Solve - Clue #1

Posted on Jun 26 2019 - 9:54am

 

The clue gives us a series of hex numbers - 7C2BAC1D, 1CC28A903, 2AC30BE38, 52726803C, BF1D1DF06.

The key is name "The Audubon Key", which is a reference to birds.  We also have "Watch the skies" and "small azure bird".  that leads us to Twitter.  If do a hashtag search (e.g. #7C2BAC1D) we find there is aTwitter accounts with a post with the hex numbers from our clue.

We search the other hex hashtags and we find an account for each.

# Hex Twitter Account
1 7C2BAC1D https://twitter.com/Devin04654939
2 1CC28A903 https://twitter.com/Dery59452622
3 2AC30BE38 https://twitter.com/Michell70287905
4 52726803C https://twitter.com/Sandra63596155
5 BF1D1DF06 https://twitter.com/Aaron53437252

Each Twitter account has a puzzle piece for its profile photo.  Cool relates back to the clue.  Now we have a puzzle piece for each of the hex numbers given in the clue.

We assume the rest of the puzzle pieces are on Twitter somewhere.  What are their hashtags so we can find them?

Back to the hex numbers...

We notice that the first hex number is one character less than the others.  Is there something special about it?  Why yes there is !

The first block of the Bitcoin blockchain has a "Nonce" of 2083236893 which is decimal for the hex value 7C2BAC1D.  The first block of Bitcoin is also called the Genesis Block and a lot of special meaning.   

A Nonce is a 32 bit (4 byte) number that is adjusted by Bitcoin miners until the Hash of the block meets a certain specification.  It will take many tries and lots of computer power to find the proper Nonce for a given Bitcoin block.  This is what Bitcoin mining is all about.  The first miner that solves the Nonce/Hash for a new Bitcoin block gets a reward in Bitcoin.  Back to our treasure hunt...

So we know the puzzle has something to do with Bitcoin blockchain, Nonces and converting between hex and decimal numbers.  Next we convert our hex numbers into decimal. A calculator on your phone/computer, or online tool can do that easily.

# Hex Decimal
1 7C2BAC1D 2083236893
2 1CC28A903 7720184067
3 2AC30BE38 11478810168
4 52726803C 22131671100
5 BF1D1DF06 51301703430

We notice that the decimal numbers are in increasing order,.  That is a good sign.  That could mean a sequence of some sort.

So... what does the next block in the Bitcoin blockchain look like?  We can browse the Bitcoin blockchain here www.blockchain.com.  Click the search icon at the top and enter "0" to see the Genesis Block. 

Now use the search to find Block #1.  We find a Nonce of 2573394689.  Doesn't match any of our numbers above.  We do find that the decimal value of the 2nd hex number in the clue is 3 times this Nonce though.... We are on to something !  We keeping going in the blockchain for blocks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.  We find that the Nonce of each of these blocks is can be divided into the corresponding decimal number evently to create an integer.

# Hex Decimal Block # Nonce Dec / Nonce =
1 7C2BAC1D 2083236893 0 2083236893 1
2 1CC28A903 7720184067 1 2573394689 3
3 2AC30BE38 11478810168 2 1639830024 7
4 52726803C 22131671100 3 1844305925 12
5 BF1D1DF06 51301703430 4 2850094635 18

Now we have a series of numbers - 1, 3, 7, 12, 18.  A Google search finds that these numbers are part of a Hofstadter Figure-Figure sequence.  This location gives us the first 53 numbers of this sequence.

1, 3, 7, 12, 18, 26, 35, 45, 56, 69, 83, 98, 114, 131, 150, 170, 191, 213, 236, 260, 285, 312, 340, 369, 399, 430, 462, 495, 529, 565, 602, 640, 679, 719, 760, 802, 845, 889, 935, 982, 1030, 1079, 1129, 1180, 1232, 1285, 1339, 1394, 1451, 1509, 1568, 1628, 1689 

Does the next sequence work to find us a Twitter account with a puzzle piece?  Bitcoin block #5 has a Nonce of 2011431709.  Multiplied by the next Hofstadter number of 26 is 52297224434.  Converted to hex is C2D2850F2.  Search for a hashtag on Twitter - we find an account www.twitter.com/Carlos37002270.  This is working !!!   Here are the next 5 which all find us Twitter accounts with puzzle pieces.

Block # Nonce Hofstadter New Decimal New Hex Twitter Account
0 2083236893 1 2083236893 7C2BAC1D https://twitter.com/Devin04654939
1 2573394689 3 7720184067 1CC28A903 https://twitter.com/Dery59452622
2 1639830024 7 11478810168 2AC30BE38 https://twitter.com/Michell70287905
3 1844305925 12 22131671100 52726803C https://twitter.com/Sandra63596155
4 2850094635 18 51301703430 BF1D1DF06 https://twitter.com/Aaron53437252
5 2011431709 26 52297224434 C2D2850F2 https://twitter.com/Carlos37002270
6 2538380312 35 88843310920 14AF795748 https://twitter.com/Kachilla10
7 2258412857 45 101628578565 17A9890B05 https://twitter.com/Donna59853196
8 1716931356 56 96148155936 1662E06E20 https://twitter.com/Marquit14553100
9 1397702696 69 96441486024 16745C4AC8 https://twitter.com/Heidi41984971

We've confirmed the series is working.  We do this for the first 50 Bitcoin blocks and we get a Twitter account for each.  The Nonce * Hofstadter => Hex does find a Twitter account.  We now have 40 puzzle pieces to assemble !

Here is a spreadsheet with all the details of how you get to the 50 Twitter accounts.

Assemble the puzzle pieces and you get the picture of a soda can shown in Clue #2