IOHK Summit Cryptopuzzle

During the summit, IOHK hosted a live cryptopuzzle competition that was available exclusively to registered attendees. The prize was awarded at the summit’s closing remarks by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood to winners: Michal Petro, Rafael Korbas and Peter Perešíni (a team from Vacuum Labs) who solved 5 out of 6 puzzles!

We’re sharing the cryptopuzzle with the Cardano community today for fun to see if any of you can solve all 6! The first puzzle was displayed on the IOHK Summit 2019 t-shirt, with the rest on posters scattered around the summit – all you need is a little curiosity and some basic knowledge of computer science and blockchain technology. Each piece of the puzzle, when solved, will yield an English BIP39 keyword.

Happy puzzling!

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IOHK Summit 2019 Puzzle Solutions

Hidden in case anyone is trying to still solve. Click to see answers

Puzzle 1: nature
Take all letters contained in “Run Proofs of Stake” and remove those in “Fork Spoofs” by exact number of occurence. This yields the letters “a”, “e”, “n”, “r”, “t”, “u”, and, each of them exactly once. The only BIP39 keyword that can be composed using these letters exactly once is “nature”.

Puzzle 2: actor
Take the Cardano block from Slot 1294 of Epoch 80 and extract the first five symbols of its hash which is “daf0e”. The most famous person with a matching name is (probably) Willem Dafoe, who is an actor.

Puzzle 3: jaguar
Each logo symbol encodes a lower-case ASCII character (codes 97 (for ‘a’) to 122 (for ‘z’)) in 9-bit binary whereas the least significant bit is encoded in the top pair of branches and the most significant bit is encoded in the bottom (ninth) pair of branches. The number of filled red dots in each logo indicates the encoded letter’s position in the final keyword. Each logo’s letter code is obtained by XORing the black and the red dots on each of the nine levels — 0 if both dots are filled or both dots are empty, and, 1, otherwise. In particular, the red pattern can be seen as a one-time pad whereas the black pattern is the respective encryption of the wanted letter. For example, the first logo represents the 5-th keyword letter encoded as binary ‘001100001’ (reading the XORs from bottom to top) which is 97 in decimal, thus encoding an ‘a’.