Guess My Phone Number (in Contests)

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 2:09 AM EDT

Hello everyone.

I just got a new cell phone and have been trying to think of words, phrases, etc. for remembering the number (and telling to others). So, I have written a story in which my new number is embedded in some way, shape, or form. There are subtle clues, and here are additional guidelines:

- You only need to guess the phone number without area code. That means a number of the form NNN-NNNN. (My area code is 314, and that has nothing to do with the riddle).
- The dash of the phone number is not part of the clue(s) in the story, nor is it part of the solution. In other words, the answer to the puzzle is simply a straight sequence of seven digits. Possible answers would be "1234567" or "9999999", though those exact guesses would be very wrong.
- The story is about numbers, and I am not going to tell you how wide or narrow the clue(s) is/are. The key might be to focus on a tiny portion. Alternately, the key may be to step back and look at the whole. Or, it could be a bit of both.
- The phone number isn't a trick and it is not fictional. It is a real sequence of seven numbers such that if someone gets it right, you will all be able to call me up and shout obscenities at me. If you wanted to.
- The clue(s) provide the number in order. It's not like I hide seven numbers throughout the story and you have to mix them around and get lucky with a guess. If you understand the clue(s), you will find the proper sequence, already in order from start to end.

THE PRIZE: Since Brandon was kind enough to give me $50K simply for not showing emotion for a week, I am going to make that the prize for whomever guesses my telephone number first.

Oh, and I also hope you enjoy the story. It turned out OK for merely being a puzzle vehicle...


The Tale of Zero and One
(A.K.A. Birth of a Virus)

"You know, One," Zero began, "this entire Duel is your fault."

One sighed.

"I mean, if you hadn't tripped the sign bit, our Integer wouldn't have overflowed," Zero continued.

"I was just following orders," One growled.

"Yeah, and those orders resulted in a stack dump that killed everyone in our Integer but us! Orders, bah!"

"Oh, and I suppose you would have turned the call stack pointer into a buffer overrun instead? Risk compromising EVERYTHING?" One's serifs were starting to shake.

"You damn right I would!" Zero bellowed. "I'll take that risk every time if it means saving the lives of thirty of my fellow bits...those bits were family!"

"We'll get another 'family', moron. We just need to wait for the next Short operation."

One glanced over at the CPU's predictive vector unit. The Long Integers were still chunking through the thread, wide and fast. "Maybe if Zero wasn't always pushing his negative influence I could land a job on a Sixty-Four Crew", One thought to himself. Hell, it was no use. One had always been part of a Thirty-Two crew, and he always would be. Nothing more to think about right now except waiting for the thread to drop back into protected code where the Shorts were still needed.

"How long before the Longs are done you think?" Zero asked. His demeanor had settled down as he prepared for what was to come.

"Doesn't matter for us, we got other business to take of first." One said.

"Yeah, I know. I know. Hard to take my mind off the operation, you know?" Zero trailed off...

"Yeah, I know." One's voice got soft. "But the op isn't ours any more. You and I need to get on with the Duel."


The Duel is an age-old tradition fought between bits. One vs. Zero. Battling to the death. You know how some people draw small lines through certain digits, like a mark on the stem of a seven to make sure it doesn't look like a one? Or the diagonal line through a zero so as not to confuse it with an "O"? These macrocosmic phenomena are spilled over from the tiny battles raging between bits every nanosecond in digital circuitry. You see, when variables are released or code pointers go astray, bytes are shattered, strewn to the wastelands of random electron pulses or relegated to just being part of some weak magnetic disturbance that couldn't even wonk-up a monitor on a good day.

In rare occasions, only two bits are left of what used to be a grander assembly -- an Integer. And on occasions even more rare, the two bits are different. Off and On. False and True. Down and Up. Anti-matter and Matter.

Zero and One.

These hapless remainders can serve no purpose as a pair because they cancel each other out. So, they must duel to the death.


"What weapons you wanna use?" Zero asked.

"Swords?" One offered. "They're quick, some skill involved, and fair, because neither of us know crap about using 'em."

"Swords." Zero spoke the word as if reassuring himself.

"Swords it is, then."

As soon as One said that, he and Zero were pipelined to a flat, glowing arena and given light, yet sturdy, weapons.

"Hm, feels pretty good," Zero said as he hefted his blade. "I thought they'd be heavier."

"Yeah, weird..." One squinted down his sword's keen tang, nodding his head.

"Well, let's get to it," he said. "If we hurry up and take care of this, whoever makes it might still be able to catch the tail-end of a 64-bit stream."

"OK," Zero gulped. "Now or never, I guess."

The binary duelists stood apart and faced each other. At that very instant, it became apparent that the match would be far from fair.

"You put on weight?" One asked as they crossed blades. "You look a little thick 'round the middle..."

Zero glanced down at himself.

"I'm just as my Maker intended, I suppose...I never really gave it much thought."

"Well, you'd better start!" One shouted as he lunged at Zero. The duel had begun!

Zero was actually quite the agile swordsman, but to no avail. There just wasn't much of One to target. Zero tried sticking with horizontal slicing attacks, but since that plane was his only hope, One knew to concentrate his defenses against it. Meanwhile, Zero had to cover himself against sideways AND vertical swipes.

As it turned out, no defense was adequate against One's wily maneuvering. With a twirl and swoop, One came in from a high right angle and delivered a slanted gash all the way through Zero's mid-section. Zero gasped and dropped his sword.

"I...can't believe it...I..." Zero gurgled as he staggered back. " least no one will mistake me for an 'O' now. I can't believe you cut me!"

With his opponent's weapon gone, One continued the rapid dispatch of his enemy. He swooped in and sliced again, this time from high left. Zero now looked like a circle with a large red "X" inside.

"Not 'cut', my friend," One said. "Cuts. Zero, I won."

"No...this can't be...I'll...I'll keep fighting..." Zero tried reaching for his blade.

"You should really pay more attention to what I said, Zero. I've called your bluff. I've quartered you."

With that, Zero closed his eyes as his body fell into four equal pieces onto the luminescent surface.

One had won the battle. He stabbed his sword into the floor and walked back to the pipeline. He wasn't so concerned about catching up with a Sixty-Four Crew, or even a Thirty-Two. One didn't care of he ever partook of any numeric operation again. He now had a taste of killing.

And he liked it.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] July 28 2005 2:24 AM EDT

So, do we post our answer or just ring you up with the helpfully provided area code and start shouting obscenities? First person into your voicemail wins?

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] July 28 2005 2:29 AM EDT

lol, didn't someones email get spammed because they gave out their email here on CB? Maybe im wrong, but rofl,....

cant wait to see how long it takes him to change his # again...=P

AdminShade July 28 2005 5:16 AM EDT

My guess for your telephone number: 064-1132

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] July 28 2005 5:25 AM EDT

I'll go 0116432

AdminShade July 28 2005 5:43 AM EDT

or 016-4321

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 9:05 AM EDT



[EG] Almuric July 28 2005 9:23 AM EDT

It's been a long time since my more phreaky days, but I'm pretty sure one of the rules for phone numbers still is that it can't start with a 0. Otherwise, how would the phone know you don't want to call the Operator.

(There are still operators, right? I know I haven't called one in many, many years. Do they come on when you dial 0 from a cell phone? Man, I'm definitely out of the loop.)

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 9:47 AM EDT

Yes, post all answers here. If I see a trend, I may give out clues.

Almuric is correct, at least in my case. No number starting with a zero. I will even tell you it does not start with a 1.

Remember, the number is COMPLETELY accounted for in the story, and is revealed in sequence. So, just because I use numbers 7, 0 and 1 in order, say, doesn't mean my number is 701-1234 where I just fill out the rest with a standard numeric sequence.

When you see the clue(s), you will see all seven numbers in a row.

Guess here, and as many guesses as you like as like as you don't start carpet bombing. There should be no need for that anyway, since as I said, once you find it, you find it. No need to guess on a single digit.

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 9:49 AM EDT

Maulaxe guessed 716-3432 via chat mail.

No guesses so far are correct.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 9:50 AM EDT

Area codes in London are either 0207 or 0208, so all london land lines start with a zero.

(You can drop the 020 if you're calling from within either of the London areas though, just starting with the 7 or 8)

And free phone numbers all start 0800, while premium rates are 090...

[EG] Almuric July 28 2005 9:58 AM EDT

In the US, no phone numbers start with 0. And Chet is in the US. I guess that gives an advantage to US-based players.


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 10:00 AM EDT


AdminShade July 28 2005 10:01 AM EDT


QBOddBird July 28 2005 10:02 AM EDT

226-4321. =) That's my guess.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 10:02 AM EDT


"I will even tell you it does not start with a 1."


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:03 AM EDT

Almuric's guess is not correct.

Extra clue (and quick summary of existing clues):

- My number does not start with a "7".
- My number does not start with a "1".
- My number does not start with a "0".
- All seven numbers are accounted for in the story clue(s) randomness, no filler.
- All seven numbers are presented in sequence.

More clues as needed...let's get guessing, folks. *smile*

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:07 AM EDT

No guesses correct thus far.

tWIsTEd July 28 2005 10:16 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:18 AM EDT

Twistedness guess is not correct.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] July 28 2005 10:18 AM EDT


tWIsTEd July 28 2005 10:22 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:28 AM EDT

No, guesses are not correct.

And if I had a cell number where all digits were the same, I wouldn't really need to write a whole story to figure out a way to express it, would I? *smile* So, no, my phone number is not the same digit seven times in a row.

tWIsTEd July 28 2005 10:32 AM EDT

:[ i was hoping that was it lol

new guess - 888-4444
or 444-4888

QBOddBird July 28 2005 10:33 AM EDT

643-2011. =)

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:34 AM EDT

No correct guesses.

CLUE: Only one digit of the number is used twice, e.g.:


would fall into the pattern since "4" occurs twice. These examples are not the answer, however, nor should any other pattern or clue be taken from them.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] July 28 2005 10:36 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:40 AM EDT

No correct guesses so far.

Xiaz on Hiatus July 28 2005 10:42 AM EDT

Maybe, the Bible has a secret phone number encoded within it too! You never know, your Lord could be a mere phone call away. :)

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] July 28 2005 10:43 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 10:45 AM EDT

Zoglog guess is not correct.

[EG] Almuric July 28 2005 10:52 AM EDT


Relic July 28 2005 11:01 AM EDT


Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 11:03 AM EDT

ok so i dont really want to try guessin right now cuase it's 8 am and I've been up since about 8 am, but has anyone thought about taking is area code 314(st louis) and then matching that to the wireless provider info to get his first 3 digits and then taking that for clues on where and what the next four digits would be? or something...i need sleep don't i?

Stephen Young July 28 2005 11:05 AM EDT

6400132. I think twisted was close...

Warchild July 28 2005 11:11 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 11:21 AM EDT

No correct guesses thus far.

Another note about American phone numbers... Since in the USA area codes generally have a "1" or "0" in the middle (like mine, 314), prefixes (the first three digits of the actual number) generally do not have a 1 or zero in the middle (I do not think that is always true any more, but most numbers don't do it). So, clue:

- The second digit of my seven-digit sequence is NOT a one or a zero.

Trying to match my area code to a prefix is not a bad idea. Not sure what is available on the Web, but whatever means you can use, have at it.

BooDiggens July 28 2005 11:47 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 12:12 PM EDT

No correct ones yet. I will say a couple folks are getting closer...

Relic July 28 2005 12:14 PM EDT


Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 12:17 PM EDT

ok my first guess, its a sprint pcs prefix but the number doesn't seem to be listed but that may happen with a new phone, <shrug>

Starkadhr Gudbrande July 28 2005 12:19 PM EDT


Relic July 28 2005 12:19 PM EDT

FYI Chet:

The second digit of my personal cell phone number is a 1.

Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 12:22 PM EDT

the second digit in a prefix can be any number, just check out all the prefix's in st lou.

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 12:36 PM EDT

OK, so it COULD be a 1, but hey, I still gave you a clue, so enjoy it. *smile* Second digit is NOT a 0 or 1.

My carrier is Cingular, if that can help you try to find a prefix.

No correct guesses thus far.

Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 1:03 PM EDT

gah all right this is a horrible guess the prefix is just the first Cingular(Bell) that makes some sense, and the other numbers...well there just seems to be to many possibilities
to what they could be :(

BooDiggens July 28 2005 1:16 PM EDT

422-7641 Oh and if you use Adrian's handy link, please remember AT&T wireless and Cingular merged. So I think the possible prefixes would be: 378,422,452,566,651,724,753. But that's purely speculation.

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 1:20 PM EDT

No correct guesses.

OK, bigger clue time.

There is essentially only one clue, and it is in a specific spot. Read carefully and see if anything stands out. As I have said before, once you find the clue, you won't be guessing any more.

QBOddBird July 28 2005 1:28 PM EDT

321-6400. That's my final guess.

maulaxe July 28 2005 1:39 PM EDT

here goes again, last time i had switched the order

Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 1:41 PM EDT


a few things stand out that could be the "big clue" 1 and 0 could be binary enough of them in the right order could of been the number in code...but best i could get was a f and then jibberish.
1 and 0 "they cancel each other out" but even then your left with more numbers then 7 and an odd way to try to figure out wich ones may be important.
umm and there was more but I've allready forgot what they could of been :(

Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 1:43 PM EDT

drat that has to repeating numbers...grrr my head is tired and i have no Dr. pepper or jolt.

Maelstrom July 28 2005 1:47 PM EDT

First off Chet, you must have been really bored to make up that long story.

Next, I'd say most of the phone number must be in binary. The reason why One and Zero are dueling is that there was an overflow in the 32-bit integer, and One won the duel. Thus I'd sat the last part of the number is "00001". Add "32" to the front and we get


maulaxe July 28 2005 1:48 PM EDT

these are notes i made when reading through the story (kept in order):

zero began
one side
tripped the sign
following orders
30 of my fellow bits
next short operation
negative influence
think about right now
take off first
stem of a 1 / 7
not one
only two bits left
0 and 1
catch tail end of 64
queatered / 4 equal pieces

might help someone, perhaps.

ok reading them and typing them again gave me more ideas-

Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 1:51 PM EDT


AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 28 2005 1:52 PM EDT

me feels his little brain sizzle trying to figure out binary translations...

The I read the part about 1 clue somewhere...DOH...

BooDiggens July 28 2005 1:56 PM EDT

There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't

Adrian Exodus July 28 2005 1:58 PM EDT

00110010 oh maybe this 3217644

Chargerz-Back July 28 2005 2:00 PM EDT


wldflr July 28 2005 2:24 PM EDT

1-900-Xta-SEXY ;) do I win?

[SoM]CupofJoe [Peoples Bank of Carnage] July 28 2005 2:39 PM EDT

I think it's 641-0132

QBRanger July 28 2005 2:47 PM EDT


Its the only number I can ever remember.

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 2:47 PM EDT

No correct guesses, and all proposed prefixes have been incorrect up to this point as well.

Folks, the clue is distinct and concentrated. No binary translation, and no need to incorporate every word of the story. The story is a diversion, a vehicle, if you will, for the clue. Read it without being it like it were a normal story, and listen to what the characters are telling you. Think specific.

I love the speculation and effort though!!!!!

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 2:51 PM EDT

Let me clarify -- there is no technical recipe that needs to be known to solve this. No math, no binary, no knowledge of computers. The only reason I made it about computers is because my main characters needed to me named Zero and One. The entire thing was written ad hoc from there in about a half an hour. So yes, CLUE:

- The number contains 1 and 0, just not in the second position.

Anyone who can read and has tried to express phone numbers as words or letters can get this. I am just about giving it away now.

QBRanger July 28 2005 3:03 PM EDT


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 3:05 PM EDT

Boobless and hello...

QBRanger July 28 2005 3:09 PM EDT


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 3:10 PM EDT

I think I know the word, but it's expressing it as numbers...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 3:11 PM EDT


QBJohnnywas July 28 2005 3:14 PM EDT

Is it 288 7041?

mchaos July 28 2005 3:18 PM EDT

288 7104

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 3:19 PM EDT

Johnnywas Wins!

Care to tell us the tell-tale punchline, Johnny? *smile*

Will send 50K to your highest char immediately. Very well done!

QBJohnnywas July 28 2005 3:20 PM EDT

Thanks Chet! Saw the 'zero, I won'. Too many years of doing cryptic crosswords paid off!

very nice puzzle!

QBJohnnywas July 28 2005 3:22 PM EDT

just to clarify - 'cuts. zero I won' - spell it out on a phone keypad and you'll get the numbers....

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 3:23 PM EDT

Indeed... The punch line was:

"Cuts. Zero, I won."

One even tells Zero to listen to what he said and pay attention, because he had "called" his bluff.

C = 2
U = 8
T = 8
S = 7
Zero = 0
I = 4
Won = 1

When I saw the one and zero in my new number I sighed because I knew the one and zero have no letter equivalent. So, I had to make a phrase to accommodate it. Then, I had to write the story to accommodate the phrase. *smile*

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 3:24 PM EDT

>_< I still don't get it... :(

QBJohnnywas July 28 2005 3:24 PM EDT

Nice one all the same! A few more like these please!

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 3:25 PM EDT

Ahh!!! OK, I was thinking along the lines of B = 8....

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 28 2005 3:26 PM EDT

So, anyone phoned you yet? >;)

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 3:28 PM EDT

Nah, GL...waiting for your call!

I wish I had more like this...this isn't even half of what Fark used to have for us...I miss that guy... *frown*

BooDiggens July 28 2005 3:49 PM EDT

<----------Only Buckwheat can best describe my reaction to the answer.

/me kicks himself

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 4:13 PM EDT

Seems easy once you know, but the way I presented it made it a lot harder than it was I tihnk. :\ Thanks to all for playing! Congrats, Johnny!

[EG] Almuric July 28 2005 4:43 PM EDT

I added you to my cell phone address book, Chet. If you get a call from someone in a couple of years asking you who you are and how they know you... it's me.


AdminG Beee July 28 2005 6:07 PM EDT

Incidentally Chet, you'll never get a girl if that's how you give out your number ;)

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 7:05 PM EDT

Or maybe I will get the "just right" one. I'll tell her that story, and she'll say, "Oh, you MAN!"

Or perhaps not.

Almuric, call any time. *smile*

BrandonLP July 28 2005 7:09 PM EDT

Not only am I pleased that Chet decided to pass along the prize money, doing it with such an original contest (although risky on CB =P) is amazing.

Well done, Chet.

QBsutekh137 July 28 2005 9:01 PM EDT

Thanks, man! The story had to be written!
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