# A gate presents a riddle with keys yielding a riddle with ease!

Upon entering the labyrinth, the hero, you, was greeted by a gate. The gate is next to a waterfall where the contents of one pool flow into the next pool.

The gate was still until your approach, and then it stirred. "You must tell me the answer to my riddle for which I gives three clues, each with a key to the clue. Putting all the clues together will give you another riddle and the answer of that riddle is what will open me."

# Key of the swimmer with no bones

cryptic man wolf marble aftershock heater pressure appear tragic who gone authentic costumed proud object biology crook ferries luminous distribution monarchy excellent rare eerie burglary savior ceaseless pick distillery fertile bounces ambient song river private victory event haste deathtrap dust speed dead rum lost crypt hollowness

# Key of the tile face

dream banquet sister going block alternate third bellyache attacking barren tool elegant gurgle babble of original several carbon demise juggling fantasy

# Key of the marriage

crafty hotel hitchhiker you faint look breakable what bottomless do leaf you constant see barnyard

## Hint:

Hahaha! You thought it would be that easy! But, no, please be considerate to your ancestors and rank before you use the keys! Oh and pardon me, I seem to have left some junk about. And did I mention that I like movies more than books?

## Hint 2:

Taken from @Alconja's answer below, don't read if you want to solve the riddle yourself.

Alconja correctly identified the keys as powers of 2 :8, 4, 2
Then he came very close to getting the second clue, the ancestry. The gate is the root, therefore the first word jumble is 1, the second is 2nd and the third is the 3rd ancestor. That means skip the first, second and third words of each jumble and take every 8th, 4th and 2nd word respectively after that. This removes the jumble and yields the final riddle. However!! The 3 lines of the riddle are also ancestors. Take the answer from the first and apply it to the second, and the answer from the second applied to the third will yield the final key to the Gate.

I apologize if this was too difficult, that is what I intended.

• Arranging (Ranking) the words by the firsts (Ancestors), alphabetically, and taking the lasts produce: "ktrcysysdktcdpyntettseeerstsneytkeedermrgdcyof", which is probably gibberish. But it may be a fruitless interpretation of the hint.
– user27395
Sep 23, 2016 at 13:20
• Alternate words in the last bunch: hotel(?) you look what do you see ...possibly means something? Sep 24, 2016 at 9:13
• @Alconja The gate opens its gaze and looks at you, eyes smiling. But the gate itself remains closed. Sep 24, 2016 at 14:09
• @jmb.mage: Just saying, is my intrepretation wrong of the hint ?
– user27395
Sep 24, 2016 at 14:37
• OP, you need to award the bounty quickly, otherwise it might go to waste. Sep 30, 2016 at 10:15

My attempt at solving the second part of the riddle as found by @Alconja

Man who ferries saviour river dead
Refers to Charon, boatman of the dead in greek mythology

Sister third tool of demise
Another reference to greek mythology, the three Moirai (fates in english, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai) are sisters, the third is called Atropos and chooses when each person dies. Her tool is a pair of scissors to cut our metaphorical life line.

You look what do you see
Could be reference to the fact that we're looking for a movie

These hints could point to

The 1991 movie Scissors starring Sharon Stone (Charon), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102860/

My second attempt at solving the second part of the riddle as found by @Alconja

Man who ferries saviour river dead
Refers to Charon, boatman of the dead in greek mythology

Sister third tool of demise
Another reference to greek mythology, the three Moirai (fates in english, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai) are sisters, the third is called Atropos and chooses when each person dies. Yet another reference to death.

You look what do you see

These hints could point to

The Sixth Sense ?

• You are very close, so I added another clue to the puzzle, "The gate is next to a waterfall where the contents of one pool flow into the next pool." Sep 29, 2016 at 13:36
• I understand your hint and i think my first two interpretations are correct, still not getting the last one though Sep 30, 2016 at 9:32
• Edited a new guess in but im not really sure.. Sep 30, 2016 at 9:37

If we interpreter each key as a:

Numerical indicator

We can see, 'swimmer with no bones' refers to

An octopus, which gives us eight

'Tile face' gives us

A square, with four sides (though admittedly triangles and hexagons also tile the plane)

And 'marriage'

Is between two people

Applying these to their respective word lists we can see the following messages:

Man who ferries saviour river dead - every eighth word from the first set, starting from the second word
Which seems to be a reference to Charon ferrying the dead over the River Styx.

Sister third tool of demise - every fourth word from the second list, starting from the third
...not sure what that's referring too...

Hotel you look what do you see - every second word from the third set, starting from the second
...again not sure about the "hotel", but the rest appears to be an instruction of sorts...

This still doesn't do anything with the hints (e.g. "be considerate to your ancestors and rank before you use the keys"), but I think it's on the right track...

• Did you check all (n-1) start words?. Rank may mean 2 then 4 then 8, but it's not giving ancestors.
– user27395
Sep 25, 2016 at 4:33
• @ArkaKarmakar yeah the starting point seems a little arbitrary, but if you grid up the words, those are the most obvious "meaningful" sentences. Re: rank, thought that too, but it doesn't seem to get us any further... Sep 25, 2016 at 4:48
• How is 'hotel' (2nd word) in the third set? Otherwise, you have achieved the second riddle. Now if you answer that, the gate will open. Sep 25, 2016 at 22:17
• @jmb.mage - I included it because it fits the pattern (i.e. it's an evenly positioned word)... Is it not part of the set? If so, is there a way that I'm missing to know that it's not? Sep 25, 2016 at 22:31
• @Alconja you respected the ancestors for the first riddle, the second but then when you read the third, you went back to the second ancestor. Sep 26, 2016 at 0:54

What this reminds me of is a type of code I once saw in a book, in which

each word is replaced by the word $n$ places after it in a dictionary, where $n$ and the dictionary used are fixed beforehand. For instance, such a code might turn "Can you come with me Saturday" into "Canada young comedian withal mead Saturn" (yes, I still remember the precise example used in a book I last saw 10 years ago). In this way, a meaningful sentence can be turned into what appears to be a stream of random words.

This theory is supported by the references in the hint to

"please be considerate to your ancestors and rank". Here "ancestors" could mean "those who come before", in the sense of words which precede the given words in the dictionary, while "rank" might refer to the difference between these words and the given ones (the $n$ mentioned above).

(An alternative possibility, which occurred to me after seeing the title, is probably less likely:

"a riddle with keys yielding a riddle with ease" - phonetically, the only difference between "keys" and "ease" is a single K. Perhaps the title is a hint that we're meant to transform the given words by removing phonemes from them here and there?)

Now how about those titles for the three parts of the puzzle? Well, I think

a "swimmer with no bones" must be an EEL. If they're all short words, then the "marriage" could be WED, but I'm not sure about the "tile face".

Going with my initial idea for what sort of code is being used, these clues might be meant to encipher

the distance we should move within the dictionary: e.g. in the first clue, EEL gives 5,5,12, so we move backwards in the dictionary by 5 steps for the first word, 5 for the second, 12 for the third, and so on.

The only issue remaining, then, is

which dictionary is being used. This information is probably hidden somehow in the final part of the hint: "I seem to have left some junk about. And did I mention that I like movies more than books?"

• very close to the right path, yet wrong swimmer Sep 24, 2016 at 13:56
• @jmb.mage Well, I just learned that sharks don't have bones. Maybe it's SHARK instead of EEL? Or RAY, SKATE, etc. - there are quite a few possibilities. Sep 24, 2016 at 14:10
• @rand-althor there is a distinct pattern for what is on the page. this pattern will reveal a second riddle which will reveal the answer. Sep 24, 2016 at 14:50
• @jmb.mage When you say I'm "very close to the right path", does that mean what's in my first two spoilertags is the correct approach? Sep 24, 2016 at 14:54
• hmm, I don't want to spoil my own riddle. Take a look at the comments below the riddle. Sep 24, 2016 at 15:09

"I seem to have left some junk about"... is a vast understatement. This isn't a replacement cypher, the entire riddle is right in front of us just in the middle of vast amounts of "junk".

Decoding First Clue:

The first real clue is "the key of marriage", which might refer to "2", i.e. marriage is between a pair, and the message is every other word. The actual message is "you look what do you see"? The point of this section is to make you aware of how the system works, i.e. skip lots of words. Getting the message in the next (i.e. previous) section is harder.

2nd Clue:

So just take the 2nd section and look at it for a while. The most meaningful message would be: "alternate third of original", which tells you the riddle itself is in the 1st section.

So the riddle itself is:

Taking every third word from the original section (skipping the ones which probably are spam), we get: wolf, heater, tragic, authentic, object, ferries, monarchy, eerie, ceaseless, fertile, song, victory, deathtrap, dead, crypt.

To me this suggests the answer is:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Because:

Harry and Dumbledore take a boat (a ferry) across to an eerie island, spring that deathtrap, looking for the authentic object (Salazar Slytherin's Locket, and Slytherin was monarchy), guarded by the ceaseless dead. Harry and D are victorious over the dead through fire (i.e. heat). Dumbledore's death was certainly tragic and the entire thing in the cave was a big part of it. The series has a man-wolf in it and Harry has a child (a baby when he first encounter Lord "V") pulls 'fertile' in.

However...

I very rarely watch movies so there might be one which is a better fit.

The riddles were revealed long ago but never put together properly Revisiting this riddle it combines a little funny. I must of been feeling mean that day I wrote it

man who ferries savior river dead
sister third tool of demise
you look what do you see

Charon is correctly revealed from the first clue
"savior" is out of place as it does not refer to Charon
"third sister" is actually the second clue
"tool of demise you look what do you see?" is the third clue