Puzzle

This Machine Kills Secrets contains a cryptographic puzzle designed by puzzlemaster G. Mark Hardy. The first three readers to solve it (not including those who had access to advance review copies, please) and email their answer to agreenberg (at) forbes (dot) com will have their name published in the paperback edition of the book and any subsequent editions.

While there are several “intermediate” answers to be found in the puzzle, winners must find the “final” answer. Solvers will know they’ve found that final answer if it closely relates to Tim May’s cat.

Update on Oct. 12, 2012: Congrats to Timo Hirvonen, Alexandre Girard and David Schuetz, who all solved the puzzle and sent me the correction solution. I won’t post the answer. Instead, anyone else who solves it is welcome to email me for confirmation. Thanks to everyone for participating!