Columbia Pictures and Google announced the launch of The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google, a challenge for the most devoted Da Vinci Code fans, available at

The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google features 24 puzzles, one for each day of the online adventure. Individual puzzles will be released daily in the U.S. at 1pm Eastern Standard Time starting today in celebration of Leonardo da Vinci's 553rd birthday.

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To create innovative puzzles with just the right amount of difficulty and originality for fans of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Columbia Pictures worked with Wei-Hwa Huang, a four-time World Puzzle Champion and Google software engineer.

"As a puzzle enthusiast myself, I wanted to bring a unique 'Da Vinci-esque theme' to some new twists on classic puzzles," said Wei-Hwa Huang. "Players of all ages will have fun tackling these brain teasers as they compete for the grand prize."

The puzzles borrow thematically from The Da Vinci Code movie and its lead character, Robert Langdon, professor of symbology at Harvard University, challenging players to use their skill and cunning to unlock various codes. Each daily puzzle in The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google will be one of six types:

The Symbol Challenge: Players must use their logic skills and drag the

symbols onto the grid such that the symbols in each column and row are

all distinct.

The Restoration Challenge: A question is hidden in plain sight on a

classic work of art -- parts of the question are unclear, obscured by

debris. Players have to restore the painting and reveal the question

by clearing the particles of debris.

The Curator Challenge: Players must use their "curator's eye" to hang

the works of art such that the hooks match those on the gallery wall.

The Chess Challenge: Players must determine the only sequence of three

moves that will lead to checkmate in a given chess scenario.

The Observation Challenge: Players watch movie clips and use their

observational skills to seek the truth and answer trivia questions.

The Geography Challenge: Players assemble jigsaw puzzle pieces to

reveal and identify a geographical location.

Once solved, these daily puzzles will introduce a riddle to the player that will engage one of an assortment of Google products including Google Search, Google Maps, Google SMS and Google Video.

"'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google is a challenging and interactive way to dive even deeper into the theme of 'things hidden in plain sight,'" said Dwight Caines, executive vice president, worldwide digital marketing, Columbia TriStar Marketing Group. "Not only are we giving people a chance to interact with characters and scenes from 'The Da Vinci Code,' but we are also inviting them to become cryptographers for 24 days, to take our challenge and demonstrate their code-cracking skills."

The first 10,000 eligible challengers who complete all 24 puzzles correctly by Thursday, May 11th, 2006 will be contacted to participate in the final challenge -- a gauntlet of puzzles in which players must rely on the skills they honed during the 24 day contest. The brave participants who are chosen for this final challenge will receive a cryptex replica just like the one featured in the film. Each participant will then have 48 hours to complete this final series of mystifying puzzles.

The U.S. player who completes the final challenge in the least amount of time by 1pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, May 21, 2006 will win the Grand Prize first-class vacations to New York, Paris, London and Rome, in addition to the Sony Electronics package from SonyStyle, the official online and retail source of product information and shopping. Prizes include a Bravia(TM) LCD Television, VAIO® notebook computer, Cyber-shot® digital still camera, NAV-U(TM) portable satellite navigation system, home theater system and more.

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From director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning team of A Beautiful Mind, and producer John Calley (the Oscar-nominated The Remains of the Day) comes the film version of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, one of the most popular and talked about novels of our time, with a cast headed by two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jurgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany and Jean Reno.

Produced by Grazer and Calley, The Da Vinci Code involves a thrilling murder investigation that unearths a secret that could change the course of history.