The Master Theorem — “Mensa’s Evil Twin”

Solve all of the puzzles in M's book and earn entry into the elite ranks of The Master Theorem (Sponsored by The Master Theorem)

The Master Theorem book of puzzles, intrigue, and wit.

Dubbed “Mensa’s evil twin” by The New York Times, The Master Theorem originated in 2011 as an online “secret society of solvers” and quickly developed a cult following. Its larger-than-life figurehead was the cryptic polymath known only as M who posted mysterious puzzles, called Theorems, each week at midnight.

After an eight-year sabbatical, M dramatically re-emerged this year with a beautifully illustrated puzzle book that features fully revamped versions of his old classics, plus an assortment of new puzzles and other enigmatic surprises. With five new “training” puzzles and plenty of hints in the back, the book is sure to captivate the attention of both old and new TMT fans alike.

But M’s Theorems aren’t your average Sudoku puzzles. To get an in with The Master Theorem, you’ll need to get creative and bring out your inner cryptologist.

Here are three puzzle-solving techniques for your arsenal

Converting numbers to letters

M says: When in doubt, see what happens if you translate numbers to letters and vice versa, where A is 1, B is 2, Z is 26, and so on. Essentially, think of A – Z and 1 – 26 as interchangeable.

Makes sense, right? Give it a go on this training Theorem called “Practice Makes Perfect”:

Graphic illustrating the concept of number-letter cipher conversion. The numbers read: 5-24-3-5-12-12-5-14-20


M says: Indexing means picking individual letters out of words to spell something else. Like taking the first letter of this word and third letter of that word and 20th letter of another word, or whatever the puzzle implies.

This one, called “Eloquent Articulation,” gives you the gist:

Graphic illustrating the concept of an indexing cipher conversion. The words on the cards read: 9 - CONTEMPLATE, 4 - CONDUCIVE, 1 - ENTRENCHED, 5 - SCRUPULOUS, 7 - UBIQUITOUS, _ _ _ _ _

Decoding Ciphers

M says: Familiarize yourself with common types of ciphers — methods of encoding — that have been used throughout time. Be on the lookout for visual and textual clues that may hint at a particular cipher, and don’t hesitate to use the internet as a resource.

Get the idea? Then lend your ears to this final training Theorem called “Beware the Ides of March”:

Graphic illustrating the concept of a decoding cipher. Superimposed on a Romanesque building reads, SIRM, SMHM, SMGM - CAESAR, IV

Solvers who choose to go on the journey will enjoy months of neuron growth as they tackle the more than 40 brain-bending puzzles in the book and become experts in codes, ciphers, and the mysteries of the universe.

Think you’ve got what it takes?

Get your copy of The Master Theorem today and use promo code MENSA2019 for a secret 10% discount.

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