# The ultimate question?

I had a quite peaceful night last night, that is until my phone rang at 2:46 AM. Upon answering, the person on the other side said:

"Kifflom! Congratulations you have won 10.000 € from our secret society. To claim the prize money you only have to answer one question. The question was sent to you per mail. We shall call again and you have to answer your phone with the answer."

The caller then hung up and since it was in the middle of the night, I just put my phone down and went back to bed. In the morning I found my phone covered in some strange green slime, so I spent like 3 hours cleaning it. Also in my mailbox I found this letter from an unknown sender, I assume this is the question I am supposed to answer, but I have no idea how to figure the question out.

Fww kief vmk hvuzma uq ynl bjlzm mcxz vzcqon utjk

Hzg etdf djgya coejzu xkjwpg iwe gakygvkqwh djevvf wpju

Jino bqf wsocmtvm jof dub ajdtu sghkpdg wpn gkkzo othmw iksz

Nwpqi pp vt zom hrcauj huubkqmwu, dzz dpcw qb jv ftfecb

Dpq zib ujj lpzuw gnmntc twpn bx dqrspb vr trgg?

8-9 3-4 9-10 2-3 6-7

Can you help me out, I could use the money :)

HINT 1:

While the story to the puzzle might be interesting, it also might be misleading. To solve me you only need my letter (there is no story tag).

HINT 2:

"French" ciphers, "French" ciphers everywhere! "Numbered keys", "Numbered keys" everywhere!

HINT 3:

Numbers = Letters = Key

LAST HINT:

Start colorless, go down the rainbow and take 2 by the numbers on each step

• So, It's clearly not caesar, but Then what does the numbers in the bottom mean? :\ Mar 22, 2017 at 12:39
• It looks like substitution. Numbers might denote how. One for each line. Mar 22, 2017 at 12:39
• It looked like changing the 8th alphabet(h) to 9th(i), but no, it wasn't either. Mar 22, 2017 at 12:44
• @SIGSEGV: Please don't record all your failed attempts here. It spams the comment section without any insight for others. The question has just been posted. If it were a simple substitution cipher, a cryptogram solver would yield useful results. I think the knowledge tag and the particular greeting could be worthy of your attention. Mar 22, 2017 at 12:52
• I will say that as I read up on this Kifflom!, everything starts to make more sense. Not in this puzzle, but in the world in general. Mar 22, 2017 at 17:35

So, I guess the Ultimate Question is $\rightarrow$

WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING?

Number 42

How....

8-9 3-4 9-10 2-3 6-7 $\rightarrow$ HI CD IJ BC FG
Using this as key and applying Vigenere we get -

You have the answer to the third last orange tree
Are blue bears always second and everything beyond that
Call the universe and you shall receive the fifth green hint
Gonna go to the fourth continent, but what is it anyway
Who was the first yellow monk to commit to life?

Seems like there is one more step here....
I see there are numbers in the paragraph in this sequence $\rightarrow$ 3,2,5,4,1

So, arranging the first word of each line according to the numbering gives

WHO ARE YOU GONNA CALL?

Now that OP confirm's all this was a red-herring.

I thought, the numbers won't be used again, but it seems they are -

Taking the words as numbered starting from the line which has no color, and going down the rainbow as hint said, we get

You have the answer to the third last orange tree(3-4)
Are blue bears always second and everything beyond that(6-7)
Call the universe and you shall receive the fifth green hint
Gonna go to the fourth continent, but what is it anyway(8-9)
Who was the first yellow monk to commit to life?(9-10)

O(3-4) Y(9-10) G(2-3) B(6-7) - WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING? to which the answer is Number 42

Now give me my 10.000 € :-)

• Very nice! Indeed a very nice Red Herring you caught there :). Unfortunately that is not the question. I'll say this much, a nice idea with the order but you didn't use the right one. Also the numbers might have a second meaning - considering their "unusual format" :). Happy cracking Mar 24, 2017 at 9:06
• @BojanB That's...harsh! Mar 24, 2017 at 9:20
• @BojanB Are the numbers representing years the show Psych was telecast? If not, I can happily leave this as it is as I am not good with trivial stuff. Mar 24, 2017 at 9:29
• It has nothing to do with the Psych show Mar 24, 2017 at 9:30
• Ghostbusters!!! Mar 24, 2017 at 10:38