8
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You wake up in a daze... Your head is pounding and your vision is a bit hazy...
You're in some sort of room... Steel walls, no windows, a single door and a piece of paper nailed to the wall...

Above that you can make out a rusted sign that reads: "Welcome to ..." below it someone seems to have spray painted something... does that say "HLFGS GSVM VZHG"?

Where am I?

You look at the note and try to make out what it says but it's all sorts of messed up... Maybe it's your vision or maybe it's some sort of clue as to your escape... Wait a second... Numbers?


qɐsɥıuƃ ʎonɹ ɥǝɐp ʍou,ʇ ɥǝןd qnʇ soɯǝʇɥıuƃ ǝןsǝ ɯɐʎ


(0 + 1) (1.5 + 2.5) Join.

(33 - 14) (26.3 - 5.3) Remove from.

(13 * 1) (7 * 3) Else.

(12 / 3) (54 / 6) Incapable of.

(2 + 2) (5.5 + 3.5) Sounds like also.

(53 - 51) (29.7 - 9.7) Single.

(3 * 4) (4 * 5) Recognized.

(66 / 3) (36 / 4) Act.

(6.8 + 13.2) (2 + 7) Mathematical objects.

(13.5 -(-4.5)) (7 - 6) Another name for fingers.

(3 * 3) (4 * 4) Alpha Sierra.

(19 / 1) (99 / 11) Together.

(6 * 2) (45 * 1/5) Quickly.

(4.6 + 10.4) (9.1 + 4.9) Within proximity.

(1/3 * 9) (1 * 1) Procreate.

(9 - 6) (37.6 - 17.6) Where are you ____?

(75 / 5) (28 / 2) Absence of things.

(2 * 10) (1 * 9) With purpose of.

(16 - 7) (22 - 7) (20 - 6) A different one.

(5 * 3) (2 * 7) Fauna.


fhvgsvliwvigsvburihgxlnvrmmlgblfifhfzokilxvhh


(35.1568 41.8432) (86.736 63.736) (8 20) (963.9 18.9)

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To save others the neck pain: The upside down text reads "bashing your head wont help but something else may" $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Apr 3 '17 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast But that's part of the fun :) It's a little more than flipped but you're correct. $\endgroup$ – n_plum Apr 3 '17 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ Each individual letter is mirrored in two directions, right? I caught that but didn't detail it in the comment. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Apr 3 '17 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ Flipped upside down and reverse lettering $\endgroup$ – n_plum Apr 3 '17 at 14:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 56/6 -- really? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Apr 3 '17 at 14:53
7
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The first few steps were solved by Engineer Toast and Sconibulus, I got the final part, after the line.

The upside down text gives

"bashing your head won't help but something else may", giving the ATBASH cipher

So using Atbash on the ciphertext gives

usetheordertheyfirstcomeinnotyourusualprocess

or

Use the order they first come in, not your usual process

and

SOUTH THEN EAST


This is referring to maths. The 'usual process' in maths is:

BIDMAS/BODMAS/Whatever you call it

But we aren't supposed to use that.

By solving the sums on each line, (Engineer Toast's answer gives a full list), we end up with two numbers.

If we use A1Z26 on the numbers we get (thanks @Techidiot for providing this:)

1 4 Join.
A D

19 21 Remove from.
S U

13 21 Else.
M U

4 9 Incapable of.
D I

4 9 Sounds like also.
D I

2 20 Single.
B T

12 20 Recognized.
L T

22 9 Act.
V I

20 9 Mathematical objects.
T I

18 1 Another name for fingers.
R A

9 16 Alpha Sierra.
I P

19 9 Together.
S I

12 9 Quickly.
L I

15 14 Within proximity.
O N

3 1 Procreate.
C A

3 20 Where are you ____?
C T

15 14 Absence of things.
O N

20 9 With purpose of.
T I

9 15 14 A different one.
I O N

15 14 Fauna.
O N

This can be added together to get the following order of mathematical processes:

ADDITION
Join Sounds like also Mathematical objects Within proximity
Join two (sounds like too) integers within proximity

SUBTRACTION
Remove from Single Another name for fingers Where are you ____? A different one
Remove a single digit from another

MULTIPLICATION
Else Recognized Alpha sierra Quickly Procreate With purpose of Fauna
Otherwise known as reproduce for animals

DIVISION
Incapable of Act Together Absence of things
Can't be done with nothing (x/0 = error)

And applying this order to the 4 numbers at the bottom gives the following:

(35.1568 41.8432) ADDITION = 77
(86.736 63.736) SUBTRACTION = 23
(8 20) MULTIPLICATION = 160
(963.9 18.9) DIVISION = 51

So we now have the phrase 'South the East' and the numbers 77, 23, 160 and 51.

Using these as coordinates (77°23' S 160°51' E) gives the final answer. You are in the

APOCALYPSE PEAKS in Antarctica, which matches the title.

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  • $\begingroup$ Two tidbits: 1 is you can get the full words, not just the first 2 letters. 2nd us the coords give a specific place that makes the title make sense. $\endgroup$ – n_plum Apr 4 '17 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @n_palum ah ok, for 2 google maps doesn't show Antarctica, just the continent $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 4 '17 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ If you get the full words figured out - I will give you the location I have since you've otherwise figured it out $\endgroup$ – n_plum Apr 4 '17 at 12:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm feeling very dim. What is the connection between "Else" and "multiplication", between "incapable of" and "division", and between "sounds like also" and "division"? And are all the later "clues" just red herrings? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Apr 4 '17 at 13:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh, I see now. D'oh. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Apr 4 '17 at 13:21
4
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Partial Helpers:

The spray-painted text "HLFGS GSVM VZHG" may be

SOUTH THEN EAST as that is a valid crytpogram found by quipqipu

The upside-down text (also each letter is mirrored) reads:

bashing your head wont help but something else may

The list of arithmetic problems resolved to:

(1)(4) Join.
(19)(21) Remove from.
(13)(21) Else.
(4)(9) Incapable of.
(4)(9) Sounds like also.
(2)(20) Single.
(12)(20) Recognized.
(22)(9) Act.
(20)(9) Mathematical objects.
(18)(1) Another name for fingers.
(9)(16) Alpha Sierra.
(19)(9) Together.
(12)(9) Quickly.
(15)(14) Within proximity.
(3)(1) Procreate.
(3)(20) Where are you ____?
(15)(14) Absence of things.
(20)(9) With purpose of.
(9)(15)(14) A different one.
(15)(14) Fauna.

The oddball here is the second-to-last line because there are three values.

The text makes me think of crossword puzzle clues and the numbers could be locations of the answers in a grid but I can't make that fit in any reasonable way. There are a lot of repeated values. For instance, Within proximity and Fauna both have the same numbers preceding their text.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Er, I thought we're in a daze, not a maze ... $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Apr 3 '17 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Ankoganit Errr... Maybe I'm the one in a daze, then, thinking it said maze. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Apr 3 '17 at 14:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ May be the numbers are just letter values. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Apr 3 '17 at 15:13
2
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Partial

The upside-down text yields

"bashing your head won't help but something else may" which implies the ATBASH cipher

Applying said cipher to the ciphertexts yield

South Then East

and

usetheordertheyfirstcomeinnotyourusualprocess

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