How Did You Know Katie Otim and Sheldon Hewlett ?


We had a record number of players this month, and a record number of 100% correct submissions on Day 5! Vvvvery well done, gamers. We hope you enjoyed our V-themed hunt this month. We're taking all your feedback into consideration for the next hunt, so thanks for being active on the FB page. Speaking of the Facebook page: We're now over 1,000 fans and we even have our own unique URL: Head over there to find out if you're a random winner, as we'll be pulling those later today. Meantime, congrats to our first place winners, who got all the correct answers in first. Let's meet them now...

Picture 2We are so excited to have won HDYK this month. We've been playing for so long that we can't remember when we started, but it's been about 2 years. HDYK is definitely something we look forward to, despite the fact that I spend the last few minutes shouting frantically. Sheldon and I live in Chicago, where we originally met in grad school at Northwestern. We've been dating a little over 3 years now. Sheldon is currently a high school physics teacher and I'm working towards my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering (1 year left!). We make a great HDYK team, since Sheldon is great at word games (cryptograms) and I love math and logic puzzles. We both enjoy doing puzzles and reading mental_floss in our spare time. I was also excited to put my French skills to work this time around!

We're looking forward to another great hunt next month! :)

Final Answer

In the Cyrillic alphabet, the letter that looks like a V is called Izhitsa

Day 1


Level 1
Magic Square:

Every Column, Row and Diagonal adds up to 18

Level 2
Men's Names:

Female's Names:
amyktcbuc Cleopatra
kmohy kwm Olive Oyl
Byppommy Tennille
Lcuuoyb Harriet
ndopyhyuy Guinevere
oxkmzy Isolde
rcuroy Barbie
Vdmoyb Juliet
zymomcl Delilah

Tristan and Isolde
Antony and Cleopatra
Romeo and Juliet
Popeye and Olive Oyl
Lancelot and Guinevere
Ken and Barbie
Samson and Delilah
Captain and Tennille
Ozzie and Harriet

I solved the above cryptograms by using a cryptogram helper (Hal's Cryptogram Helper), which automatically fills in all designated letters.
After guessing a few letters by frequency (E's and T's, especially), I recognized a few of the names. After that, the rest fell into place.

Day 2


Level 1
X = 14 (or 15)
Each day is a Victory Day (V Day). 5.8.45 is May 8th, 1945 which is the Victory in Europe day, when the Allies accepted surrender of Nazi forces.
5.9.45 is May 9th, 1945 which is Soviet Victory Day, since it was May 9th in the Soviet Union when the surrender of Allied forces occurred.
8.14.45 or 8.15.45 is Victory over Japan day (VJ day), when the Japanese surrendered to the United States. 8.14.45 is the day of observance for VJ day, while 8.15.45 is the day in which the surrender was announced.

Level 2
The brands are:
1. Virgin (airplane)
2. MTV (MTV logo)
3. VH1 (VH1 logo)
4. Gibson (Guitar is a Gibson Flying V)
5. V for Vendetta
6. Vimeo (colorful raised v)

Day 3

Level 1
The words in the word search are:
Stewart (actor)

The uncircled letters spell out:
french word "vous"

In French, "vous" is used as both the formal and plural form of "you."

Level 2
The names are:
1. Edith Piaf
2. Rene Descartes
3. Marcel Duchamp
4. Charles Perrault
5. Pierre Cardin
6. Brigitte Bardot
7. Louis Vuitton
8. Louis Braille
9. Blaise Pascal
10. Paul Gauguin
11. Ettore Bugatti
12. Hector Berlioz

Day 4


If you use a standard alphanumeric cipher (e.g. A=1, B=2, etc), you can convert the letters in the symbol to numbers. Doing this we get:

Adding these values together, we get 45. If all of these values are supposed to sum to 50, that means we are missing the letter that represents 5 (E). In roman numerals, the number 5 is given by the letter V.

Level 2
Here are the cryptic references to the letter/number V that we found in the movie:
1. "Perfect Harmony" - one of the musical harmonies that are considered perfect is the perfect 5th.
2. "Middle of a giant hurricane" - a giant hurricane could be a category 5 hurricane, the highest ranking on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity
3. "it had a savory taste" - savory (umami) is considered to be the fifth flavor after salty, sweet, bitter, and sour
4. "raining Starfish" - starfish all have 5 arms.
5. "fingers and toes" - there are 5 fingers and toes on each appendage (hand or foot). For a more obscure reference, one of the old myths of leprosy was that it would cause the fingers and toes to fall off. The Japanese believed that leprosy was caused by a parasite that ate 5 organs of the body (from wikipedia).
6. "quintessential" - this word is derived from quintessence ("fifth element"), which Aristotle defined as aether (ether). This is the element that makes up the heavenly bodies. The other elements are air, fire, earth, and water.
7. The letter "V" appears on the shelf behind Liz. As we saw in D4L1, V represents 5 in Roman numerals.
8. There is also the letter "L" on the shelf. In Roman numerals, L represents the number 50, which contains a 5.
9. "Two small circles separated by a diagonal line" - this phrase describes the percent sign (%), which shares a key with the number 5 on a computer keyboard.
10. "boy on a horse" - The C.S. Lewis novel The Horse and His Boy was the 5th novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series
11. "first day of school" - in general, American children start kindergarten at age 5
12. "miles from the nearest ocean" - there are 5 oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Southern, Indian, Arctic)

Day 5

Level 1
Hector Berlioz premiered Reqiuem in 1837.
According to, the production budget for V for Vendetta was $54 million.
Seconds are on the house!

Latitude 37 deg 54 min 0 sec

The sister salad video premiered on July 27, 2009. --> 07/27/09. Removing the day and zeroes leaves 79. So deg is -79.

Beyonce's Crazy in Love was at peak position 12 on the Finnish Charts

Longitude -79 deg 12min 0 sec

Plugging in those coordinates takes us to Vesuvius, Virginia.

Level 2

In the Cyrillic alphabet, the letter that looks like a V is called Izhitsa

How Did You Know Jimmy Luth?

We had a lot of fun giving away daily neatorama prizes this month! We hope you continue to enjoy this new aspect of the game. Thanks for being active on the Facebook page. Head over there to find out if you're a random winner, as we just announced that. Meantime, congrats to our first place winner and new (and former) champion, Jimmy Luth!

Apparently June is my month for winning HDYK (Past winner, June&August 2010 - An honor retained at the top of personal google searches). It must have been in the answers because I was not first to post the final answer and I had a 10 minute delay in start as I thought I had until Tuesday before I saw the facebook post (Everyone should join the HDYK facebook page). I am thrilled to win a month that included references to some of my favorite things in Modern Family, classic cartoons, and Angry Birds along with new ways to submit and a user submitted puzzle. Seriously, you should do that again, I would love to create a puzzle as much as I do to solve them. I attached a photo of me and family (Laurie, Annabelle-5, and Rebecca-2) at the Georgia Aquarium this summer as the sprinkle picture wasn't the best turnout. Thanks again to MF, Neatorama, and the facebook hinters - especially Sharon who helped me get my last missing answer.

Final Answer

Q: According to Urban Dictionary, what is the definition of a Twaggie? A: A traditional tag in the Twittersphere as exemplified by the Web comic Twaggies

Day 1

HDYK: Started counting coins and using the cipher (your favorite tool) to see if it spelled anything.

Chrono Trigger
HDYK: No idea, searched Dactyl's Nest to find the game for the DS.

Mighty Eagle
HDYK: He is purchased separately in the game
Question: In what country is Rovio (makers of Angry Birds) based?

Day 2

Modern Family
HDYK: Created cipher style setup in Excel and tried some different ideas to see what would create two words. Sadly found it was the answer which I suspected but apparently wasn't solving correctly.

8 Out of 10 Cats
Cash in the Attic
Black Books
The Big Breakfast
HDYK: Googled some clue words, figured out a Channel 4 connection and searched out shows. Nice hint with "programmes"

7F7F7F, FFFF00, 00FFFF, 00FF00, FF00FF, FF0000
Gray, Yellow, Cyan, Green, Magenta, Red
HDYK: Googled the sequences. Figured it was a color thing used for screen images. Took some googling to find it is the order of the SMPTE color bars for a test pattern. Blue is the last one.
What are the three primary colors of light that are used to produce the picture you see on most television sets?
Red, Green, Blue

Day 3

Lightning McQueen - Cars
Mystery Van - Scooby Doo
Flintmobile - Flinstones
Space Car - Jetsons
The Mach 5 - Speed Racer
Speed Buggy - Speed Buggy
Answer: Wilson (Owen Wilson)
HDYK: Recognized most right away and googled to confirm the actual car name

Comparing against:
Headlight fixed; Removed some top teeth; Piece on top is missing; Gas cap removed;
HDYK: Used a gif maker and an original to ensure no strange small changes like the last time.

The car in Back to the Future was the DeLorean. The actor is Christopher Lloyd
HDYK: took the quiz, googling some answers to confirm I was correct.
Question: What was the full name of the character Mr. Lloyd played on Taxi?
Reverend Jim Ignatowski

Day 4

Cincinnati Reds - Reds + ox = Red Sox - Boston Red Sox
HDYK: A wiki review of each sports teams and dropping the letters as instructed to see what works.

D4L2 - Nice work Greg. Don't be afraid to do this again MF - I promise to submit next time.
METS - D. The guys on this team are actually one-thousand aliens.
ROYALS - E. The guys on this team would rather be playing polo - the sport of kings.
DODGERS - A. The guys on this team are hard to catch.
MARINERS - C. The guys on this team are out to sea.
ATHLETICS - B. The guys on this team are in good shape.
HDYK: Knew some right away but had to second guess and fill in to figure out each clue. The aliens was the toughest one.

HEIROWN - Kevin Costner is not in this movie.
HDYK: Recognized most of the movies and connected a Costner/baseballl theme.
Question: What pitcher for the Minnesota Twins threw the first no-hitter of the 2011 MLB season?
Francisco Liriano

Day 5

RGB = RBG = 7-2-4
Lighting is number 95

Question: According to Urban Dictionary, what is the definition of a Twaggie?

A traditional tag in the Twittersphere as exemplified by the Web comic Twaggies

neatorama presents: HDYK? - {day 5}

It's an all-new 5-day trivia hunt!

Co-puzzle Master Josh Halbur and I are happy to bring you the next How Did You Know? sponsored by our friends over at

Here's how it works: Starting today, and every day the rest of this week, we'll be presenting two challenges at noon ET. They'll be very similar to the kinds of puzzles you've come to expect from me and Josh, and, yes, they will feed into the Day 5 puzzle, as normal. Each evening, at 8pm ET, we'll be putting up a third challenge loosely based on the day's previous two challenges. You won't need to solve the first two to solve the third, but knowing the day's theme might help you be the first to crack Level 3. Also: note that you'll have to solve Level 3--the bonus--to compete on Day 5

>> Prizes! Each day, one person will win one item from the neatoshop worth $25 or less. Shipping is on the house but the item you pick must be in stock. Oh, and no credit if you don't use up the full $25. To be eligible for the prize, you need to leave the correct answer to Level 3 on the correct neatorama page before 10pm ET. You also need to tell us in that comment what you want if you're selected at random.

>> So what's in it for the person/team who finishes first with all the correct answers? Bragging rights, as always, with your photo/bio posted on our site. But also the chance to win the Day 5 neatorama prize, and, as has been tradition here for the last 28 months of HDYK?, your pick of any one of the amazing t-shirts from our store.

As always, if you're not a Fan of our Facebook page, be sure to add us so we can keep you updated, and you can get in on some additional nifty clues throughout the week. If you're new to our five-day hunt, you can read up on our new Rules page here. Oh, and the previous days' challenges can be found here if you missed it. Okay, ready to get your Hunt on? Click on through.


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