5
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sONneT NUmBEr 18 -- ShAlL i COMPArE theE to A SUMMeR's day? ThOu aRT MOre lOvElY aND more TEMpEratE. rOUgH wiNDS dO ShAkE tHE dArLIng buDs of MAY, anD SuMmER's lEASE HaTH aLl ToO ShOrT A datE. SOmETIMe toO hOt THE eye oF heaVEN sHInes, AnD oFtEN iS hIS GoLD cOmpLEXIon dimMEd; aND EveRY fAir frOM FaIR soMeTImE DEcLInES, By chanCE, Or nATuRe'S ChAngING cOURsE, UNtrimmEd; BuT tHY eTerNAl suMMEr sHAlL noT faDE, NOR lOse poSsEsSION of THAT FaIR Thou ow'ST, Nor sHalL deAth bRAg tHOU Wand'REST in hIS SHade, wHEN iN eTeRNAL lINEs to tiME ThOu GroW'sT. so LONG As MEn CAN brEATHE, oR eYeS CaN seE, SO Long lIveS THis, AND THIS GIVES LIFE TO THEE.

Find the hidden message.

There is a clue in the title? Which might explain the upper and lower case letters.

It might help to have another sample to work with so here's a shorter text encrypted using the same method

Ws, jc 3 -- FORTune is mErRY, ANd IN thiS mOOD will GiVE US aNYtHING.

And here are a final few clue clues:

Clue 1:

The computer-puzzle tag is important.

Clue 2:

The subject of the second short text is also a clue.

Clue 3:

The numbers that appear in each text are important once you have taken a first step.

Clue 4:

You will need to use two numbers the first is 7.

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  • $\begingroup$ I had guessed there was a mistake. I'm glad I was right! $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald May 2 '15 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob Is step three related to encryption or decryption? $\endgroup$ – Daedric May 4 '15 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Daedric do you mean clue #3? The numbers were used in encryption and will be needed for decryption. $\endgroup$ – Bob May 4 '15 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes the short plain text is 7 character. $\endgroup$ – Bob May 6 '15 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob I have the correct answer for the sample, but the number of bits for the main answer isn't what I would expect. Shouldn't it be a multiple of 7? $\endgroup$ – SLuck49 May 6 '15 at 17:27
6
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Partial answer while I wait on clarification. Nevermind, found why I kept getting gibberish.

The Sample

The answer is

JCaesar

First you

Remove all non-letters from the text. We can convert this to binary by treating capital letters as 1s and lower case as 0. Giving these 7 bit chunks: 1000111 1000000 1011110 1100010 1110000 1011110 1101111

Then you

Add 3 (the number from the clue) to each bit chunk. Converting the result to ASCII gives us our answer.

The Puzzle

Using the same method as the sample results in the answer:

Elizabeth Wells Gallup's theory, won George Fabian $5000 in damages.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Len Yeah, took me forever to realize pretty much any bin>ascii converter assumes it's 8 bits $\endgroup$ – SLuck49 May 6 '15 at 17:51
3
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ALSO NOT AN ANSWER

Bacon supposedly wrote Shakespeare's plays. And he made up a cipher as well, which this text is encoded in.

However there's another level beyond that, which I don't know. Decoding the second, smaller text, using only the level I know about, yields

bikhwer

which is not a word.

edited to add: When decoding the shorter text, I left off the part "Ws, jc 3" thinking it wasn't part of the actual answer. If that is included then my answer becomes

pbikhwer

But in comments, the puzzle's author seemed surprised that I got this result at all.

The Bacon cipher has two variants, "standard" (which I used) and another variant where i/j are not equal. Using the other variant I get obijhueq instead.

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  • $\begingroup$ You say "not an answer", but at least it's a partial answer! Good idea, and +1 from me. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 2 '15 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ This is the only answer so far that is on the right track, but I'm not sure how you got 'bikhwer' $\endgroup$ – Bob May 2 '15 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ The tag computer puzzle is relevant. Reading this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII should provide the information you need. I added a few more hints to the question. $\endgroup$ – Bob May 4 '15 at 15:33
1
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Not An Answer

This is just too much to put into a comment and will probably not be helpful but it might save people some time.

If you extract all the uppercase letters, you get:

SNET NUMBER 18 -- SALL I OMP TH TO A MMER'S A? HOU RT MO VEY AND O TEEAT. RGH WIDS DO SHAKE HE DARLN S F AY, D UME' LEAS ATH ALL TO SHORT A A. METI  H THE E O VN HIS, N EN S HIS OD XION IMME;  ER I FRM FAIR MEM DIS, B E, O ' CHGN COSE, UNRIMM;  HY N SUMM SHAL NOT AD, O LSE SESON OF TA AIR TOU OW'S, OR S H BG OU AN'R IN HI D, W N TL NE O IME TOU G'.  ON S EN CN BEAT, OR EYES CAN SEE,  LONG LIS THI, AND T IES   THEE.

Or, removing all but the alphabet, you get:

SNETNUMBERSALLIOMPTHTOAMMERSAHOURTMOVEYANDOTEEATRGHWIDSDOSHAKEHEDARLNSFAYDUMELEASATHALLTOSHORTAAMETIHTHEEOVNHISNENSHISODXIONIMMEERIFRMFAIRMEMDISBEOCHGNCOSEUNRIMMHYNSUMMSHALNOTADOLSESESONOFTAAIRTOUOWSORSHBGOUANRINHIDWNTLNEOIMETOUGONSENCNBEATOREYESCANSEELONGLISTHIANDTIESTHEE

For lowercase letters, it's

on  18 -- h  care ee   su' dy? t a re lol  mre mpre. ou n   t ig bud o m, an smr's e h  o   dte. some too ot  ey f heae sne, ad oft i  gl comple dd; and vey far o  sotie eclne, y chanc, r nature's anig ur, ted; but t eteral er l  fe, nr o possi  ht f h 't, n hall deat ra th wd'est  s shae, hen i eerna lis t t h row'st. so lg a m a rhe,    , so  ve s,  his gv life to .

And then

onhcareeesudytarelolmrempreountigbudomansmrsehodtesometoooteyfheaesneadoftiglcompleddandveyfarosotieeclneychancrnaturesanigurtedbutteteralerlfenropossihtfhtnhalldeatrathwdestsshaehenieernalistthrowstsolgamarhesoveshisgvlifeto

None of these are simple substitution ciphers.

The locations of the uppercase characters are:

1,3,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,13,21,23,24,25,27,30,31,32,37,38,42,43,45,49,50,51,52,54,57,62,63,64,67,68,70,71,77,78,80,82,83,84,87,91,92,95,97,98,102,105,106,108,109,111,112,114,115,117,118,119,120,121,124,125,127,128,129,130,132,138,141,144,145,150,153,155,156,161,162,163,164,168,169,170,172,173,174,176,177,180,181,182,183,184,186,189,196,197,198,199,207,211,212,213,217,219,225,227,230,231,234,238,244,245,248,250,251,252,255,257,265,266,267,268,271,272,273,274,282,285,290,293,294,296,298,299,300,301,305,306,309,312,316,319,322,330,333,345,346,349,351,354,355,358,359,362,363,365,366,367,368,378,379,385,389,390,391,392,396,397,398,399,402,403,404,407,408,413,416,418,419,424,425,426,429,430,432,433,435,437,441,442,443,445,447,448,450,451,453,458,459,461,471,473,476,480,481,484,485,488,493,494,496,497,503,507,513,516,521,525,526,530,533,534,535,537,539,540,542,555,556,560,563,564,566,568,570,572,573,574,579,580,582,583,584,585,587,588,589,591,592,593,599,600,601,602,604,605,608,610,611,612,616,617,618,620,626,628,629,639,640,641,642

And for lowercase they are:

2,4,22,29,33,34,35,39,40,47,48,56,58,61,66,72,73,75,76,79,86,88,89,93,94,96,99,103,104,110,123,131,133,135,136,137,140,143,148,149,152,154,157,159,165,167,178,188,190,191,194,195,200,201,203,204,205,208,209,215,216,220,222,223,224,226,229,232,233,237,239,241,242,243,247,254,256,259,260,261,262,263,264,270,275,278,279,280,283,284,286,288,289,291,295,303,304,307,308,310,313,314,315,317,318,323,325,326,327,328,329,334,336,337,338,339,340,341,343,347,348,350,352,356,357,364,369,370,373,374,375,377,381,382,383,384,386,387,393,394,400,406,409,412,414,417,421,422,423,427,428,436,438,440,446,454,457,462,463,464,465,467,468,469,470,474,475,478,479,483,486,489,490,491,498,500,501,502,504,508,509,510,512,515,517,518,519,520,523,524,527,529,532,538,543,544,545,547,548,551,552,554,557,559,562,567,571,575,576,596,597,606,607,613,621,622,623,625,627,631,632,633,634,636,637
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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'll save people some more time. None of those methods will help :) Nice ideas though. $\endgroup$ – Bob Apr 30 '15 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob Good to have them confirmed as dead-ends. Now others won't waste their time on them. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Apr 30 '15 at 16:13

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