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New Investigative Documentary Podcast: The World’s Hardest Puzzle

New Investigative Documentary Podcast: The World’s Hardest Puzzle

Carver PR

February 19, 2024

Launching on Monday 19th February, The Word’s Hardest Puzzle is a new podcast hosted by Tommie Trelawny, founder of the YouTube channel ‘Hochelaga’ with over 48.5 million views, and journalist & podcast producer Nicky Anderson. This is the second instalment in the investigative documentary series ‘Archive’ from industry-leading podcast company Stak.

In January 2012, a message appeared on 4Chan, the anarchic online messaging board which had become a playground for hackers and conspiracy theorists alike. At first glance, the unassuming message read:

“Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test.”

“Good Luck, 3301”

Accompanying the text was a cryptic image – a black-and-white cicada. What users didn’t know at the time was this post marked the first step in one of the most complex and mind-boggling puzzles to rock the internet age – later known as Cicada 3301.

As one clue was deciphered, another would surface. From riddles to impenetrable codes and QR codes in the outside world, one thing became clear: Cicada 3301 was no ordinary puzzle. It was an intellectual minefield, and theories emerged which suggested it was the work of recruiters for a US intelligence service.

The puzzles returned for a second year, and a third. Then, silence.

Despite significant efforts to solve it, the true origins, the creators, and the real purpose of Cicada 3301 remain shrouded in mystery. Over a decade later Tommie Trelawny and Nicky Anderson have reopened this cold case, diving deep into this digital rabbit hole.

The duo speak to those who found themselves at the heart of the mystery, including members of the solving community. They also exclusively interview Thomas Schoenberger, a man who claims to be the founder of Cicada 3301. Their year-long investigation into the truth behind the puzzle uncovers both the potential beauty the internet holds as well as the more sinister aspects of revealing too much of our lives online.

The podcast will sit in Stak’s investigative documentary series, Archive. Following the success of The Interruption, Season Two introduces another captivating internet mystery with The World’s Hardest Puzzle.

The seven episodes journey through the winding, often murky history of the internet, told by those who know it best.

About Tommie Trelawny

Tommie Trelawny is the creator of Youtube channel Hochelaga and the podcast series The Interruption. Having studied Theology at the University of Edinburgh, Tommie went on to receive his MPhil from the University of Cambridge where he specialised in the Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew.

On his YouTube channel, Hochelaga, Tommie makes videos about obscure topics. Whether that be “The Demon Doodles of 1565” or “The Oldest (Known) Song of All Time”. In late 2022, the channel passed seven hundred thousand subscribers.

About Nicky Anderson

Nicky Anderson is a talented Journalist and Podcast Producer at Stak. Her recent projects include producing and co-writing the documentary series ‘The Interruption’ and consistently working on the bi-weekly film podcast ‘Clash of The Titles.’ Originally from Ireland, Nicky studied Journalism and New Media at the University of Limerick.

About Stak

We make podcasts, properly. You might have heard of the Football Ramble or Abroad in Japan. We have over twenty shows and our podcasts are heard millions of times every month. People listen to our shows to be entertained. Brands advertise on our shows to tap into the feeling we create. Independent voices. A sense that everyone’s welcome. An anecdote you’ll share with your friends. And because we can help them make great ads too. After all, creating content is what we’re good at. We’re Stak. Seriously entertaining.