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# Crack Kraken's Code Contest

Rated: 13+ · Message Forum · Contest · #746016
Follow the clues and decipher the message to win prizes!
 Overview Welcome to “Crack Kraken’s Code”! For each round, I will disguise a quote—which could have been sung, spoken, or scrawled—and your task is to be one of the first five people to decipher it. When the round begins, you will see none of the letters that make up the words of the quote. Instead, you will find two types of symbols in their place: blanks and bullets. Blanks will appear as equals signs (=), and the name says it all: any letter, A to Z, could belong in a blank. They are nothing more than placeholders. The other spaces, however, will contain one of five different colored bullets: , , , , and . The significance of bullets is more complex than that of the blanks, but using bullets effectively is the key to success in this game. While the letter that belongs in place of each blank could be anything from A to Z, a bullet will narrow the possibilities for that space down to a certain group of letters. The letters that each bullet represents will vary between puzzles, as will the number of letters each bullet represents. However, two things will hold true in each round: The letters that each bullet represents are alphabetically consecutive. Each bullet represents a letter group of different size, ranging from two to six. The following is an example of how the letters could be grouped. The colors correspond to the color of the bullet that would represent them in the puzzle, and gray denotes letters that wouldn’t be represented by a bullet: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Notice how the letters of each group are next to each other in the alphabet—for the purposes of this contest, Z and A are considered consecutive letters. In addition to the yellow group, comprised of those two letters, there are three that make up the blue group (W–Y), four that belong to the green group (B–E), five in the purple group (Q–U), and six reds (I–N). In addition, there are six scattered letters (F, G, H, O, P, and V) that don’t belong to a group. Of course, you won’t know all this information when the puzzle begins; it’ll be gradually revealed by clues. With each day that passes until the quote has been correctly decrypted by five people, I’ll choose a letter: If that letter belongs to a color group, I’ll state the color of the group to which it belongs. Please note that, even if a letter doesn’t appear in a quote, it will still be assigned to a group; in fact, if none of the letters in that color group appear in the quote, then the bullet representing them likewise won’t appear. If that letter wasn’t assigned to a group, then I’ll reveal all occurrences of it throughout the puzzle. If the letter doesn’t appear in the quote, you’ll be able to see that. The group letters will not be divulged entirely at random, because only letters of the group adjacent to the one(s) already revealed will be eligible for clues. Using the list of letters depicted above as an example, if M were the first letter of the red group to be exposed, then the next letter from that group would be either L or N. This rule is in place so that the size of each group is disclosed gradually. If the puzzle hasn’t been solved after a clue has been given for each letter, the twenty group letters will start to be revealed in the same manner as the six non-group letters were. The gift point pot for each round is the number of unique letters in the quote multiplied by 2,500. For example, if the quote featured every letter of the alphabet at least once, then the total number of gift points awarded would be 26 x 2,500 = 65,000 gift points. There will be five winners in each round, and the gift points will be divided in the following manner: First to Solve: 30% of gift point pot Second to Solve: 25% of gift point pot Third to Solve: 20% of gift point pot Fourth to Solve: 15% of gift point pot Fifth to Solve: 10% of gift point pot If you win at least 10,000 gift points, you may substitute that amount for one of several different types of Merit Badges. You will have the opportunity to choose which type you would like when you submit your guess for the quote. If the round is still in progress but the survey does not show the question asking which type of Merit Badge you’d like, then you are no longer eligible to win a prize of at least 10,000 GPs and will automatically receive the entirety of your winnings as gift points, but it’s possible that even if you are presented with this choice in the survey, one or more other people may have guessed correctly since the time the last clue was posted, and your winnings will not be at least 10,000 GPs, in which case your prize will default to gift points. I will post the names of those who have already guessed correctly so they know they can sit back and relax. Once five people have deciphered the quote, the round is over, but anyone else who solves the puzzle before I officially close the round will receive an honorable mention worth 5% of the gift point pot for putting forth the effort. All players will receive their gift points at the same time, after the round is over. Ideally, I will try to hold a contest every month, and I will attempt to reveal new clues about a day apart, but life happens, so please be patient. If there is a prolonged delay in some aspect of the contest, I will update you if possible. Add this contest to your favorites to assure that you know when a new post has been made; however, I will also try to mention on "Activities @ Writing.Com"  [E] when a new round begins. Example Round Whether or not the overview made things clear, I think an example is in order. Here’s what the puzzle inititally looks like, and below it is the color code, which will be updated with each clue: ```= == = = = = = = =.``` A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z You’re not expected to be able to solve the puzzle at this point. It would not be impossible for a very savvy and tenacious player to solve the puzzle as it currently stands, but for those who need a little more help, there are clues. Speaking of which, here’s the first: Clue E-1: S = Purple ```= == = = = = = = =.``` A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z The E-1 stands for “Example Round, First Clue.” In the actual game, the E will be replaced by the round number. This clue lets you know that S’s in the puzzle, if any exist, are represented by purple bullets. It also lets you know which other letters are likely, less likely, or impossible to be in the same group. The puzzle doesn’t look any different after a clue like this; however, the color code will be updated, as you can see. Clue E-2: O Revealed ```= == O O = O = = O.``` A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z When a letter is revealed throughout the puzzle like this, that means it’s one of the six that doesn’t belong to a color group, hence its gray coloring in the color code. Even if a revealed letter doesn’t appear in the puzzle, it will still help you narrow down possibilities for what belongs in the color groups. Clue E-3: F = Blue ```= == O O = O = = O.``` A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z These types of clues will become more useful as the puzzle progresses, but it doesn’t hurt to look at the places where blue bullets are near purple bullets and think about how F and S, or letters near them, could work and not work together to create words. Clue E-4: Q Revealed ```= Q= O O = O = = O.``` A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Although there is only one Q in the puzzle, it tells you a lot. Since a Q at the beginning of a word is almost always followed by a U—some foreign proper nouns like Qatar being the extremely rare exception—the after the Q is almost certainly hiding a U, which means that U is in the purple group. If you take a look at the color code above, you can also tell something about two more letters. I’ll leave you to ponder that. The process of revealing clues would continue until five people correctly decipher the following message, whose complete color code is shown below it: THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z This example puzzle is unlike an average round in multiple ways. First of all, this isn’t really a “quote” from a specific person; it’s simply a short sentence that is well-known for including every letter of the alphabet at least once. Few quotes will be a “pangram” that includes all 26 letters of the alphabet, but that would equate to a gift point pot of 65,000. 30% of that (19,500 gift points) would go to the first person to solve the puzzle, 25% (16,250 gift points) would go to the second person to solve the puzzle, 20% (13,000 gift points) would go to the third person to solve the puzzle, 15% (9,750 gift points) would go to the fourth person to solve the puzzle, and 10% (6,500 gift points) would go to the fifth person to solve the puzzle. Lastly, I didn’t choose all the letter groupings or clues at random for the sake of this example, but they will be random in the actual rounds. The Fine (Actually, Bold) Print I do not require that your guess be punctuated perfectly—or punctuated at all, in fact. This game is about figuring out which letter belongs in place of each blank and bullet. On that note, however, the message must still be spelled perfectly! The lenient punctuation rule exists mostly because I find it unnecessary to disqualify entries for missing things like a comma or a period at the end, but to be consistent, no punctuation is required. This means you could write “dont” instead of “don’t,” but the letters must still be in the right order—“dnot” won’t cut it. Because adding, misplacing, or forgetting even a single letter will disqualify your entry, it would behoove you to look it over multiple times and not get sloppy. If you guess incorrectly, I won’t tell you why, and you’ll only know you were wrong when I post the next clue and haven’t reported you as a winner. I suggest using the Survey Responses tool, found by clicking My Account in the upper left part of any page, to see the precise answer(s) you have submitted to the survey form for each round, giving you something to work with for future guesses and, at the very least, hopefully preventing you from submitting the exact same incorrect decryption more than once. At the end of the round, you can compare your guess(es) to the correct answer. A quote may contain intentionally faulty grammar, so words like “ain’t” or “gonna” are fair game. I will avoid using contractions if possible. A case where this wouldn’t be possible, as in the last paragraph, is a slang word like “ain’t,” but all proper contractions are likely to be separated into multiple words, even if that wasn’t the format used by the source. Also, it is possible that I will make slight alterations to quotes in order to eliminate or at least decrease the frequency of common words, and to keep people on their toes. You may not make more than one guess per “game day.” (I am using the term “game day” to refer to the period from one clue to the next, even though that will not always be a day.) Once a new clue has been posted and thus a new game day has begun, you can venture another guess, but you are not allowed to “cover your bases” by submitting multiple possible solutions to the quote based on the current information. If you do, only the most recent guess will be counted. Finally, please do not post your answers in the forum! Use "Crack Kraken's Code Conjectures"  [E], whose link is also clearly displayed right above the code. If I see someone post a serious guess in the forum, those who solved the puzzle before that point will receive their prizes as usual, but the rest of the round’s gift points will be carried over to the next round, and the one who made the public post will be ineligible to win. I thoroughly check to ensure that the quotes have been encrypted correctly, but there is always the possibility that something could have escaped my attention. If there is an obvious typo and you know what the word should be, write the correct spelling down. When in doubt, however, write down exactly what has been decrypted. If you have transcribed the quote “incorrectly,” I will always check to make sure that it wasn’t because I was incorrect first. If your “mistake” was due to mine, then you will win. New or Round-Specific Instructions None Winners and Previous Quotes "Crack Kraken's Code Quotes"  [13+] Kraken’s Code Submit your guesses through "Crack Kraken's Code Conjectures"  [E], not the forum!``` == = = = =. = = ==== ==, == ==. ==. ```A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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 #3429308 by Davy Kraken · a day ago #3428981 by Davy Kraken · 06-13-21 @ 4:07 pm #3428960 by Davy Kraken · 06-13-21 @ 2:02 pm #3409533 by Davy Kraken · 03-17-21 @ 7:30 pm #3409369 by Davy Kraken · 03-16-21 @ 7:42 pm #3408780 by Davy Kraken · 03-13-21 @ 5:24 pm #3408048 by Davy Kraken · 03-09-21 @ 9:22 pm #3406700 by Davy Kraken · 03-02-21 @ 9:57 pm #3406017 by Davy Kraken · 02-28-21 @ 4:12 pm #3405602 by Davy Kraken · 02-26-21 @ 6:49 am #3405330 by Davy Kraken · 02-24-21 @ 9:25 pm #3405152 by Grin 'n Bear It! · 02-23-21 @ 9:40 pm #3405149 by Davy Kraken · 02-23-21 @ 9:32 pm #3404909 by Davy Kraken · 02-22-21 @ 9:32 pm #3404594 by Davy Kraken · 02-21-21 @ 2:25 pm #3403695 by Davy Kraken · 02-16-21 @ 9:25 pm #3396016 by Davy Kraken · 01-12-21 @ 6:56 am #3395243 by Davy Kraken · 01-08-21 @ 6:07 am #3394663 by Davy Kraken · 01-05-21 @ 11:13 am #3392272 by Davy Kraken · 12-23-20 @ 4:57 pm #3391304 by Davy Kraken · 12-18-20 @ 8:59 am #3391162 by Davy Kraken · 12-17-20 @ 6:42 am #3391037 by Davy Kraken · 12-16-20 @ 10:00 am #3390665 by Davy Kraken · 12-16-20 @ 10:01 am #3390427 by Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville · 12-12-20 @ 6:44 pm

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