"Lost" Puzzle in Wired Magazine
For the April 09 issue of Wired Magazine, I was asked to create a cryptographic puzzle based on the television show Lost. Specifically, I was given a “clue” to encrypt.
Creating something like this is very hard. The puzzle needs to be hard enough so that people don’t figure it out immediately, and easy enough so that people eventually figure it out. To make matters even more complicated, people will share their ideas on the Internet. So if the solution requires — and I’m making this up — expertise in Mayan history, carburetor design, algebraic topology, and Russian folk dancing, those people are likely to come together on the Internet. The puzzle has to be challenging for the group mind; not just for individual minds.
Do I need to give people a hint?
EDITED TO ADD (5/20): No hints required; there’s a solution posted.