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This is one of the chapters from the puzzle crime story I am making on my website (you can see other chapters here and here). The goal is to find a 4-digit number passcode.

I wanted to make a somewhat standard/simple puzzle, but I feel many people have troubles figuring it out. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

5. THE FIRST BODY

Morrow and Flanders went through several narrow corridors until they reached a spacious dark room full of officers. They were all analyzing something in great detail and then Flanders saw it, on the opposite wall there was a dead man tied to a cross. The room was silent; all anyone could do was stare.

enter image description here

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." the detective uttered.

"What did you say?" asked the Commissioner.

"Jesus’ last words, he was referring to the Roman soldiers who put him there." Flanders clarified. "Who is the poor fellow?"

"His name is Mickey, a local millionaire."

"Did he have any enemies?"

"Many, but nobody we know crazy enough to do this."

Flanders fell silent as he approached the body and examined it. He noticed there was also writing on the wall surrounding the cross. Flanders scribbled something in his notepad, turned around, and left.

"Call me when you find the next victim" he said to the Commissioner on his way out.

P.S. There are some clues in the text, but also a lot of it is there just to drive the story.

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    $\begingroup$ "Ned Flanders and Ted Cruz"? $\endgroup$ – Michael May 29 '16 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael Almost... One of them is correct, didn't expect people to notice. $\endgroup$ – Puzzle Prime May 29 '16 at 17:59
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Looking at the image, there are many words scattered around, but only two sentences, both of which sound 'off' and were written as if they were titles (first letter of important words is capital). Thinking about a 4-digit code $\to$ numbers and Romans from the conversation made me think of

Roman Numerals

So that's when I noticed that

All the capital letters in the two sentences are roman numerals

So:

Man Must Conform to Lord's Image = MMCLI = 2151
Covetous Men Live in Vain = CMLV = 955

Now, this might be weak, but could it be that

The cross is supposed to be interpreted as a plus sign, so that the code we were looking for is $2151 + 955 = 3106$?

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  • $\begingroup$ Ooh nice one this seems to be a promising answer for questions $\endgroup$ – Adit Kirtani May 29 '16 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ Admittedly, the first thing I did was try and look for something in the image itself. There's a peculiar section of stripes of almost the same colour in the bottom right, but I couldn't make any meaning of it, so I put that idea aside and tried to come up with something using the actual content of the image. $\endgroup$ – KoA May 29 '16 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ Coming up with the sentences was such a pain... I guess I should make the cross more "plus" - like though, and also look into these phantom lines. Thanks for the exhausting answer. $\endgroup$ – Puzzle Prime May 29 '16 at 12:45
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"Zodiac" doesn't belong. It's not a Christian notion.

Using a standard map of the Zodiac the four signs at the points of the cross & circle clockwise from the top as zero degrees are

Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn.

Hence the code is:

ACLC

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a good answer, but the secret passcode has to be a number. $\endgroup$ – Puzzle Prime May 29 '16 at 16:11

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