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I think teh puzzles on this site are too hard. I can’t figure out hardly none of them. The ones that look easy seem to get closed??? Can someone tell the reason? Here are some examples of puzzles that I could actually solve, but keep getting closed. They seem to use neat things like morse code, semafors, rotation-13, mazes, riddles, math, and braille. Can you solve them and explain?

PUZZLE 1
Which equation is the odd one out?

1121 - 486 = 572
987 + 8 = 1595
1011 - 9 - 8 - 8 + 3 = 989

PUZZLE 2
Solve this maze to find a word!
maze

PUZZLE 3
Solve these two riddles to find two things

Very Large, Round and yellow. Found Up in the sky making X-rays. Just what am i?

I Reside in Zoos and have Big Ears. Often seen Raising A trunk.

PUZZLE 4
Decrypt this amazing cipher to find a letter!

->znaVPlbhunm->
=&frranaqfznfurq#%
)%gurnjfbzryl;[
frpherpyrneylirel*%
^uneqnznmvatpvcure!!
Lbheyrggrevf'F'*(@

PUZZLE 5
Start at the beginning with the beautiful image. This is part of a set of two and is 2 characters wide, (although there are many) but most say the length is 3 and 9, some say 4 and 6, others 4 and 9. I wrote these digits out for you to be helpful. You can read it, but it may take you awhile… it can be difficult to understand! There are many interpretations, so here is a hint: if you add an ‘E’ and rearrange, you will have something found down low. At the end you will find a short greeting. Your job is the middle part.
flag picture

PUZZLE 6
Using this picture of a bull moose, find a letter using the starting characters
dots

PUZZLE 7
Find three words to fill in "__ __ puzzle __"
moredots
Note: here is a text version but it mangled the colors, spacing, and legibility so use at your own risk

One: −· · ·· − · · ·· ··−·

Two: ·−−− −−− −·− · · −· −−·

Three: ·−− ·− − · ·− ·

Hint:

When HTML renders, whitespace gets merged. If only there were a way to find the raw text that formed the image...

Hint 2:

My friend Albert Schwarz sent the following feedback:
"Amoz, I've a good mind to downvote puzzle 7 myself. The answer was in plain sight! Obfuscating one character does not make a good puzzle."
"Ja," I conceded. "But it is not quite so obvious where I come from."

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ My only hope is that everyone has as much fun solving this moderately difficult puzzle as I had making it ; ) $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jun 15 at 4:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ BTW Partial answers, guesses, complaints, and general grievances are welcome, at least for my part. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jun 15 at 15:39
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    $\begingroup$ Whoops, forgot to post my partial answer yesterday! Here's my progress so far. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jun 16 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ #7: 9 letters long $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jul 9 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ I did go to the source for the post when I first tried to solve this, and had no luck. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Aug 23 at 3:43
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Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way.

1: The third one, because it's the only correct equation.
2: The path spells the word MAZE.
3: The sun; elephants.
4: Rot13 reveals a message saying the answer is S.
5: The semaphore is NR + UD; shifting it by the amounts given turns it into HI/YA. 6: Decode as Braille to get a message spelling BROACH BAKE BRAILLE, so the answer is B.
7: The spaces given are wrong; use the chunks that are the same color to spell NEITHER / JOKING / WATER.

Well, that wasn't particularly interesting. But wait a second...

why are the parts mentioned in the wrong order in the intro?

It turns out we can actually re-solve each of these with a less obvious component!


1:

This should be solved with Morse code.

The flavor for this one mentions "the odd one out"; if we take odds to be · and evens to be , the equations spell out FOURTH LETTER, which is the letter D.

2:

This should be solved with semaphore. If we take the maze, and ignore the red lines, there are conveniently a lot of 2-segment walls:
maze with walls highlighted
These spell out OXYGEN in flag semaphore.

3:

This should be solved with rot-13. If we rot13 the capitalized letters, we get "IYESHKW" and "VEMORBEN". These anagram to WHISKEY / NOVEMBER.

4:

This should be solved with mazes.
After decoding the text, if we highlight all the letters in MAZE... decrypted text; MAZE letters are given bars above and below
they trace out a V!
Note from OP:
Taking note of the -> arrows marking the start and end of our maze, we can follow the shortest path from start to end, keeping to the letters of MAZE. This specifically brings our "V" into sight:
V in maze

5:

This should be solved with riddles.

The convoluted intro text is actually a riddle here! There are many references, all pointing to the Old Testament of the Bible:

Start at the beginning with the beautiful image. -- GENESIS is the first book of the Old Testament.
This is part of a set of two and is 2 characters wide, -- it goes with the New Testament, and we're looking for the two-letter abbreviation, OT
(although there are many) -- there are indeed many characters in the Old Testament!
but most say the length is 3 and 9, some say 4 and 6, others 4 and 9. I wrote these digits out for you to be helpful. - Different denominations disagree on the length; some include 39 books, some include 46 books, and some include 49 books.
You can read it, but it may take you awhile… it can be difficult to understand! There are many interpretations, -- it sure can be, if the existence of Hermeneutics.SE is any indication! so here is a hint: if you add an ‘E’ and rearrange, you will have something found down low. -- You get a TOE if you rearrange OT and add E, and that is indeed something found down low.
At the end you will find a short greeting. Your job is the middle part. -- Malachi is at the end of the Old Testament, and Job (long O, not short!) is a book in the middle.

And in addition, if you look at the flags themselves, they draw out the letters OT! So that's the answer to this section.

6:

This should be solved with math.
Looking at each column of Braille letters and counting the number of dots in them:
annotated braille
2.71828182... is the irrational number e.

7:

This should be solved with Braille. If we align the dots and dashes (by reducing the length of the Three), and read the dots as irregularly-spaced Braille...
image of dots highlighted
they spell out SAME AS ONE, which indicates D again (just like puzzle 1).

So, putting all the bits together, the answer is

that they have been DOWNVOTED!

Thanks to Bart-Jan van Rossum, M Oehm, Septacube, and Stiv for helping me finish off this answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ All correct so far! Not that it matters at all but I think U+4=Y not S, giving your end greeting. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jun 16 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ Also, re #1 there's a hint what to do in rot13('BQQ bar bhg', jr arrq gb ybbx ng jurgure rnpu qvtvg vf bqq/rira - frggvat bqqf gb QBG naq riraf gb QNFU gur rdhngvbaf fcryy bhg SBHEGU YRGGRE, juvpu fubhyq tvir lbh Q. Guvf vf rfcrpvnyyl cebzvfvat nf lbhe yrggref sebz 1-3 abj fcryy QBJA...) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jun 16 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ rot13(Va 5 gurer ner ersreraprf gb gur byq grfgnzrag, BG, 2 yrggref, 39/46/49 obbxf nppbeqvat gb cebgrfgnagf, pngubyvpf, begbqbk, naq BG+R -> GBR. Abg fher ubj guvf yrnqf gb na nafjre gubhtu) $\endgroup$ Jun 17 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ rot13(Sbe #5, gur frzncuber syntf nyfb culfvpnyyl fcryy bhg gur yrggref B G (pbzovavat gbc naq obggbz unyirf vagb gjb yrggref), juvpu svgf jvgu nyy bs gur bgure ersreraprf zragvbarq ol Oneg-Wna ina Ebffhz va nabgure pbzzrag.) $\endgroup$
    – SeptaCube
    Jun 17 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ Re #7: rot13(Vs lbh gnxr bayl gur qbgf bs obgu pbybhef, lbh trg FNZR NF BAR, fb Q.) I feel a bit silly rot-13ing this far into the comments. :) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 5 at 18:54

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