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Old 08-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #1176 (permalink)
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Another good and fair criticism. You do have a point.

As to Topps, etc. hinging last night's clue on the trading of info-that's possible. I do remember (and you can look at our blog post from solving it last year) that the code master admitted to keeping track of tweets and such to get a temperature of how the code was going. It was a double edged sword, you'd admit you were further behind by tweeting about it maybe, but you were more likely to get more clues.

My best guess, tho, wasn't so much the forum chatter as the MIWC site. They almost certainly knew (based on hit counts, etc.) how quickly pieces were being found, and how many folks got into the netbook, talked to Linderman etc. It could be as simple as looking at the web stats and saying "Okay it looks like x number of people are within 2 clues of having it all but no one has found the last page yet. Let's finish this up."

That of course would be a byproduct, at least in part, of the sharing that went on here.
I agree with this assessment. It's consistent with others saying they had found the submission website as well.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:34 AM   #1177 (permalink)
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Default Definitely keeping my notes

Hey, first time poster after a couple seasons of popping in and out. For what it's worth, I liked the new format this year, mainly cause I'm confident that the rest of the puzzles will be more complicated. It was challenging enough for most, while not baffling 99% of the population like last year's. You're right though, didn't feel like a code. And it gave people like me - who only buy a few hobby boxes a year - a fighting chance.

Maybe I just liked it cause I actually came close this time. Two things killed me in the end: the dashes in "#-#-#" looked like periods to me, and while I tried "whatcouldhavebeen..." early on, I didn't try it with capitalizing words. ARRGH.

Anyway, love the codes and love the thread cause you guys are entertaining. Can't wait till Sept.

-MK
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #1178 (permalink)
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My best guess, tho, wasn't so much the forum chatter as the MIWC site. They almost certainly knew (based on hit counts, etc.) how quickly pieces were being found, and how many folks got into the netbook, talked to Linderman etc. It could be as simple as looking at the web stats and saying "Okay it looks like x number of people are within 2 clues of having it all but no one has found the last page yet. Let's finish this up."
But why the urgency to finish it up? That's what I'm saying about precedent. 48-72 hours of surfing around a webpage is a far cry from taking two weeks between poem tweets in August last year, or the 9 months from start to finish it took.

Something clearly doesn't add up. Even if you had several people with the submission page, several people with the Linderman interview, several pepole with the netbook password, why give another hint to hammer home and give a coup de main (coup de pounce? I'm horrible with my French idioms)?

Heck, at that point I'd already tried putting the note on the end of the long url, but I used slashes to make each word a directory. I'm sure if I was given another day I'd have eventually tried running the whole thing together off the end of it. And I'm not complaining about not winning (seriously, I'm not), I'm really just trying to talk through why there was some sort of urgency for ending this thing. It's quite mind boggling to go from one extreme to the other and it flies in the face of the comments the codemaster made about it being solved so quickly in past years. Whether it was solved quickly because Nick and Mike had access to all the scans quickly in 2009, or it was solved quickly because it was a shallow design in 2012, I certainly don't think a hint was needed to solve this thing (yet). And it just made it seem unfulfilling yet again.

Last edited by jmel07; 08-03-2012 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #1179 (permalink)
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But why the urgency to finish it up? That's what I'm saying about precedent. 48-72 hours of surfing around a webpage is a far cry from taking two weeks between poem tweets in August last year, or the 9 months from start to finish it took.

Something clearly doesn't add up. Even if you had several people with the submission page, several people with the Linderman interview, several pepole with the netbook password, why give another hint to hammer home what ought to be the coup de main?

Heck, at that point I'd already tried putting the note on the end of the long url, but I used slashes to make each word a directory. I'm sure if I was given another day I'd have eventually tried running the whole thing together off the end of it. And I'm not complaining about not winning (seriously, I'm not), I'm really just trying to talk through why there was some sort of urgency for ending this thing. It's quite mind boggling to go from one extreme to the other and it flies in the face of the comments the codemaster made about it being solved so quickly in past years. Whether it was solved quickly because Nick and Mike had access to all the scans quickly in 2009, or it was solved quickly because it was a shallow design in 2012, I certainly don't think a hint was needed to solve this thing (yet). And it just made it seem unfulfilling yet again.
I also originally thought the hint came too soon, but now I feel, they knew that several people had already found the intruction link and he was giving everyone else one last chance to catch up by giving a pretty obvious hint. If he tweeted that are not, it was probably ending that evening. The tweet made it a race

I am just still pissed about the "..." on the netbook lol
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:08 AM   #1180 (permalink)
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But why the urgency to finish it up? That's what I'm saying about precedent. 48-72 hours of surfing around a webpage is a far cry from taking two weeks between poem tweets in August last year, or the 9 months from start to finish it took.

Something clearly doesn't add up. Even if you had several people with the submission page, several people with the Linderman interview, several pepole with the netbook password, why give another hint to hammer home and give a coup de main (coup de pounce? I'm horrible with my French idioms)?

Heck, at that point I'd already tried putting the note on the end of the long url, but I used slashes to make each word a directory. I'm sure if I was given another day I'd have eventually tried running the whole thing together off the end of it. And I'm not complaining about not winning (seriously, I'm not), I'm really just trying to talk through why there was some sort of urgency for ending this thing. It's quite mind boggling to go from one extreme to the other and it flies in the face of the comments the codemaster made about it being solved so quickly in past years. Whether it was solved quickly because Nick and Mike had access to all the scans quickly in 2009, or it was solved quickly because it was a shallow design in 2012, I certainly don't think a hint was needed to solve this thing (yet). And it just made it seem unfulfilling yet again.
I think the ease of the clue was more to do with the ease of the puzzle this year (as you point out) more than it was an easy clue. I will admit I was a little shocked it was over so quick.

But they don't like to do puzzles at once (which they were worried about last year) and you figure they already had other puzzles scheduled for this year (that we didn't know about). Maybe between the September start and the week lost to the Colorado shooting, they figured it needed to be done.

After we post our blog post, we might be graced with more inside info like last time. We'll see.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:17 AM   #1181 (permalink)
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I'm still just slightly in disbelief. Frank, I read through your blog posts to the solutions from last year just a few weeks ago, and I can't believe how much more depth that code had than this year's "code". I have a feeling your write-up from this year is going to be very short.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #1182 (permalink)
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I'm still just slightly in disbelief. Frank, I read through your blog posts to the solutions from last year just a few weeks ago, and I can't believe how much more depth that code had than this year's "code". I have a feeling your write-up from this year is going to be very short.
It actually is, and also because half of the solution is posted along those pages; we can't also go too much in details on the things we each found on the side, since these might be of use in September
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #1183 (permalink)
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My thoughts, from the modest post-newb:

The website showed up too early, and they had forgotten to lock down all the subfolders (I seem to recall a post here where the /guttmanresidence/ had a different response very early on). I was trying different subfolders from day 1, well before the official start on Monday.

The Numeric codes proved to be very easy and very hard. I ended up using a couple of scripts to create an HTML file linking to each potential combo then a URL checker that would report back if the response was anything but our favorite "MAGIC WORD" line. I ended up cracking both #-#-# this way as my script could roll through over 1000 a minute (and the fact their server didn't have anti-DDOS, or at least a speed limit is mind blowing) and that was more efficient than me going through my spreadsheet of potential number combos and splitting them into the proper format. The two other numeric codes were a bit too easy, I recalled Gloria's tweet about her hubby and the fact that she had been with Guttman's Gutters forever made her hubby's date probably the third code I tried. I just got lucky with the briefcase, and I used it as a testing bed for my scripts.

The passwords...My partner and I KNEW it had to be related to WCHB, and we ended up joking about HB meaning something very different, something about a Hot B... Anyhow. The eclipses did throw us off, but the cap letters were the biggest let down for me as the ENTIRE rest of the site was all lower case. Sure, that adds a twist to the password, and traditionally computer passwords are case sensitive, but given the entire rest of the site was stuck in lowercase made me firmly believe there would be no caps in the folder structure. Lesson for me: past examples do not necessarily make a rule.

The lenniebenniebear was definitely not in the first 100 we tried, in fact... looking at the excel sheet, it was the 281st that I tried (my partner kept a separate sheet for passwords).

The final tweets and hurrying it up. Knowing their server was apache, knowing the type of stats that they CAN pull from there, I bet they truly did know about where each team was. Especially if they aggregated the stats compared to source IP requests. I'm betting there were about a half dozen that had the instructions and they were missing 1-3 pieces of evidence. However, more specifically, I'm half tempted to venture that at least one person/group had hit every piece of evidence and the instructions which might have led to the final tweets.

So my numeric scoring? Format: 8. Mostly because I found it far to tempting to hack/script. Had I not properly gotten one of the passwords I was thinking about dumping EVERY word from twitter/blog into a table and use it. Oh, and the 3rd word on the note "That" still doesn't look like "That" even though I ended up just believing my partner saying that it had to be "That." See my pic below.

Depth: 4, I was prepping for the long haul. I wasted hours scanning and indexing data. Fortunately the puzzle came back to my stronger skills and I think we would have gotten it that night. Thankfully I bought my Prince Fielder auto on ebay for far less than I planned to spend, so I can't be totally disappointed not to win.



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I have a feeling your write-up from this year is going to be very short.
I don't know, if he created spreadsheets like I did for all the URLs it could top a few pages.

Sorry my 2 cents were so long
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:33 PM   #1184 (permalink)
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Pic isn't posting, so here's a link to it for those who haven't seen the whole thing.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pbib1p9f2i...ete%20note.jpg
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:42 PM   #1185 (permalink)
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haven't kept up with it this year but from the looks of the most recent post I take it that it's already been solved, sounds like it must've been quite lame this year
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:51 PM   #1186 (permalink)
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haven't kept up with it this year but from the looks of the most recent post I take it that it's already been solved, sounds like it must've been quite lame this year
Yes, it has been solved, and "quite lame" isn't quite how I'd put it, though I'm thinking many think that so far. I had fun, especially since the puzzle itself was zoned into skills I feel I have. The next one, in September, is likely to be better and hopefully will have more depth.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #1187 (permalink)
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My thoughts, from the modest post-newb:

The website showed up too early, and they had forgotten to lock down all the subfolders (I seem to recall a post here where the /guttmanresidence/ had a different response very early on). I was trying different subfolders from day 1, well before the official start on Monday.

The Numeric codes proved to be very easy and very hard. I ended up using a couple of scripts to create an HTML file linking to each potential combo then a URL checker that would report back if the response was anything but our favorite "MAGIC WORD" line. I ended up cracking both #-#-# this way as my script could roll through over 1000 a minute (and the fact their server didn't have anti-DDOS, or at least a speed limit is mind blowing) and that was more efficient than me going through my spreadsheet of potential number combos and splitting them into the proper format. The two other numeric codes were a bit too easy, I recalled Gloria's tweet about her hubby and the fact that she had been with Guttman's Gutters forever made her hubby's date probably the third code I tried. I just got lucky with the briefcase, and I used it as a testing bed for my scripts.

The passwords...My partner and I KNEW it had to be related to WCHB, and we ended up joking about HB meaning something very different, something about a Hot B... Anyhow. The eclipses did throw us off, but the cap letters were the biggest let down for me as the ENTIRE rest of the site was all lower case. Sure, that adds a twist to the password, and traditionally computer passwords are case sensitive, but given the entire rest of the site was stuck in lowercase made me firmly believe there would be no caps in the folder structure. Lesson for me: past examples do not necessarily make a rule.

The lenniebenniebear was definitely not in the first 100 we tried, in fact... looking at the excel sheet, it was the 281st that I tried (my partner kept a separate sheet for passwords).

The final tweets and hurrying it up. Knowing their server was apache, knowing the type of stats that they CAN pull from there, I bet they truly did know about where each team was. Especially if they aggregated the stats compared to source IP requests. I'm betting there were about a half dozen that had the instructions and they were missing 1-3 pieces of evidence. However, more specifically, I'm half tempted to venture that at least one person/group had hit every piece of evidence and the instructions which might have led to the final tweets.

So my numeric scoring? Format: 8. Mostly because I found it far to tempting to hack/script. Had I not properly gotten one of the passwords I was thinking about dumping EVERY word from twitter/blog into a table and use it. Oh, and the 3rd word on the note "That" still doesn't look like "That" even though I ended up just believing my partner saying that it had to be "That." See my pic below.

Depth: 4, I was prepping for the long haul. I wasted hours scanning and indexing data. Fortunately the puzzle came back to my stronger skills and I think we would have gotten it that night. Thankfully I bought my Prince Fielder auto on ebay for far less than I planned to spend, so I can't be totally disappointed not to win.


I don't know, if he created spreadsheets like I did for all the URLs it could top a few pages.

Sorry my 2 cents were so long
Great notes, appreciate your perspective. I used hacking methods to get the two safe combos and the lockbox, even though mine could only move at about 300/minute behind these firewalls at work. It didn't take me long to get the briefcase and the laptop password from guessing. But the netbook almost drove me insane. And I would probably NEVER would have thought to interview Gary Linderman ... by the blankets ... after midnight. The irony here, to me, is that when I woke up Wednesday morning, I was already dead in the water. Even if I had cracked the netbook password and found the submission URL, I would have been missing a piece of evidence that I had no idea existed.

We had identified that the "scrap of paper" URL would be the next big step, but we were really preparing for the long haul, as you said. Didn't even cross our minds that it would be the final step until it was too late.

The last thing you said, about buying the Fielder auto ... it really brings into question the true "market value" of a unique set of cards like the Codebreaker set. Some have said they thought the 2012 set would be "valued" around $20,000 or more. Based on what I've seen, that's much too high, and I think the reason is two-fold: (1) They're not available right now. You might be able to get $5,000 or more for the Harper if you had the card in hand. But 12-18 months from now ... not so much. (2) Demand is further driven down by the simple fact that purchasers did not actually break the code. Having given that some thought, I've decided that if I ever manage to win any of these contests, I'm keeping whatever I get. The prize will probably have a lot more sentimental value than whatever money I could manage to get from the sale.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #1188 (permalink)
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I'm still just slightly in disbelief. Frank, I read through your blog posts to the solutions from last year just a few weeks ago, and I can't believe how much more depth that code had than this year's "code". I have a feeling your write-up from this year is going to be very short.
First Point of Aries: The 2011 Ginter Code Story: Case Closed! How to solve the 2012 Allen & Ginter Code

There it is, a bit shorter anyway

For those that want to read it, please do. For those that don't, well don't. Cool Story Bro unnecessary. Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:58 PM   #1189 (permalink)
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What was the actual text in the Linderman interview? Never got to see that one, did he fully prove that Cynthia did it?
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #1190 (permalink)
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Pic isn't posting, so here's a link to it for those who haven't seen the whole thing.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pbib1p9f2i...ete%20note.jpg
We put it in our blog post, but the two scraps of paper on the clue cards were also online. You had to know what the letters were and put them at the end of the extension. We only figured out that "T" because got frustrated with it not working, and started in on every letter before the H we could think of. It looks much clearer in the full color photo.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #1191 (permalink)
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They should have done it the other way around.... start with the smaller side mysteries as tests and then kick off the grand finally when they got the hang of everything. They would have learned how to make it less suseptibale computer hacks and info sharing.

Its not just Harper. this years auto list is off the charts compared to last year

Koufax, Mays, Sandberg, Gwynn, Pujols, Harper, Trout, Phelps, Palmer, Wright, Federer, Ripken and I know I missing a bunch more.

I would keep the David Wright!
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:02 PM   #1192 (permalink)
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We put it in our blog post, but the two scraps of paper on the clue cards were also online. You had to know what the letters were and put them at the end of the extension. We only figured out that "T" because got frustrated with it not working, and started in on every letter before the H we could think of. It looks much clearer in the full color photo.
I even tried to break down the different extensions that all the scraps were in, a lot had to do with movies with deaths, and a lot with accidental deaths.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #1193 (permalink)
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The passwords...My partner and I KNEW it had to be related to WCHB, and we ended up joking about HB meaning something very different, something about a Hot B... Anyhow. The eclipses did throw us off, but the cap letters were the biggest let down for me as the ENTIRE rest of the site was all lower case. Sure, that adds a twist to the password, and traditionally computer passwords are case sensitive, but given the entire rest of the site was stuck in lowercase made me firmly believe there would be no caps in the folder structure. Lesson for me: past examples do not necessarily make a rule.
If you read the tweets about WCHB, you can see that Jack tweets "Wise Children Hate Broccoli" with all caps, so we knew whatever the password was, if it is related to WCHB, it had to have caps
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:13 PM   #1194 (permalink)
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We put it in our blog post, but the two scraps of paper on the clue cards were also online. You had to know what the letters were and put them at the end of the extension. We only figured out that "T" because got frustrated with it not working, and started in on every letter before the H we could think of. It looks much clearer in the full color photo.
Ahhh, the color version is nice to prove my partner right who convinced me so I guess I just didn't care to punch the letters into the site. Just for the sake of completing it, I'm downloading and making my note a bit prettier.

Thanks Frank!
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #1195 (permalink)
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If you read the tweets about WCHB, you can see that Jack tweets "Wise Children Hate Broccoli" with all caps, so we knew whatever the password was, if it is related to WCHB, it had to have caps
Then why didn't he write WiseChildrenHateBroccoli? But point well taken.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #1196 (permalink)
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They should have done it the other way around.... start with the smaller side mysteries as tests and then kick off the grand finally when they got the hang of everything. They would have learned how to make it less suseptibale computer hacks and info sharing.

Its not just Harper. this years auto list is off the charts compared to last year

Koufax, Mays, Sandberg, Gwynn, Pujols, Harper, Trout, Phelps, Palmer, Wright, Federer, Ripken and I know I missing a bunch more.

I would keep the David Wright!
Of that list David Wright is the one you'd keep!!?!?

David Wright may end up being negotiable.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #1197 (permalink)
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Then why didn't he write WiseChildrenHateBroccoli? But point well taken.
That was probably the next tweet clue at 11pm
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #1198 (permalink)
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can someone post? would be nice if the CM would make it permanent. i like going back through these things and the last two years are still "playable" for folks that want to give it a go after-the-fact (like my 11 year old).
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:27 PM   #1199 (permalink)
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can someone post? would be nice if the CM would make it permanent. i like going back through these things and the last two years are still "playable" for folks that want to give it a go after-the-fact (like my 11 year old).
You've found evidence!

Interview with Gary Linderman

That's Gary Linderman hiding under the blankets. You approach and convince him to talk.

After some prodding, Gary tells you that yes, he was here the night of the murder, and he did see something,

From his hidden vantage point behind the vacant lot, Gary wasn't able to see anyone enter or leave from the main entrance. However, after it had seemed to shut down for the night, soon after midnight, he saw an unusual scene unfold.

He stresses that you have to remember it was quite windy that night, so he was huddled very deeply into his blankets. About a quarter after midnight, though, he saw the door from Guttman's Gutters into the alley burst open. What appeared to be a young girl came flying through.

She seemed to slip momentarily at the threshold of the door, but quickly recovered her footing. She immediately fled towards the street from the alley.

She was in such a hurry that she paid no mind to the door at all. It fluttered open in the wind for quite a while, scraps of paper and other bits of trash emptying out into the alley and dispersing into the night until the door finally slammed shut about a half hour later.

Gary passed out a few hours later, but was awakened by the police sirens and lights the next morning.

He hopes you can just take his story at face value and move on without involving him in this any further.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #1200 (permalink)
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CODEMASTER POSTED A COMMMENT ON THE BLOG:

From: First Point of Aries: The 2011 Ginter Code Story: Case Closed! How to solve the 2012 Allen & Ginter Code

Glad you guys had fun again. I'll be back at a later date with more complete thoughts--and if anyone reading this has any questions, please feel free to ask, though I may not be able to answer--but I did want to mention two things.

1 - I can't really get into the why, but the code this year was absolutely intentionally accelerated, and no one is more disappointed about that than I am.

2 - There was honestly no part of this code that I thought longer and harder about than the ellipsis in the netbook password. Reading reactions, I'm happy now I included it.



So there you go Please keep checking back because, it seems, our code master is going to happily oblige us the best he can. (and seriously-be nice! )
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Last edited by TheRealFrankL; 08-03-2012 at 02:30 PM. Reason: Make quote easier to read.
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