31
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The boys brought him in for questioning, but I didn't think he had anything to do with this. Not really. I just had to know if he knew anything pertinent about that strange passage in the old man's will.

I proceeded to tell him how his old computer science teacher, Professor Lambeau, had been found.

"The victim was strapped securely to a chair in his office. There was a robotic arm on a table across from him that had been retrofitted so that it could shoot a laser out of its index finger. The arm was attached to a computer and the program was coded to rotate the arm slowly up from its initial downward-facing position at a rate of one degree per hour, a la 1960's Batman villains. Eventually, it reached the victim's crotchular region and continued up until the victim was cut cleanly in two.

"We suspect foul play.

"This is his will, and there's a strange section in it which is directed at you, Will. Does this mean anything to you?"

Will, apparently bored, skimmed over the document, probably understanding more of it than any of us did, but when he got to the section addressed to him, he grabbed a notebook and scribbled furiously for about 30 seconds before declaring, "We have to go see about a girl, Detective. She's the killer and I know her name."

He was right, of course, and time to time I reread that passage late at night.

To my former student Will: In the event of my untimely demise, I want you to know that I still remember that conversation we once had:

You ate my apple.
For what possible reason would I eat your apple?
Do you take me for a fool? One would hope not!
I didn't, OK, but let's say I ate your apple. Would you like for me to eat one more? Three more???
Maybe you ate four of them already! Maybe you took my watermelon, too?
Yeah, OK, I ate your watermelon, for your information, but I didn't eat even one of those apples, you old fart!

Now everyone knows that Will is wicked smaat and well known for his love of apples, but I'll never know what that message had to do with the killer's name!

Do you know the killer's name?

Hints:

As mentioned in the comment below, The capital letter "I" is not a "one" because it is pronounced /aɪ/, not /wʌn/.
The "Computer-Science" tag might make you wonder if one of the numerical "clues" is inappropriate; a red herring.
I would hate for the bounty to be unrewarded.
There are 6 (six) parts to this conversational exchange. During each part, Will finds time to secretly take a nibble(sp?) from an apple. The professor notices and uses this to his advantage.
BTW, Nothing Boolean, only the integers.

Another Hint:

Paste's comment, "Assigning each line to a nibble, I came up with 1000 0100 0101 1111 1110 1101." brings us very close.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is knowledge of Good Will Hunting necessary to solve this? $\endgroup$ – Gordon Allocman May 17 '16 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ Not at all. The Good Will Hunting stuff is just for fun. The only pertinent information is in the passage directed at Will. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 17 '16 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ Is Apple (iPhone & iMac) related to this in any way? $\endgroup$ – Neon612 May 20 '16 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ @VincentAdvocaat You need to read it like you are from South Boston (aka Southy). You can paaaak your caaaaaaa in the yaaaaaad. (You can park your car in the yard). $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 20 '16 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if this apple 🍎 and this watermelon 🍉 play any part? $\endgroup$ – Ken Y-N May 25 '16 at 3:04
23
+50
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Why, her name was

Jenny, of course.

Explanation:

First, what everyone has deduced so far:

So far, we've figured out that each line of the conversation has homophones of powers of 2 in it:
You ate my apple. = 8
For what possible reason would I eat your apple? = 4
Do you take me for a fool? One would hope not! = 4 and 1
I didn't, OK, but let's say I ate your apple. Would you like for me to eat one more? Three more??? = 8, 4, 2, 1
Maybe you ate four of them already! Maybe you took my watermelon, too? = 8, 4, 2
Yeah, OK, I ate your watermelon, for your information, but I didn't eat even one of those apples, you old fart! = 8, 4, 1

Taking each of these lines' numbers and making them into nibbles (4-bit sequences) with 1's for each digit present, we get
8xxx x4xx x4x1 8421 842x 84x1
1000 0100 0101 1111 1110 1101.

Then,

Crunch the nibbles together to get one binary number: 100001000101111111101101. What is that in decimal? It's 8675309, and as any true 80's music aficionado would know, that number belongs to Jenny. Just ask Tommy Tutone.

How do you like them apples?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That's good work. To think of all the time I wasted trying to break that number down in different ways. A well deserved +1! $\endgroup$ – Mike M. May 26 '16 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ You got a number... of course :) $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 26 '16 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ Just had to read the writing on the wall. $\endgroup$ – paste May 26 '16 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ You got it (you got it) you got it You got the number on the wall $\endgroup$ – Tonkleton May 26 '16 at 5:11
  • $\begingroup$ Brilliant...simply brilliant! $\endgroup$ – Adib May 26 '16 at 5:27
5
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Partial just to try and point out the numbers:

You ate my apple.
(ate = 8)

For what possible reason would I eat your apple?
(For = 4)

Do you take me for a fool? One would hope not!
(For = 4, One = 1)

I didn't, OK, but let's say I ate your apple. Would you like for me to eat one more? Three more???
(ate = 8, for = 4, to = 2, one = 1, three = 3 (nope a red herring))

Maybe you ate four of them already! Maybe you took my watermelon, too?
(ate = 8, four = 4, too = 2)

Yeah, OK, I ate your watermelon, for your information, but I didn't eat even one of those apples, you old fart!
(ate = 8, for = 4, one = 1)

Assigning each line to a nibble yields:
Binary: 1000 0100 0101 1111 1110 1101
Decimal: 8 4 5 15 14 13

I'm searching for a 15 character string to use as a key for the substitution. Something to do with WATERMELON or APPLE or OLD FART. (I tried WATERMELONAPPLE and APPLEWATERMELON)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think three is the red herring. The rest are all powers of 2, but I haven't been able to come up with any sensible decoding. $\endgroup$ – Mike M. May 24 '16 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ @paste I'm referring to naught, or zero, the integer. OP's statement about Booleans is kind of ambiguous, so it's hard to tell exactly what they meant. How are you interpreting it? $\endgroup$ – Mike M. May 24 '16 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ The powers of two are also in decreasing order within each quip. That might suggest that they encode bits, e.g. 841 is 1101. That would make the code 8, 4, 5, 13, 14, 13. I can't make anything sensible out of it, not even with a shift of three in either direction. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 24 '16 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ Assigning each line to a nibble, I came up with 1000 0100 0101 1111 1110 1101. No idea what to do with those though. Assigning them letters just yields gibberish. $\endgroup$ – paste May 24 '16 at 23:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yep, it's getting frustrating. :-) I've hit all these same things the last couple days, but no real progress. I thought maybe the powers of 2 themselves - 3 2 2 0 3 2 1 0 3 2 1 3 2 0 - might be the encoding, but nothing there yet, either. And one of OP's comments makes me think that's not it. I'm really thinking "apple" has to be some sort of key, but that might be entirely off. $\endgroup$ – Mike M. May 25 '16 at 2:10
4
$\begingroup$

Is it

Yang

Reason:

Took all the numbers in the quote (ate -> 8, for -> 4, etc.) and put them in a sequence which got me 8441413842841. I converted this to ASCII which got me "Niào" which I searched and don't think is a girl's name. Then I decided to remove the lone "2" in the sequence and converted that instead which got me "Yang"

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can you explain how you converted it to ascii? $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 18 '16 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think you're certainly on to something with the numbers. I was working on the same path but hadn't had time to suss it out. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 May 19 '16 at 11:38
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah I'm sure it's something to do with that. There's no cryptography tag so I was hoping it'd be something simple like converting to ASCII. $\endgroup$ – econoMichael May 19 '16 at 16:37
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    $\begingroup$ You are missing a number in your sequence. $\endgroup$ – paste May 19 '16 at 16:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ...and that's only if you only consider the conversation and not the introduction to it. $\endgroup$ – paste May 19 '16 at 23:52
3
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Using the binary/numbers, I got 8 - 4 - 5 (For, One) - 15 - 14 - 13.

Based on the letters I got, it seems Mary is the closest (from a list of letters of R-Y-M-A-F-Y-M-W). How I derived the letters was counting from the start using the values provided to and find the letters based on the word.

For example, the 8th word is "reason", so I pulled an "R". And then 4 steps ahead I got "Your", so I pulled "Y", etc.

Another approach is using the numbers to find the letters, which yields:

8th letter, 4th letter, 5th letter, etc....And I get:

8 -> H 4 -> D 5 -> E 15 -> O 14 -> N 13 -> M

Which really made no sense, so I ignored this approach.

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  • $\begingroup$ Never knew it would be this much fun "reverse engineering" the proposed answer(s) to my own riddle. +1 to Adib for the effort! $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 25 '16 at 1:35

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