An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #50: Escape Rooms
Without revealing too much, knowledge of geek culture and/or superb Google skills are required for this puzzle.
Coming from an anime convention and looking for something else to do, you and your friends find yourselves in the Puzzling Free-to-Play Escape Room. After scouring the geek-culture-themed room for clues and completing some physical puzzles that can't be replicated on PSE, you are left with five numbered clues in front of you. The door to freedom is locked with a five-letter combination lock; attached to it is a card that says "𝜈, 1, 5, 3, 4". Your phones (ie. Internet resources) are allowed for information gathering and cipher solving, but brute-forcing a cipher is forbidden. What five-letter code will lead you to freedom? Collaboration and partial answers are encouraged, but the one who gets the final code with a reasonable amount of explanation will get the green check.
- After a while with not a lot of progress, a voice comes from a speaker in the corner of the room asking, "Do you want a hint?" You accept, and the voice continues:
"Not to worry you, but the note attached to the lock could be a trap."
- (Bigger hint) Seeing you still working on the first puzzle, the voice goes on:
"It's time to d-d-d-d-decipher!"
- "If you're stuck on the first puzzle, you can try...
...working on the fourth one; the rebus can be solved independently of the other puzzles."
- "In addition to the extra information provided in bold for #3 (which really should have been there from the start), something to note for the rebus is that...
...the enumeration of its solution is (4: 4 9). In other words, there is a 4-letter word, then a colon, then a 4-letter word, then a 9-letter word."
- (Bigger hint since it's been a year) "I'm noticing that the rebus puzzle is taking a lot of time. Speaking of taking, when you take away anything in this rebus...
you will have to do so non-consecutively.
Was that unfair? Maybe, but I mean you have to solve the rest of this escape room that way so whatever. It also makes sense, then, that since you need to approach things in this room in different ways, that...
the number signs in the rebus will also have to be approached in different ways!"
- "Another note about the rebus: there is more significance to the first entry on the second line than one might think.
What is the arrow pointing at?"
- "It looks like there hasn't been much progress on the Shingoki....
Before you can solve it (something you actually need to do), you need a way to convert the letters to numbers; all the clues you need to do so are either in Deusovi's partial answer or the rhyme accompanying the puzzle...."
A version of Egyptian mate
From head to foot; his name is great
A king that holds a thousand years
Embodying our spirit here
Zlkiw inh kctmdue olx mmy (10)
Zbgf ymoe fbbghm pquw cd fkbfovs (7)
Pyvbufx gmgkpaq zcr uoz mzmsp urt (9)
Ecvy yzzmd ntgry un pclusmzqza aspv (4)
Kien Gstuji ofnp jygle nh xcurwgmr (4)
A Shingoki with nothing added.
Extra letters make it padded.
Use the second for this third,
Taking firsts of every word.
(penpa-edit link here; Shingoki rules and Markdown transcription at the bottom).
Adapted from A Shingoki Puzzle. However, it looks like these rules can't be directly applied to this specific Shingoki....
- Draw lines between the dots to form a single loop without crossings or branches.
- The loop should pass through every circled number in the grid.
- For white circles, the loop must pass through in a straight line.
- For black circles, the loop must make a 90-degree turn when passing through them.
- The numbers in the circles show the sum of lengths of the 2 straight lines going out of that circle.
Shingoki Markdown Transcription