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Python Conundrum: The Series


The key: enter image description here

The puzzle:

a = ???
b = ???
c = ???
d = ???
e = ???
f = ???

g = f * a ** a * (e * 2 - 28 // c) + 622 + b
h = g * a - (d * (31 - c) + 60 // b)
s = a * b * c * d * e * f * g

sh = ''.join([str(s), str(h)])

for index, char in enumerate(sh):
    if index % 2 != 0:
        num = ''.join([str(sh[index-1]), str(sh[index])])
        print(chr(int(num)), end='')

Partial output of the script (* means hidden character):

***F*****N

Main task: find the meaning of what the python script prints with the right key used.

Optional task: solve the key.

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  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Hfvat gur zbfg "nccnerag" cbffvovyvgvrf, n = {2, 45}, q = {23, 39, 59}, p = {7}, V pbhyqa'g svaq nal cynvagrkg zngpu sbe o,r,s va enatr [1, 200]. Znlor fbzr yngreny-guvaxvat vf erdhverq, naq gur pbqr vf abg rira zrnag gb or rkrphgrq?) $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2023 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ @LukasRotter - rot13(Lbh ner ba gur evtug genpx. Gur xrl pbagnvaf 6 inevnoyrf juvpu ner abg ybatre guna 3 qvtvgf, nf fubja va gur pbqr. Gur pbqr vf zrnag gb or rkrphgrq, ab yngreny guvaxvat vf erdhverq.) $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2023 at 10:37

1 Answer 1

5
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I think the location is

Whiterun

If you execute the code with the right values, it outputs

#FFFFFFRUN

which is

hex color #FFFFFF (= white) + run

The keys are derived as follows:

a = 2 (a square has 2 dimensions)
b = 5 = V (Roman) (22th letter in English)
c = 7 (colors in a rainbow)
d = 23 = 12 * 2 - 1 (a regular icosahedron has 12 vertices)
e = 61 = 2 * 30 + 1 (30 spokes in each wheel)
f = 877 = "8 7 7" (8-ball; N = Nitrogen = 7th element)

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  • $\begingroup$ @BenjaminWang I have no idea, my best guess (which is a bad guess) is that its because Titanium has 5 naturally occuring isotopes. $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2023 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ My first intuition for f's (right part) is the diatomic nitrogen (triple bond). Maybe that's relevant(?) $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2023 at 9:10
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    $\begingroup$ @BenjaminWang - I can tell you why is b = 5 if you are curious :D $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2023 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ @BenjaminWang - b = 5 because V is 22nd letter of the English alphabet, which means 5 in Roman numeric system. f = 877 because the arrow points at 8 ball (a pool game). 8 ball is black and is usually in the center when starting an 8 ball game. 77 comes from nitrogen's (N) atomic number 7, if you put N and N together you should get 77 and then 877 when you combine it with 8 before. I know it's too much to guess and because of that I created an opportunity to bruteforce the script if you have part of the key solved. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2023 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @webadventurer . While it does seem like you also reverse-engineered f as the puzzle creator, I understand that is unavoidable for "hash functions" like these. It's good that you gave three digits ??? as the clues (although to nitpick, numbers can't start with 0 so maybe int("???") is better :)) $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2023 at 18:15

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