Some commenters have asked how others are doing on the puzzles that have been revealed so far. I don’t want to get too specific about the scorecard, but here’s a high-level overview (which is an appopriate overview, given the format of Puzzle #4, coming tomorrow!).
Hundreds and hundreds of players have found the magazine password and also solved the second, Web-based puzzle. Puzzle #3, however, is proving a little more, er, challenging. Thirty times harder than Puzzle #2, in fact, at the moment! (But I expect that to change, since people have had two more days to think about Puzzle #2 than they’ve had for Puzzle #3.)
Many people seem worried about the consequences of making multiple guesses. Let me give you some advice along those lines that, I think, will also help you think about Puzzle #3.
Because the first of the ten Web puzzles was a riddle, I think some solvers may have gotten the idea that the other answers are “best-guess” , intuitive answers as well, which may require multiple guesses. This is not the case. Every puzzle except for the riddle has been designed to give you its precise answer, letter for letter.
In other words, I have some good news and some bad news for you. If you think you “might have a guess” about one of the forthcoming answers…you don’t. If you had seen the answer, you’d know.
When you see it, you’ll know.