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A student asked our teacher about her favorite type of dog during a distance learning meeting. She uploaded the image shown below, said it's our homework to figure that out, and left the call.

What's her favorite type of dog?

enter image description here


In case it's not obvious, the two-sentence "story" is made up.


Hint #0 I feel obligated to point out:

The image is smaller than originally intended. After being informed by Gareth that only smaller images will not get lossily compressed by i.stack.imgur, I had little problems making the image small enough while keeping the same final answer, which may tell you something about the nature of this puzzle.

Yet, I only realized just now, this makes a certain part in the puzzle useless. I don't think it should be too confusing, though. If anything, it's a little bit easier now.

Hint #1:

- The symbol in the larger bottom square in the image does not represent the letter H
- What would you call the large bottom square and the little bottom square? Warning: Maybe keep some synonyms in mind.

Hint #2 (big):

- One pixel might sometimes represent a long string. How so?

- The red subpixel seems to give us characters from a very limited set. Any clues as to what this set is?

- Once you understand the basic structure, it should be clear that purely black pixels (i.e. 0,0,0) are to be ignored.

- After all pixels have correctly been parsed, you should have a very long string of characters. Look at exactly how long it is. Also think about the set again. We're not looking for a written-out novel as the answer after all...

Hint #3 (colossal):

Do the green subpixels seem useless, as they're always 0? That's because they are, read hint #0 again. Green would've been used for numbers that need more than one byte (lines below the big boxes)

So, red & blue subpixels. Red = Character. Blue = X. Read hint #2 again. The most simple thought regarding that is probably the correct one.

Does anything basic about the arrangement of the modified pixels stand out?

The bottom part of the blackboard image: Let's say we have 4^2. What is 4 here? What is 2 here? (keep in mind other terms for what 2 might be called there). The |--| refers to something already covered in a previous hint. Maybe also look at the characters you get from red again while thinking about this.

When you solved the puzzle, you won't see a text stating her favorite dog breed, like e.g. "German Shepherd". You'll see something other than a text showing you what her favorite dog breed is.

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  • $\begingroup$ The png format looks like a big spoiler. $\endgroup$ – WhatsUp Jun 11 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ Rot13(Zl thrff vf gung gur oynpx naq erq qbgf ercerfrag fbzr fbeg bs ovanel zrffntr.) $\endgroup$ – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 14 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ @KabirKanhaArora Not directly, at least. Get the values of all the modified pixels first and then try to make sense of them with the image. $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Jun 14 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps its time for another hint? $\endgroup$ – Ankit Jun 15 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ @KabirKanhaArora pastebin.com/WAy6fxyU $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Jun 19 at 11:26
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Well since Hints123 were not helpful for me - I was stuck on 1-4 part for 5 days, so I show u at least my progress.
First part:

You can notice "nongreen pixels" in image
Detail of image

Second part:

Take only them and ignore black pixels after it
Non green part

Third part:

Transfer red part of image to ASCII characters 59+95456+59+95456+59+95456+595456+5954545456+5959545456+5959545456+59545956+5959595456+6+6+595959+954o56+595959+954o56+6+65+59+54op56+6+65+59+5o56+5p5+59+5oko56+5pokp56+59+9+5o56+5pokp5+59+9+54o56+65popokp6+59+9+5oko56+65popokp5+59+9+95oko56+65pk5+59+9+9+954oko45+65pokp6+59+9+95oko5+65pkp5+59+9+95o56+65pok5+59+9+95oko5+5pkp+59+9+9+95oko56+5pkp6+9+9+9+95ok045+65plk5+9+9+9+9+9+95ok4o45+5plk5+9+9+9+9+95oko456+5plkp+9+9+9+954ok045+5plplkp6+9+9+ …etc. 4776 characters.

Fourth:

As you can see, it is too long for a message (24*199 characters long)- still u need to do something with it and something with blue part, which are not ASCII characters, but only like random numbers between 1 and 111+. Adding R+B does give even more weird ASCII (with some above 128, so not correct way).
Length seems important, but had no idea how to apply it.
Exponent or power seems important, but no idea how to apply it. Maybe keep some synonyms in mind so I guess:
Synonyms1 Synonyms2

Fifth:

Solution is to take Red part and repeat it Blue part times. Something like 5555555555555555555555555599999999+++9555445555555555555555555555555666666+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ …etc. 32761 characters. Text now looks like ASCII art) from a distance).


Shiba Inu

I guess teachers favorite breed is Shiba Inu

Sixth:

Well after converting characters to base64, but one by one - it needs to be something like AAAX, where X is ASCII character from red part of image. It was kind of problem, because I just could not tell program, that it is suddenly different encoding, but it worked after few hours of trying like this:
script
It takes red part of image from bytes "RRRRRRRR" but instead I look at them like "00RRBBGG". And separate them to R: "R000R000", B: "B000B000" and G: "G000G000" (it is not exactly like that, but it should give you an idea) - And it created:
Doge
Hope that is understandable.

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  • $\begingroup$ Rot13(Gur rkc pyhr vf gurer sbe lbh gb trg gur npghnyyl pbeerpg pbybef. Rkc=Vaqrk. Qvfgnapr orgjrra cvkryf = 64. Fb onfr64 vaqrk. Pbaireg 6-ovg vaqrk ahzore gb pbybe. V. R. Svefg 2 ovgf ner erq, gura terra gura oyhr. Xrrc va zvaq 00=0, 11=255) $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Jun 17 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ @LukasRotter Color.FromArgb(((int)Math.Floor(r[count] / 16.0) % 4) * 85, ((int)Math.Floor(r[count] / 4.0) % 4) * 85, ((int)Math.Floor(r[count] / 1.0) % 4 )* 85); Like that? :D i.stack.imgur.com/PDD3d.png $\endgroup$ – Jan Ivan Jun 17 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ How did you go from the ASCII string to the final image? I don't follow. $\endgroup$ – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 17 at 8:33
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    $\begingroup$ @KabirKanhaArora that IS the string it gave me (from far). Almost like ASCII art or something. $\endgroup$ – Jan Ivan Jun 17 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ You made that last part very difficult for yourself, but nonetheless it's the correct final image now :) $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Jun 18 at 7:12

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