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The "Da Vinci Code Quest on Google" is an online competition tied into the release of the movie version of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Beginning on April 17th, 2006 the Quest will involve solving puzzles and codes over the course of a 24-day period. Below I'll try and offer any help I can on each day's challenge, and remember to check the comments section as well for others' tips (feel free to chip in with your own comments or assistance at any stage).
Warning: Quest Spoilers Below
Day 1: The first day challenge is a Sudoku-like game (using symbols rather than the usual numbers or letters) similar to those that have been on the movie website for a while now. Each puzzle is different, so I can't give you the solution, but it is quite easy. Just look at each vertical and horizontal line, as well as the marked shaded sections, and use a process of elimination. After you solve the puzzle, you are asked a question regarding a triangular symbol on Langdon's (Hanks') face - the answer is "blade".
Day 2: Again, the initial puzzle is simple enough, with matching pairs of debris to be cleared away from a painting. After you solve the puzzle, you are asked a question regarding a cross-like symbol on Aringarosa's face - the answer is "greek cross".
Day 3: Today's puzzle is a test of observation. The question points you to a movie trailer on Google Video (search for "Robert Langdon"), and three questions are asked about scenes in the movie. Give it a go yourself, but if you are stuck here are the answers: (i) fleur de lys (ii) vitruvian man and (iii) five.
Day 4: Today's puzzle is a very simple game of organising the positioning of paintings so that they all fit in a certain space. After you solve the puzzle, you are asked a question regarding an upside down triangular symbol on Sophie Neveu's face - the answer is "chalice".
Day 5: In this instalment of the quest, you are asked to 'checkmate' a king - though you don't need to know chess, as the moves are done automatically when you answer three questions. Silas' spiked belt is a cilice, the 2nd to 4th ranked members of the Priory of Sion are the sénéchaux, and the engraved tablet is known as the keystone.
Day 6: Today you have a jigsaw puzzle to complete, of a Google Earth satellite image. As usual, this task is reasonably easy. Once completed, you are asked: "This city contains a 3-D version of Leonardo's the Last Supper created by Marisol, where is this city?" The answer is New York (thanks Schmoozer for the input). I wonder if the words at the bottom of the image have any further bearing on the quest...one is 'Sanborn' (which is the surname of the creator of the Kryptos statue which is supposed to play a part in Brown's next book - is this just a coincidence?). The other, FYI in case of further questions, is 'Bluesky'.
Day 7: The puzzle is another sudoku-like symbol game, this time with a grid of 5x5, rather than the 4x4 in round 1. A tough one too - I actually had to make an educated guess at one stage, with no definite solution presenting themselves. Anyhow, once finished, the question was "how many stones in 196000 grains." Seeing as there are 98000 grains in one stone, the answer is therefore "2" (I entered "two" to start with and was rejected...so enter the actual numeral).
Update: It seems that people are getting different questions here, although all (that I know of) have been measurement conversions - here's a handy online resource to help out. More tips: be sure to use the correct units (many countries have different standards), and also use the Google search function...I had another try at today's puzzle (just for fun) and had all sorts of trouble working out a conversion on the mass of Jupiter, until I used the mass that Google gave me (as opposed to Wikipedia and other sources). Feel free to leave your particular question and answer in the comments below, in case someone else gets the same one.
Day 8: This round is once again a 'clear the debris' game, which is easy enough by trial and error, and a little intuition. The revealed question is once again different for everyone, although all seem to ask questions based on ISBN numbers (mine was "what was ISBN 0895581167 the time of? - my answer was Donatello). To find out the book your ISBN refers to, you can either use Google as the quest suggests, or I find it easier using Amazon.com's search function, or start with isbn-check.com (thanks Chirag).
Day 9: Back to the 'curator' puzzle, in which you must hang paintings on a wall. Once again, the 'question of the day is random, so you probably won't get the same as me: "What month is Italy's national day?" The answer is June. For other answers, see below in the comments, or just cut and paste your question into Google - it generally gives you the answer.
Day 10: Today is another observation puzzle, with the questions based on a new Google video which introduces the albino monk Silas. You need to watch (and listen) to the clip closely to ascertain the answers. Question 1 asks the shape of an important looking stone object which Silas finds - the answer is octagon. The second question asks what is the last thing Silas touches in the video - this refers to the 'reverse shot' from inside the font - the answer is of course holy water. Finally, the last question asks: "what is it that will ultimately be broken?" You need to have listened to the voiceover to figure out this one - the answer is silence.
Day 11: Three questions today, as part of the chess componenent of the quest. Question one is: "A word that can read the same backwards or forwards is called:" - the answer is palindrome. Question two asks where in the Louvre was Jacques Sauniere's body found, the answer is Denon Wing. Finally, the last question asks "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is an example of what? The answer is pangram (a piece of text which uses every letter of the alphabet.).
Day 12: Today is a jigsaw puzzle - as usual, the easiest way to complete it is to start with corner pieces, work on to side pieces, and then finish the internal. The museum is the Palazzo di Venezia, and it can be found in the city of Rome. To find the Greek Cross (which won't appear until you click on the correct building), go to Google Maps and search for "Museo Nazionale di Palazzo di Venezia". Switch to the satellite view and you should get a fair indication of where to find it. Update: See this image (180kb).
Day 13: The beginning of round 3 sees another sudoku puzzle. Each of these are random, so you're on your own. Once done, you are presented with a random translation question. A good resource is to use Babelfish for this, or if you want feel free to add your particular question and answer in the comments (mine was, what is the translation of avorio - "ivory").
Day 14: Today is another 'restoration' puzzle, and this one is more difficult/frustrating - hang in there if you have problems, and if you really strike a difficult one it might pay to press the 'Request new puzzle' button. Once completed, you are given a cipher which needs to be decrypted using the Atbash (a code in which each letter of the alphabet is transposed onto a 'backward' alphabet). Use the two alphabets on this page to work out what your message is (for the record, mine was "xlmhkrizxb", which works out as conspiracy.
Day 15: On we go to the 'curator' puzzle for the third time. Not sure of everyone else's challenge, but I was lucky enough to get the easiest puzzle thus far I think...only took me a matter of seconds. Afterwards, there is once again a language challenge - I was asked for the Italian word for "painting". I used Babelfish and easily found the answer: "pittura".
Day 16: Today is the chess puzzle, in which you have to answer three multiple choice questions correctly to 'checkmate the king'. Question 1 asks who designed the Louvre's famous pyramid - the answer is I. M. Pei. The second question asks which French king built the Louvre, you should select Philip II Augustus. The final question asks which of the list of people never set foot in Notre Dame: Pope Leo IX will take you to checkmate.
Day 17: Another Google video to watch, this round the subject is Leigh Teabing (played by Ian McKellen). Three questions are posed regarding the video: the letter in the clip is "f", the word is "quest" and the number of 'spectacles' is "7".
Day 18: An easy jigsaw puzzle to conclude round three (one more to go!), followed by a question regarding Leonardo's perpetual motion sketch (answer: "London"). You then have to find four triangles ('blades') on the map, if you have a sharp eye they are easy enough to find. These point at a building in London, the answer to the question is "Imperial College".
Day 19: Ow! The final round begins with a much tougher Sudoku challenge...I actually had to request a new puzzle as I couldn't start the first one, and the second still took quite a long time to figure out. After that, you are asked a question which you need to use Google Books to solve - enter in the author, and the book to the search box. Then, search inside that book for the words which are in bold in your question. Funnily enough, I couldn't even use this to figure mine out, as Google said the page I was searching for was 'restricted'. Luckily, it was a book in the public domain, so I searched for the phrase in the Project Gutenberg. For anyone that gets the same as me, the "chief Italian virtue" found in William Dean Howells' Italian Journey is patience (oh, the irony).
Day 20: For the last time we're given the 'clearing debris from paintings' puzzle. I've had trouble with this every round, but funnily enough not this time. Using the honeycomb grid behind the debris certainly helps to keep your bearings. Afterwards, I was asked another Google book question, about the artist who has a piece in the Uffizi which shows "a woman playing the lute". Searching for that phrase, and "Uffizi", in Google Book Search, shows that the artist is "Bega" (Cornelius).
Day 21: The final curator puzzle has us hanging paintings, and again mine was surprisingly easy (apologies to anyone having troubles). Afterwards came yet another random question based on Google Book Search - mine was 'whose birthplace did Petrarch' stop in at, the answer was "Virgil". As always, people are posting their own questions and answers in the comments section below (5 pages worth now!), so if you're stuck it might pay to browse the most recent posts (ie. usually the final page).
Day 22: Today's "chess" puzzle is perhaps the easiest round so far. The leading member of the Priory of Sion is the "Nautonnier", the individual not rumoured to be a member of the PoS was "Nicolas Poussin", and the Egyptian goddess of fertility was "Isis" (not to mention being the name of my daughter).
Day 23: The penultimate puzzle today, and it's another jigsaw map to put together. The city shown in the map is "Paris", the nine cinquefoils can be found in a long triangle at about -45 degrees to the vertical. The final answer (what sequence is 1, 4, 9) is squares.
Day 24: The final puzzle, which consists of three questions that are based on a new Google video introducing the character of Sophie Neveu (played by Audrey Tatou). The answers to each question respectively are "2", "So dark the con of man", and "Madonna of the Rocks".
Update: There seems to be some confusion as to how participants make the 'final 10,000' and move onto the last phase of the competition (in the U.S.) The rules state: "ONCE PARTICIPANT FILLS IN HIS/HER GOOGLE ID AND CLICKS "SUBMIT" ON THE PUZZLE COMPLETION FORM, HIS/HER SUBMISSION WILL BE TIME-STAMPED AND WILL BE DEEMED PARTICIPANT'S OFFICIAL PUZZLE COMPLETION TIME." So it is the time of day today that you submit the final puzzle (not how long it took you to complete it) - you have to be one of the first 10,000 to have done so. The rules also say that the final 10,000 will be notified around May 15th...so I guess you won't know until then whether you have made the grade. At least you're not in Australia (my region), where the prizes are pretty lame, and it appears to be judged solely on your idea - in 50 words or less - as to what the next Robert Langon adventure should be (judged on 'originality, creativity and adherence to the word limit).
If you like puzzles, why not solve the mystery of what's in Dan Brown's next book The Solomon Key? Take a look around this site for clues, or just buy The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key from Amazon (5-star rating).