# A mysterious disappearance - final part

(If you don't know my story by now here is part 1 and part 2)

So you managed to figure out the threat and my reply. Well my story is nearly finished now, but there's one last part...

I met Aaron Whyte at my first job, I don't want to go into the details because they are too painful, but long story short, he swindled me out of all my money and then threatened me if I told. He then disappeared to some foreign country.

Then he joined a group of hackers. I only know about that as they hacked into my bank account and took all my money (I know, I've had a really great life).

So when I received that email I wanted revenge. I managed to trace it (I may know one or two things about hacking myself...) to an apartment. I called the police and they burst into it...

As the police was searching the apartment, a member of the gang wandered into the apartment. He was immediately arrested and when quizzed about why he was there he said, the gang had been forced to leave without him (probably because of my email, yeah, that was a big mistake). But he also said that the gang had left clues of their location in the apartment. Can you work out where they are so we can arrest them and get my money back?

Here's the room as it was found:

Hhhhhmmmmm... Someone seems to have left their phone on the sofa. Lets have a closer look...

That's weird, their lockscreen appears to be a crazy emoji and a bin. What can that mean? What else we got...

That's a weird picture to hang on a wall. Can't make heads or tails of that. Whats this now?

Wait! There's no water or fish in this aquarium! Wh.. What!? There's a chicken leg?

(Possibly a small 5 minute snack break later...)

Mmmm... tastes like KFC. Er, I mean looks like KFC. You probably shouldn't eat evidence.

Oh no, I won't eat that... Er, I mean whats that on the ice cream? Looks like a jumbled mess of letters...

(Quick sort later)

Hhhhmmmm, so we have a 3 under a flat in music with a 9 on top. This seems important. But then all of this seems important. And suspicious. And...

Okay, so apart from the money theft and all the hacking, we have another crime! The theft of a doorknocker shaped in a 9! Weird.

Despite my burning hunger for revenge (and chicken) I can't work out where on Earth they've gone.

Oh there was one last clue.

It was the address of the apartment. It looked like this,

England, London, Tottenham Court Road, WHSmiths, flat 8, knock 5 times

The format seems important... Another clue?

So where are they hiding?

Hints:

1:

The photos are ordered for a reason

2:

There's a clue in every photo

3:

It'll be easiest if you go through them in order

4:

Check the second tag for most of the pictures

• Are we looking for just 1 place formed from these 5 clues? Apr 8, 2016 at 20:31
• We are looking for a place like the layout of the address of the apartment @QuestionAsker Apr 8, 2016 at 20:32
• Did you do your closeups of each of the clues in a helpful order? :p Apr 8, 2016 at 20:33
• @QuestionAsker Perhaps... :P I am always helpful (usually) Apr 8, 2016 at 20:46
• These are clearly all references to Tragically Hip songs. 1 "Titanic Terrarium". 2 emoji is "Yawning or Snarling". 3 A difficult one. I'm guessing the pallet is a bit off and this is supposed to be "In Violet Light". 4 "Little Bones" (from the HIP region of the chicken!) 5. "Vapour Trails" is written in F# which is the same as Eb, which has 3 flats! And it's the 8th track on the 7th album giving a clear 7-8-9 sequence. We continue to their 10th album. The 11th track is: "One Night In Copenhagen"! That's where they are and they are "Locked in the Trunk of a Car". NAILED IT!!! Apr 12, 2016 at 14:10

First Image

The country is SPAIN

We get this by taking the first letter of each thing in the room from left to right:
Sofa, Picture, Aquarium, Ice Cream, Nine

Second Image

Clearly we want a city as per the address above, and one of the first cities to come to mind is Madrid. Looking back at the clue we have a Mad smiley and a bin in which we can get rid of stuff.

Third Image

The road/plaza is Puerta Del Sol.

We have a gate/door (Puerta) in side a star, that happens to be the Sun (Sol)

Fourth Image

There is a KFC on the Puerta Del Sol.

Fifth and Sixth Image

Not sure exactly what to make of this 3 flat 9? 9 flat 3? 3 under flat 9, so flat 6? (or maybe flat between 3 and 9 which again could be 9 or 5/7 (if numbered with odds on the same side)

Seventh Image

9 on a knocker? Knock 9 times

Thus in summary we have:

Spain, Madrid, Plaza Puerta Del Sol, KFC, Flat 6, knock 9 times.

• Sorry didn't see this! SOMEONE FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT! Or at least most of it. Heres some hints so I can give you the 50 bounty - the two ice cream pictures are 1, its the positioning of the things in the ice cream thats key. Don't count the pictures as two separate ones, they both give the same answer. And the last thing you must do to get the bounty is write your answers like the address at the bottom for clarity. Congratulations, you're nearly there! Apr 13, 2016 at 19:32
• Looks like the address is 1 Plaza Puerta Del Sol Apr 13, 2016 at 19:51
• If the "flat" part is still not correct, consider the difference in size between the 3 and 9. This may be a matter of style for descenders of that font, or the 3 may be another character, e.g. ze or yogh Apr 14, 2016 at 18:18
• You got it sorry, deleted your fifth image description as the fifth and sixth images combined gives flat 6. Happy bounty! Apr 15, 2016 at 16:52

All prior reasoning has been discredited by OP. What follows was too good to pass up, although it may not be right, especially given the comment on the importance of the ordering of the images.

Okay, so here it goes again.

I've been told the picture is of a gate, not a fence. With this in mind, my first-instinct suspicion of the "...on Earth..." phrasing was legit. I am now convinced this refers to a Stargate. The simplest address requires six symbols (discounting a seventh reference point from your origin). This matches the six degrees of the apartment address given at the bottom.

My reasoning here is pretty weak but some of it kind of supports itself to some degree, so I thought I'd post it here for someone else to use or discredit.

The hanging picture on the wall may refer to...

Looks like a piece of fence over a star (or sun). So, fence+star = Fenstar?

One line of inquiry lead me to this usage of the combined words, which is Old German for window, so... "window frame"?

Another line of inquiry took me here, to a French manufacturer of doors and windows, so "window frame" OR "doorframe"?

The numbers in the apartment may refer to...

The $3$ flat $9$... well, "-- flat nine", which is where the stolen door number may be from?

So, WHSmith is a bookstore. I cannot find one directly on Tottenham Court Road, so I looked near Tottenham Court Road Station, and found this one. There is also a now-permanently-closed Head Office whose address contains the number 8 here (sorry, I don't know how UK addresses work).

• im afraid you are nowhere near on any of your points. Here's a few hints, each picture is a clue and there is a gate in the picture Apr 8, 2016 at 20:31
• you are very VERY close, but star is wrong. You probably need to work out the first two pictures before you'll get the third pic though Apr 9, 2016 at 11:30
• maybe it's "gate of the sun"? According to wikipedia it's a stone arch in Bolivia, but I can't see how it relates to the enigma... Apr 11, 2016 at 13:05
• @Aleeeeee Yeah, I came across that location. I haven't really managed to work anything together yet. Still messing about with the bits. Apr 11, 2016 at 14:56
• You two are very close, like I said work out the first two first Apr 11, 2016 at 15:00

I know this is solved, but from all I know alternative answers are appreciated on PSE, so:

DISCLAIMER: This is a joke answer. I know it's total BS. And no, there is no 100 Doors game called Gates of Secrecy, I made it up. Just wanted to give you an alternative answer to laugh about.

This picture strongly reminds me of the 100 Doors series. I didn't play Hidden Escape or Hidden Escape 2 yet, so it might be from either? Perhaps the answer is hidden in the actual in-game door puzzle?

(Let's imagine I found a 100 Doors game with approximately this room - this is a joke answer, after all. Of course I know that would be way too meta for a real solution.)

OK so, I found this room in Gates of Secrecy 2, and the picture can be pulled aside, revealing a fish. In game, you must put the fish into the aquarium. But its shape is quite close to an 8, and it actually has a colored outline...

Alright, let's go on. Perhaps give a try to direct comparision... The 9 is not in the in-game version, nor are the letters on the ice cream. (The ice cream is, you must feed the fish with it, then the fish digs for the key.) Instead of the 9, there is a triangle-shaped keyhole (where the key fits, it reveals a lever, if you pull it down the sofa slides aside revealing a trapdoor). The triangle is rectanglular, with slope from left lower to right upper corner (filling the bottom part). In game, that is just for confusion. But perhaps in this riddle, it means ascending order?

The emoji is number 6 on an emoji keyboard in the next door puzzle. Together with the bin, that gives: No 6. So, putting it together with the 9, we get: 9, not 6. That makes no sense. There is no 6 in the original solution...

Hang on: if you turn around 6, you get 9. So that means upside down... Reverse order!

But we only have 3, 8 and 9 (or 9, 8 and 3), we need more numbers. And I wonder about one thing: The pictures appear to have quite low resolution. So how come that, when I wanted to work at it offline, none of them has fit on my SD card???

My SD card has about 2 GB of free space, so there must be another reason. Perhaps the resolution of the pictures is way higher than it looks. Let's try to upscale them... Gotcha! In tiniest letters, on the gate picture it reads "count". Alright, three scantlings form the gate, two are horizontal, and two form tha gate pilars... that makes 7.

So, we have the digits 9873. That was the numpad code of room 32. What does that mean...

Oh, I didn't have a look at the adress yet. But it makes perfectly no sense...

(An imaginary day later...)

Now I must admit I was lucky. I've been testing my self-made customHashCode(String) today, comparing it with the original String.hashCode() from Java. And randomly, I still had the address string from yesterday in my clipboard. So I put it in as test case, and when I looked at the output from the Java version it just struck me...

That hash code is the price of a particular burger at KFC! I don't remember which one exactly, all I know is its name starts with "Country".

32 is a country code! They are in Belgium!

• Glad some people actually do like my joke answer. I tried my best to make it interesting. I could expand it to the full solution format, but I'm lacking ideas for how to continue... May 14, 2017 at 12:37