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These letters are carved in groups on a wall as shown. You know an answer is needed to continue your journey, but no other instructions are apparent.

to   na   ts   ta   yw   te   og   er   sv   ii   gi   rr
ht   gr   ow   iv   hh   oo   uo   rt   ie   aa   iv   ue
ew   sd   wh   oe   ia   fp   no   gh   tr   pm   ve   ne
sa   ew   ee   ns   st   il   dd   rs   aw   pw   eg   da


ch   ou   ol   at   ot   ch   ta   eh   ga   ot   mo   re
re   ft   ol   yo   uo   oe   iv   aa   im   ue   an   sa
ec   hn   rm   st   no   nn   oe   rt   vh   nr   nl   tc
ar   ee   le   pe   dd   dp   ns   ai   ie   db   py   st

What would your answer be?

(Another puzzle/riddle I used in a game. Seeing as how fast my previous riddle was solved, I'm not giving any more hints right away :) )

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice puzzle Taco! Looking forward to the next one :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 20 '15 at 0:31
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Stealing the plaintext from Uri Zarfaty's answer, my guess is:

A wishing well.
The well is a tower-like hole in the ground, where earth used to be, containing water but not waves. Lines 3-4 refer to the other meaning of the word "well". People "pay" the well by throwing loose change into it, and verbalizing their wishes.

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  • $\begingroup$ After reading Uri Zarfaty's decoded riddle, your answer was my immedate thought for the puzzle answer. $\endgroup$ – shoover Mar 19 '15 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ Yup, that's it! Although line 3 was intended to be interpreted differently, did you mean lines 4-5? $\endgroup$ – TacoV Mar 19 '15 at 23:13
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I think I've figured out the riddle, but unfortunately I suck at riddles :-(

Reading from top to bottom rather than left to right (i.e. starting with 'thes'), it's clear that many of the four-letter fragments contain common English ngrams ('tion', 'ound', etc). Trying to match some up, I noticed that TOFI is the only thing that can go before RSTS, while its neighbor EOPL (presumably part of PEOPLE) could only go before EARA or EACT (the neighbor of RSTS). I assumed it was the latter and tried to match up pairs of four letters, gradually creating the following text:

iapp eara towe rund ergr ound
iamw hati swhe reea rths tood

givi ngse cond tofi rsts ound
amhe ardw henp eopl eact good

give thes ound ofhe sita tion
iveg otwa terb utne verw aves

manp aysp oorl yhis crea tion
only tote llme what hecr aves

which, reformatted, gives the following riddle:

I appear a tower underground
I am what is where earth stood
Giving second to first sound
Am heard when people act good
Give the sound of hesitation
I've got water but never waves
Man pays poorly his creation
Only to tell me what he craves

Unless I suffer an atypical stroke of inspiration, I'll leave the actual answer to someone else...

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  • $\begingroup$ Well I cannot accept this as the answer, I guess, but you got the puzzle part nailed! Funny how you got the actual order as intended, although some permutations of it would be just as valid. $\endgroup$ – TacoV Mar 19 '15 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ @TacoV: I did wonder about the order, but this one seemed most natural. Certainly it made sense to start with the "I appear" lines. $\endgroup$ – Uri Granta Mar 19 '15 at 22:48
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Now that Uri Zarfaty has solved the cryptograms, I can have a go at the riddle. Here it is again:

I appear a tower underground
I am what is where earth stood
Giving second to first sound
Am heard when people act good
Give the sound of hesitation
I've got water but never waves
Man pays poorly his creation
Only to tell me what he craves

I think the answer could be

an underground water tank.

This is like a water tower but underground (hence line 1); earth has been displaced to make room for it there (hence line 2); it sounds a bit like "thanks" with the second letter removed (hence lines 3 and 4); it contains water (hence line 6), which is necessary for people to live (hence line 8). Line 5 sounds like a reference to the word "er" (Harry Potter's "spider" riddle, anyone?), and I'm not entirely sure about line 7.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope, but close. I don't really understand your explanation of line 5 - guess I'll have to get out the books to check your reference :) $\endgroup$ – TacoV Mar 19 '15 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @TacoV Goblet of Fire, third task ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 19 '15 at 23:24

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