How It Works
The first step is to stack the gears on the spindle in a more useful order than the random one they came in. The English phrases on each gear are riddles, each of which has an answer that's a number:
- victorious - number one or first
- tango requisite - it takes two to tango
- pie with shortening - Pi, truncated - three
- stable size for apocalypse - There are four horsemen
- james monroe - was the fifth president
- equilateral hexacontagon angle - A hexacontagon has 60 sides - if it's equilateral, that means each angle is six degrees
- neither first nor last - by process of elimination, this must be seventh. Also, this is a clue that these phrases are about ordering.
- morse second initial plus third - His name is Samuel F. B. Morse. So that's F + B, or the sixth letter plus the second letter - eight
So, stack them in order, from First to Eighth, with the writing going the same way. By rotating the gears around the axle, it's possible to make the random lines resolve into words.
To make this possible, each line segment appears on two wheels, but wheels don't share the same line segments. Once all the line segments are aligned, you should get the following message:
which says “Read Me.”
Finally, teams needed to read the whole assembly. The gearteeth around the edge neatly lined up into columns with small gaps between them. In each column, teeth always appeared in sets of one or two, with gaps in between. Reading the teeth as morse code (one tooth is a dot, two teeth is a dash), from gear 1 to gear 8, teams got the answer:
Laser cutters are the bomb.