16
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Your headquarter has sent an encrypted message to your phone:

OGZOTZHETZKOBOZRESTOZTAZETHZLIARYAWZNISTATOZWORTROOMZ8ZMAZDENYTIFIZGINSAKZORFZA

774060025101  
000511014005  
110123431121  
200120404006  

It didn't take you long to figure out the letters, but the numbers were a bit tricky. You worked on them and got some clue, but you could have bet that you needed some word. Later on, you knew what to do. You followed your instructions and your counterpart answered:

"I'm sorry Sir, I guess you won't find this here.", pointing around you. "May I offer you today's newspaper?"

You felt somewhat snubbed, but agreed to take the newspaper. You found a seat and started reading. Suddenly, you noticed small, nearly invisible dots under some of the letters in four lines of a text. You noted them:

JHEBHBAHHFBJ
ABBECDCFFFBJ
BGCFCEGDDFCH
DFCCDIGEFGBJ

It looked somehow familiar and you had to think twice. You got stuck for a while and consulted your watch. But you knew that your upline literally counts on you. Finally, you left the place the right way.

What were your initial instructions?
What did the newspaper reveal?

Hints are included in the text. Answers can be found independently.
Constructive suggestions for improvement are welcome.


Further hints

You decrypted the missing word by initially regrouping the numbers. The only evidence you could make use of was the time they told you.

As there were no 8s or 9s in the numbers, you combined that it could be some 3 bit encoding.

Of course, you knew the first few decimals of pi by heart.

You correctly assumed, that the newspaper's letters had to be transformed into numbers for further processing.

Compairing the two number blocks helped you deciphering.


With many credits to LeppyR64 who gave the right answer to the second question and f'' for visualizing the first number block, I'm accepting Khale_Kitha's answer, due to the fact, that I can only accept one answer. In my oppinion Khale_Kitha contributed a lot to get both answers. Good job!

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think it's a coincidence that each row is 12 letters long. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. May 13 '16 at 23:53
15
+50
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The first string of letters translates to

GO TO THE BOOK STORE AT THE RAILWAY STATION TOMORROW 8 AM IDENTIFY ASKING FOR A

If you

Remove the letter 'Z' separator and unscramble each word separately.

Using the new info from the hint, if the first series of numbers needs to be translated to 3-bit binary numbers, they would be:

111 111 100 000 110 000 000 010 101 001 000 001
000 000 000 101 001 001 000 001 100 000 000 101
001 001 000 001 010 011 100 011 001 001 010 001
010 000 000 001 010 000 100 000 100 000 000 110

f"'s Answer has a good representation of what this is, if you change the ones to a visible block and the 0's to a non-visible block.

Taking f"s answer of pi, 6-9, you get the 6-9'th digits of pi, 2653. (Thanks LeppyR64) On a phone, this could easily translate to "COKE", so I presume that you are supposed to ask for a coke. Sadly, you're not likely to find one in a bookstore.

This makes the original first phrase:

GO TO THE BOOK STORE AT THE RAILWAY STATION TOMORROW 8 AM IDENTIFY ASKING FOR A COKE

The series of letters can be changed to 0 - 9 to coincide with the other grid, which gives:

9 7 4 1 7 1 0 7 7 5 1 9
0 1 1 4 2 3 2 5 5 5 1 9
1 6 2 5 2 4 6 3 3 5 2 7
3 5 2 2 3 8 6 4 5 6 1 9

If you set these numbers, and the other numbers, into pairs, and subtract them, as demonstrated in LeppyR64's answer, then you come up with a form of text separated by 'X's, similar to the first message. It decodes to:

TAKE RAIL ONE AT FOUR PM

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  • $\begingroup$ The letter translation is correct! $\endgroup$ – fondor May 12 '16 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ By "base3", did you mean "base 2"? $\endgroup$ – v7d8dpo4 May 16 '16 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ @v7d8dpo4 I actually meant neither. I meant 3-bit numbers. Will fix. $\endgroup$ – Khale_Kitha May 16 '16 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha: You correctly completed the first message! $\endgroup$ – fondor May 17 '16 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ Loop my partial for the second part into your answer to finish it off. :) $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 18 '16 at 12:41
9
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Partial:

The newspaper revealed:

TAKE RAIL ONE AT FOUR PM

By taking the newspaper letters and converting them to numbers yields:

9 7 4 1 7 1 0 7 7 5 1 9
0 1 1 4 2 3 2 5 5 5 1 9
1 6 2 5 2 4 6 3 3 5 2 7
3 5 2 2 3 8 6 4 5 6 1 9

Pairing the numbers in the two grids:

77 40 60  2 51  1
 0  5 11  1 40  5
11  1 23 43 11 21
20  1 20 40 40  6


97 41 71  7 75 19
 1 14 23 25 55 19
16 25 24 63 35 27
35 22 38 64 56 19

Compare the two grids:

By subtracting grid 1 from grid 2

20  1 11  5 24 18
 1  9 12 24 15 14
 5 24  1 20 24  6
15 21 18 24 16 13

Convert the numbers to letters:

 T A K E X R
 A I L X O N
 E X A T X F
 O U R X P M

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  • $\begingroup$ Correct answer to the second question. Well done! $\endgroup$ – fondor May 18 '16 at 15:12
7
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Khale_Kitha's answer produces this sequence of 1's and 0's:

111 111 100 000 110 000 000 010 101 001 000 001
000 000 000 101 001 001 000 001 100 000 000 101
001 001 000 001 010 011 100 011 001 001 010 001
010 000 000 001 010 000 100 000 100 000 000 110

Now you can

Rearrange them to have 24 digits on each line, then replace the 1's and 0's with black and white:
███████ ██ █
█ █ █ █ █ █
  █ █ ██ █ █
  █ █ █ █ ███ ██
  █ █ █ █ █ █
 █ █ █ ██
This reads "π 6-9".

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  • $\begingroup$ That must be some super fancy delicious pie for the bakery to be only from 6 to 9. $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ May 14 '16 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ Likely something related to: 6 Nines, in Pi, so we may be looking for "A Feynman Point", for the first attempt, before using the newspaper. $\endgroup$ – Khale_Kitha May 15 '16 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Nice so far. Now you are at the point: "You worked on them [the numbers] and got some clue, but you could have bet that you needed some word.". What could your decrypted information refer to or how should it be interpreted? $\endgroup$ – fondor May 15 '16 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ @f'': I added another hint, which could lead you (and others) in the right direction. $\endgroup$ – fondor May 17 '16 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ Does the 3rd hint combined with this indicate taking the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th digits from Pi? $\endgroup$ – SlashmanX May 18 '16 at 9:50
3
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Ideas for the squares:

I don't think the numbers and letters have to be combined as @Khale_Kitha does, because the text says "knew what to do" before getting the letter rectangle.

You worked on them and got some clue, but you could have bet you needed some word:

There is no 8 or 9 in the numbers, just 0-7, so they could be coordinates into a 8x8 square. But we need to fill the squares with letters.

Later on, you knew what to do:

If you remove the blanks from the "Go to the book store ..." sentence, it has exactly 64 characters, so you can use it to fill the square:
  01234567
0 GOTOTHEB
1 OOKSTORE
2 ATTHERAI
3 LWAYSTAT
4 IONTOMOR
5 ROW8AMID
6 ENTIFYAS
7 KINGFORA

Unfortunately, my attempts at mapping numbers to letters didn't give any sensible results, yet.

The "Further hint" may have to do with

There are 48 digits, or 24 digit pairs. This might refer to 24 hours, and "The time they told you" was 8 am.

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