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Here comes your second test from the CIA. It is for graduation, but you still have to do it to prove yourself worthy of being an agent. Agents from around the world have struggled with this mysterious code, which no one can possible understand. Once deciphered, translate the word to the appropriate message.

derfcxsaqwszy67uhgt = ?

o90plkifrtgvcd = ?

htyujnbge34rdswaqwsxzr45tfdet56ygfr = ?

The only hint from the instructor is:

05NaN

What does the code mean and what is the message?

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    $\begingroup$ Is that first t in the third one supposed to be there? $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Feb 10, 2016 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ Or the x later on? $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Feb 10, 2016 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ Does the NaN have anything to do with dividing by zero? $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Feb 10, 2016 at 17:46

1 Answer 1

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When the strings are

traced out on a keyboard, they look like this.
(In the image, the top keyboard is the first string, the second keyboard is the second string, and the bottom two are the last string. Red comes first, then blue, then yellow, then green, and finally purple. (Only the last one has more than two segments.)
There's a clear hexagon-ish pattern that repeats. Sometimes it's cut off because the keys aren't on the keyboard, but it's always there.

If we replace each occurrence of the pattern with the starting letter, we get:

- day
- of
- h(?)ea(?)rt

The anomalies represented by the question marks are:

an extra t in the h pattern, and an extra x in the a pattern.

The clue may be referring to

either the World Heart Day (29 September) or Valentine's Day (February 14th).

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice find! How does the clue refer to either? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Feb 10, 2016 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ I would imagine that, given when this question was posted (and the relative notoriety of the two), it's probably supposed to be the latter. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2016 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest: Both are days related to the heart. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Feb 10, 2016 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi But I don't get how "05NaN" refers to either of the two dates?? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Feb 10, 2016 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Python: NaN specifically means "not a number", not "doesn't matter". Plus, you'd have to keep updating the clue as it went out of date. Not a fan of the "clue" TBH. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Feb 10, 2016 at 21:29

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