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April 1st 2013, the aftermath

RichiH on 2013-04-09

It’s been a little more than a week since we started our April Fools quiz this year; thanks to everybody who participated.

The first ten people who completed all three tracks are, in descending order of aprilness:

  • jojo

  • homerj

  • AndrewF

  • stereo`

  • ditzydoo

  • talisein

  • nebkat

  • timgoh0

  • Aster

  • PyroPeter

Here are the riddles and their solutions, in the original order:


  1. >++++++++++ [>++++++++++>+++++++++++>+++++++++++>+++++++++++>++++++++++><<<<<<-] >+>++>++++>+>+++> <<<<<< >.>.>.>.>.

    • This was brainfuck code, writing eprog to stdout

    • ###eprog

  2. 946684800_–_4102444800

    • This was a range between two unix timestamps, from 1.1.2000 until 1.1.2100 (midnight)

    • #####century

  3. 277453665

    • This level was slightly harder, on a phone keyboard (according to TU-T E.161) writing with these numbers spelled aprilfool (with some guessing or T9)

    • #####aprilfool


    • The beloved Rick Roll video. This was a joke idea, the channel ########gotyou was actually hidden as a channel forward (mode +f)

    • ########gotyou

    • Similar to last years keyboard riddle, you had to connect the airports on a map which formed the letters I W I N.

    • Bogota to Boston: I

    • Seattle to Phoenix to Denver to Dallas to Saint Paul: W

    • Cape Town to Oslo: I

    • Santiago to Boston to Cape Town to Stockholm: N

    • ######iwin

The topic in ######iwin was: Congratulations, you finished the misc track. Here, have a puzzle piece: It's dangerous to go alone! Take this! ###the. Make sure to also play the other quiz tracks!


The list number references the level number of the listed question.

  1. What does Dorothy wish she was on the other side of?

    • ##rainbow

    • Referencing: Dorothy from the The Wizard of Oz sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

  2. What is the first thing Rick Astley will never give up?

    • ##you

    • Referencing: Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley.

    • Source

  3. This person can't touch "this."

    • ##mchammer

    • Referencing: U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer.

  4. This old song leaves many people wondering what the writers had wrote it about. Most people think the song is about drugs, however the group has said in interviews that it didn't really have any meaning at all.

    • ##hotelcalifornia

    • Referencing: Hotel California by the Eagles.

    • Source

  5. This 1975 classic is fairly self-explanatory.

    • ##bohemianrhapsody

    • Referencing: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

  6. The main character, a kid, in this classic music video was mocked for being "this".

    • ##poet

    • Referencing: Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd, specifically Part 1.

    • This question seemed to trip up the most people, as it was the most vague question.

  7. We reminisces about the good ole days of when those popular in music were radio stars.

    • ##buggles

    • Referencing: Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.

    • This was the official answer for Level 8, however, as someone pointed out the official name of the band is "The Buggles."

  8. Michael Jackson's most popular song predicts this future event that is popular on the Internet as an event worth preparing for.

    • ##zombieapocalypse

    • Referencing: Thriller by Michael Jackson.

    • This one was a tad tricky as the answer was not in the lyrics of the song.

  9. This 80's song was very controversial when it came out, offending several people, including average working people. It is often censored on the radio when played.

    • ##moneyfornothing

    • Referencing: Money For Nothing by Dire Straits.

    • More about the controversy.

  10. The most popular guitar riff is from the beginning of this group's most popular song.

    • ##deeppurple

    • Referencing: Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple.

  11. This band was the first band to have three consecutive multi-platinum albums.

    • ##styx

    • Referencing: The Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight, Cornerstone, and Paradise Theatre. These albums have been certified Multi-Platinum by the RIAA.

The /topic in ##styx was: Congratulations! | You have answered all the music trivia correctly. | Make you to play the other quizzes and you'll need this for later, ###best


The list number references the level number of the listed question.

  1. Blog post of ##bhggbyhapu

    • This is a simple ROT13 cipher

    • where AtoN, BtoO, CtoP, etc.

    • python -c "print 'bhggbyhapu'.decode('rot13')"

    • The answer is: ##outtolunch

  2. pTShnJAmo3W0

    • This is base64 encoded then ROT13'ed.

    • python -c "print 'pTShnJAmo3W0'.decode('rot13').decode('base64')"

    • The answer is: ##panicsort


  4. QOZTMLUVG IPAJGECYZ | Don't forget to nT92MKV= | orange


    • This is a Vigenère cipher again.

    • The key is JUICE. This is hinted at by orange.

    • Searching the web for the unencrypted text, HURRICANE EGGBEATER yields

    • nT92MKV=

    • This is the same as the previous level, rot13'ed and then base64'ed.

    • python -c "'nT92MKV='.decode('rot13').decode('base64')"

    • hover

    • If you hover over the comic on you'll see:

    • After exhausting the OED, we started numbering them. When overlapping hurricanes formed at all points on the Earth's surface, and our scheme was foiled by Cantor diagonalization, we just decided to name them all "Steve". Your local forecast tomorrow is "Steve". Good luck.

      • This next step is a bit of a leap, but we expected you to search for key phrases in the string. You should end up on Cantor's diagonal argument on wikipedia. From here you'll see some description of it. We want the most popular example of Cantor's diagonal argument, which is Russell's Paradox. (Can a set of all sets contain itself?)
    • The answer is ##russell'sparadox

  5. | 936 | UHG | NZCBXBXUSXDBXIWZWMMLLVLHM | WEQ | I'm So Meta Even This Acronym | freenode | 12 | ♥

    • The /topic changed a little bit during the game. This is the most recent form.

    • Hints given:

    • 2013-04-01 18:51:18 i think you should focus more on how you "cracked" the code for the last

    • 2013-04-01 18:51:32 and by code i mean, QOZTMLUVG IPAJGECYZ

    • 2013-04-01 18:52:12 UHG and WEG are pretty important

    • 2013-04-02 04:13:28 it is vigenere

    • 2013-04-02 05:42:38 one more semi-important hint: UHG | NZCBXBXUSXDBXIWZWMMLLVLHM | WEQ are each encrypted with the same KEY and method

    • The last hint pretty much gave it away for many people.


    • This is vigenère again.

    • The key is IRC ROT12-ed.

      • IRC is expected to come from the reference of I'm So Meta Even This Acronym and freenode as in an acronym of/about freenode.

      • The 12 comes from the number directly in the /topic.

      • UGH decrypts to





    * WEQ decrypts to



  * Now, let's take a break and follow a pattern from previous levels. Let's pull up [](

    * This should be obvious given the previous pattern of XKCD being involved in these levels.

  * While viewing that you should probably download [](

    * wget

  * Y60F5g is encrypted with AES-256-CBC. This is provided by the previous clues.

  * The key for the encrypted file is **Tr0ub4dor&3**

    * This is obtained from the XKCD comic: [](

  * openssl enc -d -aes-256-cbc -a -in Y60F5g -out Y60F5g.plaintext

  * The output of the file is: **##K&R**

* The answer to this level is **##K&R**

The topic in ##K&R was: _Congratulations! You have completed freenode's crypto challenge! | Make sure to also play the other quizzes, and take this with you ###est | _

With ###the and ###best and ###est you are expected to put these pieces together to find ###thebestest

Congratulations to those who have completed all the tracks and levels!

Top 10

All times listed are in UTC.

Rank Nick Time



2013-04-02 06:04:34



2013-04-02 06:14:31



2013-04-02 06:42:53



2013-04-02 06:51:42



2013-04-02 07:20:45



2013-04-02 08:06:23



2013-04-02 08:24:36



2013-04-02 09:53:51



2013-04-02 10:06:50



2013-04-02 10:55:47


Those who have completed all the levels and made it to the final channel but didn't make it in time for the top 10:

  • alex_joni

  • CeruleanSky

  • DonkeyHotei

  • erkin

  • fsckd

  • kaneda^

  • Kent

  • luckybunny

  • Martok

  • pekuja

  • Pixelz

  • PoohBear

  • Rutix

  • shino

  • slidercrank

  • stac

  • Tordek

  • Valodim

These people were elligible for our cloak lottery, where we used a piece of code to randomly pick three people to win a cloak. Those people were: fsckd, Rutix, and stac.

Top 10 For Each Track

All times are listed in UTC.


Rank Nick time

1 Xneby 2013-03-31 20:19:19
2 Stereo` 2013-03-31 20:25:27
3 AndrewF 2013-03-31 20:31:31
4 FireFly 2013-03-31 20:36:28
5 ubuntor 2013-03-31 20:38:47
6 thommey 2013-03-31 20:40:30
7 luckybunny 2013-03-31 20:44:34
8 lastplacer 2013-03-31 20:48:33
9 Pixelz 2013-03-31 20:50:20
10 Mortomes 2013-03-31 20:51:10


Rank Nick time

1 grawity 2013-03-31 22:00:47
2 PoohBear 2013-03-31 22:32:45
3 nikis 2013-03-31 22:37:01
4 CeruleanSky 2013-03-31 22:37:32
5 ss 2013-03-31 23:31:32
6 AndrewF 2013-04-01 00:01:47
7 Kent 2013-04-01 00:05:03
8 carharttjimmy 2013-04-01 00:07:31
9 Sarah 2013-04-01 00:09:11
10 fsckd 2013-04-01 00:09:49


Rank Nick time

1 jojo 2013-04-02 03:30:13
2 homerj 2013-04-02 06:12:04
3 AndrewF 2013-04-02 06:41:25
4 Stereo` 2013-04-02 06:43:39
5 ditzydoo 2013-04-02 07:12:06
6 talisein 2013-04-02 08:05:32
7 nebkat 2013-04-02 08:21:49
8 shino 2013-04-02 09:21:46
9 jarick 2013-04-02 09:52:16
10 Sarah 2013-04-02 10:05:44