Five Years Later, Team Solves Puzzles In Women In Tech Book

from the cipher-wheels dept

When we released our CIA: Collect It All card game based on a declassified CIA training card game, we had included a fun little Easter egg in there, with help from Jon Callas, who helped create modern day encryption. So far, I believe a grand total of… two people have found it, solved it, and told me about it (though it’s possible many more have done so). That was neat, but we had nothing to give them beyond the satisfaction of having solved the puzzle. It seems that others have gone much, much farther with this idea.

Five years ago, Tarah Wheeler put together a big Kickstarter for the book Women in Tech, with advice/ideas/thoughts/stories from a variety of successful women in the tech field.

Five years after publishing that book, Wheeler has now revealed that she flooded the book with hidden puzzles, and while releasing the book itself was a massively difficult project, the fact that a bunch of people found and worked on the puzzles was part of what made it all worth it:

I hated this fucking book. I hated it while I was writing it. I didn?t think that would happen. But I did….

And yet…

There was a secret in that book. It?s a secret that I?ve kept for half a decade, and while I?ve loved the wonderful messages and notes of support from people who?ve benefitted from this work, the puzzles I hid in it are the only unmitigated, unsoured, pure joy I?ve experienced in creating this Frankenstein?s Creature of a book.

I filled it with puzzles. I plastered it with puzzles. I was filled with anticipation at the thought that someday, people would see it.

Then some people noticed the codes and puzzles. A few people tried to solve them. Teams formed on Reddit and Twitter and Discord. And one small crew of four people finally journeyed to the end of the epic. And that?s how they won the secret buried treasure of pounds of precious silver.

The link above has some examples of the hidden puzzles, but here’s just one:

Tarah then worked with Jon Callas (a familiar name!) to create amazing cipher wheels out of silver. You can see the wheels demonstrated in a video that Tarah put up recently:

Even better, she put up details on how to make your own cipher wheels, including 3D printing files to make your own as well at Github. This is a very cool project that, along with everything else that’s fun about it, is a neat way to demonstrate how encryption works and why it’s so important.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Five Years Later, Team Solves Puzzles In Women In Tech Book”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Fetty3 (profile) says:

However, despite the fact that I like reading as one of my favorite pastimes, I find performing academic assignments to be one of my least favorite activities. WritingJudge – , on the other hand, is a website dedicated to analyzing writing services. In addition to offering a comprehensive list of services, it also provides an unbiased assessment of their advantages and disadvantages. As a consequence, I am thankful that I took the decision that I did since it has resulted in my enjoyment.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...