Here are the puzzles, hints, and answers for the 2020 April Fools Puzzle Contest on #ircpuzzles on libera IRC. Hints were gradually revealed throughout the contest. Expect to need them to finish.

Level 0


  • V2VEb250TGV0Q09WSUQxOVJ1aW5BRlA=
  • Except for Level 01, all spaces are to be replaced with "_" (no quotes)
Answer The solution was: "WeDontLetCOVID19RuinAFP".


The solution is to decode the base64, for example with the Linux command base64 -d.


Level 1, by pavonia


  • Q'bu!


  • Qb guvf!
  • cbq onl qbbef
  • a = n
  • every long journey begins with the first 1852 metres
Answer The solution was: "Bqlffrl".


As hinted by a = n and Qb guvf!, the first step is to run the clue through ROT13:


Hinting at Homer Simpson.

Homer hints at Homer's Odyssey. cbq onl qbbef becomes "pod bay doors", hinting at "2001: A Space Odyssey".

"Odyssey" ROT13'd is the answer, Bqlffrl.

Level 2, by pavonia


  • (3, 4, 5), (5, 12, 13), (8, 15, 17), ...


  • old
  • older than that Greek guy
Answer The solution was "Plimpton_322".


These are Pythagorean triples.

The oldest list of such triples is Plimpton 322.

Level 3, by pavonia


  • David Gibbins, Donovan, Stargate
Answer The solution was "Atlantis".


  • David Gibbins is an underwater archaeologist and a bestselling author of the Jack Howard series, which begins with Atlantis.

  • Donovan is a Scottish songwriter who wrote and sang Atlantis (1968). It has been parodied in Futurama.

  • Stargate: Atlantis is a spin-off series of the well known Stargate francise.

The answer is Atlantis.

Level 4, by simplexish


  • image #1
  • Archivist's note: This puzzle contains errors. I recommend reading the first three hints.


Answer The solution was: "Freyja_Prende".



One slot could hold two answers. Combine them for the password, Freyja_Prende.

Archivist's notes on possible errors:

  • Xochipilli is male.
  • The only reference to the Hausa Zamani I found is It claims Zamani is male.
  • It is unclear that Bastet and Qetesh are beauty goddesses.

Level 5, by pavonia




  • The answer is between ΞΕ and ΡΚΒ
Answer The solution was "Kore".


All the symbols (some look like english) are uppercase greek letters.

The solution is to interpret the letters as Greek/Ionic numerals

This gives the numeric values: 101-78-111-72-112-69-83-114-101-80

Interpreted as ascii byte values, this reads: eNoHpESreP. Or backwards, PerSEpHoNe.

Another name for Persephone is Kore.


  • The answer is between 65 and 122 (A and z in ASCII). Hints at greek numerals and readable ASCII text.
  • STX ETX. ASCII control codes for "start of text" and "end of text". Hints at ASCII encoding.

Level 6, by simplexish



  • number
Answer The solution was "42".


Morse dits and dahs are: __ ._ _.__ ._ ___... / .... / ..

In international morse (ITU) this might read MAYA: / H / I

But actually, everything after the colon (.... ..) is maya numerals, not morse.

The answer is simply 42.

Level 7, by pavonia


Answer The solution was "Merytre_Hatshepsut"


The text is unicode symbols (white chess kings and mountain emoji) in the shape of an egyptian ankh.

Interpreting the symbols as binary (♔=0,⛰=1) and ignoring whitespace, we get the following bytes: is Mozart's "Grabmusik - KV 42 (35a)". "Grabmusik" is literally "Grave Music". "KV42" is a catalogue number--the catalogue is called Köchel Verzeichnis.

The two symbols (mountain, crown), the ankh, and the name "Grave Music" hint at the valley of the kings.

KV42, or King's Valley Tomb 42, was constructed for Merytre-Hatshepsut, the wife of Pharaoh Thutmose III, although she was never buried there.

The answer is merytre_hatshepsut.

Level 8, by pavonia



  • John Gardner Wilkinson
Answer The solution was "mutnedjmet".


An image of a maze. There is only one path from the outside to the center. Solution

The letters along the path spell (from outside in): HOREMHEB

Horemheb was a pharaoh around 1319BC.

The hieroglyphs in the center of the maze are M23-N41:X1-G36:X1. They spell hmt-nswt-wrt, "Great Royal Wife'.

Horemheb's wife was the former queen of Egypt, mutnedjmet.

Level 9, by pavonia


  • 👨‍❤️ 〦〧 〡〇〤 ❤️ 〩〧 〡一〇 ❤️ 〡〇〣 〣〩 ❤️ 〡〇〡 〥〢 ❤️‍👩 (as html)
Answer The solution was "Magpie_Bridge".


The glyphs are Suzhou numerals.

man ❤️ 67 104 ❤️ 97 110 ❤️ 103 39 ❤️ 102 52 ❤️ woman

The decimal numbers 67-104-97-110-103-39-102-52, when decoded as ASCII read Chang'e4.

Chang'e is the Chinese goddess of the moon. It's also the namesame of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, the most recent mission of which was Chang'e 4.

The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl is the tale of two lovers, reunited once a year by a bridge of magpies between them. It's also the name of the most recent Chinese relay satellite, part of the Chang'e 4 mission.

The answer is Magpie_Bridge.

Level 10, by pavonia


Answer The solution was "Aulus_Livius_Proculus".


Decoding the roman numerals, we get:

-- -- 15 23 14 10 15 10 <- 1
18 21  2  2  5  4 17 21 -> 10
-- -- -- -- 24  6  8 23 <- 5

Decoding using A=1, Z=26 we get:


Caesar shifting the first line back 1, the second forward 10, and the last back 5, we get:


A quick search shows this the the beginning of an inscription in the Temple of Bellona. The reverse begins:


That names Aulus Livius Proculus and the duovir Publius Lucilius Gamala Filius as rebuilding the temple.

Or, "A.L.P. & P.L.G.F.", the initials in the inscription.

The answer is the missing name from the image, Aulus_Livius_Proculus.

Level 11, by pavonia


  • And Odin instructed his son to indite the Great Book of Hvatvetna, and Höðr did as he was bidden ... 1643O131425O13155226O13461643O13155226O52262553O132435O131425


  • the one-eyed man
  • 11548-1
  • draw a conclusion
Answer The solution was "Hamskerpir".


Höðr is the blind son of Odin and Figg. He is instructed to write the book of "whatever". We have hints toward Braille (Odin with one eye, Höðr being blind). We also have hints toward historical norse writing--Runes.

Split at each "O" to get:

1643 131425 13155226 13461643 13155226 52262553 132435 131425

All strings are even length. This hints at the correct interpetation as pairs:

16/43 13/14/25 13/15/52/26 13/46/16/43 13/15/52/26 52/26/25/53 13/24/35 13/14/25

Braille cells dots are numbered 1-3 in the first column, 3-6 in the second column. (Hinted by 11548-1, a braille standard)

Braille cell

We are hinted to draw a conclusion. 16/43 is 1->6, 4->3 or draw a line from 1 to 6, then draw a line from 4 to 3.

This forms 8 drawings for the 8 groups. We interpret them as Elder Futhark runes with some imagination.


Or, "gardrofa". The horses Hamskerpir and Garðrofa are from Norse mythology.

The answer is hamskerpir.

Level 12


Answer The solution was "Nemontemi".


The image is a nonogram.

Archivist's note: The nonogram has two solutions. Only one was intended.

You can solve by hand or use an online solver. {"ver":[[7,1,1],[3,1,3,2],[4,1,2],[13,1],[2,1,1,2],[1,5,1,1],[1,1,1,4],[4,1,1,1,2,1],[2,1,1,2],[4,5,1,2],[1,1,2,1],[1,11],[1,1,1],[2,1,2,2],[5,1,1,4]],"hor":[[3,1,3],[4,1,1,2],[4,3,2],[12,1],[1,1,1,1],[1,1,5,2,1],[2,1,1,1,1,1],[1,1,1,1,1,2,1],[4,1,1,1,1],[1,1,5,1,2],[1,1,2],[9,1],[4,3,2,1],[2,1,1,1,1,2],[1,5,2,2]]}

Decoded, it looks like:

solved nonogram

Which is an Aztec barcode.

The code reads Nemontemi.

The answer is nemontemi.

Level 13

Welcome to the end of the #ircpuzzles 2020 April Fool's Puzzle Competition!