6
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It was a slow day at the office. Despite its name, Problem City was fairly quiet as of late. Joey was slowly melting into his chair when he recieved a phone call. Joey slowly swiveled his chair to reach for his cell phone on his desk, but it was slightly out of reach. With a grunt, Joey stretched himself and picked up the phone before it went to voice mail.

"Hello?" he mumbled.

"Hi, is this Inspector Joey Solvesalot?"

"Yes, this is he." Joey said distractedly as he tried to find a comfortable spot again.

"Hello, uh, are you busy at the moment?"

"Eh, I got a little bit of work, why?"

"If it's not too much of a problem, can you come to police HQ? We've come across a code of some sort and have no idea how to solve it."

Joey quickly sat up in his chair "Ooh, sounds exciting! I'll be right there."

...

As Joey walked into police HQ, he was greeted by a familiar face. "Ah, hello Officer Jenny, good to see you again."

"Hello Inspector Joey, glad to have you help again after last time."

"Oh, it's no big deal. What do you need my help with?"

"Follow me," Officer Jenny led Joey through a room full of cubicles and into her office. On her desk lay a manila folder. She opened it and pulled out two slips of paper.

"I'm sure you've heard recently in the news that the billionaire Iam Rich passed away in his sleep. That wouldn't have been an issue, but his will was locked away in his vault and none of his children know the password."

"Couldn't you just hack the vault or break it open?"

"Typically we would if it was at his home, but he sealed it away in a high-security Wiss Vault, so we can only access it by using the password. Although we did not find a password written anywhere in Mr. Rich's posessions, we did find these two pieces of paper that have the Wiss Vault logo."

She handed Joey the first sheet:

E L B D M  E  U  G H I M V A F  G  G H W B  O  E B  C  H 0  O B  C  U D F W  L  I E
1 1 1 1 1 -1 -1 -1 1 1 0 1 1 1 -1 -1 1 1 1 -1 -1 1 -1 -1 1 -1 1 -1 -1 1 1 1 -1 -1 1

"Interesting, what's on the other sheet?"

-20 -27 -17 -11 -2 -20 -36 -22 -7 -6 -28 7 -14 -21 -8 -22 -7 8 -17 -11 -20 -13 -12 -23
-7 -6 8 13 17 -7 -23 -9 6 7 -15 20 -1 -8 5 0 6 21 -4 -10 -7 0 1 -10
-8 -13 -5 1 10 -1 -8 10 31 6 -16 19 -2 -9 4 16 12 20 -5 -5 -8 6 5 -11
-26 -12 -23 -17 -8 -1 -42 -28 -3 -12 -34 1 -20 -27 -14 -19 -13 8 -23 -26 -26 -11 -18 -4
-9 -1 2 2 9 3 -25 -11 5 5 7 18 -3 -3 3 10 4 19 15 -15 -9 23 -1 -6
1 -5 4 10 19 13 -10 0 33 15 11 28 7 21 13 20 14 29 4 13 1 29 9 21
18 31 21 27 36 18 2 16 31 32 32 45 24 43 30 32 31 46 21 8 18 43 26 29
7 24 10 16 25 7 -9 5 20 21 -1 35 35 30 19 6 20 35 10 -3 7 16 15 25
-14 -21 -11 -5 4 -14 -30 -16 -1 0 -22 13 -8 -15 -2 -16 -1 14 -11 -24 -14 13 15 -17
-10 -17 -7 -1 8 -10 -26 -12 3 4 -18 17 -4 -11 2 -12 3 18 -7 -20 -10 -3 -2 -13

"The first sheet we believe contain some sort of instructions. We believe the answer is found on the second sheet. But so far we've made zero sense of these two papers."

Joey took a seat across from Officer Jenny and pondered over the two pieces of paper. "Is it okay if I write over this?"

"Go ahead, this is just a copy."

Nodding, Joey started to scribble something onto the papers. After a while Joey put down his pencil. "Aha! You're right that it made zero sense, but I'm positive I have the answer to this little puzzle."

What's the password?


Excel friendly formatting thanks to curmudgeon:

Sheet 1
Sheet 2


Hint #0:

The 0 in the first sheet does not mean anything in particular. I could've used $\star$ or |, for example.

Hint #1:

If you really understand hint #0, then try and find something shared between two sheets that isn't obvious at a glance. Using the excel links might be useful in this regard!

Hint #2:

Oops! While handling the first sheet of paper, Joey accidentally tore it:
E L B D M E U G H I M V A F G G H W B O E B C H ( | ) O B C U D F W L I E
            -----------------------------------
1 1 1 1 1 -1 -1 -1 1 1 (|) 1 1 1 -1 -1 1 1 1 -1 -1 1 -1 -1 1 -1 1 -1 -1 1 1 1 -1 -1 1
Hmm...perhaps it may be useful to make another tear?

Hint #3:

Using excel will be very handy in solving this problem.

Hint #4:

Joey made his final remark after solving this puzzle.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is there a better way to format the two lines so the top and bottom aren't misaligned? $\endgroup$ – Deacon Jul 16 '15 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ Is there intentionally a zero among the letters on the first sheet? $\endgroup$ – Quark Jul 16 '15 at 20:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If anyone wants to paste the first sheet into Excel easily, copy it from here ^_^ $\endgroup$ – Curmudgeon Jul 16 '15 at 20:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here you go. :) $\endgroup$ – Curmudgeon Jul 17 '15 at 14:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ jsfiddle.net/t2etL8te $\endgroup$ – Jamie Barker Jul 28 '15 at 15:59
9
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GIVEN

Considering the scenario gives us:

  1. Sheet 1 - the key to solving the cryptogram.
  2. Sheet 2 - the encrypted password.

HINTS

Considering the hints gives us:

  1. Hint 0 - 0 serves as a separator of values for the Sheet 1.
  2. Hint 1 - values separated by 0 in Sheet 1 has a defined relation with regard to Sheet 2. ELB...BCH corresponds to Sheet 2's columns, OBC...LIE corresponds to Sheet 2's rows. (For simplicity, I disregarded the 1's, -1's and 0 of sheet 1)
  3. Hint 2 - separate the rows of Sheet 1. Combine the separated rows corresponding to the number of cells.
  4. Hint 3 - use excel as a handy tool (LOL!)

Hints Guide

MY SOLUTION

  1. Arranged the cells of Sheet 1 corresponding to the columns and rows of Sheet 2. In addition, translate the letters to their corresponding count (A=1,B=2,C=3...Z=26)

  2. Noting the values in Sheet 2 and taking note of the 1's and -1's, and A=1...Z=26 value of Sheet 1, we find a relation:

    CellValue + (RowLetter * RowMultipler) + (ColLetter * ColMultiplier) = 0

  3. However, some of the values in Sheet 2 are not as expected. We isolate the values that do not match the expectation (In the image, I coloured them blue). Hence, we arrive at the answer I suspect FOUND.

Solutions Guide

Found

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ooh! Very, very close! Good job on your work, but step 2 of your solution isn't entirely correct. Although there does appear to be a relation, that is not the way to get to the answer. Remember that the first sheet is a set of instruction to perform on sheet two. $\endgroup$ – dzastergamer Aug 12 '15 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I see, thanks for the feedback! But very good puzzle I had to say!!! Got my attention while I'm just looking for puzzles to read through. $\endgroup$ – jmadoremos Aug 18 '15 at 3:28

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