This is my first puzzle like this, so I hope you enjoy. It may be simple to experienced solvers, but I'm hoping it's a challenge to some.

Peter Rise was a wanted man.
He was always causing havoc.
He lived on an island where everyone knew everyone.

One day, he received a telegram,
persuading him to stop raiding the shops.
If he did not stop, he would be found and made to pay.

"They can't tell me what to do! It's incredible that they think they can!
I will always be one step ahead of them!"

And indeed he was, as he was already working on a plan.
He would be overprepared, ready to get away.

He went around collecting resources,
making sure he had enough.

He did his best to pick up all that would be useful,
not leaving anything out.

His last night on the island, he stayed up extra late, preparing his escape.
It was late that night when he sat down to write out his final note.

That morning he woke, only to find that he had fallen asleep on the typewriter.
His message was now incomplete, but there was no time to wait.
He jumped to his feet and ran out the door.

Later that day when the authorities went to his door, all they could find was his unfinished note:

By the time you're reading this, I'll already be long gone. You can search far and wide, land and sea, but you will never find any signs of me. If only you had kcpnlfxnozkbq .- .-.. -- --- ... -

Unsure of what to make of the note, they call in Detective Vigna.
When taking a closer look, the detective notices something about the typewriter.
There are four letters which seem to be more faded than the others: O D N W.

After pondering for a moment, the detective understands, and is able to figure out how Peter escaped.

So now I ask you,
how did he escape?

Edit: For those who solve it (whoops, easier than I expected), did anyone notice the small details in the story that contribute to the answer? Were they just lost in the fluff?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well the ciphertext is pretty straightforward to decrypt, but I'm unsure if that's the actual answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 13:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Regarding your edit: As I noted in the unedited version of my answer, I only read the text after solving it. But yes, I do notice some details that clue that this is indeed the correct answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


He escaped with a

hot air balloon


The morse code decrypts to ALMOST, which clues that we're close by using ciphers.
The ciphertext kcpnlfxnozkbq is a Vigenere Cipher with DOWN as the key (as clued by the typewriter), which decrypts to hotairballoon
There are also some indications that this is the right answer in the text (e.g. "Peter Rise")

  • $\begingroup$ Man, just by a few minutes! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 13:40

Did he use

a hot air balloon?

We have

kcpnlfxnozkbq which we can decode with the key DOWN from the typewriter letters as a Vigenere cipher.

And we get


But the Morse Code decodes to:

ALMOST. So maybe it's not?


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