Your eccentric uncle is a world-renowned cryptologist and he sees in you a high potential to follow in his footsteps. You are of course very flattered and can't wait to get going with the special training program he has set up for you. Your training will commence tomorrow at a rendez-vous point that your uncle has communicated to you by means of an encrypted message. To prove that you are worthy, decrypt the message and find out where the rendez-vous will take place!

The message reads:


Note: The puzzle contains multiple layers and is best solved one step at a time. Only the message itself is needed to solve this puzzle, all the rest is just flavour text.

Since it seems to be unclear how to deal with the different layers, I will add a little hint in the form of an example here:

Say the message were: "hI, this Is a HiNT MeSsAge", then this can be seen as a combination of two layers. In one layer some characters have been capitalized: "hI, this Is a HiNT MeSsAge" and in another layer some letters where made bold and italicized (both were done at the same time, just to make the letters jump out a little more): "hi, this is a hint message".
When working on solving one layer, you can (and should) ignore all other layers. The solution will then provide a clue for the next layer. The layers must be solved in a specific order, though.

Hint for the first layer:

For the first layer the exact characters are not important, just the pattern of highlighted vs. non-highlighted characters. The solution is 43 characters long.

Hint 2:

For the first layer should be read as a binary string.

  • $\begingroup$ Are the colors used for grouping or just for distraction? You can chose not to answer :) $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ None of the text formatting is there just for distraction ;) $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @levieux do we need to go piece by piece or layer by layer? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ Is the message important? Or just the formatting in the text? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Layer by layer is the way to go. Also, when you're working on a certain layer you can ignore the other layers. $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


Final Answer

Rendez-vous will take place at -


Taking the clue from the Hint "For the first layer should be read as a binary string."

If the first layer mean - uppercase treated as 1's and lower case as 0's we get - 215 characters turned into binary as - 101001001001001100000000001000110010010101110000010000 00010100001101000000001011010011011101001000000010100001001110110000 10100000110010000110111011100000001001100100111101110010010001100000 1001110100110010110000101

Another hint says the first layer gives 43 characters hence-

We need to split the 215 binary into group of 5 to get 43 characters.


Grouping them into 5-bits and checking the corresponding letter we get
10100 = 20 = T
10010 = 18 = R
01001 = 9 = I
We get "TRIP HYENA EAT KIWI EAGLE YAWN IRONIC STYLE" (Treating 00000 as space")


Taking first letters we get - > THE KEY IS and Thanks to Ankoganit for figuring out the key. which are last letters PATIENCE

Knowing this(Thanks to @Sconibulus, @Gareth) -

PATIENCE is an 8 letter word. So, checking the pattern with bold characters we get aeybssdvxgabsstvdtmes Applying Vigenère cipher with PATIENCE as key we get LeftOFBrighTOfrrotTwo which means Left OF B(blue) righT Of r(red) rot-Two(rot-2)


Taking the letter's left of Blue and right of Red colored ones, we get - aclrpyjnypi and applying rot-2 gives centralpark

So the rendez-vous will take place at -

Central Park

All thanks to @Gareth, @dcfyj, @Ankoganit and @Sconibulus. Would have costed a lot of brainstorming solving this one.

With that done, I would say, the solution will be too difficult without hints as the puzzle doesn't speak of what to apply where.

  • $\begingroup$ This is indeed the right track, but you're not taking grouping by the correct number of characters yet... Also, read the whole message, not line by line. The lines have no significance $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ RSA is by no means the solution of the first part. Like I said, you're not grouping by the correct number of characters, so these letters are incorrect. But you are on the right track, just don't think ASCII.. $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Levieux-How can we know how to form the groupings and how many characters in each group? There are so many combinations possible :-/ As said, it will be almost impossible to solve it if we are going to have many steps like this one. $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ I added as a hint that the solution to part 1 would contain 43 characters, so that should get you going ;) $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Levieux - 43 characters in binary will require 43*8=344 characters? But I do not think the message has 344 characters. How is that possible? :-/ $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:15

Partial Answer

The red-coloured words spell out to be "hidtta"
The Bold-Capital Letters spell out to be "AYSSDBM"
The Bold-Small-letters spell out to be "eybvxgsvdt"
The blue-lettered words spell out to be "oatts"

Now each of these words seem to be somehow encoded.

With a Brief trip to quipqiup, I see that the most sensible things that came out to be was:
hiddta-Blessi (Must be blessings)
ayssdbm-But ther (Must be "but there")
eybvxgsvdt-Under the co
oatts-get to

I don't see an exact place. Maybe, my plaintext words are wrong, but this is the best I got.

  • $\begingroup$ No grouping for Normal Capital Letters which are "TMAYOTTWRISADHEDNORTVENOMPRBNEAOEANUNTRAWTTEYRSFLEEYOUEAEVESANTLSELLED" ? :) $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Techidiot Nothing great coming out of that... $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ You're not on the right track yet. Be sure to take things one step at a time. $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:53

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