 / 6 / 6 / 5 / 7, which is from the OG but still a possible data point
7. 6EQUJ5 was the password to its container though, I dont think its going to
be used twice
8. The file was, again, dated to 1980. Aug 15 1977 or 05 15 1977
9. Everything so far has been double sha and that still remains as a hint
10. We have two unsolved/unrelated hints. "wow + crops" and one youtube video of
the final countdown acted out in dance central by "AverageAsianDude".
11. And finally the portrait that hasnt been used since the beginning. It was
labeled as a starting point, so discountable.
12. Original wow.jpg was edited 5 times in Photoshop Elements. Previous
hints/images were worked on in Photoshop.
Mirth23 (w/o the rambling):
1) 0=0A=10BABYA=36WOW?S
3) the XMP data in Wow.JPG
tl;dr: I think the real key is to correctly interpret 0=0A=10BABYA=36WOW?S
157 2014.07.05
162 full disclosure: its missing pony gifs
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

and z69JZqlJn862D1ndx7oLVEMmVOlP1zewEeUCrsI7Roahzpeny7P .
Note: ? = D
Ip669163 thought we should just stalk OP and knock her out, while arg argued164 that this is
probably not part of the ARG. Mirth23 gave us some additional info165 I build into the list above.
Op gave another clue166 : a gif of Neo beeing asked What truth? It probably was a reference
to someone saying we had been spoonfeed anyway. For some reason we were talking about the hints again167 . How do astronomers do coordinates168 ? Jc01480 got kittens and
was about to get even more169 .
Another hint170 by OP:
- 6EQUJ5
- No sha or hash needed
and quickly after171 another:
the prize awaits you
the final palindrome is key
once small is now tall
Its day 14, over 2000 posts had been written, the end was near. It was questioned whether
we are looking for a private key or maybe some form of code that would result in OP giving
the key away172 . Dagi reminds us what the prevailing opinion regarding the Base62 code is173 .
Ooxtcoo174 , arg175 and alphabetacanary176 apparently had running (or almost running) code to
crack the final step, yet the key did not match. Is that a 0 or an O in the picture177 . Arg gave us
a nice gif178 to show us that we are indeed talking about a 0 (ZERO) here. Gatekeeper allready
understood that179 6EQUJ5 would give no valid code in base58, but did not know how this would
come into play yet. Arg-sidekick180 figured out which exact font OP used. No this was no part
of the solution. Mirth23 gave us one last summary181 , OP killed Timmmaahh s sleep182 as well as
everyone elses sleep183 and posted the final hint184 :
the prize awaits you
the final palindrome is key
once small is now tall
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Gatekeeper quickly understood that #2103 was refering to this post185 . Note that the number of
posts is now off, because some were deleted. It was the post where alphabetacanary shared his/her
c-code earlier. 40 Minutes later the coins were on the move186 . It is believed that Gatekeeper
solved the final step, but AFAIK this was never confirmed.
Afterwards there was a lot bitching about the amount of coins the winner allready had, while
others appreciated the learning effect the puzzle had187 . Im not going to get into this, but will
try to explain how the final step worked.
Ooxtcoo was 2nd in place and posted the private key188 .

ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

The way I understand the final step, thanks to the help of itod189 190
, ooxtcoo191 and espcially
arg192 .
take the string z69JZqlJn862D1ndx7oLVEMmVOlP1zewEeUCrsI7Roahzpeny7P from Wow.jpg
The zero is the letter O (upercase o)
Change the w to W because sadly OP made a misstake here to get the intended code:
the used Alphabet is Base62
The Base62 decodes 6EQUJ5 to the numbers 6,14,26,30,19,5
Shift this code by the numbers above sequentially and you get:
the final private key.
Arg and arg-sidekick take their hooves193 and go. The riddle is solved the coins are spend. The
game that was none is over.

3.16 ...or is it?

According to S4VV4S194 the game ended to soon. I dont want to make this part of this pdf,
because I read his post only once and I dont understand it entirely. Apparently there is more to

4 The very short version

Yo, Shorena! Yo, Stop the slobber! Just gimme the short version damit! Since mirth23195 agreed
to help me. . .
List of Puzzles:
Portrait of Cody Wilson and Amir Taaki
Contra Puzzle
Minecraft Server Puzzle
Onion.7z -
File 0 / Hint.jpg
File 1 / Elements.jpg
File 2 / Algo.jpg
Dungeons of Daggorath
Again.7z / Space.mp4 -
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

List of solves:
Bitcoin Address in the Portrait: 1HXUobwcB19cGDrghuh42HDdJdJvrJUEra
Red/Green dots in the Portrait, read from top to bottom and from right to left
tale hack evil yoke rode act nest noon time apex tilt trick ace catch key wish hash aim tech
to hit echo youth dash one net oath tip set ether enti stop words
Take the first letter of each word till stop words and you get:
Search engine of your choice the fuck out of that phrase and you will find the Minecraft
wiki for the Enderman where OP left a picture
Lay the Enderman picture over the Portrait to get the code: otaCNrDIMnLith.byeTCraAB..Ft
(1st dot is blue, other 2 are yellow) Remove Contra (top part of the picture) and BA (part
of a cheatcode for the game Contra) to get
This leads you to an QR code scan it where you find
a binary code that converts to an IP address for a Minecraft server that is no longer online.
Find 4 quadrants of a QR hidden in Minecraft server
Download file Onion.7z and extrat with bitcoin address (1HXUobwcB19cGDrghuh42HDdJdJvrJUEra
as password) File 0
Strip repeating texture from hint.jpg, turn to cyan, image is from Tomb of Horrors D&D
module. Password is sha256(sha256(Tomb of Horrors)) File 1
Elements.jpg shows dice as platonic solids, corresponding with 5 greek elements. Password
is sha256(sha256(fireearthairetherwater)). File 2
Shortcut! Hidden QR Code in Photoshop Thumbnail to leads directly to Again.7z
One of the words for what is shown on the Algo.jpg is Tetractys.
Password is sha256(sha256(Tetractys)) DoD
Some soundfiles were added with a spectrally encoded QR code.
Cory Doctorow quote and another link to Again.7z (
The videofile is padded with 2147129 extra bytes of data extract shift by 100
hidden.7z. Password is based on the text shown in the video
sha256(sha256(ODY55EY 8081-VA015))
hidden.7z gives you Crops.jpg
compare against original image ( 163.jpg)
inner rings have been modified interpret as morsecode 0=0A=10BABYA=36WOWDS196
search wow alien to get Wow! Signal intensity 6EQUJ5
hidden 7z within crops.jpg, just rename to crops.jpg.7z password is
take the string z69JZqlJn862D1ndx7oLVEMmVOlP1zewEeUCrsI7Roahzpeny7P from
196 D as the symbol for dogecoin, S might be O instead, at least thats what I got
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

The zero is the letter O (upercase o); change the w to W because sadly OP made a
misstake here to get the intended string:
use Base62 to decode 6EQUJ5 to the numbers 6,14,26,30,19,5
Shift the string by the numbers above sequentially and you get:
the final private key.

5 My personal synopsis
This puzzle changed two weeks of my life. The first few days I did nothing but write down things
from the picture and to search for patterns. I did this at home, at work, at the university, while
I went from one place to another, on the floor of the subway, on the bus, everywhere. On day 1
I had an appointment to learn with someone. The first question that blurred out of my mouth
when the door opened was: Would you like to earn money instead of learning today? I still had
my running laptop in my hand. I thought I could crack the code within a day or maybe two. But
even though I did nothing but read up codes and share failed attempts, we didnt get anywhere.
On day 2 I asked the same question again, I canceled another learning appointment. This would
result in a very rushed homework paper one week later. We spend the whole day to write Javacode
that would represent the picture. 749 lines of code just to get the information out of the picture
and 100 more lines to rotate it if needed.
fields.add(new Field(FieldType.LETTER, FrontColor.GREEN, BackgroundColor.YELLOW, j));
line after line after. We doublechecked, we tripplechecked. People came and contributed their
interpretation of string. I will forever see s7ovY8tcakz as soviet cakes when I watch the picture.
Days came and went, I worked, I slept, I ate, I took my kids to daycare, allways Cody and Amirs
Portrait in my head. I remember one day I had to go to work, so I charged my laptop, told git
to pull the latest Javacode and opened it in the subway. But that was not what we talked about.
No changes. So I send a message to my friend: did you push? Answer: Done. My mind: FUCK, I
am on my way to work it will be a slow day because everyone else is watching football and I dont
have the code I need. I should probably say that the security at the place I work is very strict. So
I though I had no way to get the code, when I realized the phone in my hand. No cable though,
but maybe I can use it as hotspot. A few seconds later I had the slowest pull of code in my life. It
was a very slow day at work. I was able to get several 100 possible keys. Sadly none was correct.
While the first days I allways was sure I was close, the first week I allways felt the next step is near.
I was never frustrated. I was tired, I woke up at night to test something I came up with while I
slept, I was absent, yet never frustrated. And I get easily frustrated, espcially when supporting
Windows. Well, maybe thats Windows fault, not mine ;)
I learned plenty new ways to encrypt something. I used a QR code for the first time in my life. I
dont think I will use those more often in the future though. I still cant get over the idea that it
feeds data I cant check into my phone. I realized that I have a deep trust in the good of humans,
while this makes me naive sometimes and even can throw me off the track I understand this better
now. The picture, this riddle, this journey was a mirror for me. What I do not know is how I
would have handled the victory. It was discussed early on and I posted that Id share with everyone
that contributed, take 2 shares for myself and 2 shares for OP or another artist. Yet when I saw
the list of contributors197 I did a quick calculation in my head. I want to make this calculation
again, in detail:
ARG Puzzle 3.5 BTC private key price effective: 06.07.2014 22:00

Individual contributors excluding myself, according to this list: S4VV4S, moinen, mirth23, code-
nomnom, mtgox555, micaman, Gatekeeper, newuser01, Yemmster, Timmmaahh, arg, arg-sidekick,
Prospero, protokol, tsoPANos, Voyager, alphabetacanary, xELx. 18 people, so a total of 22 shares.
22 0.16 per share. Would I have done this? Or would I have taken the coins and buy a new
machine, buy nice dinner for my family? I dont know.
Would you have shared it, with strangers you met online?