These three have a technological attribute — me — in common:

   impressed handwriting | SLATIPAC DERORRIM DESSERPMI | .txetkcalb-no-kcalbdesreveR

•   What does each of these represent?
•   How have these figured into actual criminology puzzles?
    (No need to cite specific cases.)
•   What am I?

No wordplay is afoot and completeness includes a note about technologically historical context. Thus, “they are writing - I am a sentence - judges have to figure out criminal sentences” would be discounted on account of incompleteness and wordplay.
(No encrypted data, by the way, just one low-contrast level of writing.)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ uhmmm, i only se two boxes unless the middle with no side border is the 2nd one lol $\endgroup$
    – Mekalikot
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 4:09
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you use so few markdown? $\endgroup$
    – palsch
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ Nah, the markdown isn't part of the puzzle, no matter how much it constitutes a kind of steganography itself. Just wish I could adjust some CSS settings for this site. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ @humn I finished the edit and added in your historical note $\endgroup$
    – Areeb
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks once again, @Areeb, for both starting the solution and for completing it! Another 12 hours before the bounty comes through. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


The image in Areeb's answer is helpful but a bit difficult to read. Enhancing the image by balancing the levels produces:

enhanced image

The first item is clearly:

An imprint left behind on a piece of paper beneath the paper being written on. It can be read more easily by rubbing a pencil across it, and features in pretty much every murder mystery ever written (and I'm sure a few real cases too).

The second item:

Is the paper left behind when you peel off a label from an embossing machine. The unique printing method employed by embossing machines leaves a mirrored imprint. The process is explained in more detail here

And the third item appears to be:

The imprint left on a typewriter ribbon (the ink-covered ribbon pressed against the paper when typing the letters). If the ribbon is fresh, or recently wound, it would be possible to see some of what was written by looking at where the ink is slightly depleted.

So overall:

They're all imprints left behind after writing something, which can be used to determine the content of an otherwise lost or hidden message, or tie a particular document to the location it was written ("why this Will is a fake; it was written on YOUR typewriter points to the murderer")

Historical Note:

All of these "office tools" were eventually computerized. Humn said this in chat

  • $\begingroup$ For the middle imprint: Why would it be backwards? This is where trivia comes to play, the technology being very familiar 1960+ through 1990+ in the parts of Europe and USA where I was, but it seems possible to figure out. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @humn ok, I'm trying to think of a technology which presses in reverse and is limited to block capitals, but nothing's coming to mind. Maybe somebody else will be able to figure that one out; I wasn't around for the 1960s–80s! $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @humn is there a reason only the first one is completely boxed? $\endgroup$
    – Areeb
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 2:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ah so that's what it is. I'd never heard of a telex machine before! Also on the boxing stuff: I don't know how to do spoilers in a comment, so if you want to figure out the "boxes" yourself stop reading now, but the yellow outline is actually the background table. The bottom 2 are simply continuous ribbons which continue past the edges, while the first item is a small piece of paper on the table. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 12:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dave I figured it was something like that $\endgroup$
    – Areeb
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 12:29

Not an answer

The three boxes say:

  1. "Impressed Handwriting"
    -Written in cursive

  2. "Impressed Mirrored Capitals"
    -It's mirrored

  3. "Reversedblack-on-blacktext.Reversedblack-on"
    -Message is close to description
    -the background is bluish
    -the writing is self is rgb(10,10,0)
    -background is rgb(0,0,20)
    -the color codes don't hold any data

Image: Courtesy of Will(updated by humn) crude screenshot

The actual image itself is supposed to look like a photograph

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Crude screenshot $\endgroup$
    – Will
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 4:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Areeb It's not black-on-black. It's black-on-very-dark-but-visibly-blue. $\endgroup$
    – Will
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 4:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Oops, make that two characteristics missing from the self-description. Good eye, @will, it's also a clue. By the way, even the writing isn't exactly black but the hues are not numerical, just meant to be subliminal cues to help evoke memories. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 4:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Indeed, Areeb, these images try to represent the methods used for producing such messages in reality. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 4:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @humn thanks! I now better understand how it works $\endgroup$
    – Areeb
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 4:38

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