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(Please note that this story is a work of fiction spun for the sake of the puzzle. It is based on little actual fact.)

Back in the early 1940's, in the dead center of WWII, there was a bit of a quaṙrel around the German Intelligence agencies. It wasn't anything major, like whether to launch a missile, or whether to potentially blow a spies cover by sending them in for political assassination. This was a quarrel about what sort of code they should have their spies usẹ.

It may seem trivial now, but this weighed quite heavy on several top German official's minds. This was a time when Morse, pigpen cipher, and many other cođes were already common knowledge. Decoding them was more of an inconvenience than anything else, and they often put spies at risk of discovery.

To resolve this problem, the German Intelligence decided that tḥey would hold a 'contest' of sorts. Everyone in the agency, whether intern, engineer, or even a spy themself, would be able to enter a cipher they invẹnted into it. The one that was found to be both the hardest to crack and yet the easiest to decode (if you have the key) would be crowned the winner. All of the spies would then use that code, and only that code, to convey any hidden infoṙmation.

It seemed a good idea. The top officials received many submissions, each as creative and inventive as the last. They knew that if they used any of these codes, theiṙ spies and information would be well off and in good hands. However, after a bit of deliberation, they eventually had to crown a winner: a cipher that shared a lot of characteristics with and would later inspire the 1980's ROT13 code, one that we still use today.

However, this contest also created a problem. One of the spᎥes, who was deep undercover and had created a submission, was quite bitter that he had lost. In fact, he was so resentful that (in what historians would later refer to as "the worst display of sportsmanship in history,") he chose to igռore his orders to only use the winning cipher, and instead communicated in the one he had created.

On August, 1942, the German Intelligence Aġency received a telegram that said the following:

Help! Soon, jihadi people could be sent and dispatched. You know my vitiligo can never be cured. Algicide may become even lower. Until tabetic worms, the corpus delicti was a hilt! Training could be the only way.

Regards, S

P.S. Sometimes the messenger is just as important as the message.

The German Intelligence Agency had no idea what it was looking at. Instead of trying to decode the message, it chalked it up to the fact that it was probably a plea for help from some American in which the meaning of the telegram had been lost in translation. The Agency promptly filed it away in some cabinet somewhere and forgot all about it.

It wasn't until decades later, long after the war, that an intern dug up the telegram while sorting the cabinet. She couldn't understand it, so the message circled around the department until someone recognized what it was: a very important piece of information, hidden in a cipher that no one knew. It had been written by that one stubborn spy in an attempt to warn his German superior officers.

The spy in question had sadly died years before the note's discovery, causing the last known key to the cipher to die with him. However, it is important to note that before his tragic death, he had requested a rather specific message to be written on his tombstone:

(Hint Ahead)

Here Lies S,
Bringer of Warnings
3, 7, 9, 13, 18, 23, 24, 28, 31, 32
RIP

However, in recent events, some historians have doubted whether the telegram was actually a code, as all evidence of the 'contest' the top German officials hosted was lost or misplaced. In addition, since the cipher is unsolved, no one can prove to them that it isn't some random, nonsensical message.

Let's prove them wrong on that front, shall we?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hah, nice rot13(erqureevat). $\endgroup$
    – mkinson
    Apr 14 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @mkinson Thank you. It was a gamble, as I was quite worried that someone was going to get mad at me for sneaking it in. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 18:49

1 Answer 1

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I believe that the answer is

Stalingrad

This is because

If you look at the hint, it shows the following series of numbers: 3, 7, 9, 13, 18, 23, 24, 28, 31, 32. Using these, I took the corresponding numbers from the spies' telegram. (ex. 1 = First word, 2 = Second word)

Using this system, I found the following list of words: jihadi, sent, dispatched, vitiligo, algicide, until, tabetic, hilt, training.

I then turned these words into morse code; using I's as dots, (the dots in the i's) and T's as dashes. (the dash in the t's) Using this I got the following: ... - .- .-.. .. -. --. .-. .- -..

This is the morse equivalent of 'STALINGRAD,' giving me my final answer

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