How Did You Know Derek Cashel?


We had a record number of players this month, and a record number of 100% correct submissions on Day 5! Nicely done, gamers. 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 way 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 winner, who got all the correct answers in first. Let's meet him now...

Wow. I'm thrilled to be this month's winner, and completely surprised. While I am a long-time reader of both the Mental Floss magazine and blog, this is my first time playing HDYK, so I guess I'll have to chalk it up to beginner's luck.

I live in St. Louis, where I am what you would call a career student. After graduating from the University of Missouri "“ Kansas City in 2005, I have attended several different universities and studied everything from Psychology to Engineering to Archaeology in the hopes of figuring out exactly what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading Pynchon and Vonnegut, and listening to/playing all different types of music. I also spend way too much time following my local St. Louis sports teams (Go Blues and Cards!) and English Premier League soccer.

The photo is of myself and my sister Breanna, and was taken while in Minneapolis recently. Big thanks to David Israel and mental_floss for taking the time to create the HDYK quiz every month. I had a great time playing HDYK, and I can't wait for the next contest!

Final Answer

Japan - E

Day 1


1. A wall
From "Homme petit d'homme petit, s'attend, n'avale", a phonetic French translation of the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme
(A google search turned up the following website, which explained the phrase:
2. Gorey
Each of the authors listed are pen names used by Edward Gorey except William Pene du Bois, who wrote Twenty One Balloons. (confirmed at )
3. Hijuelos
Saul Bellow "Humboldt's Gift" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1976
2 years later: James Alan McPherson won the award for "Elbow Room" (1978)
3 years later: John Kennedy Toole won for "A Confederacy of Dunces" (1981)
4 years later: Alison Lurie won for "Foreign Affairs" (1985)
5 years later: Oscar Hijuelos won for "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" (1990)
(Confirmed at )
4. Leonard Bernstein
A google search led me to , which confirmed that Leonard Bernstein invented "Mental Jotto"

Day 2


109, 87, 65, 43, 21 "“ subtract 22 from each number to find the next number in the sequence

7, 4, 2, 9, 8 "“ first number is composed of 3 line segments, 2nd number is composed of 4 segments, 3rd number is composed of 5 line segments, etc.

50, 20, 10, 5, 1 "“ increasingly smaller US bill denominations

1, 4, 9, 16, 25 "“ 1^2, 2^2, 3^2, 4^2, 5^2

1, 8, 9, 17, 26 "“ each number is a sum of the previous two numbers (as in a Fibonacci sequence)

729, 243, 81, 27, 9 "“ 3^6, 3^5, 3^4, 3^3, 3^2

0, 5, 10, 15, 20 "“ Counting by fives

55555, 4444, 333, 22, 1 "“ number of digits in each number equals identity of each digit in number

29, 23, 19, 17, 13 "“ a series of decreasing prime numbers

The standard A=1 cypher gives the letters:
21, 8, 1, 25, 26, 9, 20, 1, 13 = "UHAYZITAM"

2. 24
The letter-image combination are as follows:

V-chip "“ the television censoring device
I, robot "“ the Isaac Asimov novel
C-note "“ $100 bill
U-boat "“ WWI / WWII German submarine
A-bomb "“ atom bomb
Oh Henry "“ the candy bar (the photo is of King Henry VIII)

The first letters of each word spell VEINTICUATRO, which is Spanish for the number 24.

3. 31, 45, 17
By subtracting and scrambling letters to correspond with the provided clues we get:

1. faster T safer F ears S are
2. homage H omega O game E mag
3. revise I verse R eves V see
4. artery R teary T year E ray
5. snotty T stony Y tons N sot
6. frosty Y forts F sort T ors
7. goalie O agile I gale E lag
8. craven N crave V race E car
9. encore E recon E corn N orc

When arranged vertically, the letters removed from each word spell THIRTYONE, FORTYFIVE, and SEVENTEEN. 31 "“ 45 "“ 17.

Day 3

The films:
a. Kill Bill Vol. 1
b. Watchmen
c. The Matrix Revolutions
d. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
e. Snakes On A Plane
f. The Bourne Supremacy
(I recognized the images for A, B, C, and E. I did a google image search for the actors appearing in images D and F, which allowed to locate the identical image online and deduce the movie it came from.)

The changes:
a. A4 "“ The bench is missing a leg
b. F2 "“ The layout of the framed newspaper is different
c. H2 "“ A spectator's head has disappeared
d. G3 "“ Sideburns are different lengths
e. H5 "“ Watch/bracelet is a different color
f. E4 "“ License plate number is different

The numbers in all of the coordinates add up to 20.

2. Arranging the tiles gives:







The only actor listed above who is no longer living is Bruce Lee, who died in 1973.
(Confirmed at )

3. I have to admit, you really got me with the April Fools joke. In fact, I almost gave up before listening to the last audio clip. Good thing I didn't. Nice job.

Day 4

Things that you shake:
A. Magic 8 Ball
G. Fist
H. Martini
N. Etch A Sketch

Things that blink:
D. Eye
F. Stars
K. Turn Signal
M. Traffic Light

Things that have crust:
C. Bread
I. Earth
J. Pie
O. Pizza

Words that can be preceded by the word "water":
B. Polo
E. Balloon
L. Slide
P. Closet

Day 5

1. Black
2. N. Independence Day by Richard Ford
5. Bread, Earth, Pizza




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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