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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Double Helix Puzzle

I'm posting this on behalf of my good friend Ziola. Seems an impasse must be overcome.

"Hello my lovelies! Your favorite confuzzled bunny here, Ziola. Mistress Zi if you're not a good boy or girl.

You may have noticed my recent visit to Caracas didn't turn out quite as planned. At least not the way I had planned. What you may not be aware of are some of the events that occurred just prior to my leaving.

I like to hang out at the UnFiction forums because I can always use an extra brainiac to help me decipher the puzzles I come across. One day, out of the blue, I received a request to participate in a panel discussion about ARG's and LARP (Live Action Role Play) at an LARP conference in Chelmsford, MA on March 5. "Unusual" I thought, because as we all know, all of the adventures we go on are real. They happen in real-time, in real life. But hey, always looking for a new adventure, I said "Sure, I'll do it".

March 5: Off I go to the hotel where the conference is taking place. I have no friggin' idea what I'm gonna talk about but it's too late to back out now. I had reached out for help with this but no response. I am about to walk into the lion's den completely unarmed. This is not the best situation for Coalition Barbie to be in. At all.

Just fifteen minutes before I take my seat on the panel, I receive an email. It's from someone named unicornchaser. Who the hell is unicornchaser? I click the link and there's a code. My prayers have been answered! I go into the conference, talk about my experiences with the community and present the puzzle.

Well past my scheduled departure, we're still talking. The night is a resounding success! (Video coming soon). I head home and see that the puzzle is now online. I post a link to it at the UnFiction forums and now it sits. Unsolved.

Here's the puzzle:
Larger version at UnFiction:
And Here

Please help.

~Mistress Z~"

Double Helix

Visit theCoalition


  1. ack... ack...and more ack. That's a lot of letters. I hope someone can help!

  2. well especially after you all did so well with the hieroglyphics... surely this one will be a breeze.

  3. Let's hope so.

    Discussion #thecoalition

  4. personally I've gotten as far seeing the staircase that looks like dna, and what looks like strands of dna... but what if there's more to it than that. What if its not what it seems?

  5. Well, the "DNA sequences" are definitely not that, as they're typically supposed to be in pairs of fours, and they would need partners, which none of them seem to have.
    I'm guessing the "sequences" are the code we need to decrypt. The question is how. (I don't even follow The Coaltion, but I lubs puzzles.)

  6. Now that I'm looking at this closer, there's no instance of any Thymine indicators, while there are Uracil indicators. Looks like RNA sequencing. RNA isn't a double-helix, but DNA is.

    And what do you need to do to get DNA from RNA? Pairing!

  7. I'm pretty sure Shiori's comments were in english...just not the kind I can understand lol

    Thanks for the help everyone!

  8. lol, Ziola! Here's what I said, in lamens' terms:

    DNA sequencing has four complimentary nucleotides that let you map a strand:
    Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine(G), and Thymine (T).
    To form a double-helix, those nucleotides are lined up in a strand and paired with their compliments by a hydrogen bond.

    Since the puzzle doesn't have ANYWHERE the letter T, that means it is an RNA sequence, which is similar to DNA, but is used to create copies of base DNA.
    The nucleotides in RNA are:
    Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine(G), and Uracil
    (U). (Uracil is the replacement for Thymine in RNA)

    My guess is that, for whatever reason, the puzzle wants us to create a double-helix from the code given, which would require us to pair up the bases.
    A bonds with T (or U, in RNA), and C bonds with G.

    Also, if someone wants to count the individual letters, we might be able to figure out what chromosome the RNA sequence is from.

  9. Nevermind, I just counted the bases and it's no where near enough to be a complete chromosome. There are 5,720 letters. Maybe that's significant?

  10. Thanks for the translation, Shiori. If you look at the thread on UnFiction, they have already broken this down into letter and combination frequencies.

  11. the links to the coalition are not directing to the correct place i assume!


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