I have found a mistake in the puzzle, and have provided a hint to help get through it. The hint is not there strictly because of the mistake, and was intended to be added anyway (adding it is what caused me to come across it). This mistake does not strongly hinder your ability to solve the puzzle, as there are still many steps that can be completed without this affected portion.
If you are solving this and are stuck , please let me know where you are stuck so that I can help! I would like to add more hints, but am unsure as to what I should be hinting towards.
A safe was dropped off at a local police station, supposedly belonging to a highly wanted criminal. Police have suspicions that whatever is inside the safe will lead to this person’s whereabouts. Only if they’re able to understand those contents, that is.
The front of the safe is just like any other, except instead of your typical dial, this safe has a keypad of colors.
There was a note securely taped to the front. It seemed as if this criminal was prepared for somebody to find it.
“Everything has a reason”
In addition to this note, it seemed as if somebody had drawn all over the front of the safe. A seemingly random pattern of red and purple dots lined the safe above and below its door.
After some time, one person at the police station had noticed something interesting about the colorful keypad, and not long after (and with a fair bit of confidence) was able to open the safe. Once the safe had been opened, though, everything made even less sense.
Inside the safe was nothing more than two pieces of paper, as well as some random numbers, letters, and drawings scratched into the walls and door of the safe.
The contents of the safe are shown below (colorblind friendly versions are available below).
Colorblind Friendly Info
Text version of the colors on the top and bottom of the front of the safe. r is red and p is purple.
Hints will be added when I feel they may be needed. Them being added is not dependent on time or progress made
Hint 1 (Added 6/24/22):
One serving contains about 450mg
Hint 2 (Added 6/27/22):
Unless obviously a letter, it's probably a number
Hint 3 (Added 6/27/22):
o os mean the same
Hint 4 (Added 7/11/22):
Photo is to upper equation as dots are to lower.
Hint 5 (Added 7/11/22):
A key will be needed
Hint 7 (Added 7/11/22):
Please note that this hint contains confirmation of something mentioned within @FrodCube's answer or its comments
Hint 8 (Added 9/30/22): Please note that this hint will contain more information than normal, and will be less (if at all) cryptic, given the time that this puzzle has sat
There are four main pieces to this puzzle, as hinted at in Hint 4. Steps 1 involves using The Photo and then step 2 uses the top equation. Step 3 involves using the grid in the wall, the letter, and the dots on the outside of the safe, and then step 4 uses the lower equation.
Hint 9 (Added 9/30/22): Please note that this hint will reveal one small part towards the solution, though some of this is due to my error. If you do not wish for a spoiler like this, please allow me about a day to update the puzzle. Also note that although there is an error, progress can still be made on this puzzle, and it only affects one section (out of four).
The dots on the outside of the case have these meanings: TOP:
tacsgggkzzki(this is where the error is, and this would not be found with the given photo of the safe). BOTTOM:
Anything below this point is not part of the puzzle, and should not be referenced to find clues.
So now it is time for me to ask you:
How did the cop open the safe? and
Where is the criminal hiding?
This is my first time writing a puzzle of this length and complexity. It is very possible that there are some flaws, and even mistakes (though I have gone over it several times). Please let me know if you find any!
Note: The letters on the flag in The Photo only relate to the colors they're on top of.
I will answer any question in the comments, given that it does not ask about the puzzle itself or how to solve it (i.e. I would answer "Is there a significance in the way the post is worded?", but I would not answer "Should I be focusing on the photo or letter first?").
Please be thorough in your answer. I am looking for the steps you took to get to each piece of information, and how you used it. I am happy with and encourage partial answers as well, I love to see the different levels of progress!