9
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Turning my back on you

A la a dramatic insult

Like Edward and Bruce


Q U W Z T F
Z ' Q A Q
U X T R O
S X U R M
Y Y Y Q Z
M M M D '


I spoke for him

But I am not big and furry

Where was I born?

Hint 1:

There are 5/6 persons hinted to in this puzzle:
[puzzle-history] is hinting to person A
Part one: Person A is historical, persons B and E are fictional characters.
Part two: Person A and person E are giving the key, and will reveal the fictional character V and the historical person M.
Part three: Person M will help reveal the historical person S. Where is person S born?

Hint 2:

There are four different clues in this puzzle all pointing to the same key!

Hint 3:

Vertical Caesar

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  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Um, why on earth was this flagged as "unclear what you're asking"? It's an enigmatic puzzle - it's supposed to be unclear at this stage! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 4 '17 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen this happen before with enigmatic-puzzles. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 4 '17 at 2:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For the record, what I actually is asking is: "Where was I born?" $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 4 '17 at 6:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @wildBillMunson What person or thing are you referring to? There are at least 5 persons hinted to in this puzzle, where two are fictional, and three are historical persons. $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 5 '17 at 5:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Seems a bit presumptuous to make that edit, especially given the enigmatic-puzzle tag. I would vote to revert back to 'puzzle-history'. $\endgroup$ – wildBillMunson Jan 5 '17 at 5:54
8
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Edward and Bruce

After spending quite a while researching Robert the Bruce, his younger brother Edward Bruce, and other related historical figures, I hit upon the idea of considering

Edward Nygma and Bruce Wayne, also known as the Riddler and Batman, a pair of famous fictional foes.


Turning my back on you
A la a dramatic insult
Like Edward and Bruce

The spoilertagged hint tells us that we should be looking for a historical character A who's somehow related to puzzle history. When I noticed the italicisation of the words "Turning" and "A la", I realised that these words together form an anagram of Alan Turing. He worked on cracking the Enigma code, which links to the E character via " E Nygma". I'm not sure if there's any riddlish meaning in the first two lines, or if they're just meant for wordplay.

QUWZTF
Z'QAQ
UXTRO
SXURM
YYYQZ
MMMD'

As Techidiot discovered, this is a Caesar-shifted cipher intended to be read vertically. Shifting each letter backwards by 10 places gives:

E I K N H T
N ' E O E
I L H F C
G L I F A
M M M E N
A A A R '

and hence the message "ENIGMA" (confirmation) "I'LL MAKE HIM AN OFFER HE CAN'T".

Clearly, the word to finish off

this famous (mis)quote is REFUSE. The quote itself is from Vito Corleone (the fictional character V), played in the film The Godfather by Marlon Brando (the historical character M).


I spoke for him
But I am not big and furry
Where was I born?

Searching Google for "spoke for Marlon Brando" led me to Sacheen Littlefeather, who "gave a speech at the 45th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 1973, for actor Marlon Brando, who was declining the Academy Award for Best Actor which he had won for his performance in The Godfather". She is indeed not big and furry - her name is instead "little" and "feather"ed. And the fact that Brando declined the Academy Award links back to the missing word REFUSE from the previous part of the puzzle.

So the final answer is

Salinas, California, the birthplace of this actress.


Feedback section

Hints 2 and 3 are, as hints should be, not really necessary. But without Hint 1, this puzzle would be more or less unsolvable. Three short lines of poetry in the 1st part, of which only four words are actually used, aren't really enough to find the required word, nor is the unfinished quote in the 2nd part enough to discover the correct people for the 3rd part, without knowing the information in Hint 1.

Also, the different parts of the puzzle don't fit together as well as they could. Ideally, the 1st part would give a solution which would then be used to decipher the 2nd part, whose solution would then slot into the 3rd part. Instead we have the 1st and 2nd part solvable independently, the 1st part and a chunk of the 2nd giving a solution which is then never used again, and only the rest of the 2nd part giving the solution which is then used in the 3rd part. It feels ... disjointed, with too many red herrings.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good try! Archimedes is not correct however. There is a clue for person A in the first verse. $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 8 '17 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Enigma Oops, I forgot to include my reasoning for why Archimedes fits. Edited. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 8 '17 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ Nice! But how is Archimedes related to Bruce and/or Edward? $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 8 '17 at 0:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good guess. You could've saved the B+E time by reading my comment from a couple days ago. :P I was thinking the first two lines refer to a duel ("turning my back on you") as duels could be started by "dramatic insult[s]." But I couldn't think of an A name that's historical and known for duels and puzzling. I was mainly focusing on names related to ciphers, thinking that that name gives us the cipher and then "riddler" or "nygma" or whatever would be the key. $\endgroup$ – tilper Jan 8 '17 at 5:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, exactly. The word Enigma is hinted to four times: Alan Turning, Edward Nygma, the tag "enigmatic-puzzle" and of course my own username:-) $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 11 '17 at 13:30
1
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Q U W Z T F
Z ' Q A Q
U X T R O
S X U R M
Y Y Y Q Z
M M M D '

With latest hint

Caesar 14 shift gives
E I K N H T
N ' E O E
I L H F C
G L I F A
M M M E N
A A A R '

-> ENIGMA I'LL MAKE HIM AN OFFER HE CAN'T
Completing the phrase we get ENIGMA I'LL MAKE HIM AN OFFER HE CAN'T REFUSE (Thanks @Rand) which makes it Al Martino who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States / Vito Carolene who was born in Corleone, Sicily. (Godfather)

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  • $\begingroup$ You broke the cipher! But not the puzzle, yet...? $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 11 '17 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ Search the internet for your phrase with REFUSE on the end ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 11 '17 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ You are closer now, but I would advice you to re-read the complete puzzle $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 11 '17 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Enigma Updated with the birth places. Am I right or am I going on a wrong track here? $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Jan 11 '17 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Techidiot you have one of the fictional characters correct, and none of the historical character...! $\endgroup$ – Enigma Jan 11 '17 at 13:14

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