Of course, the answer was "Abracadabra" and everyone who followed my hints could have easily found the answer. This conundrum was much like M-theory. Once you see the logic behind it, you're sure that the answer is absolutely unique. But there are always cynics who never believe the uniqueness. One of them wrote:
- The problem with fill-in-the-blank problems of these kind is there isn't likely to be a unique solution, if you know what I mean. These kinds of problem involve reading the mind of the problem creator as much as anything else.
When I repeated that the solution is unique and it has as many keystrokes as the number of spacetime dimensions of M-theory, another critic of the uniqueness of the solution - namely Wolfgang Beirl - said:
- Luboš, but the experimental evidence might still be against your unique solution: An 11-digit number to collect avatars on a webpage for kids? As unique as M-theory??? So it might as well be a random number 8-) There is some evidence on the Net that neopets.com accepted indeed any number for this one ...
I answered his sentence "If it's like M-theory, it might be a random number" by saying that it was doubly wrong: not only it was not random at all, but it was not even a number! :-) You can see how laughable all these abracadabra-skeptics were, and it may be just a matter of time when the experiments show the same about the skeptics concerning string/M-theory! :-)
Incidentally, it was fun to look for the solution. I could not stop. No mathematics or language tricks worked and no web pages gave any useful information. Eventually I went to the other Lenny Conundrums to see how the previous problems looked like - what kind of reasoning can one expect from "Lenny". The problems #1...#8 seemed easier. Suddenly the answer to the problem #9 was 2616. At that moment I exploded because it was clear that it was just a matter of minutes to complete the "theory of everything". ;-)