Anyone up for a puzzle?

Got creative and made a small puzzle. Will add additional hints as needed.
Good luck to anyone willing to have a go at it :wink:


~ 35:14:·283322331614

Hints: 24, the Younger


Well, as the start of a collaborative effort:

  1. It’s an unusual number sequence. There’s an awful lot of 3s and 1s, and no zeroes at all.
  2. It’s not obviously hex - no letters.
  3. It’s not a standard letter substitution code. Only the numbers 1-9 are used individually. All the groups can be divided into groups of two (i.e. 1333 could be expressed as 13 33) but whilst there is a letter 13 in the alphabet, there isn’t a letter 33.

“24, the Younger” is a reference to William Pitt (the Younger) who was elected British Prime Minister at the age of 24 in 1783.

(edit) He’s known as “Pitt the Younger” because his father, also William Pitt, was Prime Minister before him. Kind of like George Bush Junior.


Second think -

Either “Pitt” or “1783” could be some kind of keys, to be applied to the number sequences. Unfortunately, I’m not a cryptographer. And I suspect no-one else left here is, either.

The trouble is, the first part of the ARG has been and gone - and the expert puzzle solvers have gone with it. What you’re left with is hard-core NMS players. And whilst we’re not dumb, we’re not enthusiast or expert code-crackers either.

Me, I’m about the level of “The Guardian” crossword. Anything more technical than that, and you’ve lost me.


I’m no cryptographer either, but I love a good puzzle :drooling_face:

The answer is set up as a quote, followed by who made it. The multiplication dots represent spaces, and the colons represent periods. The tilde notes the speaker. Their name is set up as 2 initals and a name (like H.P. Lovecraft). That tells me it takes 2 numbers to represent a letter.

The number 14 appears in the name and independently in the quote. The only 2 letters that can stand alone in a sentence are A and I, so I’ve been fooling around with 14=A or I. No progress…

William Pitt was my first thought too. But the epithet “The Younger” is actually fairly common. I found a one Olof Rudbeck the Younger, a Swedish scientist who had 24 children :face_with_raised_eyebrow: But I’m still betting its Pitt. I just can’t seem to get any clues from that.

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Both @Polyphemus and @Xion4012 have made some very good observations! @Xion4012 is pretty much spot on with his conclusions so far. I will confirm that Pitt and 1783 will be dead ends.

On a side note, I just finished another puzzle, which will require some tools, whereas this one can be solved through web search and logic. Will put it up after this one has been solved :wink:

Good luck, and thanks for participating. Additional hint, tomorrow.


“The greatest wealth is a poverty of desires.” -Seneca the Younger


OK, it fits. I’m still not sure how you got there, though. In medieval English there was a letter “thorn” - it stood for “th”. Is that what’s going on here?

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“Thorn” for ‘th’ - didn’t know that. :slight_smile:
I was thinking, that it is not language related, and rather a trick to prevent easy dictionary bruteforcing.

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If each group of two numbers in the sequence represents a letter, so, for instance, 14=A, then your solution works perfectly. But only if 13=“th”. And, once upon a time, there was such a letter.

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hrmmm The UCL Art Museum has a Website with Teaching Packs and the 24th one is “Frans Francken, The Younger”.

I also noticed that the 13rd and the 33rd Portraits are of the same person. Not sure if that is some hint to what the numbers could mean or if I am barking up the wrong tree :slight_smile:

Also portrait 35 (Don’t know if this has something to do with the end of the puzzle), Ornatus Muliebris, No.13 has the number 13 in the bottem left :slight_smile:

Am I on the right track or should I just give up hehehehehe :?)

Well done @zeff013

“The Greatest Wealth is a Poverty of Desires.”

~L.A. Seneca

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@zeff013 Very well done, this is indeed the solution to the puzzle!

Seneca the Younger, would be Lucius Annaeus Seneca, so the initials would be L.A.

@Polyphemus You are correct that a substitution for th was used, in fact, this whole puzzle was basically just a substitution for our currently used alphabet. Knowing the alphabet used, would then simply result in the solution, since you guys had already figured out the numbers coming in pairs.

Here is what it looks like in encoded runes, simply replaced by decimal numbers instead.
Seneca Puzzle 1

The hint 24 was hinting at the ‘alphabet’ used, which only had 24 characters at that time. The other hint, the Younger was also hinting at this same ‘alphabet’ as well as the final solution. The substitution was done with the so called ELDER Runes, the futhark.

Seneca Puzzle 2
With the futhark organised like this, an 8 x 3 grid (totals 24), it can easily be translated to the encoded runes. Similar encoded versions have in fact, actually been found in history.

Translate the number pairs to the characters, by using row and column. This would result in the following using the futhark:
Seneca Puzzle 3

One thing to keep in mind though, is that this is of course just a simple substitution, using the current alphabet and futhark. Back in the days when elder futhark was actually used, such a sentence would probably look quite different, when actually written in this language.

For some additional info, feel free to check the following links: (Where I found the idea for encoded runes)

Of course there are several conversion tools out there, although results may differ a bit depending on interpretation and character set used. A variety of fonts can also be found, to be able to actually write in runes.

Thanks for participating, hope you all enjoyed this little puzzle.