14
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This puzzle can be solved as puzzle on its own, but its solution is also part of Deusovi's Community Metapuzzle.

You wake up feeling rather dazed. Your head is pounding. Whatever just happened did not agree with you in the least. As you get up from the floor and start exploring the room you see interesting inscriptions on the walls.

The first you see seems to be about making cipher puzzles and the etiquette involved.

Welcome, adventurer, to your learning experience where you get to die. Double transposition ciphers are a great way of challenging user. Naturally, if a cipher is being used, it needs to be clued properly. In essence, when a cipher is used, one must make sure that it is crack-able.

The second seems to be about making riddles and their etiquette.

Overt riddles are another good way of making something fun to solve. Slowly and carefully building one can also be quite enjoyable for the creator. Generally, one should always be sure to reference the object or idea thoroughly. Priming the solver one clue at a time, but one has to be carefully not too make it too vague. In the circumstance where the riddle is too vague, it will be unsolvable as there are too many possible solutions.

The third wall has an inscription about crosswords.

Winding back and forth is not a great way to make crosswords, that will only end in grief. Numerous words at hand make it easy to cross reference words against each other to build the grid. However, building the grid is only half the challenge of making a crossword puzzle. Obvious clues can sometimes be useful to give to the solver. Prudently giving those clues can easily make a crossword difficult yet solvable.

On the fourth and final wall you see a panel and an inscription with an encryption. On the panel there are what looks like 52 emoji buttons, the text kind, and a digital display.

╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
║                                                                               ║    
║      ╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗    ║
║      ║                                                                   ║    ║
║      ║                                                                   ║    ║
║      ╚═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝    ║
║                                                                               ║
║                                                                               ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║ }:-> ║   ║  :/  ║   ║  >.< ║   ║  :-( ║   ║  T_T ║   ║ |:-o ║   ║  ;)  ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║  ;-) ║   ║  :-) ║   ║  O.O ║   ║  ^_^ ║   ║  :-> ║   ║  :D  ║   ║  8-) ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║  }:> ║   ║  :-P ║   ║  :o  ║   ║  :-D ║   ║  <_< ║   ║  :-C ║   ║  :*  ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║  >_> ║   ║  :C  ║   ║  O_o ║   ║  O:) ║   ║  -.- ║   ║  :>  ║   ║  :O  ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║  :V  ║   ║  :'( ║   ║  |:o ║   ║  O_O ║   ║  o_O ║   ║  :X  ║   ║  >_< ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║ O:-) ║   ║  :-* ║   ║  ^^  ║   ║  :P  ║   ║  :-O ║   ║ :'-( ║   ║  :S  ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗  ║
║   ║  :-X ║   ║  -_- ║   ║  :-S ║   ║  :-o ║   ║  :-V ║   ║  :)  ║   ║  T.T ║  ║
║   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝  ║
║                         ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗   ╔══════╗                        ║
║                         ║  :-/ ║   ║  :(  ║   ║  8)  ║                        ║
║                         ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝   ╚══════╝                        ║
╚═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝

In order to leave this room you must enter the password. How to do is written just below:

 >_> :'( ^_^ ;) :/ O_O O_o <_< :) O_O 8) :S :V ;) 8) :X :> -.- :O |:o ^_^ :D 8) }:> ^_^ 
 O_O <_< :'( ^_^ :'( O:) >.< T.T :D 8) :(

Just remember, not all canines are negligent and not all vulpes are swift.

While looking down to think you spot a small torn scrap of paper with this written on it:

I think I've got it! For those that somehow end up here after me, think of the or____al sent___e, c_an__ f___ let_er_ and m_ve ___!

The other pieces lie on the floor torn off letter by letter and alphabetized them, someone has a sick sense of humor...

c e e e e g g h i i i n n n o o s t v

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ amazing image :D $\endgroup$ – lois6b Nov 21 '16 at 15:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you, took a little while to make (and get formatted properly) $\endgroup$ – dcfyj Nov 21 '16 at 15:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I believe the text faces are commonly called emoticons $\endgroup$ – CAD97 Nov 22 '16 at 2:25
4
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Sconibulus cleverly determined the values of half of the emoticons (please upvote that answer if you like this one).

So we know the values of the buttons on the keypad, but still don't know what we need to punch in.

I was looking at the tags on the puzzle, and the inscriptions on the walls. The tag indicated to me that

something important was hidden in the text. The words starting some of sentences seemed like they weren't necessarily the typical word that would be chosen in every instance.

So I collected

the first letter of every sentence in all three inscriptions:
WDNI
OSGPI
WNHOP

Not a particularly promising group of letters, but I took the advice of the other unused tag on the post, and

anagrammed them, which gave me the solution:
WINDOW SHOPPING

Translating that back to keypresses on the keypad gives

:S :/ :V :D 8) :S O_o :'( 8) |:o |:o :/ :V :(

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10
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Partial answer:

Just remember, not all canines are negligent and not all vulpes are swift.

This keys "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" with some edits.

The pad

Is 52 characters, or the perfect amount for a keyboard, wherein half is lowercase and half is upper.

The Cipherstring

Is the variant of the key phrase from earlier, which I currently believe is "tHE_f(i)R(s)t_bROwn_fOx_jumpED_OvER_tHE_H???(azy/ack? Our leftover lowercase letters are qyaklzc at this point, unless something else is messed up)_DOg" with Upper case letters being visibly right in at least two places, and lowercase letters being solid-feeling speculation, and parentheses being less-solid feeling speculation. The first T would be capitalized, while the latter two t's would be lowercase.

These found letters

Don't appear to be in any particular pattern on the overall pad, and I'm not quite sure how they'd end up giving instructions...

Per the left-behind instructions from a previous puzzler,

'or____al sent___e, c_an__ f___ let_er_ and m_ve ___!' can become 'original sentence, change five letters and move one!' (with e,r leftover; perhaps the person who vandalized the notes is messing with us)

Assuming Jumps->Jumped is just a variant, this clue can make us believe that the ciphertext decodes to:

"The first brown fox jumped over the hazy dog" Which is apparently an instruction. the letters missing from this sentence are c, k, l, and q.

My next guess would be that

Since we've had something resembling a riddle, and a cipher, we now need to arrange these into a crossword, but how to do that isn't jumping out at me.

Oh, and in case this helps anyone, here's my ugly Translation Table

ugly Translation Table

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  • $\begingroup$ A good start, I realize now that I need to add a little more information, as the second to last word is almost all unique letters $\endgroup$ – dcfyj Nov 21 '16 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ How have you determined the case (upper/lower) of the letters in the "cipherstring"? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 22 '16 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ ... oh, wait, I think I misunderstood. The upper/lower in your answer isn't meant to indicate actual case at all, just your degree of confidence in the letters? Apologies for the confusion, if so. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 22 '16 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ @garethmccaughan Everything I solved as if it were lowercase except for the first letter of the sentence. $\endgroup$ – Sconibulus Nov 22 '16 at 1:46

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