Illumine Game Recap
How the Clue Works
First off, the small sheet with the message was a primer, which provided three hints:
Next, teams needed to notice that the arrangements of numbers on the bottom of the cups are such that, for each number 1-9, you can arrange the cups in a 3x3 grid:
c1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c6 c7 c8 c9such that the number in position N on the bottom of the cup is the same as the number of the position of the cup. (if this is confusing, look at the grids, see where all the 1's are, and it should become clearer).
After this, the hex numbers inside the cups come into play. Teams needed to notice that the hex numbers inside the cups were all nine digits (well technically two are just eight digits but they merely began with a 0).
Noticing now that that there are nine bits per cup, and nine arrangements, the solution involved putting these two together. For each arrangement, the nth bit (counting from the left when written in binary) tells you whether that cup is "on" or "off" for that arrangement.
When teams arranged the cups in their 3x3 grid and marked which were "on" or "off", the 3x3 grid spelled out letters.
Repeating this process for all nine arrangements yielded the letters "CAFEXLIII", or Cafe 43.