The Hackaday 2015 Omnibus: A Puzzle So Dense, Even We Don’t Know The Answer

Print is dead, so we put a skull on it. That’s the philosophy behind the 2015 Hackaday Omnibus, the printed collection of the best Hackaday has to offer.

We have a few ideas of where we would like to take the print edition of Hackaday. Mad magazine-style fold-ins are on the list, specifically a fold-in style schematic that does two completely different things. Remember when records were included as a magazine insert? Those are called flexi-discs, and there’s exactly one company that still does it. All of these and more are plans for the future, and for the 2015 Hackaday Omnibus, we chose to include something we’re all very familiar with: a puzzle. This is no ordinary puzzle – even we don’t know what the solution is.

The first clue on the front cover of the 2015 Omnibus

This puzzle spans the entire 2015 Omnibus from cover to cover. Literally, on the front cover is a strange code that might have some meaning. embedded in the pages throughout are numbers, symbols, and the writings of a madman.

Strange marginalia found in the 2015 Hackaday Omnibus
Strange marginalia found in the 2015 Hackaday Omnibus

This puzzle wasn’t created by someone at Hackaday; this was the creation of the Hackaday community, specifically [alpha_ninja] and [Adam Vadala-Roth] over on We asked for a puzzle, and they came through for us, with directions to put numbers, symbols, and figures all throughout the 2015 Hackaday Omnibus.

We’re no strangers to puzzles around here; to promote the first Hackaday Prize launch, we created an alternate reality game around the website and eventually on a Minecraft server. The results were phenomenal: we had dozens of people on the server trying to solve the redstone, resistor color code, and teleportation puzzles in a 1:1 scale Minecraft map of Earth. Since then, these puzzles have taken on a life of their own, with the itanimulli – possibly related to the Illuminati, but based in Bielefeld, Germany – putting proof of their existence on and dozens of code crackers setting to work.

The community has proven more than capable of building puzzles and codes for the rest of us to crack, so we’re happy to have turned to a few fine upstanding members to build the code for the 2015 Omnibus. We have no idea what it says – and we wouldn’t give any hints even if we did – so that means it’s your turn.

You can pick up a copy of the 2015 Hackaday Omnibus in the store. As for solving the puzzle included in these pages, we have no idea. There is an interesting project on from the creators of this code. It’s full of unintelligible gobbledygook, but one thing is for certain: V qvqag unir nalguvat gb qb jvgu guvf.

23 thoughts on “The Hackaday 2015 Omnibus: A Puzzle So Dense, Even We Don’t Know The Answer

      1. I wish.. I left real cities to work at a university in a small town.

        Maybe when you guys next are in Chicago I will drive up – your PS1 visit was the week I left!

        Also, IPA burnout has set in and I am not pursuing Pilsners mostly!

          1. No i’m just tired of supporting something most people commenting here never even heard of when it even started.
            As a matter as a fact… no one will even ever know what I have done or said.
            and as a person who came here to be truthfully informed and excited the magic is wearing thin for me.

            Best of luck Mike you have taken HAD to new heights.
            Caleb if you are reading miss you dude.

            pls don’t become a huge fat sellout.

          2. “No i’m just tired of supporting something most people commenting here never even heard of when it even started.”


  1. This puzzle is not my cup of tea… I like all of Brian’s articles however, this one is over my pay grade as they say… The EOT ACK BS is clearly an old teletype abbreviation system in ASCII. The town of Bielefeld is not a hoax, it is a real town in Germany for many centuries. It was just some guy’s idea of a joke to make it into a “conspiracy theory”. Angela Merkel was there once on official business and made a flippant remark about it.

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