The Treasure Hunt of Increased Difficulty, final day

29 October, 2011

I went to the corner of Hill Street to look for street art.

Hold on, fish don't *have* eyebrows.

Gotta love the eyebrows.

That’s about the best street art in the area, but it doesn’t help at all with decoding the noise. Oh, hold on:

I wonder how many people noticed this over the last week or so.

That looks more like it.

With the stickers collected up, and armed with this new information, I attacked the sound file again:

  • 33.3 and 45 are vinyl speeds. I sped the sound up accordingly.
  • The product of the squares of the first four primes? That’s 44100, a common sample speed for audio recordings.
  • Next is a mono audio jack. Ok, the sound was mono.
  • Next are a 386 processor and Queen Elizabeth I’s signature. I had no idea what these were about*.
  • Finally, an XOR gate and the number 29 in binary. I wrote a few lines of Python to XOR every byte in the file.
Now that I’m quite familiar with the sound of SSTV, I reversed it so that the header was at the beginning:

and decoded a picture of my friend’s house.

Unfortunately my friend is in San Francisco**. I asked him about it and he suggested I look in the workshop instead. And in the workshop, ten days and just a few metres from where I started the treasure hunt, I finally found my birthday presents:

Somebody knows me well.


* “So what was that about?”
“32 bit signed!”

** I was supposed to solve the puzzle before he left. In the interests of him not getting burgled, you don’t get the picture 😛


One comment

  1. Birthday presents.
    The easy way – wrapped in nice paper and given to you
    The difficult way – collecting from a post office several miles away
    Charlie’s way……….

    Glad you cracked it – what a brilliiant piece of fun!

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