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My friend Jeff just went away on a one-year world tour. Unfortunately, he's got my important research on his computer. Of course, it is locked by password. I tried to get a hold of him, but I can't reach him on his phone. He might already be on the top of Himalaya...

So I went to his house, searched his office for any Post-it note or other clue he might have left and finally stumbled on a piece of paper with his writing. Can you help me decipher it and find his password?


The content of his note is as follows :

I'm known throughout the world
Even though I'm no more the tallest
I'm starting to get old
But one day per year, I'm still on my brightest

My half-sister lives in a far away country
Near the ocean, while I'm stuck in the city
I could be called an iron lady
But please don't, this one's historically my enemy

"The answer is the key, in more sense than one?"

036064313-115102518 : MIRYLPXWCLKIMSYLNAWHHFJUJSHPESEIM 048512988+002174020 : NMXZMDVSMYZZQJSXLOOJXTIYZJNPICOWVHM 035393091+139444354 : MKMNRZTHKARXIXMMHTYEQRWC

Hint 1 :

The answers to the ciphers are to be taken in their own languages

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The answer to the riddle (not the cipher):

Eiffel Tower

I'm known throughout the world

obvious

Even though I'm no more the tallest

For four decades it was the world’s tallest structure but there are lots of taller buildings now

I'm starting to get old

Sad but true.

But one day per year, I'm still on my brightest

enter image description here
Christmas...

My half-sister lives in a far away country

Statue of Liberty was also built by Eiffel (half-sister sharing a father)

Near the ocean, while I'm stuck in the city

is placed pretty near the ocean (on an island).

I could be called an iron lady

That's how the Eiffel Tower is called

But please don't, this one's historically my enemy

Hm.. Some historical facts certainly mention that.

"The answer is the key, in more sense than one?"
As Rubio pointed out:

the numeric strings are geo coordinates:

036064490-115101990 is

Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas

048512988+002174020 is

Eiffel Tower (Paris)

035391859+139442639 is

Tokyo Tower - Tokyo, Japan

So the first sense of the answer being a key is

all the locations present some kind of Eiffel Tower.

The second sense is the key to the cipher below as @Ivanhoe commented:

which is Vigenere's cipher with key "EIFFELTOWER"

I am sorry for wrong deciphering - I had some letters mixed up (switched 'p' and 'q' don't ask me why) - now it should be correct (thanks to @Ivanhoe again).

MIRYLPXWCLKIMSYLNAWHHFJUJSHPESEIM

It is from Vegas, so the language is english.
iamtheeighteenthchildofmendeleiev (in english he is spelled Mendeleev, right?)
Riddle:
I am the eighteenth child of Mendeleiev
Answer:
Argon (Ar) (18th element in Mendeleiev's periodic table)

NMXZMDVSMYZZQJSXLOOJXTIYZJNPICOWVHM

This is from Paris, so the language is french
jesuiscequivientavantcequejepossede
Je suis ce quivient avant ce que je possede
Riddle:
I am what comes before what I have.
Answer:
my, as it comes before i.e. "my car". In french that would be ma, mon or mes.

MKMNRZTHKARXIXMMHTYEQRWC

This is from Tokyo, so the language is japanese
ichinoatowatashiwakimasu
Ichi no ato watashi wa kimasu
Riddle:
I come after one
Answer:
two which in japanese spells ni

The deciphered parts together make

Armani, Armonni or Armesni
So the password is likely to be: Armani as it is the only proper word from the three (Giorgio Armani is the founder of a famous Italian fashion house).

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  • $\begingroup$ How is Italy "far-away" from France considering they border one another? $\endgroup$ – Ivanhoe Oct 20 '16 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ Well, you're right, that is not the furthest of countries :P I'll try to fix it. $\endgroup$ – oleslaw Oct 20 '16 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ @oleslaw You've got the riddle part absolutely right! +1 $\endgroup$ – Thrax Oct 20 '16 at 9:03
  • $\begingroup$ You're almost right, but it seems like you've got some errors in your Vigenere deciphering. Which is why it looks like there is some mispelling in the english, french and japanese sentences. (I used websites to encrypt/decrypt) $\endgroup$ – Thrax Oct 20 '16 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ Also, you've got the first part (in english) right. $\endgroup$ – Thrax Oct 20 '16 at 14:17
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A couple UPDATED additional comments here -

the numeric strings are geo coordinates:

048512988+002174020 : Eiffel Tower
036064490-115101990 : Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas
035391859+139442639 : Tokyo Tower - Tokyo, Japan

As for the cipher text - from the clues I assumed this would be

an Eiffel Code (Caesar cipher with shift of 6)

but it seems not to be. So now I am at a loss on how to proceed.

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  • $\begingroup$ You found a clue. I actually mistyped 2 of the 3 numbers (see edit of questions). While that should change the places you found out, it's not critical to solve the cipher. +1 $\endgroup$ – Thrax Oct 20 '16 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ The second place is not exactly the one i'm referring to (while it's actually quite one and only 2D spot) $\endgroup$ – Thrax Oct 20 '16 at 9:41
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    $\begingroup$ 036064490-115101990 seems correct, i think. Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Oct 20 '16 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ Well that's what I was trying to point to, but I'm no expert of manipulating GPS coordinates. I was using this notation : "Latitude: 36° 06' 43.13" N / Longitude: -115° 10' 25.18" W" and stripping anything else than signs and numbers. $\endgroup$ – Thrax Oct 20 '16 at 9:48
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    $\begingroup$ The strings are actually Vigenere encoded with the key being EIFFELTOWER. They yield 3 sentences, each in a different language(French, English and Japanese). There was no point going for an answer myself as the puzzle was half-way solved already. $\endgroup$ – Ivanhoe Oct 20 '16 at 10:32

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