Anyone want a Wii? - Macenstein

Anyone want a Wii?


We happen to have an extra brand new, unopened Nintendo Wii lying around here at the lab, and in a very atypical and un-Scroogelike move, we’ve decided to give it away to one lucky reader. Yes, we considered calling it Wii wish you a merry Christmas”, but thought it best to go a more non-secular route (Santa hat not withstanding).

Now be warned, this is not your average contest รขโ‚ฌโ€œ you’ll have to earn this Wii. We will ask you to jump through a series of (relatively easy) hoops to get this thing. Demand is high for these bad boys (we sold one for $460 on eBay last week) so even if you are an xBox/PS3 fan, it might be a good investment.

The Gist

On the following page you will find a series of clues that will unlock a secret phrase, written in code. The only help we will give you is that there are 6 words in the phrase, and the phrase itself is a reasonably popular phrase (meaning it is not gibberish like “cow the pickle man”) and will turn up in a Google search. It is up to you, however, to put those words and letters in the right order and decipher the phrase.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to once again keep this contest US-only, as all you crazy Canadians and foreigners have your own screwy contest laws and math questions that we just don’t understand. A winner will be chosen randomly from all eligible entries (containing the correct solution) received before 11:59AM Eastern Time, Thursday, December 20th. Please include your name, phone number, and mailing address (prize will be shipped via UPS, so no PO BOXES, and signature is required). Limit one correct entry per person (multiple correct entries will be discarded). Please see official rules before entering.

OKAY! Ready? Let’s PLAY!

40 Responses to “Anyone want a Wii?”
  1. boots says:

    LOL! Got it! How appropriate!

  2. Crazy Canadians?

    I guess that’s what I am…

  3. Sorry Michael.
    I meant “Wacky” Canadians.

    -The Doc

  4. Jamus says:

    Bah! Word 5, you vex me so!

  5. Stuart says:

    Great competition idea, with some highly distracting reading matter in the process!

    One thing’s driving me nuts though – when you say ‘excluding punctuation marks’ do you mean ALL punctuation marks, including ” ‘ . ?

    Because you only list exclamations etc in the post. I’ve counted with all and without all, but I wanted to know if some were included and others not…


  6. Nigel says:


    Words 5 and 6 don’t make ANY SENSE!!!!!

    I’m going to cry softly in the fetal position now.

  7. Stuart,

    Yes, don’t count anything that is not a letter or a number. That includes periods, spaces, quotes, etc.


    We have gotten a couple correct entries so far (one very coincidentally from a man named Nigel!) , so we’re reasonably confident this is solvable. Please be sure you are counting correctly, and good luck to all!

    -The Doc

  8. Stuart says:

    I just checked (twice) on the example ‘just 10 days til Leopard’ post…and I make the ‘d’ in ‘used’ letter number 94, and 100 with the punctuation…

    SO confused. Hope you don’t mind clarifying this for all your excited entrants!

  9. Hey Stuart,

    I just checked the sample post again, and I get “d” for 100. But whatever.
    Ignore punctuation of any kind, only count letters and numbers, and you should do fine.

    -The Doc

  10. Stuart says:

    GOT IT.

    I take back everything I said. The numbers are spot on the money.
    I however, seem to need more caffeine today.

  11. Ben says:

    Fiiiiiiinally got it… geez… it’s amazing how hard it is to count! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Nigel says:

    …geez, finally!


  13. Jimmy says:

    How do we know if our entry was received?

  14. Jimmy,

    I got yours. But you should get a confirmation e-mail, if the form is working correctly….

    -The Doc

  15. Bunny says:

    This is pissing me off. The last word *isn’t* a word, I’ve been working on it for hours. It doesn’t make any sense! Are you supposed to count numbers or no?

  16. Yes Bunny, numbers count. Just letters and numbers.

    -The Doc

  17. HardCharger says:

    Hey Doc,

    I submitted earlier this morning but I never received a confirmation email. Did you get my entry by any chance or should I submit again?


    P.S. Great website by the way…it’s only one of three I visit for mac related news!

  18. HardCharger,
    Yes, we got it. I guess the auto-responder isn’t working properly in all cases (or else it’s getting zapped by your spam blockers).

    Oh, and thanks for buttering us up. It won’t help your chances, but it makes giving this thing away a little easier. Hopefully a “real” reader wins it.


    -The Doc

  19. Nigel says:

    Yeah, no reply here either.

    Oh, well…if the planets are aligned and I’ve been blessed by the Gods, then we’ll see if the win comes to fruition.


  20. Visu@l says:

    To bad we Belgian guys can’t join the contest ๐Ÿ™

    keep up the good work guys….a daily look worth

  21. lsfjosh says:

    Awesome contest! I tried solving it at 2am and got 5 words into it and kept miscounting! Finally gave it another go after getting home from work today and nailed it. I enjoy reading your site every update and the insightful humor in your articles kills me every time! Keep it up please!

  22. HardCharger says:

    Hey Doc, is the cut-off time at 11:59 AM on Wednesday, December 19th or Thursday, December 20th? Or am I reading it wrong because I’m half asleep? Thanks!

  23. amannin says:

    is it just me, or is the 5 word not even a word?

  24. amannin says:

    nvm — i must have dyslexia or something, i swear the last letter for word 5 said 24 not 22 — i even triple-checked it — it wasn’t til the fourth time that i actually realized it said 22 O.o

    on an entirely separate note — these validation images are even harder to decipher ๐Ÿ™

  25. Hardcharger,
    Sorry about that. It ends Thursday, Cecember 20th at 11:59 AM.
    -The Doc

  26. Contest Rules says:

    It’s hard to get past the Mac Chicks!!!

  27. Fitzhume says:

    Great contest idea! Really fun to do while killing time before work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Dan says:

    Love the site, great contest .. I actually entered this time ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Dan says:

    I didn’t receive a confirmation e-mail either .. and I’ve double checked my gmail’s spam folder as well ..

  30. Wordman says:

    I don’t trust my own counting, so am counting with Perl code:

    sub grabletter
    my ($text,$pos) = @_;
    return “” if !$text;

    $text =~ s/\W//g;
    # print “$pos “. substr($text,0,$pos) . “\n”;
    return lc(substr($text,$pos – 1,1));

    Works for the sample and words 1 – 4. Words 5 and 6, however, don’t make any sense. Be interesting to see if this is my bug, or the contest’s.

  31. Wow Wordman, very impressive!
    Good luck with that. I will say, however, many have solved the puzzle (the old fashioned way) and gotten all the words, so I think your script might need some tweaking. Maybe there is some character in one of those posts given your script some trouble?

    -The Doc

  32. dtizzle says:

    just got it! do we email our response to ?
    awesome site

  33. dtizzle,

    no, plese use the form at the end of the post (page 2) to submit your answer.

    Thanks, and good luck!

    -The Doc

  34. Tim Henderson says:

    My 8 year old son and I had a great time working on this. Thanks for doing this. If we win the Wii my son will be a Macenstein reader for life!!

  35. Will says:

    I’m pretty sure the last word isn’t a real word. Maybe I got it wrong. But I tired hard. And that’s what really counts. Right?

  36. Dan says:

    Did you get my answer?

  37. Austin McGuire says:

    I sent mine in with no reply too.

  38. We got it, Austin.
    -The Doc

  39. Kaleb says:

    I sent mine in with no reply, did you get it?

  40. yes Kaleb, we got it. Boy, no one wants to trust that we’re getting these… I guess we should have changed the line to “you will not be getting a confirmation e-mail”.

    -The Doc


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