Here we go again.
After a months-long hiatus, Blindspot returned on Monday night with a fresh tattoo clue on Jane Doe’s (Jaimie Alexander) body that led the team on their first mission outside of the United States.
Though Patterson (Ashley Johnson) made solving this clue look easy, it wasn’t quite so simple. After EW put readers to the test, no one was able to come up with the correct answer — at least no one told us if they did! So, here’s how I solved Monday’s tattoo clue:
After an embarrassing show last time around, I was determined to solve this without having to bug executive producer Martin Gero a second (third, fourth, fifth, etc.) time around. Here’s what he initially told me about this tattoo.
“It leads to our first big international case,” Gero said of the 43-digit sequence. While it is a fictional specific location, the answer really does take you somewhere in the world. “Anybody that is a lover of numbers will probably lean into this one a little bit. If you know the most famous number in the world — what I think to be the most famous number in the world — it will certainly help.”
My immediate guess was the Fibonacci sequence. “Maybe, maybe that’s it,” Gero responded. “Maybe that’s not the most famous number in the world.” Let’s ignore him for a moment there, because I’m so sure the Fibonacci sequence is right. I wasn’t alone in that theory. Here’s an exchange with my editor after I talked to Gero.
My editor hadn’t even seen the tattoo, but simply thought that was the answer because Italian mathematician Leonardo Bonacci, otherwise known as Fibonacci, hailed from Pisa. You can also see that I take my puzzle solving very seriously.
With that said, I painfully waited until the night before I actually had to solve the tattoo to sort it out. Thinking I had a leg up after playing a few hours of obsessive puzzle game The Witness, I started by writing out the number sequence. Let’s take a closer look:
Searches: Fibonacci sequence. Fibonacci cipher. Gets more desperate: Cryptogram solver. See, the simplest tattoo gives me the most stress! Looking back on the first one, it was pretty easy to solve in the long run — far easier than I made it seem in my complicated post-game. But this, well, here’s hoping I laugh about the initial struggle after I deduce what’s really going on.
Thanks, Patterson! A week prior, when I was writing the tattoo story for the magazine — the sexy Outlander issue with this story inside is still on newsstands! — another editor thought the most famous number was not the Fibonacci sequence, but Pi. But I ignored that at the time. Fortunately, that would come back to help me.
Yes, I caved, and wrote to my favorite mustache twirling EP. Gero was all too ready with a witty response.
Damnit! Let’s look at these numbers lined up alongside Pi.
They’re so very similar, but look like gibberish after the first few numbers. However, if you shift the new numbers over to the right to their corresponding digits, they start to line up. Basically, shift, skip, shift, repeat and you end up with something like this:
There are obviously some holes here, or as Gero would later say to me, “missing pi pieces.” But if you deduce what’s missing, you’ll get your answer… at least part of it.
So the initial answer is: 41557923887512
Though that seems random, you have to take into account that the numbers on the tattoo aren’t the only important aspects. As Gero teased, the integers are vital, but “there are other little things around it that are worth keeping an eye on. We didn’t just send you the number on purpose. The whole thing is slightly helpful. There are some things that are useless, but there are things that, once you start figuring out what the number is, are quite helpful.” Let’s look again:
What looks like a fingerprint in the center does not pertain to what we’re trying to solve here, just FYI. But there are two dots and two arrows pointing different ways. Since I know this is a location, this must be longitude and latitude. Or, to be more specific, 41.55792 (latitude) 38.87512 (longitude).
Now all you have to do is simply search the coordinates on Google Maps, as Gero teased we’d need to do, and come up with… the middle of the Black Sea?! Seems odd that they’d be in the middle of the Black Sea.
Fortunately, I wasn’t going crazy. Gero’s response:
SUCCESS! Looking back, my Fibonacci tangent was ill-advised, but this was ultimately very easy once you accept that Pi is the most famous number in the world. After all, there is an entire day dedicated to it — it’s March 14, for those who want to celebrate. In the meantime, get scoop on what’s next here and here.
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.