To keep a concise title I have left out a few details, but here is the dilemma:

I have a cops post that has not yet been cracked. I would like to reward the first person to figure out my solution but there are very few combinations to be checked and it is almost certain that the first person to crack it will do so by brute force. In order to not reward the person with the best computer I would like to give a substantial bounty to the first person to provide me a proof that their crack indeed works. (Even with the answer at hand this is not an easy task) However if they are not the first person to crack the submission they cannot make an answer on the robber's thread for me to reward. In the end I don't really care how the robber got the answer as long as I know that they understand how it works.

One thought I had was that I might be able to mark my answer safe and reveal the program (if the period expires without it being cracked) and reverse its safe status when presented with a proof (via chat or comments) so that the robber could "crack" it. But this might not be considered fair by the community.

Is there any good way for me solve this dilemma?

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a few things here I don't really get. First off, I have no idea how many valid combinations there are, but I don't think it's in the realm of brute-forcing when you consider that each snippet has to be run many times (possibly never ending) and validated. But second off, if it was, couldn't the brute-forcer just find the right answer, learn brain-flak and explain how it works without mentioning that it was brute-forced? \$\endgroup\$
    – DJMcMayhem
    Feb 17, 2017 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem 1) There are only 27707. I wrote and tested my own brute forcer in order to see how hard it was and it took me a little over a half an hour to find the solution. 2) Given a program it is not trivial to prove it works. I found the program a while earlier and was waiting for a CnR to use it. I spent two days working on a proof myself, and to be quite honest I think I got quite lucky in finding a proof. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Feb 17, 2017 at 20:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ At first I skipped over the "an" in the title... \$\endgroup\$
    – anna328p
    Feb 21, 2017 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


You could add an answer to the List of bounties with no deadline.

Upon receiving a crack with a proof that satisfies what you're looking for, you could then post the bounty to award the answer.

Unfortunately, I don't have a definite answer for what to do if it's cracked without a proof first. If that happens, it's possible that someone could take that crack and add a proof, but it's up to you to decide whether to keep the indefinite bounty alive and award it later, or to remove it. I'd say mark the answer as safe, but with a comment and a link to your bounty asking for a proof. Upon receiving that second answer, create and award the bounty after 7 days.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .