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Note that all 'information' is fictual

The postman arrived with a bundle of letters. I went out to get them. Look through the bundle, I suddenly noticed some curious - the last letter was a poem, from a friend, titled Caesar's Perich. So I did some research and apparently Caesar's Perich is a legendary device known to turn stuff into gold! So I read the instructions in the poem and set out in search of this device.

enter image description here

It seems pretty cryptic.

  • Firstly I went forward to the plateau
  • I found some beams of wood and grabbed them, then went north until the ground was dry
  • Then I dug down until I hit something! Curious...

It was a large-ish object with two holes. I looked at the poem. What was that last line?

Good job! To get the gold inse...

That's annoying. The bottom of the page has crumbled off. I thought to myself, "let's try throwing some random items inside". So I looked around and found some leaves and twig lying around:

When I threw a TWIG inside, a gust of WIND came out the other side!
I threw a LEAF in, and a LOCK came out.
Experimenting, I threw another LEAF in. This time some FIGS came out.

Now I'm confused. Can you help me work out what to throw into the device to get gold?

Hint:

It's not cryptic clues in the poem, but rather something else that can be Caesar Ciphered... (actually two things)

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  • $\begingroup$ "...is fictual". You mean fictional? $\endgroup$ – Dennis Meng Dec 28 '16 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yep. That's not relevant to the puzzle though $\endgroup$ – Wen1now Dec 28 '16 at 4:17
  • $\begingroup$ The "word-property" tag applicable, isn't it? $\endgroup$ – demonofthemist Dec 28 '16 at 4:57
  • $\begingroup$ @demonofthemist I don't believe so; isn't that where given some words with a property and some without, you need to find that property? $\endgroup$ – Wen1now Dec 28 '16 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Wen1now I can see you are using a shift of letter(probably) using a certain algorithm. Do you think you need a cipher tag in? $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 28 '16 at 9:35
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Random notes:

1)

"Forward to Plateau": FORWARD -> PLATEAU = (ROT) 10 23 9 19 4 9 17 From this, I expect that for each run of the machine, the ROT cipher is static, meaning that if you have a word, say, AARDVARK, the 1st, 2nd, and 6th letters of the ciphertext will be the same.

2)

"Add them" has to mean something. I tried it, and I found that, for the cipher examples, examples 1 and 3 both have total ROT sums equal to 43 (the sums of the ROT values). Example 2 has ROT sum 43 if you change the 0 into a 26 (since ROT is done mod 26, this is a reasonable mutation). I am as yet unsure of the meaning of the number 43, but this isn't coincidence.

3)

"dig where the ground is dry" makes me think of DIG -> DRY: 0 17 8 although I don't have any idea if this is helpful. I feel like RUN fits in here somewhere as well.

4)

The - after "take it out" is not coincidental, since most other lines don't end in punctuation. I'm not sure what it means though.

5)

"Run!" and "Good job!" are too esoteric to not mean something. There is something key to these phrases. My guess is: There are 6 capital letters in the poem, not including "Forward to plateau". There are 7 letters in "Forward" and "Plateau". Therefore, if you take those 6 letters (FRTKOG) and find the pattern between them, the 7th letter in that sequence is the first letter of whatever you need to make GOLD.

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0
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Partial attempt -

It seems like there is an algorithm used to convert/shift each letter to a new letter. So, I will try to split the algorithm in 4 parts.

Part 1

So far, I think I have got the algorithm for the first letter. The algorithm follows a logic to move one of the letter in 4 letters to first position so if we see
TWIG -> WIND (Position 2 to Position 1)
LEAF -> LOCK (Position 1 to Position 1)
LEAF -> FIGS (Position 4 to Position 1)
Hence the next word should have 3rd letter as G in order to follow the series
__G_

Some other notes -

If it's following a Caesar Cipher for every letter, I found the following for each word which might help someone.
Rot - 3 12 5 23 TWIG -> WIND
Rot - 0 10 2 5 LEAF -> LOCK
Rot - 20 4 6 13 LEAF -> FIGS

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  • $\begingroup$ The 'some other notes' is on the right track. I don't think Part 1 helps; that's just a coincidence. $\endgroup$ – Wen1now Dec 28 '16 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Wen1now Is there anything in the puzzle which helps here? Or its just a brute force thing? $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 28 '16 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the puzzle does help. There are some clues about the algorithm. It's not necessary though, but without it the puzzle is really really really hard. $\endgroup$ – Wen1now Dec 28 '16 at 10:29

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