The solution to the ARG on Brew’s 100th video

Brew recently posted a video about ARGs, and it was very interesting. I’m usually quite curious about ARGs and how to solve them; a few eons ago, I had a go with Stratzenblitz75’s ARG and while that one still confuses me, it’s still quite cool trying to solve them.

And obviously, Brew had to make his own on this video. I got curious once I saw a QR code from the back of Bean’s notebook:

Video timestamp: 0:34

I think it goes without saying that everything below this paragraph has spoilers to the ARG. So if you are trying to solve it and you don’t want to be spoiled, close this page immediately!

The note

Scanning the code with my phone, it directed me to a site containing a coded message:

Fortunately, the clues for this have been laid out through the first thirty seconds of the video. With the analysis of that first bit, we have the alphabet, like this:

01 – a
02 – e
03 – i
04 – o
05 – u
06 – y
11 – b
12 – c
13 – d
21 – f
22 – g
23 – h
31 – j
32 – k
33 – l
34 – m
35 – n
41 – p
42 – q
43 – r
44 – s
45 – t
51 – v
52 – w
53 – x
61 – z
Code table based on the video

And using that table, we arrive with the decoded message, with the page named A Note from Niche:

Hey Brew,

I set up the application questions
for you. Glad to see you’re looking
for a new research assistant, but
don’t you think that this whole ‘code’
thing is a little much?

I have a feeling I know how you’ll
respond, but still.

You can find the files on this
website, subdomain is named after
your favourite drink. Should be
easy enough to remember.

Niche

After a bit of trial and error, the “subdomain” mentioned there turned out to be a path/directory instead, so instead of coffee.brewsolves.com, it’s actually brewsolves.com/coffee.

The job posting

And now, we’re pointed to a new page containing an image of a job posting:

So we’re looking for four letters. Simple: Google and Wikipedia to the rescue!

After a couple of quick searches, we get:

  • Alexandria
  • Württemberg
  • Trinity College
  • Warsaw

Thanks to that, we have a new URL: brewsolves.com/awtw.

The email

Another image! This time, it’s an email from Squee to a person named Quiz. The clue says, “… add the ‘First four words of the episode title where his best friend appeared. Spaces are dashes.'”

Cool… now I have to watch Brew’s videos again. I knew he was referring to Bean, but didn’t know when he first appeared. So I watched a couple of videos on 2x speed, and fortunately I was only a few videos deep until Bean showed up on a video named A Girl Froze Underwater for 66 Minutes, Here’s What Happened When They Heated Her Blood.

Video timestamp: 11:05

With the first four words of that title, we have a new URL: brewsolves.com/a-girl-froze-underwater.

The job application

The new URL points to an image of Brew (I think) reading Quiz’s job application:

At first I didn’t see anything obvious until I saw a faint text at the bottom of the image. I ran a photo editing program and turned down the brightness, and sure enough:

Very sneaky!

Now we have this string of text:

stressed A-OnV9R13tZFdsjD3Z1A19CU :54-60

It seemed to be random, but then I noticed the 54-60 at the end. That looked familiar… It’s a code, but reversed! It was also a sign that the string was supposed to be reversed. Reversing the string and decoding the first two letters, we have this:

YT: UC91A1Z3DjsdFZt31R9VnO-A desserts

Not sure what the “desserts” word is for (maybe it’s a distraction, or a hint of what it’s about?), but I realized what the seemingly random string looks like: That’s a YouTube channel URL!

The end-game

And guess what… it was Quiz’s new YouTube channel!

Quiz’s YT channel… and I’m the first subscriber!

There’s also a #shorts video of Quiz practicing for her job interview. And a bit of trivia… she apparently likes affogato. I like this channel already. 😂

I’ve subscribed to her channel and followed her Twitter, and I’m looking forward to what’s in store. All in all, this is a pretty cool, simple and well-thought ARG for a teaser to a new character in the On the Hill universe (which I am admittedly fairly new to), as well as a new YouTube channel.

And also… congratulations for Brew’s 100th video! Looking forward to a hundred more. 😊

Additional notes

Playing around the brewsolves.com website, I realized that you can find all ARG pages by searching for a blank text on the search box. Hopefully you didn’t skip anything by doing that! It’s all in the spirit of genuinely solving an ARG.

Also, I got confused at first because the table had six letters instead of five when it came to vowels. Turns out it is a thing in some places; sometimes “y” is considered a vowel. The more you know!

2 comments

  1. Pretty cool, thanks for the write-up! I was stuck on that last ‘stressed’ step too, thought it looked like a YouTube channel URL but couldn’t work out why it wasn’t working!

    Also I totally missed all the clues at the start of the video and just got straight to building a substitution cypher in Python to work it out. I did briefly wonder how people were supposed to get it without coding but figured it was supposed to be difficult. All-in-all a pretty good little puzzle.

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