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Hackernoon logoHow 20,000 Telegrammers Solved the World’s Most Cooperative Crossword Puzzle by@kk_ncnt

How 20,000 Telegrammers Solved the World’s Most Cooperative Crossword Puzzle

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@kk_ncntKK Jain (@kk_ncnt)

Our wordCent contest challenged nCent Nation, our 20,000 telegram users, to complete a crossword puzzle about our project, our blog and incentives. The results were incredible.

One month ago, we launched nCent out of stealth mode. Our telegram group had less than 20 people. Today, there are over 20,000 members of nCent Nation Worldwide, and they just completed the world’s most cooperative, international crossword puzzle.

We wanted to find a fun and interactive way for people to learn about our mission at nCent. More than that, we wanted to find a way to start building a community of people who shared our philosophy. So we made a crossword puzzle using words from our litepaper, and we released the clues at random intervals on telegram.

We awarded points to people who solved the word first. The Prize? 1ETH to the top three scores and to the first to submit a picture of the completed puzzle.

At first, there were only a handful of participants. But it didn’t take us long to put some community incentives in place! We decided to reward people for recruiting others into the search. If someone you referred earned points, you’d receive a reward too. A word solver got 16 points. However, the parent of the solver got 8. The grandparent got 4 and so on. This created a viral incentive for folks to invite their friends and encourage them to solve words too — a dynamic the three winners were able to prove out well. Each of our three winners had a chain that contributed meaningful points to their final totals.

The rules of wordCent created individual and community incentives.

What happened next blew us away. Within just a few weeks, our telegram group went viral. There were over 20,000 people trying to solve our crypto-puzzle.

“The power of referral incentive was clearly demonstrated through the game. If not for my referral chain, I might not have been a winner.”
 — @NaveenRaina

But it was more than just that . A community was forming. We joked around with each other —

Some people even tried to curry sympathy with fake pets like @djchahal’s lovesick kitty “mewmew” —

“Do it for mewmew”

We started to stretch across multiple time zones —

Our random timer released clues well, randomly, so as not to advantage any timezone in particular. People were waking up at odd hours just to solve a crossword puzzle.

“It’s been like an 18/7 shift to work on this game. Have went through all the articles line by line to crack certain clues. Nice learning experience with this event, and it’s a healthy way to introduce the project.” — @DoYouSmell

The value of a welcoming, cooperative community to solve problems cannot be overstated.

Our puzzle solver was someone completely fresh to the contest and hadn’t solved a word previously. In fact the blocking clue was “Palo Alto” which stumped the crowd. This shows the value of “fresh eyes” in looking at the problem (ideally someone you refer!). In fact the winner’s uncle actually tipped him off!

“I really liked the friendly atmosphere on here (unlike many other projects…), so the community is really what drew me in.” — @Wolves444 (puzzle solver)
  • We learned that growing a community can be fun.
  • We learned that people believe in our mission at nCent.
  • We learned that our philosophy of incentives works in practice.
Through the course of learning about nCent for this contest, I went off on many interesting tangents reading about consensus protocols, other cryptocurrencies, economics, and even philosophy. It was worth more than the monetary incentive. -@llovan

We can’t help but think about the possibilities moving forward. A crossword puzzle with 3 ETH on the line engaged a community of over 20,000 people in just a few days. Imagine if that same dynamic could be scaled and directed to solve all kinds of hard problems. This is our vision.

wordCent Puzzle:

Clues Across

  1. Decentralized protocol for markets

4. Engine

6. Gödel

7. San Diego

9. CMU

11. y²*e²

14. Not debit

17. Energetic equilibrium

20. Future

22. Firm

23. Plato Luther Jr

25. Massive Miner

27. Game of Angels and Life

28. Fox

29. Wood Tall or High Wood

33. Stop it to “go to moon”

35. Campus

36. Labor

39. Haystack

40. (Lumen)Ary

42. OG BTC predictor

43. Chat

44. Deep learner

46. Giant

47. Outstanding

48. Herbivore

Clues Down

2. Hypertext & Mice

3. TV

5. Floodgate

6. Radiant or stellar

8. Dishonest node

9. 37-D

10. German UFO Sightings

12. Combinator

13. Mr. Cornelius

15. Solitary Wood

16. The first

18. 48 LP

19. Alpha

21. 10

24. Ubermensche

26. Engine

28. HODLers

30. Lee

31. Angel Coin

32. Rowers

34. Satoshi Grandcite

37. Robot Wars

38. Mykines’ twin

41. Magnum opus

45. ID Offense

wordCent Solution

To stay in the nCent loop and participate in our community, follow me on twitter and join our international telegram channel. As always, you may email me at to get involved or learn more!


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