4
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Here's a puzzle for you:

Genius Belt Image

Text version:

Genius Belt
XMLFWBHOVTQMLBHVXYEBXEGCFDVOUFZREIGQ (3, 7)
SPXLRFKZRJZWBVYIRVFCVV

What am I?


Not part of puzzle:

You shouldn't need any special software to solve this, other than a web browser. It can be solved on a smartphone, but may be a bit easier on a computer. This puzzle has several steps, so partial answers are encouraged!

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2
  • $\begingroup$ The word rot13('Nantenz') is not in the text version. Is it relevant to the puzzle? $\endgroup$
    – ndrwnaguib
    Sep 19, 2023 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ndrwnaguib The text version is mostly so you don't have to type out long strings of text; that is relevant to the puzzle, though. $\endgroup$ Sep 19, 2023 at 10:37

1 Answer 1

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First part:

anagramming 'GENIUS BELT' leads us to 'let us begin.'

Second part:

Since the text below 'GENIUS BELT' is obviously a cipher of some kind, I tried using LETUSBEGIN as the key to decrypt this as a Vigenere cipher (an online cipher ID tool guessed that Vigenere was the most likely cipher). The decrypted first line of text is "MISLEADINGFISHPUTSWOMANINCRIMSONLOOP". (The second line doesn't decrypt with the same key.)

Third part:

Well, I had no idea what that meant, so I googled 'Crimson Loop' which yielded nothing, so I thought that might be some sort of cryptic clue (because of the (3, 7) next to it). Okay, so, misleading fish could be... oh no... crimson loop would be 'RED RING' and woman is 'HER'... yup, RED HERRING. But could the idea that it's a red herring be, in and of itself, a red herring?

Fourth part:

Yes! using REDHERRING as the key for another Vigenere cipher (the second line of text) yields this decrypted line: BLUENOTREDISYOURANSWER.

So, the answer is (?):

Blue herring? Which does not seem to be a real fish but DOES seem to be the name of an insurance company, so. Perhaps that's the answer.

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