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Socks. They have much more use than just keeping people's feet warm. I wanted to make one, to provide as a backup account in case I ever forgot my details for this account or something...

So, I logged out of my account, clicked on sign up and entered some random details. However when I tried to proceed, a weird error message popped up:*

enter image description here

Very confusing. It was asking me to enter a phrase from the Terms and Conditions page which I agreed to when I first made the sock. Like I actually read them.

So I opened a new window to try again, and this time I actually took a look at the Terms and Conditions in case the message popped up again:*

enter image description here

But what appeared next was not what I expected:*

enter image description here

It didn't look at all like the usual terms of service (like anyone knew what they looked like anyway). It looked vaguely like a load of cryptic clues, but I could tell they weren't. Something about the whole page suggested it was trying to get a message across, or perhaps a phrase.

I copied it out for you below.

What phrase should I type? What do the T's and C's actually say?

Find this boring? Begin your new big and better t’s and c’s are below you! Buy ruby bytes and obey a busy body maybe. Cyber bully badly hacks. (2)

Rate great and geese always and rather good. A degree is if I rig an iguana. Again, ring a nice gate. Rugger ran under ugly gape. I gain ill gig, a guru good. River runs rapid. (4=5, 2=8) (8)

Eggy tomato of on top pot. Take on the terrible ton of toss. Oregon tore through trains. The end turns towards this spot. (2)

Queer, the hot head there sees short sight. Stop every here hop there. Shot shatter his this shop. That hat thrash threat. Tit for tatters. (3=5) (5)

Utter mare stops everything mattering. Test rum, smart eyes. Mat more. (5)

Eyre of your youth. Royal under of our ply. My uno your yes. Other under yet. Yucky of buy. (3)

Nape peat cat care. Courage the pen can. Cap a tree pick. Not pests, cats can eyes. Pop accurate pie. Actual pump. A cactus can cocky crate sip. (2=3) (6)

Can that hat has this and there is a top hare here. Have they shot that thing as how they have not. To take top spot then this as how. (1=4) (4)

You’re young under of every yes of course you cannot. Say now you will. Yay, you say you shall. (3)

A law is laid with what is ill. Wash lift, wing wow llama. With love pole what will. Weird wish wise. (3=4) (4)

Now be most case before coming behind. Can be most becalming. Cob bury, meg be. Become mob cut. Cub Clubs. (2=6) (6)

Always add up, and actually can pull a large angle over. A lad leads are tape. (1)

Lazy zebra people under snooze. Pull red zoo. Last person maze. Puppy uncle zap. Piper, pip us utter full fuzz. Quiz lizard puzzle. Muzzle raring fizzle. Pup paw lull. Up nap. Right quit hug a rug. (3=4) (7)

You utter lull. Non uncle till ununnilium. Tut under the if is until sun. Guru nun it bit it. (5)

Sit here so that if it has this then it is there. Top that if it is short. Hop has. (4)

I can continue runt contrast nocturnal. On tractor cone rice turn. Cocoa coat cocky octagon rid. (1=7, 4=8) (8)

Seeds kneed non end. Sneeze deed no dead. Exasperate needless ninny dens. (4)


* For information on how to create these screen videos, see the wrap-up at the bottom of the page. CAUTION: Contains spoilers and answer

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Don't worry, it's not you, it's them. This is their fault. (See here) $\endgroup$ – boboquack Mar 20 '17 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack hehe :P $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 20 '17 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ Note: you've still got 'Oops! Something Bad H...' in the pages bar. (See here) $\endgroup$ – boboquack Mar 20 '17 at 7:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @boboquack yeah I couldn't find a way to change that, as that is part of google and not the website. (I edited the websites with 'Inspect Element' before taking a video of the screen using the windows gamebar and then converted to gif) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 20 '17 at 7:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Too bad I cannot +1 this a second time, now I've seen the answer. Great puzzle idea, please write the wrap up for more +1's ;c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Mar 21 '17 at 7:52
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The phrase you need is -

BY AGREEING TO THESE TERMS YOU ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL BECOME A PUZZLER UNTIL THIS CONTRACT ENDS

Steganography

Taking the first letter of each clue gives FREQUENCY ANALYSIS

Idea

The enumeration denotes the top n letters appearing in the clue and equals to sign says the position at which the indexed letter needs to be placed. i.e. if a word is Tree it will say (3=4)(4) where 3rd letter and 4th letter are same and the size of the word is 4.

Find this boring? Begin your new big and better t’s and c’s are below you! Buy ruby bytes and obey a busy body maybe. Cyber bully badly hacks.(2)

If we take the top two most occurring letters we get $\rightarrow$ BY

Reference

enter image description here

Rate great and geese always and rather good. A degree is if I rig an iguana. Again, ring a nice gate. Rugger ran under ugly gape. I gain ill gig, a guru good. River runs rapid. (4=5, 2=8) (8)

AGREEING (4(E) = 5(E) and 2(G) = 8(G)

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Eggy tomato of on top pot. Take on the terrible ton of toss. Oregon tore through trains. The end turns towards this spot. (2)

If we take the top two most occurring letters we get $\rightarrow$ TO

Reference
enter image description here

Queer, the hot head there sees short sight. Stop every here hop there. Shot shatter his this shop. That hat thrash threat. Tit for tatters. (3=5) (5)

THESE

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Utter mare stops everything mattering. Test rum, smart eyes. Mat more. (5)

If we take the top five most occurring letters we get $\rightarrow$ TERMS

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Eyre of your youth. Royal under of our ply. My uno your yes. Other under yet. Yucky of buy. (3)

If we take the top three most occurring letters we get $\rightarrow$ YOU

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Nape peat cat care. Courage the pen can. Cap a tree pick. Not pests, cats can eyes. Pop accurate pie. Actual pump. A cactus can cocky crate sip. (2=3) (6)

ACCEPT

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Can that hat has this and there is a top hare here. Have they shot that thing as how they have not. To take top spot then this as how. (1=4) (4)

THAT

REFERENCE

enter image description here

You’re young under of every yes of course you cannot. Say now you will. Yay, you say you shall. (3)

YOU

REFERENCE

enter image description here

A law is laid with what is ill. Wash lift, wing wow llama. With love pole what will. Weird wish wise. (3=4) (4)

WILL

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Now be most case before coming behind. Can be most becalming. Cob bury, meg be. Become mob cut. Cub Clubs. (2=6) (6)

BECOME

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Always add up, and actually can pull a large angle over. A lad leads are tape. (1)

A

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Lazy zebra people under snooze. Pull red zoo. Last person maze. Puppy uncle zap. Piper, pip us utter full fuzz. Quiz lizard puzzle. Muzzle raring fizzle. Pup paw lull. Up nap. Right quit hug a rug. (3=4) (7)

PUZZLER

REFERENCE

enter image description here

You utter lull. Non uncle till ununnilium. Tut under the if is until sun. Guru nun it bit it. (5)

UNTIL

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Sit here so that if it has this then it is there. Top that if it is short. Hop has. (4)

THIS

REFERENCE

enter image description here

I can continue runt contrast nocturnal. On tractor cone rice turn. Cocoa coat cocky octagon rid. (1=7, 4=8) (8)

CONTRACT

REFERENCE

enter image description here

Seeds kneed non end. Sneeze deed no dead. Exasperate needless ninny dens. (4)

ENDS

REFERENCE

enter image description here

FINAL PHRASE

BY AGREEING TO THESE TERMS YOU ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL BECOME A PUZZLER UNTIL THIS CONTRACT ENDS

Amazingly built! Enjoyed solving :)

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  • $\begingroup$ -(CONTRACT) -(PERIOD/WEBSITE??)? $\endgroup$ – boboquack Mar 20 '17 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe 4=5, 2=8 et al are just instructions to change the ranking by some amount $\endgroup$ – boboquack Mar 20 '17 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack I got the idea. Completing the final answer $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Mar 20 '17 at 9:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Techidiot congrats! Will accept tomorrow :) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 20 '17 at 11:11
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    $\begingroup$ That's awesome! Nice work solving it! $\endgroup$ – n_plum Mar 20 '17 at 12:04
5
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Wrap-up: The Making Of Terms and Conditions Apply

This is not a solution to the puzzle, but provides notes from its poser. This type of answer has been approved by the community.

Caution: This post contains spoilers.


Beginning

I actually thought this whole thing up in bed one night. The puzzle started, as most puzzles do, with an idea. My idea was to create a puzzle based on Terms and Conditions, and how no one actually ever reads them.

There have been several puzzles about site features, and I was inspired especially by re-re-reCAPTCHA by DanRussell, and A weird deleted Puzzling.SE question by the now extinct Lukas Rotter/Display Name.

I liked the idea of trying to register a user and having issues, and of having a video of the screen (though I didn't create anything quite to the other question's level).

I liked frequency analysis, and going back to the trusty-old-message-hidden-in-the-first-letters-idea, I needed a phrase as long as how many letters there were in 'frequency analysis' (17). Keeping the theme of Terms and Conditions and making it personalised to the site, I came up with 'BY AGREEING TO THESE TERMS, YOU ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL BECOME A PUZZLER UNTIL THIS CONTRACT EXPIRES'.

Creation steps

I started with 'BY'. I would first type a word beginning with the matching letter in 'frequency analysis', in this case 'F'. Then I would put together a load of words containing the letter from the encrypted word. After a few words I would check the frequency of the letters and if they weren't correct I would add more of one letter and try and replace others.

I got slightly stuck on 'AGREEING' as I realised it had repeated letters. I considered using accents, but decided instead to do x=y. I thought that if people saw 'AGREIN' they might work out what the rest meant.

Once I had made a load of nonsense for each word and it was all working nicely, the next step was to make the screen gifs.

It was a complicated process, but here is the outline for it and I will explain in more detail further down:

  1. Load page HTML using Inspect Element
  2. Edit
  3. Take Screen recording using Windows Game bar
  4. Convert to a gif
  5. Compress the gif
  6. Upload

STEP 1

Using Inspect Element:

enter image description here

Which can be accessed by right click 'Inspect Element'/'Inspect' or Ctrl+Shift+C, you can temporarily edit the look of the webpage by changing the HTML.

STEP 2

So for each site I first did this and either edited the background colour or just changed the text (you can find where the particular <p>...</p> element is by clicking on the text on the main site) by right clicking on the exiting text and then on 'Edit Text'.

STEP 3

By clicking on the windows icon and then G (this only works on windows 10 computers), a small 'game bar' appears which is linked to Xbox. This bar allows you to record the screen. The video can then be found in File Explorer -> Videos -> Captures. You can click on it to trim it then as well.

STEP 4

I then converted these videos to gifs using an app.

STEP 5

Now here is the problem. The gifs are way over the 2MB allowed. So using an online GIF compressor, I tried to use Lossy GIF compression, but this didn't reduce the file size enough and gave off a lot of noise.

But I found a better way! Using 'Optimize Transparency' you can change the 'fuzz'. Basically, the website checks through each frame and finds consecutive frames where a pixel doesn't change colour. It then removes all frames for that pixel and replaces them with the first frame, thus reducing the file size. For large files this won't work, but anything below 12MB will work with just 1-4% fuzz which gives an almost identical gif to the full sized one.

STEP 6

Upload your beautiful creations!


I had a bit of an issue when I went to the sign up section, as when I clicked my details were autofilled, and I didn't want people seeing my personal email. To stop it being autofilled I had to do two things:

  1. Remove the TrueKey extension which saves and autofills usernames and passwords
  2. Click on the drop down menu in chrome, go to settings, scroll down to 'Show advanced settings', then find 'passwords and forms'. You can then uncheck 'Enable autofill', or if you still want it for other sites you can click 'manage autofill settings' and you can then choose which sites you don't want our password saved on.

You may notice when filling in the password part, I quickly just copy and paste something in before clicking away. This is because anytime you are on there, a box appears saying 'use password for' then my personal email. Only way around I found was just to copy and paste. Couldn't find how to remove it.

Resources

  • Ever helpful Microsoft Word
  • This frequency analysis website
  • An app called 'GIFicious' to convert videos to gif
  • This fantastic gif compressor website, and all around gif magician
  • This helpful Youtube Video
  • The Windows XBox App

Hope this helps!


And :P If I managed to rickroll you

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  • $\begingroup$ So they have added a nice feature to 10. Cool. I have used ScreeToGif for Windows 7. +1 for the design. Again :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Mar 20 '17 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Techidiot uh Windows 7 :P $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 20 '17 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately not updated yet. Will do that soon once I am convinced its bug free ;) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Mar 20 '17 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ Guess what, +1 :c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Mar 21 '17 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ Comment to the puzzle: I think the hiding things in frequency-analysis plus clues is a really excellent idea. Not sure it is "generally novel" - didn't do the research - but it is for sure a "new" idea for me. The "First letter hold the clue", however, is slightly too easy and maybe giving it away too early. Some a bit more elaborate "entry" point would have served the idea better. The technical "building" of the actual post is really nice work again, though! $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Mar 21 '17 at 7:57

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