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"Same story, I got that note too."

Dave shook his head. Everyone had the same story. Everyone trapped in the room were going to be participating in the International Science Competition held in Athens. In the middle of the night they received a cryptic note, seemingly from the organizers. Once solved they were told to keep this the note secret as it was the organizers' way of eliminating weaker contestants. The note then asked the contestants to gather at some ruins by the edge of town, about 15 minutes walk from the hotel, where a bus would take them to the next location. It made a lot of sense then.

That was then. Not anymore. Each of them left the hotel individually and as they headed towards the ruins, they suddenly felt sleepy and was "knocked out" (so to speak) before reaching their destination. All of them woke up in a mysterious room - all four walls of brick and a floor of polished marble, just like a chamber in any temple in Ancient Greece. They were surrounded by statues of ancient Greek mythological creatures and shelves full of books, sorted by categories - Science, Algebra, you name it.

Just like a library or a chamber of any temple in Ancient Greece. Except that there was no way out.

"So what do we do?"

"I have no idea..."

The conversation was prematurely ended when a marble tile slid open and a stone altar came up bearing the following message in a papyrus parchment;

These steps lead to egress,

If you can make sense out of it,

I know you're trapped but don't stress,

You just have a few clues to beat.

First of all you need a key,

It's written here, as you can see,

Not square, not flat, but one that is round,

Just look up, sometimes down, but don't look all around;

1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16

Think long, think hard, think smart,

With the key you can start,

But wait, a copy of it you may need,

Bond with your professor; and he may help get you freed.

You're ready now my friend,

To tackle this ugly fiend,

Put this mess in its rightful place,

Just don't stare the problem right in its face.

33 63 101

Dave, being ever alert, noted that it had been exactly 30 minutes since everyone woke up.

"Now what?"

"Solve the problem, I guess?"

***

Can you solve the puzzle?

Edited by scsw

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1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16

I guess for starters:

This sequence appears to be the atomic weights of elements in the periodic table (rounded)...The next one would be 19 (Fluorine). Not sure what that means, just something I noticed and something to get the ball rolling on this one...Maybe this and the "bond with your professor" means molecule or something...hmm...

And if that second clue has anything to do with the elements, #33 = As, #63 = Eu, #101 = Md...but it's probably not related...

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I guess for starters:

This sequence appears to be the atomic weights of elements in the periodic table (rounded)...The next one would be 19 (Fluorine). Not sure what that means, just something I noticed and something to get the ball rolling on this one...Maybe this and the "bond with your professor" means molecule or something...hmm...

And if that second clue has anything to do with the elements, #33 = As, #63 = Eu, #101 = Md...but it's probably not related...

This is my first post... bear with me.

I think you're right about the element weights. 33 = As, 63 = Eu, 101 = Md is an anagram of Medusa, which fits both the clues and the decoration in the room. I haven't found any useful anagram for the first part, however.

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You guys are correct. Everything in the paragraph alludes to

Science - Chemistry (bonding + professor) -> Periodic Table

That is the key to solving the riddle. And the answer is

Medusa, as hinted by the presence of Greek statues and "not staring it in its face"

That was too fast. Lol. I'll post the next part soon.

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The group was stumped. The riddle and the numbers made no sense whatsoever. Seconds turned to minutes as the unlikely companions argued on a solution. They brought up algebraic expressions, computer algorithms and many more theories but none seem to match the numbers on the parchment.

It suddenly dawned upon a girl, Yulianna, sitting quietly in the corner.

"The periodic table!" she exclaimed.

"What?" Heads turned.

"The periodic table! The numbers to the "key" corresponds to the atomic weight of the first 8 elements of the periodic table. Plus, the riddle mentioned something about bonding with the professor - it wasn't getting close it - it meant chemical bonds! I'm confident that the key to this riddle is the periodic table."

"That makes a lot of sense," Dave chimed in. He walked towards the shelves and pulled out a copy of a chemistry textbook. Opening the backflap, he located the periodic table and nodded to everyone. "Yulianna was right, people. Read me the first number in the second clue?"

Clavius, who was holding the parchment, read "33".

"Arsenic - As."

"63."

"Europium - Eu."

"101."

"Mendelevium - Md. So we have three sets of two letters, As, Eu and Md. It still doesn't make any sense. We must be missing something."

Clavius stared at the parchment again. His face brightens and said, "Put this mess in its rightful place. Try an anagram of the letters."

"Madeus? No, Medusa! That's why it's asking us not to stare in the face" Yulianna chirped.

Sure enough there was a statue of Medusa in the room. The companions inspected the statue and found a small button cleverly disguised as the snake belt it was wearing. Clavius pushed the button and a portion of a wall slid open. The companions can see a dark hallway and walked towards it.

***

Thanks for playing. The second one should come shortly.

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The group was stumped. The riddle and the numbers made no sense whatsoever. Seconds turned to minutes as the unlikely companions argued on a solution. They brought up algebraic expressions, computer algorithms and many more theories but none seem to match the numbers on the parchment.

It suddenly dawned upon a girl, Yulianna, sitting quietly in the corner.

"The periodic table!" she exclaimed.

"What?" Heads turned.

"The periodic table! The numbers to the "key" corresponds to the atomic weight of the first 8 elements of the periodic table. Plus, the riddle mentioned something about bonding with the professor - it wasn't getting close it - it meant chemical bonds! I'm confident that the key to this riddle is the periodic table."

"That makes a lot of sense," Dave chimed in. He walked towards the shelves and pulled out a copy of a chemistry textbook. Opening the backflap, he located the periodic table and nodded to everyone. "Yulianna was right, people. Read me the first number in the second clue?"

Clavius, who was holding the parchment, read "33".

"Arsenic - As."

"63."

"Europium - Eu."

"101."

"Mendelevium - Md. So we have three sets of two letters, As, Eu and Md. It still doesn't make any sense. We must be missing something."

Clavius stared at the parchment again. His face brightens and said, "Put this mess in its rightful place. Try an anagram of the letters."

"Madeus? No, Medusa! That's why it's asking us not to stare in the face" Yulianna chirped.

Sure enough there was a statue of Medusa in the room. The companions inspected the statue and found a small button cleverly disguised as the snake belt it was wearing. Clavius pushed the button and a portion of a wall slid open. The companions can see a dark hallway and walked towards it.

***

Thanks for playing. The second one should come shortly.

awesome! I love it when riddles combine mythology, history, science, etc...

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