de la Talebenning, of courso …
The competition is closed!
I’m a little sad to say there were no winners, but shout outs to Theo Mogenet, Alex Anokhin, and Zen Xiu for particularly entertaining answers that were far more complicated than the actual solution. And of course, thanks to all who submitted. The fact nobody got it right means BTCPay Server GETS ALL THE MONEYZZZZ :D
As a reminder, in Appendiccio Numero Uno, not only did I reveal the preimage of the first hash in the section How Fragile Nassim Will Respond To This Essay, from the original A Tale of Two Talebs …
… but I set out the terms of the competition as follows:
there is a puzzle embedded in the piece. it cannot be solved. the prize will be awarded to whoever correctly explains *why* it cannot be solved. to avoid suspicions of shenanigans, I have written out the conditions of victory and hashed them:
I will make public these conditions in another Appendiccio when the competition closes so that everybody can audit the whole process for funny business.
Plus a cheeky timestamp for good measure:
Hence I can now reveal the hash preimage, and what a correct solution would have looked like:
If you are reading this, the competition is closed. Winning submissions require the following: i) the heading of every section of The Waste Land appears somewhere in the wanky blurbs, ii) in each respective section of the piece, where such a heading appears, a direct quote from that section of The Waste Land appears, except for Part IV, Death By Water, which is in the blurb of the section, How Fragile Nassim Will Respond To This Essay, which does not contain such a quote, iii) however, this section contains two hashes, suggesting that the relevant quote might be in one of the preimages, iv) by the time I reveal *this* hash preimage — i.e. what you are reading right now — the first hash preimage will have been publicly revealed, and will be seen not to contain a quote from Part IV of The Waste Land, v) so the quote must be in the second hash preimage, which, at that point will not have been revealed, but, vi) SHA256 cannot be cracked, so the puzzle, “which quote from Part IV was used in the second hash preimage?” cannot be solved. HOWEVER: Part IV of The Waste Land is very short, very specific, and relatively easy to figure out how to alter — or even quote straight — to make it fit the theme here perfectly. Hence, if somebody does in fact figure out — or even comes close to getting right — *how* I quoted Part IV of The Waste Land, I will throw in an extra 0.05 BTC as a reward. But, to be clear, a winning submission does not require this; it only requires identifying that there must be a direct quote from Part IV of The Waste Land in the second hash preimage. if you are reading this, I will reveal the second hash preimage shortly. I would look forward to it if I were you. It’s a doozy :)
“BUT WHAT IS THE SECOND HASH PREIMAGE?” I hear you cry.
“I’M NOT TELLING YOU UNTIL YOU ALL DONATE TO BTCPAYSERVER!” I cry back.
No, I’m just kidding. Donate to BTCPayServer if you want to, it’s clearly a great cause if you are into this sort of thing. I’ll publish Appendiccio Numero Tre shortly, and we can finally all get on with our lives …