William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Happy Easter!

Hidden in this post is an Easter egg of sorts. Searching for it will be easy for experts, difficult for puzzle novices. This is the kind of brain teaser easily dispatched by veterans. The sole clue that I will give you is that the solution involves a simple progression.

I search for these sort of things systematically, and so should you. Break in a new pencil, for you’ll need some sort of writing tool; maybe a scratch pad.

Letters? There are ten—in the solution, I mean.

Oh that’s a new clue, I just realized. Happy muff!


  1. I am bummed. Ran all letters no whitespace, all letters no whitespace and punctuation, all letters and punctuation, all letters whitespace and punctuation on all linear character locations (m+kx) [with Happy Easter! or not Happy Easter! included]

    Also ran a ‘common’ progression: that is separation being linear, and even exponential.

    Also ran it on only first letter of words, with all whitespace and punctuation combinations, and on only capital letters.

    Still couldn’t find it.

  2. Briggs, we give up. What’s the answer?

  3. Briggs

    April 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm


    First letter in answer is ‘H’.

  4. OK, three clues now. Simple progression, answer has ten letters, the first being H. Actually four clues if the need for a scratch pad means some calculations too complicated for memory are required. This puzzle novices still draws a blank. Reminds me of my long ago first encounter with algebra …

  5. answer – He is Risen!

  6. Do I need to show my work for full credit?

  7. thankyou for the answwer. Please dont post the method.

  8. That’s only 9 letters.

  9. Yes, but it’s 10 characters. I’m pretty sure that was a slight misdirection (or error) on Briggs part. I hope Briggs will verify. I arrived at my answer by a definite process that fits the other clues in every way.

  10. And it turns out to be very simple. Richard Hill asked me not to post the method, but I will give an additional clue. 10 sentences in the OP.

  11. acricketchirps

    April 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Okay. I got the same answer as MartyQ. I don’t like the ten letter clue being wrong though.

  12. Okay. Got it now. That exclamation point dispute was the key for me.

  13. Gary, really, having gotten the first nine characters, the tenth made you think the method was invalidated? If we decoded a message from Jupiter saying “All these planets are yours except for Europa x” would the x cause us to doubt the rest of the message?

    I still wish Briggs would confirm it, though, just for closure. Is anyone still unable to find the method? I’m ready to spill it.

  14. It sounds more like Gary meant that the first character he go was the exclamation point. After the initial given aitch, I mean.

  15. Got not go. ————

  16. You folks are overthinking this, it is simple. Attend to MartyQ’s “additional clue” that there are ten sentences in the OP.

  17. acricketchirps

    April 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    No we’re not. Everyone’s either lost interest or already got the answer — except if Richard Hill isn’t among the first-mentioned group. Richard, you still here? Can MartyQ spill?

  18. I think it’s gone on long enough, if anyone still cares.

    Sentence 1, Character 1
    Sentence 2, Character 2
    Sentence 3, Character 3
    etc, all not counting spaces

  19. Yay, MartyQ! ————

  20. MartyQ, Cricket is correct. It was ! in the tenth position that made the method clear because I didn’t have the other nine letters. I’m not into cryptography; other things are of more interest.

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