UPDATE #2: The contest is now over. Thanks to everyone for participating. We'll be notifying winners early the week of March 16th. (BTW, the answer was "Kernel Panic")

No, my hand really isn't as big as my head.  It's called perspective, people.  If my hand WAS that big, it'd be kinda cool.  But only at first.  Glove buying would suck.UPDATE: Now with hot clue action! (See the bottom of this post)

No really, I do. I want everyone to have a subscription to Linux Journal. Well, you can get a year subscription to the digital version absolutely free. FREE. No strings attached. All you have to do is solve a puzzle and fill out a form. And puzzles are fun, so it's like 2 gifts in one. :)

You have to watch videos to find the clues, but they're short videos, so it shouldn't be too painful. Here I'll even give you links to each video. See, now it's like three gifts in one. I just give and give and give...

Video 1 (the video includes instructions on what to do)
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5 -- this is just me telling you how to claim your prize.

The contest is for TODAY ONLY!!!! So don't delay, or it's like getting zero gifts. ;)

CLUE 1: The letters unscramble to form 2 separate words, which once unscrambled are clearly Linux related. If you still can't unscramble them, come back this evening around 10PM EDT, and I'll give you one last clue. The 10PM clue will make it super easy. (I TOLD you I wanted everyone to have a subscription!)

CLUE 2: Ok, 2 hours to go before it's over. Don't panic or anything. Let's take the scientific approach that others in the comment thread have taken. I'm fairly certain there are online tools for making anagrams, etc. If a person were to put the collected letters into such a beast -- they'd be certain to generate the 2 words that are very Linux related.

(And if you can't figure it out? Guess!!! Who knows what might happen. :)


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


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Anonymous's picture

Just curious on this. I realize that you probable have thousands of emails to go through to see who got Kernel Panic. But I am wearing out the keyboard checking the email, to see how and when to start the subscription.

So I will ask what others are thinking. Any idea when we get notified that we got the correct answer.

Great contest and fantastic offer - thanks. It actually took awhile to get the correct answer.

The final results

Anonymous's picture

Although a number of words could be created and arranged in an order making sense, CLUE 1 pretty much demanded one arrive at the correct 2 words, leaving one only to submit them in the correct order. Obviously you were true to your word, "I want everyone to have a subscription to Linux Journal."

It would be interesting to know just how many entries were received, and how many were winners. I would hope the figures to be large as I would like to see Linux growing as a replacement OS for the MS offering, which I've found to serve my home needs quite well. I might add that I had worked with unix since it's creation, although I've been retired for over a decade now, and don't understand why businesses especially, don't see Linux as more appropriate in their environment.

I'm looking forward to receiving the first issue of the free subscription, however it would have been nicer if it were to begin with April issue as administration is a most important subject for home users who have no administrator to resolve problems they encounter.

Thank you for the contest.

-retired in Thailand-

Another answer

modified_bessel's picture

Having figured out another answer, KERNEL NAPIC, I wondered why it was unacceptable? Anyway, very much fun!

Another Answer

gearhead's picture

"Hey, I got KERNEL NAPIC too! You have to have a lot of experiences
with a KERNEL PANIC to know that!!"


Dom Delimar's picture

True. As I didn't have any experiences with kernel panics, after I found "kernel", from the rest of the words I immediately saw "ACPI" - but there was an N which I didn't know where to put, so I looked further and didn't see any "panic" until someone else showed me ;)

I found

Anonymous's picture

"I Narc Elk Pen" first, but that didn't seem to make much sense (Is "Elk Pen" a person's name? Or are you narcing on a pen for elk? And why?), much less be very "Linuxy," as Sean said it would be.
So I kept looking and thought I had gotten it! I assumed a "Panel Nicker" must be a British person who had stolen a GNOME panel from the desktop. At least that was a bit "Linuxy", although it didn't make much sense either. And it wasn't very general to Linux itself.
So finally I got "Kernel Panic." That one seems to work and make more sense.

Ankle Pincer

Shawn Powers's picture

Your comment made my day. :) The other good one we got was "Ankle Pincer". hehehhehe

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

Letter scramble = $crabble

Hugh Murphy's picture

I looked at the contest as an exercise in $crabble while not being a very intuitive $crabble player, I used OpenOffice Draw to make some representative tiles with all of the released letters then moved the tiles around to finally come up with the correct answer.

I kept thinking to myself, there must be an easier way. Didn't there used to be a routine in every beginning programming class where you fed in a series of letters and it would print all of the different combinations?

It was fun.


free subscription

Anonymous's picture

Fabulous, just one question, will the subscription include the April 2009, #180 issue? That would be a great starter for me as I have only recently replaced WinXP with Ubuntu Linux and although I haven't had any regrets or looked back, I really could use some pointers on how a Linux system should be properly administered.
Looking forward to the free subscription!


DarkVenger's picture

One year free subscription, for me, coming up. :D

Secret Word

Anonymous's picture



that was the guess in fw forum.
the contest ended anyway.

And the correct answer is...

Anonymous's picture

Since the contest entry deadline has ended, shouldn't you just post the correct answer for all to see?

Think I got it.

Moustafa's picture

I don't know if I should post it, though. I sent it yesterday (thursday) and today (friday) and I'm still not sure if I got it.

Do I have to wait long for the e-mail?

search for andy's anagram

Anonymous's picture

search for andy's anagram solver

or use a linux program

Tuxly_Tuxford_McTuxtington's picture

Wordplay is in the repos, and it worked for me. I just used "wordplay -d2" to limit it to two words, and it gave me "PANIC KERNEL" - which was easy enough to flip around. :)

This contest is a great idea! It will hopefully drive more people to the website on a regular basis (and hopefully give some more life to the forums), and also bring in some new print subscribers when they get hooked on the digital content. So everybody wins. What a perfect marketing idea.

Whoever at LJ thought up this idea deserves a raise, or at least a good handshake!

i confess. i used this to

Anonymous's picture

Clue please

Some geek's picture

I can't wait until 10:00 pm EDT it will be 3:00 am from where I am, so I am already loosing.

Missed the last three letters.

Michael Roberts's picture

I must be blind or something, but I run the Friday video at least 6 times and I don't see any letters! (except EDT notations).

Did I miss them or are they really not there?

No Letters on Friday

Shawn Powers's picture

No letters on Friday, just the instructions on how to win. :) (I alluded to that at the end of the Thursday video)

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

I Want You To Win!

Technoslick's picture

After using Wordsmith.org to figure this out, I came to understand why a long-time Linux user like myself (since 1994) being so stupid. It has to do with being a literal instruction taker. It's tantamount to cheating to give a guy like me an "N" when you really meant an "n". Shame on you for driving me to lose a good portion of my day trying to figure this out. :D

In my defense...

Shawn Powers's picture

I did give *all* the letters as capitals... ;)

But then you could argue, "They're all capitals! It MUST be an acronym!!!"

So yeah, sorry about that. hehehehehe

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

Haha, I was too lazy to look

Anonymous's picture

Haha, I was too lazy to look at it myself, but wordsmith found it for me.

How do I know if it is

Anonymous's picture

How do I know if it is correct ?

I'm no original english guy but...

DarkVenger's picture

I think I solved it. Shawn Powers says it is something related to Linux...it's easy, just play with the words. Not being an "original english guy" it's no excuse...

Good luck (At least for me, it's times up time lol)

clues!! Please!

el_frenchdude's picture

I love Linux Journal, and I really want to win a subscription!

I'm french, and would love to have a clue on how to solve these clues!

For me, all those letter don't make sense, so having help(clues to what to look for) would be fantastic! :)

Is it command lines, a linux distribution ???