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You sit in front of a computer terminal. To save a puppy from beeing eaten by a unicorn (I'll make up a better background next time) you need to enter the correct password of 4 letters. You are given a hint:

4:6 2:1 3:0 3:0 3:3 3:7 3:2 3:4 : 4:8 4:4 3:1 1:0
P   A   S   S   W   O   R   D   :

What is the Password?

Clue:

Neither my son nor my father could solve this, unless they worked together.

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    $\begingroup$ I must say, very insecure password ;) $\endgroup$ Oct 20 '16 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ @me_digvijay Unicorns are quite trusting I guess. :) $\endgroup$ Oct 20 '16 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ I presume the clue is that 4:6 equates to P, etc. That would mean the password we seek is four characters. $\endgroup$ Oct 20 '16 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast: Confirmed. $\endgroup$ Oct 21 '16 at 8:28
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    $\begingroup$ @lois6b: Would be coincidence, as I created this puzzle right for this post. $\endgroup$ Oct 21 '16 at 8:52
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I think the answer is

BLUE

Reasoning

The code is a mix between morse code and binary, so a number pair A:B tells you that the letter has A characters in its morse code representation and if we translate that representation to binary (with dashes as 1s and dots as 0s), we get B.

Example

The first number is 4:6, this means we have four morse code characters which in binary represents 6, i.e, 0110 = .--. = P.

The others are
4:8 $\rightarrow$ 1000 $\rightarrow$ -... $\rightarrow$ B
4:4 $\rightarrow$ 0100 $\rightarrow$ .-.. $\rightarrow$ L
3:1 $\rightarrow$ 001 $\rightarrow$ ..- $\rightarrow$ U
1:0 $\rightarrow$ 0 $\rightarrow$ . $\rightarrow$ E

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  • $\begingroup$ and about the clue? $\endgroup$
    – lois6b
    Oct 21 '16 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ @lois6b morse code is something his father would know (fairly old technique). binary is something his son would know (fairly recent technique) $\endgroup$
    – nl-x
    Oct 21 '16 at 9:56
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    $\begingroup$ Looks like a great answer! Pity if there were really a typo in the question though, as its a pretty good puzzle too. $\endgroup$
    – Xenocacia
    Oct 21 '16 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately the 0:0 was indeed a typo. Can't say how much this annoys me. :/ $\endgroup$ Oct 21 '16 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ I was trying to figure out why the first number was even necessary and then I realized it was to tell you how many leading zeros you need. $\endgroup$ Oct 21 '16 at 11:59

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