Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

REVEALED: The solution to our big puzzle cover bonanza

466_cover_smart v2.jpg

Put down your pencils and stop scratching your heads. Today is judgement day.

Several weeks ago we challenged you, our loyal readers, to stand up to the often bandied around claims that you’re a discerning, intelligent bunch. We did this the only way you can truly test IQ these days outside of a Facebook quiz: we made a puzzle and put it in the magazine and offered £200 to one person that solved it.

This person was Jake Sandford, well done Jake! And here’s how you could have solved it.

It begins with the magazine cover which comprised of an incredibly aesthetically pleasing cipher. Some people wrongly believed this was a mathematical problem, others thought it was semi-religious, subliminal messaging. It wasn’t, it was a message that could be solved by lateral thinking and trial and error –looking for double letters, and popular letter combinations like ‘th’.

 

It says: 

WELL DONE THE NEXT CLUE IS HIDDEN WITHIN THE EDITORS LETTER

So far, so good.

The next step was to look at the editor’s letter, written by our esteemed and hairy editor Joe Mackertich.

There’s another message in there, can you spot it?

editor's letter ShortList

The clue is in the line: “My friend Ollie reads from the left like most people, but notices things others don’t.”

What we’re doing here is telling you to read from the left, vertically, because we’ve hidden a clue acrostic style (remember primary school?). Of course, it’s not a full acrostic as that would be too easy, it starts a few lines down.

jack-eds letter

It says:

LOOK FOR JACK

So now you need to find Jack. At this point it’s all about attention to detail. Jack can be found as a part of the final page in the magazine in our Train Delay Playlist.

jack nicholson shortlist magazine

Read the caption. This is the reveal.

Don’t get it?

Take a closer look at that cover.

shortlist magazine puzzle cover

Then take another look at page 12 of the magazine.

puzzle reveal

And that, friend, is the answer.

Now let’s hear it for Jake.

More

Jurors refuse to work on Martin Shkreli's trial for the best reasons

He is *not* a popular man

by Emily Reynolds
17 Aug 2017

Apparently millennials hate boobs now - but what do we like instead?

These god damn millennials, eh

by Gary Ogden
17 Aug 2017

All the times Donald Trump has failed to condemn far-right extremists

This has gone on for some time

by Tom Victor
16 Aug 2017

Flight attendants share the 25 worst things passengers do

How many of them are you guilty of?

by Gary Ogden
16 Aug 2017

Obama's response to Charlottesville is now the most-liked tweet ever

Puts Trump's response to shame

by Emily Reynolds
16 Aug 2017

English accents have been ranked by sexiness - where is yours?

You lot up north will be happy

by Gary Ogden
16 Aug 2017

Unmissable TV shows Reddit says you have to watch before you die

From gritty dramas to kids' classics

by Emily Reynolds
15 Aug 2017

The surprising side-effect of spending just 5 minutes on Facebook

It only takes five minutes of Facebooking

by Emily Reynolds
15 Aug 2017

Uber is going to start charging you for making your driver wait

Your cab home's about to get a bit more pricey

by Carl Anka
15 Aug 2017

John Oliver takes down Trump over his comments on Charlottesville

Doing what he does best

by Gary Ogden
14 Aug 2017