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12:01 AM
@RafaelTavares The only thing that happened in last 12 hours (I haven't raise any flag in 12 hours) is that my helpful flag count changed from 48 to 49.
I think a mod haa reviewed my 'needs improvement' flag.
@Wolgwang and 3 flags got declined...
Satellite scope trigger : 35 helpful flag?
I'm being ricky rolled all the time
@RafaelTavares Where? on the second page?
On the game
are the answers to the Defender of the Unicorn quiz from last year posted anywhere?
12:14 AM
I don't know, I didn't even see the quiz
The form is only refreshing my page now, unlucky. I'll try again tomorrow
@RafaelTavares I think you need to click the button instead of hitting enter for it to work right
I tried clicking the Submit, the Reset... I think it messed up after going back from the YouTube redirects (one time I couldn't go back anymore, so I needed to enter the right URL)
Actually, I don't even know if I got the wrong answer or it was just a bug, I really thought it was the right one
12:32 AM
I seem to be running into a weird bug where I enter an answer and it doesn't advance to the next question or put me in timeout (but some times I do get put in timeout?)
@nobody Yup, switched over to Puzzling, did some quick chatting, and now I have the hat. Thankee!
@Smitop Where do you put answers? Or is that past the 2nd page which I'm on?
@Smitop It's happening to me, without the timeout part (I got it on the first two attempts for the 5th question)
@Xnero You need to decrypt all messages until you go to somewhere where nothing is encrypted
@Xnero past the second page, you'll know when you get there
@Smitop The second page is very hard, I think.
12:35 AM
It's easier than it seems
@Smitop in which question are you stuck?
@RafaelTavares question 7
i've tried all possible ways to enter in the number
The unicorn is mad at us
I'm sorry @sparkles
Man I didn't even get to meet the unicorn after saving it
and question 7 is grammatically incorrect as well, it should be "does" not "do"
I'm on question 5 so I have no idea what you are talking about hahaha
12:39 AM
I think the questions are randomized (atleast they were last year), so giving the question number does not identify anything
Anybody else stuck on page 2?
@nobody But, for example, the quiz had 10 questions with a DB of 10 questions or "50" questions?
Just to know if it is always the same questions
@RafaelTavares Last year, I think it was like 10 out of like 15 or 20
Well, good to know. I was liking the questions
I'm stuck on "Approximately how many page views do the Stack Exchange network get per month?" then
I found the answer but it isn't accepted
12:41 AM
@Smitop I didn't get that. And that one looks hard.
"838.7M", "838M", "839M", "838700000", "838000000", and "839000000" are all rejected
Maybe the answer ir "the same as yesterday"
I'm pretty sure it's at least 5, maybe that's the answer? :P
Does decoding page 2 require you to view the source code for the page? (I'm on a tablet so I can't do that)
@Xnero No, just cracking the cipher used
12:45 AM
No page requires you to view the source code
@Xnero there is a very useful hint on /unicorn
@nobody I've tried over 5 different ciphers :/
And another clue as well, that might be useful later:

oh where, oh where has
my unicorn gone? oh where
oh where can she be?
I didn't got this
I just read Yaakov post
@RafaelTavares the way I solved it it would be quite hard to solve it without that hint in the source code
12:46 AM
@Smitop I think you have to add SO monthly views also.
But what you pasted here is also in the question
@Smitop I solved it without that hint, although it would have been very helpful
@Wolgwang SO monthly page views aren't listed on stackexchange.com/about though
only "visitors" and "visits"
i've also tried permutations of monthly visits count
12:49 AM
@Smitop I don't see how that's helpful, but thanks for the hint.
@Xnero Read Yaakov's question, read the other question he linked, read the page you're trying to decypher
Q: Oh no! Can you find our unicorn?

Yaakov EllisOnce again, Sparkles the /unicorn seems to have gotten herself in a whole heap of trouble. This time she appears to have been kidnapped! oh where, oh where has my unicorn gone? oh where oh where can she be? Can you help to track her down? Do you have what it takes to join the ranks of the Defen...

@Xnero Just remember, Yaakov wouldn't have given us any really convoluted cipher, so it has to be a simple one.
On the other hand, Slate may have helped, and she was a mod on Puzzling
You have until next year to discover this
Sleeping always helps me to solve a problem
@cairdcoinheringaahing On the other hand, she said she didn't know about the defender of the unicorn hat, so she probably didn't help
12:53 AM
How many hands?
Just two, we keep switching between them :D
Mom said it was my turn with the other hand :P
@nobody On the other hand, that could've been an elaborate ruse to keep us guessing :P
I like that kind o puzzle, but I visited Puzzle once and I didn't understand anything
Yeah, puzzling and codegolf are way beyond my meagre intelligence
Codegolf? I may be biased, but that surprises me. I thought we had a fairly low bar of entry (at least for answering)
12:58 AM
@cairdcoinheringaahing Low bar for answering, very high bar for competing well. I really don't understand how you guys get your solutions
The purpose of Codegolf and Puzzle is just fun?
@nobody Ah, that's fair enough
Practice is how tbh :P
12:59 AM
@nobody You just need to learn Brainf*** and all those weird languages lol
@RafaelTavares I don't even understand the python solutions lol
@RafaelTavares Can't speak for Puzzling, but yeah, code golf is mainly for fun (and for that sweet sweet green +10s :P)
Unicorn points, they're always there for us
@RafaelTavares If you want short programs, brainf**k may not be the best language to learn :P
@cairdcoinheringaahing I've been using Jelly, a lang specifically for code golf, for like 4 years now, and I still get outgolfed semi-regularly
1:06 AM
Does page 2 require you to apply alternate decodings for each word, or is it one decoding for the whole paragraph?
15 mins ago, by nobody
@Xnero Just remember, Yaakov wouldn't have given us any really convoluted cipher, so it has to be a simple one.
@nobody Doesn't seem that simple to me...
You're overthinking it :)
@Xnero Solving a problem is never simple, until you see something that you know how to handle, than you just keep going
@Yaakov How far are we allowed to go with hints?
1:28 AM
@Smitop Is that useful hint the comment that you posted? Or is there something else as well?
@Xnero the HTML comment on /unicorn is the helpful comment
that is what I was referring to
I think someone is misgendering the unicorn
@Smitop Ah ok. Still don't know how it's helpful (well I kind of get it, but that then led me to applying alternate ciphers on words, which is probably wrong)...
@gparyani Is there an error in a clue / post?
The actual page uses a male pronoun for the unicorn, but the clue uses a female pronoun.
That doesn't necessarily mean there's misgendering going on
See: my pronouns, for example
1:35 AM
There's another reason why it matters, which will eventually be clear
Does the pronoun matter for deciphering page 2?
@Xnero somewhat
if you figure out how the cipher works generally you can work around the problem easily
@Smitop From part of the encoded text and the relevant decoded text for page 2, it seems that a different cipher is applied to each word.
1:56 AM
what doesn't have the orange hat? jaja
@Smitop Does the cipher involve creating a new alphabet before encoding this new alphabet?
@Xnero I don't know what that means? There's only one alphabet involved
It's not a particularly complex cipher
(in fact, I have seen multiple Cisco products use a very similar technique to (poorly) obfuscate some data)
@Smitop Well, it doesn't seem to be a straightforward a - ... , b - ... +1 mapping.
@Xnero That is indeed the case
All ciphered text on the page uses the same cipher
2:10 AM
Is it supposed to take at least 10 minutes to decipher (once the cipher is known)?
@Xnero Nope
You can do it faster if you use the correct tools.
I used notepad and it took me around 7-8 minutes
@Xnero it took me ~10 minutes, but I did it in an apparently over complicated way
I wrote a script to deciper it
3 hours later…
4:55 AM
I used an online manual cipher solving tool to solve it
5:45 AM
bah keep getting timeout
1 hour later…
7:13 AM
@Xnero pronouns more consistent now. Either way should not have hindered solving the puzzle
@nobody until Jan 2, only ok to point people in the right direction, to the starting url. From there, they are on their own. Until then, having the Defender hat should show that you put in the effort to solve it. For the last 3 days: no limits to help that can be given in terms of guidance, but deciphering should still be up to the person.
@nobody I was sorely tempted to do so, but decided to be generous with clues instead. Maybe next year we'll take it up a notch
@cairdcoinheringaahing no, the credit and blame goes to me alone for this one
8:14 AM
@YaakovEllis Kudos! It is awesome :-) . (Took 2 hours to create a python program and decipher every word)
1 hour later…
9:47 AM
@Wolgwang that's awesome!
did your program only take in the ciphered text, and figure it all out from there?
@YaakovEllis Have to do some manual work 😅
Wait... Hot to get the unicorn page for quiz
I am on mobile.
@U12-Forward winterbash2021.stackexchange.com/unicorn is all you need
I did it on mobile this morning
But there are more quizzes?
there are none I.mean
@U12-Forward clearly. This.
10:00 AM
Clearly what?
Anyway I got unicorn already.
But nice to have fun with the quiz
10:07 AM
is it encoded
@U12-Forward Maybe it is just a quiz, maybe the last step asks your e-mail for a raffle and a Sparkles plush....
Oh, that was a raffle? I thought everyone would get one :(
Depends on how many users find the thing I guess.
1 hour later…
11:28 AM
I accidentally closed the quiz and when I opened it again I had the 60-second timer :'(
11:42 AM
@SPArcheon Hmm, nothing at the end for me.
What is expected to be answered in the question about the survey? A date YYYY-MM-DD? A year?
@RafaelTavares A year.
@Panda well, if you actually did the quiz, then my task is done.
11:57 AM
@SPArcheon Now I'm decrypting this!
@Xnero I don't know why it wasn't working before, I had to reset the quiz and when this question came up again, it worked
But, thank you
35 rick rolls today, bringing our total so far this WB to 138. Still a ways to go to hit last year's record of 352 though
@YaakovEllis A respectable number belongs to be.
> Unfortunately, the hat could not be awarded, because the user already owns hat
I deserve two
@RafaelTavares boooo
12:03 PM
@YaakovEllis How long does it take for the hat to be awarded?
≈5 min
I have been waiting for 20 min.
@Xnero it is awarded on the spot on WB. But due to caching can take a few minutes to show up on your inbox
@Xnero Which hat?
@YaakovEllis Rick rolls ? Wrong URL?
@Wolgwang Defender of the unicorn.
12:05 PM
@YaakovEllis are there any secret hats about flagging?
@Wolgwang only folks who try to go or do things that they aren't supposed to do get rickrolled
Was that name inspired from DOTA?
@SurajRao What name?
"Defender of the unicorn"
12:06 PM
@SurajRao no
@YaakovEllis Do you keep stats on how many people managed to access the quiz?
@YaakovEllis I was stuck completely at the question on the page views question (second last question). Next time I went to the URL it restarted and that q didn't come up...
was that supposed to restart?
There are 15 questions. Each time you do the quiz you get 10 chosen at random
your session automatically resets after X minutes
ah right. Thanks
12:09 PM
@YaakovEllis I still have all the answers to last year's quiz :D
@YaakovEllis Depends. Could as well be people that are looking at old winter bash posts and wonder if /chicken still does anything for example.
@SPArcheon true
you never know, maybe it will suddenly start to do something. Only one way to find out, right?
Remember: you never removed all the crocodiles, dogs, deer...
still, you also forgot to map winterbash2021.stackexchange.com/shark to that song I suggested :P
Still not awarded.
Have we given up on remaining secret hats trigger?
12:14 PM
I just got spotting scope, I don't have any idea why.
@YaakovEllis Are there any more secret hats that are not in the secret hats post?
@Xnero I can guess there are at least 2 missing
one for Xmas day and one for new year eve
@Xnero "Then it won't be a secret"
Oh nvm, the leaderboard (10) is different from your profile (11) and both don't show up the unicorn
@Wolgwang It will. Knowing that there is 1 more undiscovered secret hat or whatever means nothing.
12:16 PM
BTW, Can I suggest that next year Defender should work like... Seeking Mr Eaten's Name from Fallen London?
2 days ago, by Slate
I think all the secret hats have now been discovered, unless some secret hats are a secret from me. Which is possible. I didn't know about Defender of the Unicorn.
@Xnero how to do this
@AnkitSharma How to do what?
this feeding nicorn
@AnkitSharma Answer all the questions.
12:24 PM
you need to solve the puzzles. and then the questions... They arent as difficult as they first appear
all secrets hats that can be discovered thus far have been awarded to at least one user (though 6 hats have been awarded to 10 or fewer users)
@AnkitSharma winterbash2021.stackexchange.com/unicorn has updated
@CDJB not for me cache maybe
Also dog is rickrolling me winterbash2021.stackexchange.com/dog
@AnkitSharma What do you see?
NFFU NF BU /tbwf-tqbslmft
12:25 PM
@YaakovEllis Only one user has got Helping heart :-/
@AnkitSharma booo
@AnkitSharma That's the update
@AnkitSharma You have to decipher that.
we cant tell you mate
Nevermind I already have the hat
I should, but I don't for some reason.
12:28 PM
@Wolgwang and only one with 3 buried pennies
@YaakovEllis Because it is difficult to find an old unanswered question of an active user who can accept that question :-/ (Am I right?)
@Wolgwang I wouldn't expect caching to cause 40min+ delays.
so you need 2 upvote for edit after comment hat or three if they don't count your upvote here
@Xnero read the fine print. you need an MSE user in order to receive the hat
@YaakovEllis I do have an MSE user.
12:40 PM
@Xnero ok, you should be sorted now
@YaakovEllis Thank you.
Has anyone had any more ideas/discovered any more users with the Cleanup hat?
17 mins ago, by Wolgwang
@YaakovEllis Because it is difficult to find an old unanswered question of an active user who can accept that question :-/ (Am I right?)
yes or no?
@SPArcheon I did?
so dog is rickroll and shark is baby shark
Should I try more animals
cow is same like dog
poor elephent and wolf
12:52 PM
no duck ?
monkey give longer video
Animal-discrimination. SHould I call peta :p
1:05 PM
Q: The Lord of the Hats: The Return of the Chicken 🐔

SPArcheon...Also known as "The Quest for the Winter Chicken of the Bash, Part 3" (part 2 here). So, winter has come again. As every year, the staff members try their best to hide some funny Easter eggs, hoping no one would notice them too soon. And as every year, their attempts are fooled by a single me...

now you know when and where most of those urls came to be.
Which btw is the reason I still wait for an hat called "Annoying Meddling Pony"
That was cool
Q: Winter Bash 2018 Knitting

eLRuLL NOTE: for this year, there's a new topic: Winter Bash 2019 Knitting This year's Winter Bash got us great hat challenges, but it also gave us a very nice tool for knitting on the main Winter Bash site. Is there a challenge related to this knitting tool? Here is my knitting and it would be a...

1:22 PM
copied pixel by pixel before realizing there were smarter and much faster options....
What were the smarter/faster options? I thought everyone did it like I would in Paint
Except for the one that did it with a gif
the tool import feature worked with every image provided it had the correct size.
Oh, so it was much easier than I thought
So you could "import" a regular image and have it converted to a base, then work up from there.
They are all fake artists!
1:26 PM
@SPArcheon made that an NFT?
56 mins ago, by Wolgwang
@YaakovEllis Because it is difficult to find an old unanswered question of an active user who can accept that question :-/ (Am I right?)
@RafaelTavares no way I would have been able to do THIS from scratch.
(which I suppose I probably am the only user in the network to recognize the characters)
We'll probably have some kind of game this year too, right?
doubt it, too late.
If there was a game, it would have been available day one.
... and now I have to listen to heartache again.
༼;´༎ຶ ۝ ༎ຶ༽
1:36 PM
it is too late... already fell in the circle... Heartache, Fields of Hopes and Dreams, Battle Against a True Hero
I counted 27 consecutive edit reviews I did which matched the consensus (excluding audits) and still didn't get the Harmony hat. What am I missing?
If I checked correctly, this one broke your strike
So you are in 20 consecutive or something like that
what if you approve or reject and edit? Anyone knows if it breaks the strike?
1:53 PM
@RafaelTavares Yes you are right. This is the last one I saw which breaks the strike, but I have 28 reviews after that, all matching the other voters, 1 of them an audit and 1 of them I approve and edit as the only reviewer. So maybe that breaks it as well? Seems unfair if it does...
I didn't count 28 reviews, I probably skipped some by accident
I don't think editing should break your strike
2:33 PM
@Wolgwang maybe. feel free to speculate. Dont have time to dig into data and try to figure how many people almost got it, and why they are falling short
Congrats to the 28 users who have Defender hats thus far!
@YaakovEllis I completely decrypted the haiku on page 2 of this year's DotU but it's not obvious what to do with the information, I guess I need to think about it more.
@Xnero shhhhh
Thank you.
@Xnero am I really going to have to add a dev route for /dev/yank-back-defender-and-prevent-user-from-winning-it-again? I thought that the threat was going to be enough...
2:42 PM
I probably wouldn't have thought of that, and it's not clear how one is expected to decrypt that page using a cellphone; heavily favors desktop users and programmers.
Is the page different on mobile?
@YaakovEllis I didn't think that was a big hint, but no, that is not necessary.
I did it on desktop but I didn't even look into console, HTTP requests or HTML comments
@RafaelTavares It is much harder on mobile.
its a plain text page. what would be different in mobile?
2:44 PM
Yaakov, that could be a hint; figure out what Rob types.
@Xnero I found a website, it did all the work in one minute.
Just opened it on my Android, it's pretty much the same
no reason it should be any different on mobile. Except of course, that it is much harder to get the konami code to work
Rafael, re-read what I wrote.
Well, of course it is not clear how one should decrypt it
But you don't even need a website
1 min ago, by Rob
Rafael, re-read what I wrote.
2:47 PM
5 mins ago, by Rob
I probably wouldn't have thought of that, and it's not clear how one is expected to decrypt that page using a cellphone; heavily favors desktop users and programmers.
it definitely would be possible to do it with a pencil and papper
3 mins ago, by Rob
@Xnero I found a website, it did all the work in one minute.
@Smitop yup. That was one of my self-imposed requirements. No coding necessary.
I did the first one on a website because I was lazy, I had an idea what was the cryptography method there. But the second one I needed to do manually
If it took less than a minute you were pretty quick.
2:54 PM
Reading Yaakov's question helped
16 mins ago, by Yaakov Ellis
no reason it should be any different on mobile. Except of course, that it is much harder to get the konami code to work
Konami code works?
3:17 PM
Two Defender of unicorn hat trigger on same day XD
@Xnero weird... I would say that there is a specific step that an online code solver / bruteforce too wouldn't help with.
Three burried pennies: Two burried pennies+ question recieves +3 score answer.
I need to test this.
Tyberius got the hat most probably from this edit.
This can be tested if this answer recieves three(upvote by the editor won't be included I think) more votes.
3:53 PM
@SPArcheon Well, perhaps if you give the solver the clue as well it could help. I don't know if any such tool exists online, but it is possible
4:47 PM
The hat of the One Buried Penny is for editing an old post?
5:02 PM
I got 4 secret hats in CR (Code Review)
i got detective, monologue, dialogue, trialogue
Too many logues
What if i ping SPArcheon
You don't get Hairboat I fear, nor the Epic Punyon Beard
@SPArcheon ?
you asked what happens if you ping me, I pointed out that you won't get any hat. If you were about...nine years earlier and I was Punyon maybe you could have gotten a beard, but it it a tad too late.
@SPArcheon what is this?
an hat... from 2012.
5:10 PM
#SPArcheon i will get Hairboat
5:36 PM
I fear you are a little late for those too.
Hairboat was an hat in 2014.
@CloudCho Yes it is IMO
Hairboat Revenge was obtainable in 2015
both... are a thing of the past now.
5:59 PM
@Wolgwang Thanks for quick response. IMO...what stand for?
@CloudCho IMO = In my opinion
@VLAZ Oh, so my answer isn't an official answer...
Wolgwang is not staff, just a normal user like you and me.
6:17 PM
@YaakovEllis How does your special troll counter look?
I have contributed in playing my part.
in Not a bar, but plays one on TV, 3 hours ago, by vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica
@SPArcheon . . . an autoplaying video. On a Stack link.
3 hours later…
9:22 PM
@SPArcheon alligator works too (Idea came from u s a).
1 hour later…
10:48 PM
@SPArcheon what is the easiest way to get a secret hat? (i have dialogue, detective, monologue, matryoshka, Slow trickle, Thought bubble, Manual key, trialogue)

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