GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Don’t Leave Your Secrets in the Trash!

Geek Culture

Photo by dweekly/flickrPhoto by dweekly/flickr

Photo by dweekly/flickr

This week, investigators need your help deciphering clues that should lead to the location of sensitive documents super-villain Jack Smith stole from JPL. Email your answer by 10:00 PM EST on Thursday for your chance to win a $50 gift code from thinkgeek! Continue reading.

Investigators have reason to believe super-villain Jack Smith has stolen classified documents and passed them on to one or more agents of another State. Several notes passed between an unknown individual and Mr. Smith were discovered in his hotel room (Gumshoe Kelsey dug through Smith’s rubbish bin; even supers make stupid mistakes). The notes are copied below. They are a mystery to the lead investigators (all of the super-spies are on assignment). Here, the bold numbers were written in one hand while the regular font numbers were written in a different hand.

7 12 1 14
2 13 8 11
16 3 10 5
9 6 15 4


1 15 10 8
12 6 3 13
7 9 16 2
14 4 5 11


17 6 20 7
16 11 13 10
5 18 8 19
12 15 9 14


Finally, the following was written on a scrap of paper taped to the bottom of the Mr. Smith’s keyboard:
Troublesome Ming should be on this bland diet to ease her stomach problems.

Although these clues alone seemed pretty useless, Gumshoe Lo Shu has an idea. She’s heard about special mathematical squares but cannot remember the details. Shortly after the discovery of these scraps of paper, the following letter from Mr. Smith was intercepted:

As per our agreement, here are the coordinates: Make sure your niece is on the correct diet, she should eat whole kernels.

1) James. Also, atoms do this to make molecules.
2) For a triangle, it’s 1/2 b c sin(A).
3) Combine this with another one of different size for mechanical advantage.
4) You must do this with numbers before you can calculate the median.

He did this instead of sitting: 9,14,13,7,8


Can you discover the coordinates? Where should the investigators send the next available Super-spy?

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