A $10,000 prize puzzle starts tomorrow

The US bestselling author A.J. Jacobs has published a book about puzzles. Encryption also plays a role in it, and I am mentioned in this context. At the launch, there is a puzzle where you can win $10,000.

Deutsche Version

Two years ago, I met with the US writer A.J. Jacobs in New York. At the time, he was doing research for a book on puzzles that he was writing.

Quelle/Source: Schmeh

In his book, A.J. also wanted to deal with cryptography – after all, this topic provides enough puzzles. For this purpose he first contacted Elonka Dunin, who then also referred him to me. Since I happened to be planning a trip to New York, a meeting was quickly arranged.

In preparation, I then read a book by him. I was so enthusiastic that I immediately read another and another. Among other things, I find his writing style extremely interesting. His books are non-fiction books about topics such as the Bible, health or knowledge, in which, in addition to the topics themselves, his research and experiments are in the foreground. For his book ” The Year of Living Biblically” he tried to live by the rules of the Bible for a year; for his work “Drop Dead Healthy” he lived as healthy as he could for a while. His reports are not only very informative, but also extremely entertaining.


The Puzzler

A few days ago A.J.’s book about puzzles was published: “The Puzzler”.

Qulle/Source: Crown

As already mentioned, this work is about all kinds of puzzles. As expected from A.J., it is not a theoretical treatise, but reports on his research and self-experiments. Among others, he talked to Sudoku experts, crossword professionals and Rubik’s Cube solvers. He even had a conversation with chess legend Garri Kasparov, who lives in New York. A.J. also participated in puzzle conferences and a puzzle competition. All this is – as I knew it from his other books – very informative and entertaining.

In the chapter on cryptographic puzzles, Kryptos Sculpture takes up a lot of space. Of course, for this purpose A.J. talked to Elonka Dunin, who, apart from solving the fourth part, simply knows everything about Kryptos.

Among the many strange contemporaries A.J. met during his research is also me – as described at the beginning. I am therefore mentioned several times in the book. Here is an example:

Quelle/Source: Crown

Of course, I’m proud to be mentioned in such a piece.


The $10,000 puzzle

For the launch of “The Puzzler”, A.J. Jacobs has created a puzzle together with Greg Pliska himself. In this one, there is $10,000 to be won. Participation is not tied to the purchase of a book. Tomorrow, May 3, 2022, at 6:01 p.m. German time, the contest will begin.

The website for the puzzle is here. The first task is to find out the password to log in. This password is hidden in the preface of the book, which can be downloaded as a PDF for free here. The following hint on the login page might be of importance:

Quelle/Source: Crown

I would of course be very happy if a reader of this blog would win the prize. Good luck!

If you want to add a comment, you need to add it to the German version here.

Further reading: A.J. Jacobs’ interview with Jim Sanborn

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