Code-Breaking Challenge: Steemit's First Puzzle Quest

in #codebreaker3 years ago (edited)

Do you like winning prizes?
Do you like solving puzzles?
Do you like stories?

Think you're a code-breaker?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

Introducing... The Codebreaker Challenge

The Codebreaking Challenge will be a puzzle-solving and code-breaking game designed by me (@wilfredn) and held over a specified period of time. It's a real-time game that will have you competing and collaborating with other players to solve a puzzle and progress to the next stage. You will get a chance to compete for a prize pool that grows in size as more players join in the fun.

Excited? Here's more details...

Part 1: Description of the Challenge

Each Challenge is made of a fixed number of stages. The number of stages will be announced beforehand. In each stage, I will provide a puzzle or code to solve, and an encrypted message. To decrypt the message, you need to enter a Secret Key. The Secret Key is made up of a seed word that you will find in the previous stage's decrypted message and the solution to this stage's puzzle. In the first stage, the seed word will be given to you instead because there are no previous stages.

As a result, you will be forced to solve each stage sequentially. This is intended.

Each stage gets progressively harder, so that all players can take part in at least a few of the stages.

To be fair for players in different time zones, the final stage will always be published on Saturday 17:00 UTC, unless otherwise specified.

Part 2: Discord Servers

For harder stages, the decrypted message will contain an invite to a discord server, one for each stage. This will allow those who have cracked the puzzle to share in their victory and provide mutual support when attempting to solve the puzzle for the next stage.

Upon completing the final stage, you will find an invite to a discord server. The first 2 players to solve the puzzle and join the discord server wins the prize. Everyone else gets to share in the fun of solving the puzzles!

Part 3: The Prize

The first 2 players to solve the Challenge shares the prize pool. The prize pool is defined as 80% of the SBD payouts accumulated from all the stages in the challenge, or 4 SBD, whichever is higher. So each winner will win at least 2 SBD.

Part 4: How to Play?

To participate, you have to do the following at every stage (post) of the Challenge:

  1. Upvote the post.
    Minimum upvote value to qualify is $0.02, unless your 100% vote is worth less than that. This increases the prize pool for the final winners.

  2. Resteem the post.

  3. Follow me (@wilfredn).

  4. Solve the puzzle to find the [solution].

  5. Go to
    Decrypt the encrypted message with the Secret Key. The Secret Key is always written in lowercase, and takes this form:

    [seed word from last stage] [solution]

    In the first stage, the seed word will be given to you instead because there are no previous stages. For clearer instructions, see the step-by-step Decryption Guide below.

  6. If you have the correct answer, you will see the decrypted message. Note down the seed word for the next stage.

Final Note: If you fail to follow the rules (upvote, resteem, follow), you cannot win the final prize. It's not fair to the other players! To let others play the game, please refrain from commenting with the solution or obvious hints, i.e. no spoilers!

Part 5: Decryption - A Step by Step Guide

  1. Go to


  2. Transfer the encrypted message over. Make sure not to lose anything.



  3. We need the Secret Key to decrypt the message. The Secret Key is always written in lowercase, and takes this form:

    [seed word] [solution]

    In the first stage, the seed word will be given to you instead because there are no previous stages. Suppose that this is the first stage, and the seed word provided is


    You solve the puzzle and you think that the answer is

    i love steemit

    So you think that the Secret Key is

    initialseed i love steemit

    Let's try that. You enter your Secret Key:


  4. Click on the Decrypt button. Success!


  5. Note down the seed word for the next stage. Your Secret Key for the next stage will take the form:

    11avocadoes [solution]


The first challenge (Bank Heist) will be released tomorrow 20 Feb 17:00 UTC.


An economist who likes cryptic puzzles... cryptocurrency is just a perfect splicing of your field of study with your interest :) Not sure what the Chinese connection is though :P

Haha, @plushzilla, you've caught me.

The method of hiding the seed word for next stage in the AES-encrypted message so as to force players to solves the puzzles sequentially from stage 1 to 5 is partially inspired by the blockchain as well!

And the winners are verified by entry into a secret discord server to avoid spoilers in comments and "copy-cats" who turn up and copy the answers of someone who actually did the work, which is common for Steemit puzzle games.

Looks like you have given this some thought, which makes me wonder how easy it will be to get a lot of people to make the effort and participate. I like the articles that you have been writing as well so be sure to tag it with #newbieresteemday and get plenty of views by the community :)

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