Challenge #13 – J. Bozo

We’re back with another challenge! This is in collaboration with Agent Venture who provide amazing online escape room experiences – make sure you check them out!

The Challenge

Agent Venture needs your top-notch bank robbery skills to help bring J. Bozo to justice for their numerous crimes.

The incriminating files against J. Bozo are locked behind a room with a keyboard and a 3×3 digital grid with letters on it… The passcode is in the form of a pattern which only a few employees know, can you work out what the pattern-passcode of the grid is?

The Solution

Let’s start by looking at Employee 1, we can see that there are multiple ways we can reach the typed passcode. See the images below to see some of the possible methods. How many ways of getting B, A, B, A, B can you find from Employee 1’s grid?

Similarly for Employee 2, we can see that there are also multiple ways in which we can reach the typed passcode. However, we can deduce that the pattern must start on the middle right square since there is no other starting point for C,C,B in a row (C,C,B,A,B).

Lastly, for Employee 3, there are also multiple ways of reaching the typed passcode C, A, C, B, C.

Using the information we gathered from Employee 2, we can deduce that if we start on the middle right square using Employee 1’s grid, then the next move is to go down to the bottom right square. If we instead try to go up to the top right square, then we reach a dead-end and end up with B, A, C even though the passcode for Employee 1 starts off as B, A, B (B,A,B,A,B).

It is still ambiguous what the next part of the pattern is by looking at the grids for Employee 1 and Employee 2. However, looking at the grid for Employee 3, we can see that the pattern must go through the middle square to get the last part of the pattern-passcode.

Putting all this information together and overlaying the pattern over the grid, we can deduce that the solution is F, I, H, E, D!

How did you do? Comment below how you reached the solution!

Challenge #12 – The Blueprints

The Challenge

Finally, you have your hands on the blueprints to the bank. You can see that on the blueprints there are only certain routes which you can take in order to avoid triggering the security alarms at 3:23AM (prime bank robbing time).

You need to plan your route carefully to get to the vault as quickly as possible and avoid detection. Luckily, someone has added the number of footsteps it takes along the routes on the blueprints!

First you need to go into the reception cabinet to obtain the keys to the HR office which contain employee records. Inside the records you will find the password to the computer of your accomplice who works in foreign exchange. Your accomplice has left you a key to access the cupboard by the Business Analyst’s desk. You need to find a file containing information about the top-secret floor – including the passcode to the vault.

Can you find a route that takes no more than 217 steps?

The Solution

Did you manage to find a solution under 217 steps? You’ve just solved a graph theory problem! Graph theory is the mathematical study of graphs which consist of vertices (or nodes, such as the Coffee Machine in the maze) which are connected by edges.

This problem in particular is known as the shortest path problem – we want to find a path between two nodes so that the total is minimised!

See the image below for the shortest path which takes exactly 217 steps.

The shortest route (with a total of 217) is: Entrance, Reception Desk (12), Reception Cabinet (9), Fish Tank (18), Microwave1 (7), Recruitment Materials (16), Employee Records (6), Training Materials (18), Head of HR Seat (10), Foreign Exchange (25), Microwave2 (36), Fridge (8), Frontend Engineers (11), Business Analysts (3), Data Analysts (19), Drinks Machine (14), VAULT (5).

Challenge #2 – The Elements

Can you save Doctor Aro?

Now that you and your accomplice, Ez have escaped, you have one more friend to free, known as “Doctor Aro” 🧑‍🔬 before you can proceed.

Doctor Aro had a near-death experience from her dabbling in the chemical arts. 💀 As a result, she is stuck at the gates of heaven waiting for a decision to be made.

Guarding the gates are the angel and the devil. “I can help you,” they both offer. Since you’re a badass thief, you’re not sure who to trust…

Suddenly in a chemical burst, a piece of paper appears in Doctor Aro’s handwriting pleading for your help:

“Sometimes, you have to reflect on the odd things in life. 17 6 35 9 68”

Who should you trust?
The angel 😇
The devil 😈?

You may need google/pen and paper.

The solution to this challenge can be found at Challenge #2 – The Elements – Solution.

Challenge #1 – Prison Break

Can you help your friend escape? 🔒


Before you can begin the heist, you need to build a team of people you can trust. You received news that your good friend and former accomplice has almost escaped prison and is impersonating a guarding robot waiting for a chance to exit.

When you arrive at the prison gates, you notice there are 5 guards but cannot tell which is your friend. You only know one thing:

Each robot guard always lies for the whole day, or always tells the truth for the whole day (but your friend is not bound by these rules). Can you figure out which guard is your friend and help them escape?

  • Guard A: “Today, I tell the truth”
  • Guard B: “Yesterday, I lied”
  • Guard C: “Today, I lie”
  • Guard D: “Yesterday, I told the truth”
  • Guard E: “Tomorrow, I shall tell the truth”

This week we’ve spoken a lot about making assumptions that could lead to incorrect conclusions, so if you’re struggling, have a think about anything you may have assumed implicitly…

The difficulty level reflects how long we might expect for someone to spend on this vs some of our future problems. Of course, some may rate this as a 3 or 4, whereas others may rate it at a 1. How difficult you find this is very relative, but the problem does not assume any prior knowledge of maths.

The solution is revealed in the post Challenge #1 – Prison Break – Solution.