# Who won the duel? (AKA ramblings of a madman)

Your crazy uncle Tony is at it again, scribbling down incredibly unhelpful tidbits in order to ask a very simple question. Still, for his peace of mind (and your own), you better solve it anyways. Flipping open his overused notepad, you read:

**What happens when the boxer is taken down? A beautiful mermaid, laughing out loud? Not quite!
**I don't know what a ryyvbggxrzore or an ohmmsrrq is, but I expect they were part of the qbg-pbz bubble.
**Enter the code, and make note of what you see! Take 12121 (though 22121 will work in a pinch), and memorize it. (Okay, you don't have to memorize it, but at least write it down.)
**You're like a gargoyle in complexion. Someone must have put a curse on you, or something like that.
**Here, we don't believe in order of operations. Remove it from the system.
**The remainder will be comical. Excellent cake, seared deeply, sounds like it will start you on the right path.
**At the end of the day, can you tell me who won the duel?

So who was it that won the duel?

Hint 1:

So far, everything up until 'You're like a gargoyle' is correct. You may be overthinking that specific tidbit. I would also be on the lookout for a vitally important synonym in the near future.

Hint 2:

juansal12 was right in his interpretation of the 'gargoyle in complexion'. The remainder of that line will be your key to finishing this puzzle. If you find yourself searching for someone who might put a curse on someone else, you've gone in the wrong direction.

Hint 3:

I may have misjudged my wording a bit in the ramblings. "You're" and "you" in the fourth line refer to the word previously found in the third line.

Hint 4 (and hopefully the last):

For this hint, I'll draw attention to my comment on an answer below, which has solved the puzzle up until the last two lines:

As for the last two lines, well, I'd love to tell you that I made it through an entire puzzle without a cryptic crossword reference, but unfortunately, I cannot...

• up until 'You're like a gargoyle' is correct: Including it or exculding it?? – CAS Jun 26 '15 at 17:02
• @ChadiAbouSleiman: Excluding it. – Bailey M Jun 26 '15 at 17:17
• Does this have anything to do with the card game Yu-Gi-Oh? – user9377 Jun 28 '15 at 12:18
• @Kslkgh - no, it doesn't! But that's a fun thought. :D – Bailey M Jun 29 '15 at 3:05
• Is my "greyscale" anywhere near the right lines? – Rand al'Thor Jul 7 '15 at 17:02

the tumbleweed won the duel.

** The remainder will be comical. Excellent cake, seared deeply, sounds like it will start you on the right path.

The remainder is 789, from the previous answers. "Comical" may refer to the joke, but it also points us at comics. "Sounds like it will start you" tells us to look at the starting sounds of each word of "Excellent cake, seared deeply", which gives us the letters XKCD. Combining these, we look at the XKCD comic numbered 789.

** At the end of the day, can you tell me who won the duel?

The comic referenced in the previous line shows a tumbleweed shooting the participants of an old west duel. Therefore, the winner of the duel is the tumbleweed.

• Well done, this is correct. :) Thanks for finally solving it! – Bailey M Jul 24 '15 at 13:34

What happens when the boxer is taken down?

He is Ko

A beautiful mermaid, laughing out loud:

In reference to nami from League Of Legends (LOL: Laughing Out Loud)

Which together forms:

ryyvbggxrzore, ohmmsrrq and qbg-pbz refers to:

elliottkember, buzzfeed and dot-com using ROT-13 refering to these two website

What they have in commom is that:

We can enter the Konami code and observe (in this order): snake and sloth

Take 12121 (though 22121 will work in a pinch) means:

Take letters from each of the words observed based on their position (snake and sloth), which both 12121 or 22121 gives: slate which is a type of rock (maybe related to the gargoyle referenced next)

Followimg the answer given by SirParselot

You're like a gargoyle in complexion:

refers to grey slate

Someone must have put a curse on you, or something like that:

A curse is also called Hex. The hex color of Slate Gray is #708090

Here, we don't believe in order of operations. Remove it from the system:

Remove the "0" to remain with 789

The remainder will be comical. Excellent cake, seared deeply, sounds like it will start you on the right path:

7 ate 9 is a known joke.

At the end of the day, can you tell me who won the duel?:

7 won it and all the number are now afraid of it !!!

• Still perfect up until the gargoyle line - still wrong after that. You really are still overthinking it! – Bailey M Jun 29 '15 at 15:51
• Looks like you got it! Although it sounds like a good idea to put your uncle into an asylum... – mmking Jul 13 '15 at 15:51
• Ah, I just now saw this - you're right up until 789. Coincidentally, I recently made a puzzle where the answer was some contortion of that joke - here that's not the answer, though. As for the last two lines, well, I'd love to tell you that I made it through an entire puzzle without a cryptic crossword reference, but unfortunately, I cannot... – Bailey M Jul 13 '15 at 20:40
• "you're right up until 789" - including it or excluding it? – Rand al'Thor Jul 15 '15 at 20:11
• @randal'thor, including it. 789 is what you should have heading into the final two lines. – Bailey M Jul 17 '15 at 19:03

**I don't know what a ryyvbggxrzore or an ohmmsrrq is, but I expect they were part of the qbg-pbz bubble.

Apply ROT-13 (Caesar shift of 13) to the strings of gibberish to get "elliottkimber", "buzzfeed", and "dot-com". Let's look at these two websites!

**You're like a gargoyle in complexion. Someone must have put a curse on you, or something like that.

This could refer to the disease greyscale from A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones.

Putting this together with what Chadi Abou Sleiman got for the first and third clues, we get:

SLATE GREYSCALE, or maybe SLATE SHIREEN since Shireen is the best-known sufferer from the greyscale disease.

**Here, we don't believe in order of operations. Remove it from the system.

Removing the ordering suggests anagrams. I haven't yet found any good anagrams of SLATEGREYSCALE, though SLATESHIREEN is an anagram of RELEASE HINTS, so ...

release hints, Bailey M? ;-)

Ok please excuse me if this is very informal for an answer, as this is my first. As mentioned, we are overthinking the gargoyle part. My contribution: I p ropose that the 'complexion' refers to a complexion of stone, grey. What 'curse' inflicts this complexion? Medusa's curse. Unscramble Medusa (remove the 'order of operations') to get 'amused', which is 'comical' as a 'remainder'. I could be very off, but trial and error right?

• I would suggest that you label this answer as a partial answer to help viewers understand that this is incomplete and currently still being worked on. – Mark N Jun 30 '15 at 17:34
• Wow, you made some cool connections! Unfortunately, they aren't what I had in mind. You're on point with the complexion of a gargoyle, though! Here's a hint - the word 'curse' is not referring to an actual curse. – Bailey M Jun 30 '15 at 17:46

A curse is similar to a hex. @rand al'thor mentioned greyscale and so I'm wondering if it is the hex value for slate grey. The hex triplet for that is #708090 according to http://colors.findthedata.com/q/511/10857/What-are-the-RGB-values-of-Slate-Gray

I started thinking about the next part

Here, we don't believe in order of operations. Remove it from the system.

Hex is represented as 0xstuff so remove the order of operations i.e. the x (multiplication) and your left with 0708090 but that doesn't mean anything to me and seems too simple compared to the rest of the puzzle

another thought about The remainder will be comical. Excellent cake, seared deeply, sounds like it will start you on the right path.

The joke why is 6 afraid of 7? because seven ate nine (789).