18
$\begingroup$

This is it. This is the night. Megina, a fellow puzzler, has been invited to a secret reception, by a secret society, in a secret place (yes, a lot of secrets).

She has already discovered the place. It's a country mansion out of town. God, she feels as a character of Eyes Wide Shut.

But she's not inside the mansion yet. As she approaches the front gate, a masked man asks her:

What is the password?

Damn, Megina almost forgot it! Fortunately, she has her cell, and picks it out of her purse. She reads again the email she received the day before:

From: A Sin Known Run < 91915caff-a@alpha2.com >
Sent: Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:36PM +0100
To: megina@pse.com
Subject: Your invitation

Dear You,

Don't read this mail too fast! Yes, that's the spirit. Remember that you will be rewarded if you're a true fervent. Being the last is not always poorly looked upon, and in this case, it could help you get all the puzzle's pieces...
You not coming along would be a pity. Many famous guests will be there, and you don't want to miss the opportunity to talk to them, as they obviously won't stay late. We are waiting for you tomorrow, and for now, you can go to sleep.

PS: In newspaper (EU) :
Clearly, one ugly neighbor: the real you!
Can Obama dodge ecology, seriously?

A Sin Known Run

She remembered thinking that the post-scriptum did not make any sense. But now, she's thanking the hours spent on PSE. Confident, she's ready to answer the masked man.

What is the password?


Hint:

The first part of this puzzle has been found by @Acerfire37, yay! He discovered that if you take the first letter of each words in the PS, it gives you : "In EU country codes".
@ArkaKarmakar, in the comments, also found that the password depends on ISO3166-1 alpha 2 (decipher 91915caff-a) country codes. Put together, both theses clues gives you a list of codes, that you can find here.

Now,

Read the body of the mail again. "Dear You" is not important. But what about being the last...

Finally:

The password is a seven letter word.

$\endgroup$
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ I stopped reading the email after the first sentence and will return to read one sentence per hour for the next month so as to not read too fast. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Aug 18 '16 at 15:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald See you tomorrow! $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 18 '16 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ I'll put up a partial in a few hours of no one gets it. I'm on mobile so can't research the rest of the info to use what I've found. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Aug 19 '16 at 10:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I figured out a couple of things, but don't really know what to do with them. And the others still don't make sense to me and can't figure them out. I am really looking forward to someone solving this. $\endgroup$ – Maria Deleva Aug 21 '16 at 11:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ megina(the name) is an anagram of enigma. So, maybe the enigma machines have something to do with it. And I strongly feel "A Sin Known Run" is also an anagram although I can't figure out what. $\endgroup$ – Sid Aug 21 '16 at 14:34
14
+100
$\begingroup$

So we know already that ...

... the message is hidden in the e-mail body (excluding the greeting and the postscript). It is no cipher, but steganography. The password is hidden "in EU country codes". But what codes?

If you look carefully at the mail address...

it reads "91915caff-a@alpha2.com". If you turn the numbers in letters and the letters in numbers, you get : ISO3166-1 alpha 2, so it refers to the two letters of this code. The last hint tells us that the password is seven letters long. The passage to "Being the last is not always poorly looked upon" is also important.

The important parts of the mail are ...

... the last words of each sentence: fast, spirit, fervent, pieces, pity, late, sleep.

Most of these words contain two-letter codes, but fast and fervent don't and pieces contains two. Hmmm.

The password is hidden ...

... literally in EU letter codes. Each of the words have a letter that is surrounded by a country code: fast, spirit, fervent, pieces, pity, late, sleep.

The password special is hidden in the codes for Austria, Slovenia, France, Estonia, Portugal, Lithuania and Sweden.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Great. I am glad someone solved it, as it was bugging me. :) $\endgroup$ – Maria Deleva Aug 23 '16 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ Goooood job! I hope you enjoyed solving it as much as I enjoyed building it :) $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 24 '16 at 6:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks! Yes, it was fun, but it was also quite tough. I found out quickly that country codes and "last" were important, but it was not clear what "last" referred to. I looked for words that ended with country codes. I extracted all codes and took only the second letter. I also looked for full names of coutries to convert to codes: There are anagrams of Mali and Togo and "many" is the last of Germany, "and" the last of Poland and Finland, and so on. I was baffled that there is no valid EU code in the first sentence. I had explored many dead ends before the last hint gave me the right idea. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Aug 24 '16 at 9:36
4
$\begingroup$

Another partial answer:

As elias said, the first letters of the words make 'COUNTRY CODES'. In addition, it says (EU) which led me to believe it had something to do with the European Union country codes. There are 2 letters symbolizing the codes so they might have something to do with it.

Also:

The time the email was sent had a +0100 so it suggest GMT +1 time zone. So, far I've tried to cut out which countries in the EU did not have the time zone that was included.

And:

In the email, it said from " 91915caff-a@alpha2.com ".leading me to believe the answer has something to do with the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes. So far, it all matches up.

Update:

So, I was thinking there may be something to do with the "In newspaper" portion. Using the first letters of each word, you get IN. Using this, it might have something to do with the ISIN (International Securities Identification Number) or NSIN (National Securities Identifying Number) which are both codes involving the country codes. Just a thought.
Or it could have just been a continuation meaning "IN EU Country Codes"

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I just added the spoilers. Also, your conclusion is good, but there are two other words in the post-scriptum @elias and you didn't use... Maybe after that, you can build the rest :) $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 21 '16 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Your last words. You're definitely on the right track. Now, can you use this with the body of the e-mail? ;) $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 22 '16 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ hmmm, im not fully sure but I think the passcode is the name of a country... $\endgroup$ – Acerfire37 Aug 22 '16 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ No, it is not. Read the mail carefully. Use the "key" you have. Find the password. Profit. $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 22 '16 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ Sigh, that might take a while.... hmm i might be overlooking something. $\endgroup$ – Acerfire37 Aug 22 '16 at 18:44
2
$\begingroup$

Not sure if I'm on the right track, and working off some of the comments as hints and assumptions, but:

Postscript is acronym for "IN EU: COUNTRY CODES", and alpha-2 is in the email address so we assume iso alpha 2 codes. A list of all country codes for the 28 countries in the EU is:

at be bg hr cy cz dk ee fi fr de gr hu ie it lv lt lu mt nl pl pt ro sk si es se gb

Here's where it gets iffy:

I can't stop focusing on the +0100 timezone. So here is a list of all EU countries that currently (for those with DST) are GMT+1 in at least part of (for those with multiple timezones) the country:

at hr cz dk fr hu lu mt nl sk si es se

Notes there:
- be, de, it, and pl do use +1 but are currently in +2 for DST
- nl and es contain +1 as well as other timezones so not sure if they should be considered.

Now to figure out what this all means. There's also the matter of whether or not the email address is significant:

I cannot overlook that "caff-a" resembles café, phonetically. But I don't know if it's relevant.

I do know that anagrams of Megina and "A Sin Known Run" are not relevant as per the OP's comments.


Update:

I suspected "being the last" was significant and this was confirmed in a comment by the OP.

The last country to join the EU was Croatia, country code hr, numeric iso country code 191, dial code 385.

So my current line of thinking is the password is one of the following:

Croatia, hr, 191, or 385, or some combination thereof. Also... 191 is part of the source email address but that might just be a coincidence.

But it's still not constrained enough to come up with a single answer so there must be more to it.


Update:

Well there are 7 words in the email that contain country codes from the EU and the hint says it's a 7 letter word:

yes that's that case pieces guests late

But the last (being last is important) letters of those words don't really spell anything, nor do the last letters of the country codes.

I was sure I was getting closer and but hit a stumbling block. Then I noticed M Oehm's new answer, who got it, and there's no way I ever would've taken that direction. Nice work!

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ @IAmInPLS I made an update; am I getting warmer or colder? $\endgroup$ – Jason C Aug 23 '16 at 4:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Don't focus on the time zone, it is irrelevant here. being the last doesn't refer to the last country unfortunately... The list of codes is good but I gave it in the hint. Think again. Do the letters of the codes appear somewhere? $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 23 '16 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ @IAmInPLS Oh man! I tried my best with all your hints, but looks like M Oehm got it! Nice puzzle that was fun! Must've been a tough one to construct. $\endgroup$ – Jason C Aug 23 '16 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ You had some nice tries, but indeed, this has been solved! Hope you liked it anyway :) $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 24 '16 at 6:10
1
$\begingroup$

Partial answer

The first letters of the words in the PS read together are: 'country codes'

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You forgot something important. In the ps, are you sure there are not other words? $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 21 '16 at 13:54
0
$\begingroup$

A possible solution may be:

826

The reason:

This is the code for UK, which is the last in the list of EU country codes.

Not sure

I am not sure about the famous people. Perhaps they are relevant and the answer is some place.

PS

Based on the last hint.. there are 7 sentences. So perhaps some cipher with the country code should be used. Still thinking...

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ But where is the link to the email body? The OP says the password is hidden there. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Aug 23 '16 at 8:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Listen to @MOehm :)! Moreover, the answer is not a country code. As I said, these codes are used to hide the password. $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 23 '16 at 10:23

protected by Community Aug 24 '16 at 15:01

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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