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I've been avidly lurking and sometimes posting on Puzzling Stack Exchange for a few months now, and I thought it might be time for me to try a puzzle of my own. I hope it's interesting and difficult without being too roundabout!


While adventuring through the jungles of Puzzlandia, you come across a strange columnar stone. Carved into it is a face, and below the face is some text. Below the text are four stone levers arranged horizontally, unmarked. The text reads:

Greetings, adventurer! If you can solve my little test,
Great treasure awaits you beneath in a chest.
The letters below will be your clue;
Once you solve them you'll know what to do.

XVWTWMDIPRHCVQSFTBLJFIYKYVGIMSLIGCMXZSIXBSYE

The key Iies between my eyes...

PIease be kind; this is my first ever puzzle on here! Let me know if there's anything I can do to improve my puzzle style, and feel free to ask questions for clarification, etc.

What must you do to reveal the treasure?

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    $\begingroup$ A well-done puzzle! Kudos on creating a "different" type of solve-this-cryptogram puzzle, instead of the ubiquitous "Decipher this unreadable text". I took the liberty of sprucing up the formatting of your question. If you don't like it, feel free to revert. (BTW, deciding to edit it was what led me to the solution in the first place!) $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Aug 19 '15 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, very nice :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Löndahl Aug 19 '15 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain I guess it wasn't very clear that the line lengths were supposed to represent the text being constrained by the width of the pillar. However, I think your formatting looks a lot better so I'll keep it $\endgroup$ – Morgan G Aug 19 '15 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ The new formatting may look nicer, but I think it makes the puzzle harder. $\endgroup$ – Arkku Aug 19 '15 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ ah haha well I think that's a good thing $\endgroup$ – Morgan G Aug 20 '15 at 14:30
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You must press the levers in this order:

$1, 3, 4, 2, 1, 1, 3, 4$

How I came by this solution:

"The key lies between my eyes..."

Upon close examination of the text, two letters that appear to be lowercase "L"s are actually uppercase "I"s:

 The key Iies between my eyes...
PIease be kind,
I copied the text between them:
ies between my eyes... P
and stripped out the spaces and punctuation:
iesbetweenmyeyesP

Using that as the key to a Vigenere cipher (what other common cipher requires a key?), the ciphertext easily decrypted to
presstheleversonethreefourtwooneonethreefour
or
Press the levers: one, three, four, two, one, one, three, four.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! This is exactly the solution I was looking for :) $\endgroup$ – Morgan G Aug 19 '15 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ "(what other common cipher requires a key?)" The Playfair Cipher is a nice one, though I like the two square variation. The four square is a bit more complex though was used as recently as WWII. How common it is, is another matter. $\endgroup$ – user2322 Aug 19 '15 at 21:34

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