Original inspiration from @BeastlyGerbil's puzzle - This is an opportunity. Can you take it?

I have just received this email, from someone who Puzzlers Email couldn't give me any info on - it just says 'Unknown'. I took a picture with my camera - maybe you can figure out what on earth this guy is saying, because I'm lost.

the email itself


Short people have more than you realize...

  • $\begingroup$ Wow by the look of the boot case this will take a long time to solve $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 20 '16 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ The snake made me to consider upvoting. $\endgroup$ – Matsmath Nov 20 '16 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ Given the title, I suspect you got inspiration from somewhere else as well as Beastly's puzzle ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Nov 20 '16 at 12:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I happen to see Rand Al'thor's pic on the image.... $\endgroup$ – Sid Nov 20 '16 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have enough to even make a partial answer, but there's a 'B' and an 'LKGRY.GIF' hidden in the image. Entering that into imgur urls (in various forms of capitalization) has come up empty. $\endgroup$ – Tim C Nov 20 '16 at 19:59

The person who emailed you is trying to tell you

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is bad.

Your mind wanders back to the effort they put into hiding this message...

Clicking on the image you found a picture of a bookcase and a computer. The bookcase contained links which led to other images. A lot were filler images, but there were a few that caught your eye...

Some of the images seemed to contain hidden text. The life of Fred had Q3 and h2 quite obviously in it. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows contained Y1.

The trickiest to find

Was in The Hobbit. It is very hard to see but there is a q5 in the top right above the brim and a p4 in the top left corner. You had to zoom in a lot.

Ordering them from their numbers gave

http://i.stack.imgur.com/YhQpq.png gives us

which is

enter image description here.

The numbers seeemed to correspond with

The numbers in the email. To decode you must take the number in the email, find its match and replace it with the letters

By decoding the entire email with this you got

Hello, Mithrandir. Once you and your little friends have decoded this, go to UOSvt.png. I will wait and watch.

So you went to


And found

enter image description here

To solve it you had to go back to the bookcase and to the book labelled Saruman. In it you found

A hidden imgur link - https://i.stack.imgur.com/R7xgk.png

Which gave you


The small text at the bottom was

Bayl jbeqf gung ner 3 yrggref ybat - ROT13 for

'Only words that are 3 letters long'

So you solved the crossword with words 3 letters or longer and were found only a few letters remained unused.

(I'll add a solved crossword later)

The letters left over were:


You also had to add an 'i' from the hidden link in the 'divergent' link:

enter image description here

And an 's' from the Gas Gage.:

enter image description here

So the final letters were:


Which descrambled to:

Cursed Child: Bad.

You sccessfully unlocked the email's secrets.

  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir you mean wrong track for the 3 letter words bit? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 20 '16 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ If I remember correctly Monster Donut is a reference to one of the books in the Percy Jackson series 1. $\endgroup$ – boboquack Nov 20 '16 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ I dont understand. Where are q5 and p4? $\endgroup$ – bleh Nov 27 '16 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @bleh very hard to see $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 27 '16 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir when I solve the puzzle I'll focus on making the images and answer 1) well ordered 2) correct $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 28 '16 at 20:24

Note: I didn't try to click on the image yet when I wrote this answer, so the following is extremely partial and could be superfluous.

Partial answer


427 = H
826 = E
26 = L
703 = O
504 = M
524 = I
534 = T
629 = R
698 = A
946 = N
857 = D
524 = I
385 = C
112 = T
840 = F
165 = S
9 = Y
256 = U
555 = V
825 = E
280 = W

Then the message partially decodes to


I think the 524 in the last line is supposed to be a 534. Not sure why TO 634 O TIYNT 315 YLT is so much nonsense for some reason... I also still have to figure out what 634 and 315 decodes to.

If the mapping so far is correct, the numbers with a blue border decode to:


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The answers are in there. You're supposed to find the answers, not actually solve it! :) $\endgroup$ – Mithical Nov 20 '16 at 10:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir Um... Wow, can't believe I didn't click on the image yet... Thanks. $\endgroup$ – user14478 Nov 20 '16 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ Just BTW: I updated the image, so you may want to update this. And, a clarification: The key is in the puzzle, not the actual solution. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Nov 20 '16 at 14:09

This is just a lead on for other people to come.

This pic


corresponds to the

Pippen cipher probably.

But the text is nonsense, but there is a clear structure

njwj jwtr jrtx jpnq in wnx jxfju

Just too long for a comment

Also, the Magnus chase one

https://i.stack.imgur.com/Ry0kK.jpg is Samariah al-Abbas. A Valkerie.

Don quixote.

https://i.stack.imgur.com/9TnmF.jpg can be nothing less than Rand al'Thor's donkey on SFF.SE, because he has not watched a single Star Wars movie.

I have no clue what a gas gage is, but

a sphygmomanometer apparently is what it is. sphbleh


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