Prizes galore in the “Encryption Dance” #sophospuzzle

By popular demand, and because we have 20 Dance Like No One’s Watching T-shirts to give away…

…here is a #sophospuzzle!

Figure out the moves

We’ve made the presentation of the puzzle somewhat mysterious, but once you figure out the right dance moves, it should be fairly straightforward.

You can work out the answer with a spot of programming, but you don’t need to be a cryptographer or a coder to solve it.

Indeed, you may very well figure it out using pen and pencil faster than you would with a super-duper password cracking computer, once you’ve figured out how to eliminate wrong or unlikely answers.

(With a brute force attack, there’s always a temptation simply to work harder, not smarter.)

The first five correct entries received will automatically be eligible for a prize, so speed counts if you want to make sure of a shirt.

We’ll draw the remaining prizes by putting all the other entries in a digital hat and drawing 15 of them /dev/randomly.

What to do?

Here’s how to get started.

1. Study this diagram of dance moves:

Click to see this stuff in HTML. If you are thinking of clicking, you'll know why you want to.

2. Now study this diagram of emotional states:

Click to see this stuff in HTML. If you are thinking of clicking, you'll know why you want to.

3. Combine the two images to extract the hidden message.

The answer is a short, declarative sentence written in a Germanic language (e.g. German, Dutch, Swedish).

You will almost certainly recognise the right answer even if you do not speak the language in question.

4. Visit our “Encryption Dance” page.

Over on the Encryption Dance page at, you will find two excellent videos about encryption: one satirical, and one educational.

You need to watch both videos before you enter.

Only kidding!

You don’t need to visit the page in order to win, but you may get some hints from the Dave Malarky, CEO video that could be very handy in figuring out the answer.

Oray otnay: e’reway otnay ellingtay.

(Our Sophos Encryption colleagues are paying for the prizes, so it would be a nice gesture to go there anyway.)

How to enter

The first 5 correct and eligible answers will win a prize.

15 more winners will be drawn at random from the remaining correct and eligible entries.

You may only enter once. So you can only win one prize.

Email your answers to You must use the subject line SOPHOSPUZZLE SOLUTION. The timestamp added to the email at our end will determine its submission time.

Answers will be accepted until 2015-11-01T23:59-10. That’s midnight in Hawaii on the night of Sunday 01 November 2015.

Correct entries, as well as the winners, will be identified on Naked Security. When entering, you must indicate how you would like to be identified (e.g. name, nickname, Twitter handle, anonymous), and where you live (to the greatest precision you are willing for us to use, e.g. North Sydney, Massachussets, Africa, Earth).

Sophos staff and family are welcome to participate for fun. You aren’t eligible to win and won’t be entered into the draw.

Sophos’s decision is final. Please read our official competition terms and conditions.

What if you get stuck?

We encourage you to ask for hints, or help others who are stuck, using #sophospuzzle on Twitter.

But please don’t spoil the competition for everyone else by giving away the answer.

If you want to ask for hints privately, you may email

We try to answer all #sophospuzzlers, but we can’t guarantee to help everyone.

The amount of information you get back, and how quickly, is entirely up to us…we do sleep from time to time 🙂


(Socks, stickers, surfboards and even, if you are stuck solving this puzzle, “Encryption Dance” shirts all of your own.)

Go shopping...