Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google - Final Challenge

Looks like the The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google Final Challenge is up early.

I'm not going to copy the text out, but basically, it is timed and you need to do all five challenges without stopping. It was live at around 12:15 EDT.

I also received an email:
Dear Da Vinci Code Quest on Google Finalist.

Today is the day! The Final Challenge begins shortly. We have heard that some of you had not received the Finalist notification that we sent out on Monday. This may be due to our mail being directed to your spam filter. Therefore we wanted to send another email in the hopes that it reaches those of you who may not have received our last communication. In order to participate in the final challenge visit the link below and start your quest for spectacular prizes.

Keep in mind that this is a journey. You must complete the challenge by 1pm EDT on Sunday 5/21. The winner is not the first to complete the challenge but the one who finishes in the least amount of time will be crowned the champion. Be sure to leave enough time to finish, for once you begin you may not pause or stop the clock.

Good luck and enjoy the final challenge.

We have also heard word that some finalists have not received their cryptexes in the mail yet. The cryptexes were sent out Sat 5/13 and Monday 5/15. They were sent to the addresses provided on the contest registration form, therefore if anything was not provided correctly the cryptex may have been shipped to the wrong location. Be assured that if a cryptex comes back in the mail we will be contacting you to get the correct address.
The Da Vinci Code now in theaters

I haven't had chance to start it yet, but seems that the puzzles are basically the same as the original quest.

1) SuDoKu (maybe my excel solver will come in handy if its a traditional 9x9)
2) Restoration (the annoying paint splotches)

UPDATED: Is this the restoration solution??


3) Curator (hang the paintings)
4) Chess - with no questions. The most sited solutions seems to be 2-2-4, lets see
5) Movie trailer jigsaw puzzle - mixed observation / geography?

No word from Sony / Google on Taxes, so I'll probably capture some screen shots on the way. Don't want to win if its gonna cost me $50K.

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Lots of links from the official blog

38 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was actually live at around 10 am EST... The restoration for some reaosn got me.. I never figured them out either and restarted way too many times...
Final time was over an hour. so I guess I definalty didnt win!!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

post screenshots away!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

21 minutes flat!

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

18min 23secs!!!

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

16 minutes 55 sec.
Our sudoku and chess games were too easy.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:29!!! I was very luck on three of them. I just guessed the right combination on the first try

2:14 PM  
Blogger Raquel said...

damn, lol. I've gone on it for about 3 hours for the first 3 challenges. and then gave up. (total: more than 4 hours) Ha, the chess and blobs got me. I quit after before I could finish the chess challenge.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just about 4 minutes!! Dont think Ill stand any chance though :(

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 minutes and 21 seconds!!!!! All the rest of you can just give up now because I p0wn this puppy!

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:56.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see how anyone could get it in 5 minutes or less. It would take that long to hit the keystrokes for all of the puzzles even if you knew the answers. Kudos, it took me about 30 min. with no prior knowledge of the final puzzle other than the assumption that it would be one of each puzzle type that we have been doing.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy who said "finished in 2:01--the rest of you might as well not play" really cracked me up. Not only did he make up a fake time to scare off other players--he then went on to point out what he was doing, just in case you didn't get it.

If these are the kinds of subtle minds we're competing against, then really everyone has a chance! Good luck.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been playing for almost an hour and a half and i can't get past the restoration it is killing me!

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've taken the final quest multiple times under same account and therefore am disqualified. First attempt was 28 mins, second attempt was 12 minutes, third attempt was 7 mins. I'm not sure it's possible without any "automated" help to do it under 5, but the winner will be right around 5 minutes.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:36. I really hope those people saying 4 minutes are BS'ing

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was able to play it multiple times? Is that correct? I was actually not logged into my google account and it let me play? How do I know it's registering the time to my account?

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are you guys getting times? Are you timing it yourselves? Or is there a timer ticking on the game? I was able to do it but I had no indication that I was logged into my account, I even cleared all my cache and cookies first.
Looks like I can play it again too... how do I know my attempt was time stamped?

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made a key-pressing/mouse clicking program that gets me to the jigsaw in 1:57. I just wish I wouldn't disqualify myself by playing again.

for above: i use a stopwatch

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question for all of you.

When you finished the final challenges, did anything come up where you had to reregister your time with your google login???

How do they match up people to their games??

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Garrett said...

In the spirit of google's free services, here's the 16 pictures used in the moving picture puzzle.

http://garrett.loy.googlepages.com/Davincifinalvideo.JPG

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Garrett said...

Oh, and here are the other three (the restoration is correct)

And, for all who are curious, the puzzles never change, and don't refresh afterward or you'll be prompted to play again(which you can, and will then disqualify you)

http://garrett.loy.googlepages.com/paintings.JPG
http://garrett.loy.googlepages.com/sudoku.JPG
http://garrett.loy.googlepages.com/chess.JPG

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband got between 8 and 9 minutes; we don't know exactly because we didn't use a stopwatch. Any posts with a shorter time? I sure could use a vacation...new baby at home. (:

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me and my best buddies finished the quest in under 5 minutes!!! Im so happy ;) We did it in one commercial break during spiderman (i love that movie!!!!) ( tobey maguire is a hunk!! ;) omg i hope we win! good luck everyone.......... Ill see you in Pariiiiiisssss!!!!

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo...this shit is gay...I guessed on all the answers and got dem right in under 3 minutes....you can all suck my dong. EUYE EUYE!

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was doing so well on the first two challenges, but then I had to go piss out a kidney stone, it hurt soooo bbad. My urethra is on fire. Now i know what its like to give birth ladies. Anyway, I think I finished in 13 minutes (luckily I have a laptop). Hopefully I win, I could use a vacation after my penile reconstruction.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dare Dan Brown create such a travesty. It is sacreligous and ill-minded; and those who read his books and watch his moving pictures will one day rot and fester in the firey swollen pits of hell... besides Langdon could have easily tagged Sophie... what a pussy... maybe if he focused more on getting laid and less on symbols and shit he wouldnt be so lonely and cluastrophobic. Good day to you hethens.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo ellie, your mad ugly... decoding the secrets of true divinity is man's game... go make me a sandwich woman

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:30

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny - Now people are posting "wrong" spoilers.! The final video challange, one nut imbedded an email address smack in the middle of each version - then told everyone that they just had to build the email address in the center to complete it!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the rules:

"All federal, state, or other tax liabilities arising from the Contest will be the sole responsibility of Finalists and the Grand Prize winner. Grand Prize winner will receive an IRS Form 1099 from the Sponsor for the total ARV of the Grand Prize and the Finalist Prize stated above that he/she won in the calendar year won."

So let's do some calculation:

Total value is $128,170.54. That will definitely push you into the 30% tax bracket. Therefore, you will pay at least $38,451.16 more in taxes to IRS alone and additional state tax (if your state has income tax) because it will add to your own income and make your own income subject to higher tax. And now let's take a look at the breakdown of the prizes. Besides the travel portion, the rest of the prizes is only worth $8,773.30. Of couse you could sell these electronic stuffs on ebay, but you may only sell them at or below the fair market value. That's not even close to the $40K you will be paying to Uncle Sam. So you may want to sell the travel package to someone, but it will be difficult. First of all, if someone wants to travel, most likely people will travel coach. Remember the travel portion is all first class. Second, if I know someone is selling that travel portion, of course I won't pay full value for the first class. Therefore, you may be able to sell, but the money you get is definitely lower than the fair value ($29,849.31 per person). Also, when you sell the travel portion, you will be traveling with someone you don't even know. (I think you have to one of the four people traveling if you win because it will be under your name and the travel is made through a coordinator). As a result, all the money that you could get from selling the entire package may just end up paying Uncle Sam and the state. On the other hand, if you have $40K to pay in taxes, why don't you just buy you own electronic stuffs (it costs only $8,773.30 anyway), and that leaves you almost $31K to travel. Now tell me, anyone spend more than $31K on one trip (seven days) for four people?

From these observations, Google would care less if someone cheated, copy, backdoor, or whatever to complete the challenge in about 2 minutes. Google will just hand you the 1099 and you will have to figure out how to get the money to pay Uncle Sam and the state. So let me ask some of you here, why do you want to win the prize so bad that you will do whatever it takes to be the one with the fastest time? Just think about the taxes you have to pay make me care less if I don't win. How about the rest of you?

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, the restoration solution is correct if not too late.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have thought that Google/Sony would have come up with a creative way to offset the tax issues with this - why not offer the winner a temporary, unpaid position as a Public Relations Consultant which required travelling to the prize destinations in the company of three colleagues?

Sure, you're still left with paying the taxes on the Sony goodies, but I'd be more inclined to stump up the 30% - 40% on 8 grand rather than the full $125k

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