3
$\begingroup$

Last Valentines Day, Harry received a card from an unknown person. As is tradition, he needed to figure out who it was. He suspects it is one of the following:

  • Anna who has hinted she likes him.
  • Lucy who is always shy around him.
  • Jane who openly flirts with him.

However the card Harry received didn't have any clue to who it was. In fact, it didn't even contain any words. All it had was a picture of an old phone - one with a keypad and a small screen - on the front and the numbers:

1478914789633214789153698

Who should Harry ask out?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The actual answer to the question is of course that Harry should ask out whomever he happens to fancy, regardless of whether (s)he has written him a Valentine’s card or not. ;-) $\endgroup$ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 20 '16 at 11:27
6
$\begingroup$

It was

Lucy

Because

Split the string like this: 14789 1478963 3214789 153698. Now draw lines between the digits of each part, using an oldschool keypad.

14789
enter image description here

1478963
enter image description here

3214789
enter image description here

153698
enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Correct, I'll just wait for the image before accepting. Well done! $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 19 '16 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ There we go! Well done $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 19 '16 at 22:02
4
$\begingroup$

Lukas Rotter's answer is the intended one, but in the spirit of Geobits SetBigO, I can't resist adding an alternative, more convoluted solution.

The card is from

Jane, who has made her interest clear but wants to test whether or not he returns her feelings.

  • Since the card includes a picture of a phone with a keypad, it's clear that Harry should

    map each number to a letter. For instance, 4 could map to G, H, or I. Making the appropriate choice in each case ('appropriate' being the one that yields a meaningful final answer), 1478914789633214789153698 becomes GQUW HPUWOFEC GQUW JEOYU.

  • Given this string, he needs to

    apply a Vigenere cipher to it. This is the true test of his affection: if his heart is set on Jane, he will try to think of ways to summarise her personality and interests. She's cute, funny, and her main interests are sumo wrestling and cello playing, so the key Harry should think of if he's into her is Cuty wit X sumo rowr celo J (her spelling isn't the best, unfortunately).

  • Applying the key from the second step to the string found in the first step yields the message:

    I LOVE YOU, HARRY - FROM JANE

    Can't get much clearer than that!

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ with the right one-time pad any viginere cypher can decrypt to anything. $\endgroup$ – Jasen Nov 20 '16 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the downvote, but the middle step is just too weak. $\endgroup$ – Dennis Jaheruddin Nov 20 '16 at 10:12
3
$\begingroup$

(Not a Cipher solution) The card is from

Lucy

Because

Lucy is shy, she wants to hide her feelings, so she hides it in a puzzle. Anna doesn't seem to care enough to think of something so elaborate, and Jane wouldn't need puzzles to show her feelings.

$\endgroup$

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.