The Unholy Saga of Where.gif

By UrbanZombie

It suddenly occurs to me that, much like survivors of plane crashes, 
we Jawbreakers are privy to a shared legacy of horror from dealing 
with whore.gif.  Upon reading Beth's reply to me (I apologize, by the 
way), I realized that under greenmath, there are 6600 of you missing 
out on a story of pure pain.  To ensure that you non-Lockjaw players 
don't feel left out as we quietly commiserate over cups of hot cocoa, 
trying to make the pie-related nightmares end, here's a brief history.

(Warning: This is kinda long.  I kinda got carried away.)

Day 1: After a day of working on a rather nasty puzzle (complete with 
minor typo that caused us to think we hadn't solved it earlier on 
when we actually had) we find a new webpage, the Underground 
Resistance Front.  After a bunch of Jawbreakers stay up alarmingly 
late exploring the vast site and breaking through the security system 
hidden in the logos left eye, we arrive at a forums page with three 
login boxes.  We quickly and effortlessly solve two of the logins, 
and call it a night.

Day 2: An erstwhile Jawbreakers notices that the letters in the 
message next to the "events" login box form the acronym WHEREGIF.  
Sure enough, there's a file named where.gif in the root directory.  
It is the square root of 64, flipped vertically.  We scoff and expect 
to have the puzzle solved in minutes.


Day 3: Puzzle still lingers, but there are still other things to work 
on.  Still, frustration levels grow high, as we don't really know 
what to DO with the root of 64 backwards.  Since the last puzzle on 
this page was solved by finding a .html file, we manually search 
every imaginable interpretation with every file extension possible, 
while continuing to plug them into the Events box.

Day 4: Frustration skyrockets, as we hit what professional athletes 
call "the wall".  We've tried everything, three nonconsecutive 
people have posted SOLVEDs to the board for incorrect answers, and 
nothing has worked.  Still, the root of 64 backwards mocks us.

Day 5: We have officially spent longer on this puzzle then any 
Cloudmaker or Jawbreaker before us, with literally no progress.  
Morale is low... talk of 'maybe we're not supposed to solve it yet' 
runs high.

Day 6: An update!  The PMs, seeing our abject failure, have added... 
a dot.  A small white dot has been added to the picture.  Sarcastic 
exclamations of "OH, NOW IT FUCKING MAKES SENSE" are heard emanating 
from #jawbreakers.  We know this is supposed to help, but it really 
really really doesn't.


Day 7: Another update, as the Puppetmasters attempt to assuage our 
hate with our first real solid clue: the words "Perhaps in Error" 
added to the original WHEREGIF message.  Pie!  Pi!  Whee!  Finally we 
have a direction.  We have a point on a circle, pi, and the number 
eight.  Despite the fact that we've spent an entire friggin week on 
this problem, it should be simple high school mathematics from here 
on in.

Day 8: 300 grown men and women suddenly simultaneously realize that 
they learned nothing in high school math.  Impatient PMs slap yet 
another update; this time, its the word "synonyms" in morse code 
(also horizontally reversed).  Now-openly-mutinous Jawbreakers spend 
their time in the chat coming up with their own synonyms.  
Asphyxiate... disembowel... enforced quietus...


Day 9: Once again the morning update comes along: its the letters of 
pi (TPOFOFNT etc.) surrounding the now-familiar root of 64.  The 
Yahoo group is flooded with posts saying simply "WE ALREADY KNEW 
ABOUT PI, DAMMIT!".  Speculation that the puzzle somehow refers to 
the ancient "Squaring the Circle" problem runs rampant.


Day 10: No updates, telling us once and for all that we definitely 
now have enough to solve the puzzle.  Despite the PM's apparent faith 
in us, we clearly don't fucking have enough to solve the fucking 
puzzle.  Donkey_Oatey, noted Lockjaw scholar, goes irreparably insane 
in the face of having spent 10 days on one problem.  He disappears 
into the sunset, screaming something about the Zodiac.  (It's true, 
isn't it?  I had to mention it.)

Day 11: Again no updates.  Clan #Jawbreakers solves the ancient 
insolvable Squaring the Circle problem.  Still no progress on the 
game, though.  The word where.gif is banned in chat, under penalty of 
brick-to-face.  Whore.gif is understood to be an acceptable 
alternative all around.

Day 12: An update!  The Jawbreak PMs weep openly at the glory of an 
updated whore.gif.  Our lovable old friend is now circled in eights.  
Which, of course, tells us what we already knew 12 DAYS AGO: the 
number eight.  Its widely noted that every singly one of 
these 'hints' simply adds more vague references to the same thing, 
without adding more context or specificity.  In unrelated news, 
several PMs discover bags of flaming dog poo on their doorsteps.


Day 13: The new fad spec is that Whore.gif refers to infinity, 
because its eight flipped over or some equally lame explanation.  We 
were pretty desperate by this point, but we all agreed it made 
sense.  By correlation, the backwards root of 64 is declared to be a 
God.  Specifically, a wrathful, jealous God who teases us mortals 
with his unhelpful updates.  *I* converted, for one.

Day 14: Two fucking weeks.  Most members of clan #jawbreakers have 
left by now to go talk with the Eminem fans.  Steve Peters is found 
in a cornfield, gnawing on his foot.  We have no other puzzles to 
solve, no other lines of spec to go down, just Where.gif eternal.  
Eternal.  Eternal.

Day 15: A newbie comes into #jawbreakers and says "Hey, maybe it 
stands for circulate!?!  See?  A circle around the number eight!"  He 
is killbanned approximately .00000057 seconds later.

Day 16: The first promising spec in (literally) weeks comes as 
JJYoung notices that the eight I-Ching coin is called pi.  After the 
now-feral Jawbreakers devoured his sumptuous flesh and sacrificed his 
still-beating heart to the Circular Inverted One, we get right to 
work on researching the Taoist version of John Edward.  The same 
problem is still there though; even if we were on the right track, we 
haven't really been told what to DO with them.  Still, we plug 
I-Ching words tirelessly into the Events box.

Day 17: An update.  The original where.gif message next to the events 
login box... is moved to the admin login box.  Which we had been 
ignoring for weeks, because we thought it was completely solved.  We 
are suddenly with the realization that we have to reinput two and a 
half weeks of nonstop work into a different form.  Somewhere, Alec 
Guinness (In his secret hideout with Elvis and 2Pac) hears a million 
voices crying out in unison, and suddenly silenced.

Day 18: Nobody fucking cares any fucking more fucking fuckity fuck.

Day 19: Another update.  Depending on your viewpoint, the greatest or 
worst update to any puzzle ever.  Words can't describe it.  Maybe 
you'd better just see this one for yourself.


Clearly, the PMs were GREATLY amused by our suffering.

Day 20: SOOOOOOOLLLLLLVVVVED!!!  By me, if I may toot my own horn, 
although by this point it didn't really matter.  The answer was... 
now, if you've been following along, you'll see how this makes 
perfect sense...

We had to find the digit location of eight eights in a row in the 
number pi, not including the 3 point.  And then type it, *backwards*, 
in the admin box.

This, from the square root of 64.  Next to the events box, of course.

20 days.

One puzzle.

The horror.

The whorer.