9
$\begingroup$

Labrycean Navigator

You are currently on: 2F

1F 2F 3F 4F 5F 6F 7F 8F 9F 10F 11F

Background

Here is the second bi-weekly challenge from the "Labryca" series. I wish luck to anyone who is continuing this puzzlehunt after solving the first-floor challenge last week. If you have no idea what this question is talking about, I respectfully direct you to this page to get the introduction to "Labryca" and solve the first puzzle first. If you do have an idea what this is but haven't gotten this far in the puzzlehunt yet, well... I wish you the very best of luck... Mwa ha ha...

First Floor: Conclusion

As you approach Mr. Adams and correctly read off your answer word, he nods slowly toward you with an expression that, if you hadn't known better, might have seemed to be resignation. "Yeah, buddy... Ya got it," he confirms to you, stepping away from the elevator door and extending his plump hand in front of you, offering you a square green object. "Uhhh... What did they say about going alone again? It's... it's... something... to go alone, can't remember now. Anyways, take this."

You comply with his request and more closely inspect Mr. Adams's offering. It appears to be some sort of primitive tablet computer or art device, with a monochromatic display nearly the same green shade as its plastic casing, as well as a compartment containing a stylus. Black digital lines on the monitor separate its view field into twenty-five compartments, forming a five-by-five grid; dragging the stylus over the screen, you see that it is touch-activated, creating long lines of your own. Perhaps it even has some of those classic Texas Instruments apps installed. But there is no time to find out now -- a $100,000 jackpot is at stake in this insane puzzlehunt, and the totally mysterious consequences of failure are unnerving you. You clutch the Amulet in your other hand and hit an "Erase" button on the back of the green device; your markings disappear, leaving only the blank five-by-five grid outline.

Second Floor: Introduction

Entering the elevator car, its two curved doors arc shut behind you, producing a smooth cylindrical room that moves upward automatically. The car features no buttons, control panels, or other standard features, and the ceiling is adorned only with a flat, round light in its very center. By now, you're expecting the whole Labryca Complex to feel like this -- ten more floors of sterile, perfectly formed rooms, with only cranky guards for company. But when the doors open again, you are projected into an entirely different picture.

You're in the central area of the second floor, which is dimly lit and surrounded by natural-looking tables and chairs. Several of the granite countertop finishes are chipped, and one chair appears to have had a large quantity of ketchup and French fries spilled onto its surface. Off to your left is a long bar, curved to fit the wall and currently, it seems, deserted. Behind the elevator stands a pool table, and four Labrycean employees have just arrived at it for a friendly face-off. They wear grey uniforms, apparently less authoritative than those of Mr. Adams but still formal. Attached to them are photo ID badges; though you have to squint, you are able to perceive the names on all four of them: Ayumi Kato, Howard Axelrod, Drew Behrens, and Valerie Rhodes.

Ms. Kato approaches the table first, withdrawing the billiard balls from the pockets, and a wave of chatter begins. "All right," she exclaims. "I'll take you guys on again. But only if we play fair!"

"You mean 'play fairly'?" inquires Mr. Axelrod, pulling out three pool cues and handing two to the women of the group.

"Play fair," Ms. Kato repeats. "Please stop being such a Grammar Grinadel all the time."

Meanwhile, Mr. Behrens has been pawing at the sides of the table, searching for the missing cue that he never received. Only now does he speak up. "No cues! No cues!" he cries. "I have looked in every single subsection of this infernal green square, and there are NO CUES!"

"No cues? Here, I brought an extra one," Ms. Rhodes responds helpfully, digging into her backpack and handing Mr. Behrens what he needs. "Up on the 6th Floor, where I work, we have way too many of them."

Ms. Kato subsequently strikes the cue ball with her cue, initiating the game, and no further enlightening conversation is heard from the group, other than a few bouts of trash talk. Not far from the table, you locate a door labeled with the number "11" and step through, finding yourself under bright fluorescent lights in another large interconnected ring of rooms. Apart from the walls now being mustard yellow and the carpets having a checkered pattern, you notice very few differences from the 1st Floor; quickly, you get back down to business reading the strings on ten new computer terminals.

Room 11

KEEPUSINGTHERULEFROMTHREE

Room 12

SSETTAARHDLREODWASNSIARPG

Room 13

MULTIPLESOFSIXAREBACKWARD

Room 14

CHANGELETTERFTOTINSIXTEEN

Room 15

AEWDTIBOOHSIEQEOSTTNNTCSR

Room 16

OXPSVDUGPSKDSGPSNVYRDKXOM

Room 17

USEWHATMSKATOTOLDYOUTODEC

Room 18

KCULDOOGDYBDEWOLLOFDROWSS

Room 19

TTHREELETTERSOFMRADAMSSPA

Room 20

OXTYEDTHIFEEESISEKTRINEHS

The Second Elevator

You're curious as to where the second elevator will be located, since it obviously won't be in the center of the floor this time. However, once you have read the tenth and final computer screen, the familiar mechanical hiss emanates from all the walls again, and, for a brief moment, the message "EXIT THROUGH 20 NOW" flashes up on every terminal in the ring. You retrace your steps to Room 20 and find that a brand-new door has emerged in its outer wall.

Another elevator awaits beyond the door, though this one is slightly differently shaped -- more rectangular than the previous -- due to its being curved to fit neatly within the Labryca Complex's outer periphery. However, another black-uniformed guard stands beside the wall, and she rapidly steps before you to seal the gate ahead as you enter the room.

"Hello, stranger. Brigette Alperin is the name," she states, in a sterner and more distrustful tone of voice than the one you remember Mr. Adams using. "Access to this area is denied unless you read me your password now."

What password do you give to Ms. Alperin to access the elevator?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The answer is indeed the final four-letter word of the responses I've been getting so far from the last room in the progression. Well done, guys. All passwords will be a single word only. $\endgroup$ – A. Mirabeau Jul 18 '16 at 0:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Progress note: Just so you know, I need to head down to Irvine, CA on the weekend when the 3rd Floor would normally be posted, and will likely be very busy. I'll try to get the 3rd Floor up this weekend instead, but it may have no choice but to wait an extra week. Sorry. $\endgroup$ – A. Mirabeau Jul 18 '16 at 16:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Better to wait for a good puzzle than to spoil it by being hasty. Have joy in CA. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 18 '16 at 21:28
8
$\begingroup$

11:

KEEP USING THE RULE FROM THREE
From floor 1, "ON MULTIPLES OF FIVE READ DOWN"

12:

Jibberish, even in 5x5. Nothing yet...

13:

MULTIPLES OF SIX ARE BACKWARD

14:

CHANGE LETTER F TO T IN SIXTEEN

15:

(remember to read down)

 AEWDT 
IBOOH
SIEQE
OSTTN
NTCSR
Reading down gives: AISONEBISTWOETCDOQTSTHENR, or "A is 1, B is 2, etc. Do QTS then R."
Using the letter to number conversion, "QTS, then R" gives "17, 20, 19, then 18.

Following that path gives:

17: USEWHATMSKATOTOLDYOUTODEC
20: (in 5x5)

 OXTYE 
DTHIF
EEESI
SEKTR
INEHS
remember, multiples of 5 read down: ODESIXTEENTHEKEYISTHEFIR
19: TTHREELETTERSOFMRADAMSPA
18: (multiple of 6 is backwards) SSWORDFOLLOWEDBYDGOODLUCK

Putting them together gives:
USE WHAT MS KATO TOLD YOU TO. DECODE SIXTEEN. THE KEY IS THE FIRST THREE LETTERS OF MR ADAMS PASSWORD FOLLOWED BY D. GOOD LUCK.

This is alluding to:

A playfair cipher ('"Play fair," Ms. Kato repeats.), whose key is the first three letters of the previous password ('OPERA' -> 'O P E') followed by 'D'. So, use a playfair cipher with the key 'OPED' and decode the message from 16. The trick here is to not use the usual method of leaving 'J' out, but rather we should leave 'Q' out ("No Cues!"). So, our grid is:

 OPEDA 
BCFGH
IJKLM
NRSTU
VWXYZ

Thus, 16 gives:

EVERYOTHERLETFERINWTELVEKZ
With the switch commanded by 14 (F -> T), this gives us:
EVERY OTHER LETTER IN WTELVEKZ (?)
Naively, I'll take that to mean "Every other letter in twelve". Perhaps the difference here is important...

Going to 12:

Remember, multiples of six are backwards.
GPRAISNSAWDOERLDHRAATTESS
Taking every other letter (first "odds", then "evens"):
GRINADELHATESPASSWORDRATS
"Grinadel hates password rats"

Not sure what the password is from that. I guess it could be

Grinadel hates rats (as Verence said)

OR

As Morgan G and Kevin Liang suggested, the password could just be 'RATS'. If we just take every other letter from 12 (backwards) starting with the second letter, we get 'PASSWORD RATS'. The choice to start with the second letter could be gleaned from the fact that 'TWELVE' is misspelled as 'WTELVE' in the cipher, hinting at the first letter being in the 2nd position (maybe?).

So, the password is

RATS

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think "every other letter in twelve" should be interpreted as just taking the 2nd, 4th, 6th, ..., etc letter, instead of first doing odds and then evens, giving you your answer to be "password: rats" $\endgroup$ – Morgan G Jul 18 '16 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, Morgan G. Very yes. $\endgroup$ – A. Mirabeau Jul 18 '16 at 16:32
3
$\begingroup$

I have the password but I didn't finish all the rooms...

11:

KEEP USING THE RULES FROM THREE i.e. read down on multiple of 5

13:

MULTIPLES OF SIX ARE BACKWARD

12:

backward: gpraisnsawdoerldhraattess

well,

I don't have the full code but if you read every even letter: "password RATS" and if you read every odd letter: "Grinadel hates".

14:

CHANGE LETTER F TO T IN SIXTEEN

15:

Using the rulle from 3: "a is one b is two etc do q t s then r", so we need to do rooms 17 20 19 18

17 20 19 18:

"USE WHAT MS KATO TOLD YOU TO DECODE SIXTEEN THE KEY IS THE FIRST THREE LETTERS OF MR ADAMS'S PASSWORD FOLLOWED BY D GOOD LUCK" The password was OPERA, so the key should be OPED. Ms Kato said to play fair and stop being a grammar Grinadel.

16:

Well... I failed here. It probably should have a clue how to decode 12 but I already did it.

So my answer is

GRINADEL HATES RATS

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Why not just 'Rats'? $\endgroup$ – Kevin Liang Jul 16 '16 at 0:39
0
$\begingroup$

So yay, I finally got the password, but not all of the solutions for the rooms.

Room 11

Keep using the rule from 3 -> ON MULTIPLES OF 5, READ DOWN

Room 13

Multiples of six are backward -> that means 12 and 18.

Room 12

I applied the backwards thing, but it was still a scramble of letters. So I moved on for now.

Room 14

Change letter F to T in sixteen. Straightforward, but it was odd because 16 didn't contain any F's.

Room 15

We apply the reading downwards to get AISONEBISTWOETCDOQTSTHENR which I'm sure is also some hint, it has words like "then" and "do" in them. Edit: I found out now that it means A is 1, B is 2 etc. I didn't get that before. So, QTS THEN R becomes 17, 20, 19, then 18.

Room 16

It doesn't contain F's, so I skipped this one at first.

Room 17

USE WHAT MS KATO TOLD YOU TO DEC. So, surely this is another one of the "the message continues in another room" that was in the first floor as well. Let's see.

Room 18

It's multiple of 6, so reading backwards, we get: SS WORD FOLLOWED BY D GOOD LUCK. Doesn't fit with 17 for now.

Room 19

T THREE LETTERS OF MR ADAMS PA. This fits together with 18, so we get: T THREE LETTERS OF MR ADAMS PASSWORD FOLLOWED BY GOOD LUCK.

Room 20

Reading downwards because of the multiple of 5, we get: ODE SIXTEEN THE KEY IS THE FIRS. Finally, the last piece of the continuing sentences.

Therefore:

The final message is: USE WHAT MS KATO TOLD YOU TO DECODE SIXTEEN. THE KEY IS THE FIRST THREE LETTERS OF MR ADAMS PASSWORD FOLLOWED BY D. GOOD LUCK. That means the key is "OPED" (from OPERA and D). Ms Kato told us a lot, but the things that stick out are "Play fair" and "Grinadel" (I checked, that's not a word, so it's suspicious). Unfortunately, that didn't help me figure out what method to use for decoding because I don't know many ciphers.

Solution:

Per accident, I found out that in the reversed 12 (GPRAISNSAWDOERLDHRAATTESS) every second letter forms the word "GRINADEL". Then, when I tried the remaining letters, it said "PASSWORD RATS".

Therefore, the password is

RATS

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.