Xmas In The Shops.

May I be the first to say to you this year, “Merry Christmas!”

Yeah I was walking around Asda yesterday and was a little surprised by what I saw:

asda xmas

I mean I am old fashioned. I think it’s nice to get Halloween and bonfire night out of the way first before worrying about tinsel and trees and wrapping paper. I haven’t seen a single pumpkin in the shops yet and I love carving up a pumpkin or two at this time of year, mostly because I’m tight and the dim flicker I can get from the tea light inside saves me having to put the lamp on as I sit here and type – that’s 10 pence saved right there! Although I did spot the Halloween costumes in the supermarket about three weeks ago so they haven’t forgotten about it.

I forget though, it’s easy for me to have highly strung opinions on things as daft as Christmas. We do live in a time of austerity and let’s be fair poverty. People who are paid monthly will only have October and Novembers wage packet so pick up and then the big day is as good as here and so I understand spreading the cost as thinly as possible over as long as possible is what people need. It’s not really supermarkets being capitalist pigs (which they are anyway) they are simply offering a solution to people. But even with that knowledge it winds me up.

It winds me up that the next two and a half months are going to remind me all about Christmas, put the pressure on me to buy as many gifts for as many people and have no excuse because – there isn’t one for not knowing Christmas was coming! After all it’s everywhere (and certainly will be before October is out you can take that to the bank). It lays the guilt on you all of the time. Plus I don’t like the pound value being put on the festive season. It should be about family and it should be about relaxation and taking a break and it should also be a time for being grateful to those people who can’t take a break at such a time, you know the police, the ambulance men the doctors, nurses and firemen who are all there to make sure we are OK as we sit around on our fat asses watching TV stuffing chocolate and turkey and pudding and mince pies into our faces until we feel sick.

The saddest thing for me about it all is I’m getting more and more Bah Humbug as I get older. I’ll be living in a cave alone, through the autumn and winter in thirty years time no doubt about it.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and good luck with the New years resolutions.

Merry Christmas & Peace.

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Well I shouldn’t but…. (aka Big Riddle Answers)

The first thing I have to say about The Big Riddle is that having a go at each question, regardless of how long it may take to solve is a rewarding experience. I for one spent 10 days completing 50 questions and did get a little bit of help and advice from a couple of people as well as looking at the hints on the website and the Facebook page. I’d strongly advise you all to try your best to do it yourself as there really is no accomplishment or mental exercise is simply taking answers and putting them into a quiz just to con all of your friends and family that you are cleverer than you actually are. Doing the quiz properly is a great achievement and I can only share the answers here after working my ass off to find them and by having to bang my head literally against a wall until I passed out.

I can’t wait for further quizzes like this from The Big Riddle and so I’d first like to ask you all to go and like their Facebook page. The more people that do that the more likely it is that they will do more mind taxing projects like this, I hope you do ‘like it’ and I hope they do more too as I’m really looking forward to them. I’d like everyone at The Big Riddle to know that I’m not posting this here for any other reason than to offer some help to people who are stuck on questions and close to giving up. Better they do sneak an easy hint or even an answer and continue hitting your advert rich site than simply going away, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now as I’ve said, like their Facebook page and please don’t cheat for the sake of it. Use what I’m sharing here to avoid going crazy at a question you cannot solve. And if you do use any advice here please leave me a comment on how useful this page is as an aid to the overall set of fifty riddles posed.

That said, let’s start helping people!

The idea of the quiz is to use lateral thinking which is simply, think like a robot not a person (Google, Edward De Bono for more info). The obvious answer isn’t going to be the answer, but the answer is always there. Before you do use any of my advice here I’d say think about things such as: Can I click on anything on the page? Is there any help I may find on the error page of any given question? Have I checked the source code for clues? Have I saved a copy of any given image and looked at the properties? Can I use Google to solve questions about Hexadecimal values, binary etc etc. Can I open the image file in another tab and manipulate the URL or can I simply manipulate the URL to move forward as it is already written? Do I understand Longitude and Latitude and could I find a point on a map using it? Can I simply scroll a webpage downwards? If you can do all of the above then you will already have most of the tools that you require to answer a huge portion of the questions. The reason that only 0.5% of people complete all 50 answers is simply because many everyday people may not think to look at the source code or even know what the source code of a web page is.

I used Google Chrome browser to conduct the riddle. It is recommended that you don’t use Internet Explorer as it’s not as responsive for all of these answers.

THE FIRST PHASE.

Question 1. Lateral thinking will solve this for you. Think of the word SEA. What is in the middle of it?

Question 2. So literally what is “everything” backwards?

Question 3. Scroll page down, scroll down, scroll down, and you’ve got it. Remember this answer for later.

Question 4. You are on step 4, you want to be on step 5. I wonder what you do here? Take a look at the URL and see if you can make anything happen by changing it.

Question 5. The number of the beast is 666 in common Western belief. So if you had to make it appear upside down you’d write it as?

Question 6. Do you like maths? What’s 5 squared?

Question 7. What is at the end of the word “page”? Your mouse pointer is good at this question.

Question 8. Faith can move a mountain, but can you?

Question 9. How many Facebook likes does this page have?

Question 10. If you rotate the symbol 8 by 90 degrees you have the symbol for…? ∞ ‘To ∞ and beyond’ you might say if you’re a Buzz Lightyear fan.

Question 11. This is a Roman numeral question.

Question 12. Ctrl & A.

Question 13. One for the lads here. Just fiddle with your knobs boys (and the girls can too!)

Question 14. This is a simple mathematics question. The answer is nothing really. I mean it truly is nothing at all. It’s nothing. Numerically speaking of course.

Question 15. An online binary calculator will solve this problem for you in a matter of nanoseconds.

Question 16. If you typed those digits into say a text message on an old style phone like that Nokia what would you spell? The letters are on each number on the keypad to make it even easier.

Question 17.  If you right click on the image and search for it with Google you may just find the answer. But if you know your flags you may just know the answer anyway.

Question 18. What’s your Morse code like? I bet Google images has a Morse code alphabet image on it.

Question 19. What is the size of the image file of the scales in kilobytes?

Question 20. I made so many mistakes with this question that I ended up checking the Wrong answer page for the answer, I must’ve made twenty mistakes and each time I did the answer was before me but it took ages to catch on.

Diploma1

THE SECOND PHASE

Question 21. Correct the spelling error in the URL. Simples.

Question 22. Does your keyboard have a space bar? The answer is just one press away.

Question 23. Same solution as question 3 only you need to press the big red on button too.

Question 24. The English word for this Tamil word is the answer. You can copy and paste this straight into Google for the answer.

Question 25. How many light years? – This question has since changed to “Between 1 & 0” the answer of course is ‘and’.

Question 26. Longitude and latitude will give you a location that is the answer. It’s also the same answer as Question 3.

Question 27. A letter can be written beneath each traffic light. Sting was sending one of these in of his song ‘Message in a Bottle’.

Question 28. If you mix the three colours represented in Hexadecimal you will get another colour and the answer is the Hexadecimal code for it. What would FFFFFF look like as a twitter hashtag?

Question 29. Google images search for Braille alphabet should be all you need here.

Question 30. 29 out of 30? But that was the last question? You mean 30 surely? – This question has since changed to (-1+2-3+4-5+6…) the answer is ‘infinity’

Question 31. The password is encoded you want it to be – decoded.

Question 32. G is Green and Orange is O could Grey be G too?

Question 33. I see the scientist isn’t married otherwise the answer would be on a different finger. – This question has since changed. Change ‘false’ to ‘true’ in the URL and press Enter. Then the answer box appears and the answer is 1+1= ‘2’ 

Question 34. One has three letters, four has four letters, three has five letters, eleven has six letters, fifteen has seven letters. Think of the next lowest number with eight letters when spelled out.

Question 35. The image file for “Expertise” has a pic size in it that could also be understood as a maths question. What is the answer?

Question 36. Do you know your periodic table? What are the next 3 chemicals after Boron?

Question 37. Use the polar coordinates to find a value that is a digital clock time of day. I’ll give you a clue: XX:45. That gives you a maximum of 24 answers it could be.

Question 38. If you are using a 60 inch monitor you will probably see the answer. If not save the image and zoom in. Easiest way to do this is open the image and scroll in using the wheel on your mouse.

Question 39. The soul of a webpage? Answers in the source code.

Question 40. Subtract the values of the image file names from each other to get the answer.

Diploma2

THE THIRD PHASE

Question 41. Zeros and ones? Zeros? Hmmm? Well 0xFACED is actually a hexadecimal code. But what is it in binary? – This answer has since changed. It was a case of turning 0xFACED from Hex to Binary. Now all you need to do is change FACED from Hexadecimal to binary, lose the zero and x (0x). 

Question 42. Computer cookies. In Chrome: Settings, show advanced, Privacy – content settings, all cookies and site data, www.bigriddle.com, click on answer 42.

Question 43. View source code, open first clickable link, error message, view source code of error message, find answer.

Question 44. View source code. Translate the Spanish in green. The Hexadecimal values below will give you a list of colours I think from the RGB monitor range of colours. With the S you began with, together with these colours, you should be able to work out the name of the famous Albert.

Question 45. Before being known as Mohammed Ali this famous boxer was known as someone else. Right click the image and open in a new tab. Look at the URL, what do you think you need to do next?

Question 46. If you save the image and open properties you will find some longitude and latitude values. One of them is – and one of them is +. Used correctly on a Long/Lat position finder (Google for that) you will see the answer very easily.

Question 47. Each letter represents another letter. A=V, B=E, C=I, D=R, E=N, F=G, G=H, I=M, J=D, K=S, M=Y, O=L, P=P, Q=J, R=U, S=A, T=T, U=K, V=W, W=O, Z=C.

Question 48. This is a magic eye poster. Download the image. Google “Magic Eye solver/viewer” upload the image and you should see it.

Question 49. ‘49 out of 50’ is drag-able like when you moved the mountain, as are the next 11 objects that are unveiled. (10 10 100) is a number with a name that inspired the worlds number one search engine.

Question 50. Question 50 is the most long winded of all of the answers. I suppose it’s to make that final step just that little bit more frustrating and confusing. It took me about two hours to work out. I made notes as I went as I did with all of the answers in Phase three, which really did come in handy to keep track of what was working and what was not. OK so, you need to open the source code and then get the huge chunk of code that follows “Base64”. Copy that into a base 64 decoder such as www.base64decode.org. Decode as UTF-8.Copy the result into a real time HTML editor such as www.htmledit.squarefree.com. This should give you two columns of numbers. You will need to plot the numbers into a grid on an Excel spreadsheet, grid size 13×16 or 16 x 13. It won’t matter which. One will show you the answer and the other will show you the answer at a 90 degree turn either way you should be able to read it.

Diploma3

Congratulations, if you get this far without too much help, or no help at all. Like I said at the start of this long post that it’s better to use these answers and solutions as a guide to help you overcome questions that you are stuck on and cannot find any other hints anywhere else. My aim with this post is not to spoil The Big Riddle, its to help people along the road to completing this excellent set of questions that make up it up. I do encourage you all, as I did at the start, to like their Facebook page as this will encourage them to come up with more weird and wonderful riddles for us to sink our teeth (and brains) into.

If you still cannot work out an answer leave a comment below and I will share with you the answer.

Peace.