IFS Portal Hunt Puzzle Solving Template

oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

Hi all,

Last month's IFS passcode puzzle was a lot of fun, where we had to locate portals and plot the points on a map to determine which character each column of portal photos represented.

To make things quicker, easier and more efficient in solving the puzzle, I put together a Google Sheet that can be used to allow all your FS attendees to collaborate on the sheet and locate portals.

As portals are found, the intel URL is added and there is a special graph that will plot the points to allow users to see what the character is. As the information is filled in, it will automatically populate the passcode.

There are also some stats to see who has discovered the most portals.

The intention of the Sheet is to encourage FS attendees to work together on identifying the portals, the hard work of figuring out the character and everything else is all set up and made to be as simple as possible.

Feel free to use the template for your FS event. Just make a copy of it and follow the instructions.

Special thanks to Dazzlebot2000, jimsug and GenElectrik for their contributions.

Here is an example of how it looks:

(Assuming we get the same puzzle again, which hopefully we do as it was a lot of fun!)


  • Great job. The sheet saves a lot of work. So one participant can solve the challenge in the shortest time. I'm just afraid that this will take away the fun of the challenge.

  • oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The fun of the challenge is to still find the portals, this just helps automate everything else :)

  • IshiraIshira ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really hope you guys like this months challenge. Looking forward to watching everyone figure this out!

  • This is great. After a while, the challenge felt more like work than fun. This will really help to keep the energy levels up!

  • NaruwasherNaruwasher ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is amazing! Thank you for doing this and I look forward to putting it to test during July’s FS decode.

  • Brilliant

  • Great work! Thank you for helping.

  • This is excellent work, thank you for helping the local groups globally. :)

  • Thank you, it's really good!

  • oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some big updates and improvements have been implemented into the sheet since its last iteration, please make sure to grab the latest verison for your upcoming FS events!

    Biggest changes are:

    • Expanded column capability to 30 (was 21)
    • Column value identifier (letter, number or keyword) and hint system
    • Automatic keyword suggestor (based on length and any identified characters)
    • Portal row numbers for the charts
    • Heaps of minor quality of life enhancements (including layout restructuring, data validation, etc.)

    There's a list of changes in the new created README tab, which also contains all the instructions for POC's and users on how to use the spreadsheet.

    Some screenshots of the changes are below:

    The PASSCODE tab has been restructured to reduce the need to scroll around, now everything is visible on the front page.

    Key changes here are:

    • Custom passcode format (only accepts X, # or the word KEYWORD), this will then break down the format into its three segments over the next few lines (cells B6-B10). These segments then automatically get applied onto each of the COLUMN tabs to indicate whether that column should be a letter, number or keyword
    • The Keyword Suggestions will automatically provide suggestions on the keyword based on the character length (as identified from the passcode format and the number of columns in the puzzle image) as well as any identified letters. So in this example, we know the keyword is 6 characters and that the second and fourth letters are both E, which suggests DEFEND and REPEAT. This suggestion will automatically filter through a list of keywords and as each character is identified it will tell you the answer before all the characters are even found
    • The Discoverers list will also now appear alphabetically (not pictured here, sorry)

    Here you can see:

    • New warning message if a letter is entered instead of a number and vice versa,
    • Portal numbers for each row shown on the chart. This will help to identify and verify the character (for example a 6 and G look similar, but knowing that the figure should be a number, this reduces passcode errors).
    • The new hint system below the chart, indicating whether the character is a letter, number or keyword. It also gives suggestions based on the number of points as to what the character or value could be. This will also make it easier to decipher the character, as per the example above, previously all the lines were joined, now they only join when they meet up. So in the first image from the four suggestions, we can easily infer that the value should be 2

    Hope these changes help everybody solve the passcode challenge just that little bit more efficiently and smarter. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or feedback. Cheers!

  • Exelente trabajo, este exel 👍👍👍

  • oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One more late night update: the Keyword Guesser! (cell PASSCODE!B9)

    This will guess the keyword based purely on the number of portal images in the keyword columns based on the possible combinations on the number of portals for each column.

    If all works well, this gives you the keyword without even having to find any of the portals. However I still recommend finding the portals as the puzzles are a lot of fun and of course to confirm that the guess is correct. Feel free to delete the guess if you feel this takes away too much of the fun.

  • PingHuskarPingHuskar ✭✭
    edited November 6

    In Col_\d sheets, you can better code like this using REGEXEXTRACT. It's shorter and faster with same result.

    Also H and I Columns.

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