Original Link

Posted on 13 June 2015


Today's Challenge will test your skills of recall under duress:


Hint 1

As usual for a Saturday, we need the answers from the weekday puzzles. We don't know for sure, but we may also need other things, such as synonyms - for example, Flight Data Recorder and Mascot have the right number of letters, but Box Jellyfish does not.

Hint 2

Screenshot 2015-06-25-12-33-18-20pct
On 25 June 2015 a "hint" was posted via the 12AncientLines account on Twitter. The link in that tweet is That link redirects to However, that link does not redirect to the Ancient Societies site or any other resource - it just says "Not Found".


NOTE: Incomplete, or possibly just plain wrong. Final solution is yet to be discovered.

1. Rotate the first pair of grid squares counter-clockwise and the second pair clockwise to align them the same way as the rest of the crossed ones. Fill in the weekday answers based on the number of letters in the solutions. Horizontal squares are filled in left to right, vertical squares from top to bottom. For the first two, with their orientation based on their original position, this results in:

                   S                        H
  I               E                        S
   R             T                        I
    U           O                        F
     K         N                        Y
      A       I                        L
       N     X              B         L
        D   B                L       E
         J R                  A     J
          IA                   C   I
         C J                    K J
        H   E                    DB
       Y     L                  N O
      U       L                A   X
     R         Y              K
    U           F            U
   S             I          R
                  S        I

2. Note that of the resulting letters, IA DB HC BC EI HK DL XM RA, 16 of the letters are from the first half of the alphabet and of the other two, the R and X, one is from one of the pairs that is not crossed. This leads to the thought that maybe the letter values in the crossed pairs need to be added to distribute them better across the entire alphabet. With a little experimentation, we find multiplying the rotated ones works even better. Multiply the values of the letters in the rotated, "X"-shaped pairs. Add the values in the "+"-shaped pairs. Subtract the values in the two remaining, parallel pairs.

      9  4  8  3  9 11 12 24 18 - value of higher numbered letter
      1  2  3  2  5  8  4 13  1 - value of lower numbered letter
      X  X  -  +  +  +  +  -  + - shape of pair of grid squares
               5 14 19 16    19 - sum
            5             11    - difference
      9  8                      - product
      I  H  E  E  N  S  P  K  S - product for X, sum for +, difference for -

3. This results in the letters IHEENSPKS which is an anagram for SHEEPSKIN. (However, the for that and other things many of us have tried that might be related, such as Australia's Magna Carta Inspeximus – a copy of the sheepskin document signed "under duress" by King John on June 15, 1215 and the subject of a Google Doodle when celebrating it's 800th anniversary two days after the date of this challenge do not work.)

The solution could be found by applying the one-way substitution cipher: DURESS RECALL

Applying the one-way substitution cipher to IHEENSPKS returns IHAANLPKL, an anagram of ALPHALINK. led to the solution page, which is no longer available.


Yet to be discovered.

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