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So I checked out the blogspot URL that waymee posted earlier ( ), which had the answer to the 24th puzzle. I was reading through the comments and saw some interesting things.

Observation #1:
Judging from the posts here, it seems that the "We're sorry, the Da Vinci Code Quest game has ended" message starting being shown to people around 1:08 or 1:10. But as I read the comments, I saw that several people were able to finish the puzzle and register again starting around 1:15 or so. One commenter speculated that Google and Sony had by that time identified their 10,000 finalists, and were now re-opening the registration page so they could collect marketing data.

I suppose that's possible. It may very well be that the original game code was written to stop gathering contestant entries as soon as the 10,000th finalist was identified by the system, mainly so the flood of people hitting the game would ease up. But maybe someone realized this was a mistake / bug (after all, the official rules say the Stage 1 period doesn't end until 1 PM EDT on the 11th) and opened it back up so people can still go ahead and make their submissions.

Observation #2
There was a link in that blog to a fellow who downloaded the Flash app that controls the whole game. He ran it through a decompiler and actually got the answers to the four Geography challenges and also the four Observation challenges (the only two that were the same for all users instead of using a randomized question set). This blogger was posting these answers to give his readers an edge. But Google tricked them!!

Yep. It seems that Google released a new version of the Flash app (probably today) with completely different questions. So anyone who thought they'd get a leg up on the competition wound up getting hosed. :-) The folks here were smart enough to figure out the correct video that would be used and simply made a point of preloading it / watching it ahead of time.

Observation #3
All of the comments I read on that blog showed no one getting the puzzle done and their registration form completed before 1:07 PM. Given that everyone here was done by 1:05 at latest (and I don't doubt there were thousands of others), those poor folks may be hosed for getting a Cryptex.

Observation #4
A commenter noted that filling out the registration form and submitting after you've already done so simply gives a message "You've already registered". So there's actually no harm in filling it out again.

- Joe -
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