Stak’s new podcast investigates cryptic online puzzle

Second series of Archive looks at origins of mysterious 4chan riddles

Podcast production company Stak is set to launch a new podcast investigating a series of cryptic online puzzles, the company has announced, attempting to uncover their origins.

The World’s Hardest Puzzle investigates the origins of a series of cyphers, clues and codes collectively known as Cicada 3301, which first appeared on notorious online imageboard 4chan. The purpose of the puzzles, as well as the identity of the original creators, remains a mystery, with some speculating that they were a test to find potential recruits for intelligence services. 

The podcast will also speak to Thomas Schoenberger, who claims to be the original creator of the puzzles, for the first time, along with the online sleuths who attempted to solve them. The seven-episode series is set to launch on 19 February, and will be released on Stak’s Archive documentary feed, following last year’s podcast The Interruption.

The series is hosted by YouTuber Tommie Trelawny and journalist Nicky Anderson, a producer at Stak who previously worked on shows such as movie podcast Clash Of The Titles. Trelawny’s YouTube channel Hochelaga covers a range of obscure topics and curiosities, and has almost 50 million views in total.

Stak is best known for sports podcasts such as Football Ramble and Sports Horn, but has also branched out into other areas, including fiction podcasts such as Boom, and investigative shows such as last month’s Ghost In The Machine.


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