11
$\begingroup$

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #30: Metapuzzles.


Please note: This puzzle IS a metapuzzle. If someone wants to put the integrity into question, I'll feel free to privately send an answer. I'd also like to note that the answers provided so far are incredibly partial; there is still a final code to solve, not to mention the fact that the minipuzzles haven't been solved to the fullest yet.

Step one: Gathering information

?. degeneratiVe

A simple cipher that utilizes the differents. Key: 177 157 149 144 133 128 103 94 75 62 61 47 33 28 24 0

IOEQL LAPEA OCVMM CR, FXDO

1. devolvIng

Shouting madness

This minipuzzle, from the ground up

How do they work?

Secret/travel

Mating ghosts

To be it or not to be it

Shift two

Common article

The key is the 5th and 6th concatenated.

CBRWB NYOQE IARGY RSWXS IXVBX WBEOG AEBCY, ZJIGD LKZJO MBMKY

?. Gross

Key: 6, 10, 19, 19, 28, 64, 55, __

JIHSIX JXAKI VKENC BNEHK FAR, KIXSA WDKVD XSH, HHEWH P

?. hiddEn

I'm in oranges, but neither salami nor sausage.

I’m in your nightly domino rage, and also find mayhem in orderless societies such as vermin or the minority of people who spend their life a lie.

I know you see me everywhere without knowing, so catch me if you can.

In this one, the answer and the first noun smashed together is the key to everything.

ECZGF FQOKA FABTS LNTOF GUOSI S, VT

?. misNomers

All my life, I’ve been a part of many things. I’ve really got an incredible story to tell.

I started off a young lad. The first thing I partook in was after high school. I went to college, the first thing I partook in. Not much to remember there. The next thing I did was become a game of chains with a mask at the end. During this time I actually went on a cruise. I found love (and shovels, long story) over water, due to a highly skilled strike to the hull by a submarine. I ended up at a funeral, mourning over the captain.

The key is the answer backwards.

WCDRF VSWSQ MSWNU ESBEH VBNLQ MSWSQ MSWEU XVCTI FDXSU KWXN, XZHCL Q

Step two: Applying information

Remember, take notes and break it down!

13  35  36  14  22  14  43  23  46  27  42  17  37  47  27  26  54  33  34  34  47  26  16  13  13  15  22  51  58  31  34  11  31  54  31  36  42  46  43  54  42  16
22  34  46  35  31  14  27  18  31  36  12  23  31  16  12  22  33  51  26  12  15  51  26  51  17  35  55  12  34  15  22  42  13  23  33  15  37  51  12  31  26  16
14  43  34  37  13  54  23  18  15  27  12  55  12  43  33  36  18  55  27  13  35  37  37  31  31  13  58  35  35  11  47  33  31  43  33  13  27  42  31  54  11  14

P.S. I understand that many of the ciphers are solvable without finding the key, but I would like to request that one not use any methods to bypass finding the keys. Thank you!

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The capital letters spell out VIGEN(ere). :/ $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Apr 24 '17 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi What an astute observation. $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Apr 24 '17 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ I may or may not have made this puzzle too easy for the likes of Puzzling SE. Oh well. $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Apr 24 '17 at 4:12
7
$\begingroup$

Partial Answer

hiddEn

I'm in oranges, but neither salami nor sausage. I’m in your nightly domino rage, and also find mayhem in orderless societies such as vermin or the minority of people who spend their life a lie. The hidden word is MINOR combined with Oranges(first noun) forms - MINORANGES using this as a key gives -

SUMS OF DIGITS OF BLANK NUMBERS, IN

misNomers

There are certain words which are used here - like many, incredible and captain which are related to word MAJOR backwards gives ROJAM using this as a key gives -

FOURTEEN SEVEN NINE SEVEN ELEVEN SEVEN EIGHT TWO POSITION, LITTLE

So, the final message we have to go ahead is -

WORD HIDDEN BY SPACE, STAR
WORD INSIDE PHRASES DESCRIBED BY ITALICS TWINKLE TWO TIMES
REMOVE LETTERS AS YOU GO DOWN, SECOND FROM TOP, D MAJOR
SUMS OF DIGITS OF BLANK NUMBERS IN
FOURTEEN SEVEN NINE SEVEN ELEVEN SEVEN EIGHT TWO POSITION, LITTLE

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ And domino rage? $\endgroup$ – Strawberry Apr 24 '17 at 11:45
6
$\begingroup$

Partial Answer

Degenerative

Taking the differences between the numbers and converting to letters says THEKEYISMANNEDX. Decoding with key MANNEDX gives WORD HIDDEN BY SPACE, STAR.

Devolving

Each of the phrases is a clue to a word, starting at ARGUMENT and removing a letter each time:

ARGUMENT/AUGMENT/MAGNET/AGENT/GNAT/TAG/AT/A

Decrypting with the passphrase GNATTAG gives WORD INSIDE PHRASES DESCRIBED BY ITALICS, TWINKLE TWO TIMES.

Gross

The OEIS easily gives this to be the sum of the digits of the nth perfect number. The next one is 73, and decoding with the key SEVENTYTHREE gives REMOVE LETTERS AS YOU GO DOWN, SECOND FROM TOP, D MAJOR.

$\endgroup$
6
$\begingroup$

PARTIAL

The final message is: (Thanks, TechIdiot & Deusovi)

WORD HIDDEN BY SPACE, STAR
WORD INSIDE PHRASES DESCRIBED BY ITALICS TWINKLE TWO TIMES
REMOVE LETTERS AS YOU GO DOWN, SECOND FROM TOP, D MAJOR
SUMS OF DIGITS OF BLANK NUMBERS IN
FOURTEEN SEVEN NINE SEVEN ELEVEN SEVEN EIGHT TWO POSITION, LITTLE

When rearranged:

WORD INSIDE PHRASES DESCRIBED BY ITALICS TWINKLE TWO TIMES (twinkle, twinkle)
FOURTEEN SEVEN NINE SEVEN ELEVEN SEVEN EIGHT TWO POSITION, LITTLE (little)
WORD HIDDEN BY SPACE, STAR (star)
SUMS OF DIGITS OF BLANK NUMBERS IN (in)
REMOVE LETTERS AS YOU GO DOWN, SECOND FROM TOP, D MAJOR (D Major)

Removing the parts in brackets, this gives the correct order of instructions:

1. WORD INSIDE PHRASES DESCRIBED BY ITALICS
2. FOURTEEN SEVEN NINE SEVEN ELEVEN EIGHT TWO POSITION
3. WORD HIDDEN BY SPACE
4. SUMS OF DIGITS OF BLANK NUMBERS
5. REMOVE LETTERS AS YOU GO DOWN, SECOND FROM TOP

The order of the puzzles is: Devolving Misnomers Degenerative Hidden Gross

"Take notes, and break it down" may refer to:

The notes of Twinkle, twinkle, little star when played in D Major.
The first notes would be DDAABBA which looks about the same length as some of the keys used earlier.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, didn't noticed that. I was thinking of the final note. Turns out, its unused. :-/ $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Apr 24 '17 at 9:47
1
$\begingroup$

Here's another

Partial answer

Step 1

As Dave H noticed, the order of the puzzles is:
1. Devolving
2. Misnomers
3. Degenerative
4. Hidden
5. Gross

After removing the "Twinkle, twinkle, little star in D major" parts, we see that each of the decrypted cyphertexts is a hint to the next puzzle (in the given order). Using these hints, we can find the following hidden words:

1. Devolving
The hint from 5. Gross is
REMOVE LETTERS AS YOU GO DOWN, SECOND FROM TOP
If we take the second word of the solution, we get "AUGMENT".

2. Misnomers
The hint from 1. Devolving is
WORD INSIDE PHRASES DESCRIBED BY ITALICS
The word described by the phrases in italics is "MAJOR", and this is our hidden word.

3. Degenerative
The hint is
FOURTEEN SEVEN NINE SEVEN ELEVEN SEVEN EIGHT TWO POSITION
If we take the characters at positions 14, 7, 9, etc. from the solution "THEKEYISMANNEDX", we get the word "DIMINISH".

4. Hidden
The hint is
WORD HIDDEN BY SPACE
which hints at "MINOR".

5. Gross
The hint is
SUMS OF DIGITS OF BLANK NUMBERS
The word on the blank should be "PERFECT", so this is our final hidden word.

So we have the hidden words
1. AUGMENT
2. MAJOR
3. DIMINISH
4. MINOR
5. PERFECT
These are all interval qualities. If we combine this with "Twinkle, twinkle, little star in D major", I think we have extracted all information from step 1.

Step 2

Here it can be noted that all numbers have two digits, and the first digit is always an integer between 1 and 5, and the second digit is always between 1 and 8. Using the information from the first part, we can link numbers from 1 to 5 to the different interval qualities, so these numbers probably correspond to intervals. Conversion yields:

 A3 d5 d6 A4 M2 A4 m3 M3 m6 M7 m2 A7 d7 m7 M7 M6 P4 d3 d4 d4 m7 M6 A6 A3 A3 A5 M2 P1 P8 d1 d4 A1 d1 P4 d1 d6 m2 m6 m3 P4 m2 A6
 M2 d4 m6 d5 d1 A4 M7 A8 d1 d6 A2 M3 d1 A6 A2 M2 d3 P1 M6 A2 A5 P1 M6 P1 A7 d5 P5 A2 d4 A5 M2 m2 A3 M3 d3 A5 d7 P1 A2 d1 M6 A6
 A4 m3 d4 d7 A3 P4 M3 A8 A5 M7 A2 P5 A2 m3 d3 d6 A8 P5 M7 A3 d5 d7 d7 d1 d1 A3 P8 d5 d5 A1 m7 d3 d1 m3 d3 A3 M7 m2 d1 P4 A1 A4

Another thing to note is that "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" in D major has the following notes:
 D D A A B B A G G F# F# E E D A A G G F# F# E A A G G F# F# E D D A A B B A G G F# F# E E D
The number of notes equals the number of numbers per line in the cyphertext. If we use each of the intervals to increase the corresponding note in twinkle, twinkle little star, we get the following:
 Fx  Ab  fb  d#  c#  e#  c   B   eb  e#  G   dx  db  c   g#  f#  c   Bbb Bb  Bb  d   f#  fx  B#  B#  cx  G#  E   d   Db  db  A#  Bb  e   Ab  ebb Ab  d   A   A   F   B#
 E   Gb  f   eb  Bb  e#  g#  g#  Gb  db  Gx  G#  Eb  B#  B#  B   Bbb G   d#  Gx  B#  A   f#  G   fx  c   c#  Fx  Gb  A#  B   Bb  dx  d#  cb  d#  fb  F#  Gx  Eb  c#  B#
 G#  F   db  gb  dx  e   c#  g#  d#  e#  Gx  B   Fx  F   cb  fb  g#  d   e#  Ax  Bb  gb  gb  Gb  Gb  Ax  f#  Bb  Ab  D#  g   cb  Bb  d   cb  B#  f#  G   F   A   E#  G#
Replacing the notes by notes that sound the same to eliminate some sharps and flats gives the following:
 G   G#  e   d#  c#  f   c   B   d#  f   G   e   c#  c   g#  f#  c   A   A#  A#  d   f#  g   c   c   d   G#  E   d   C#  c#  A#  A#  e   G#  d   G#  d   A   A   F   c
 E   F#  f   d#  A#  f   g#  g#  F#  c#  A   G#  D#  c   c   B   A   G   d#  A   c   A   f#  G   g   c   c#  G   F#  A#  B   A#  e   d#  B   d#  e   F#  A   D#  c#  c
 G#  F   c#  f#  e   e   c#  g#  d#  f   A   B   G   F   B   e   g#  d   f   B   A#  f#  f#  F#  F#  B   f#  A#  G#  D#  g   B   A#  d   B   c   f#  G   F   A   F   G#
We can also decrease each of the notes:
 'Bbb 'G#   Cx   Eb   A    F    F#   Eb  'B   'G    E#  'Fb  'Fx  'E   'Bb   C    D    E#   Cx   Cx  'F#   C    Cb   Ebb  Ebb 'Bb   E    E   'D    D#   E#   Ab   B#   F#   A#  'B#   F#  'A#   D#  'B    D#  'Fb
  C   'A#   C#   D#   B#   F   'Bb  'Gb   G#  'Ax   Eb   C    E#  'Fb   Gb   G    E#   G   'A    Eb  'Ab   A    C    G   'Abb 'B#  'B    Db  'A#  'Gb   G    G#   Gb   G    Fx   Cb  'A#   F#   Eb   E#  'G   'Fb
 'Ab  'B    E#  'B#   Gb   F#   F   'Gb   Cb  'G    Eb  'A    Db  'B    Fx   Cx  'Gb   C   'G    Db  'A#  'B#  'B#   G#   G#   Db  'F#  'A#  'G#   Db  'B    Fx   B#   G#   Fx   Ebb 'Ab   E#   Fx  'B    Eb  'Ab
After elimination of some sharps and flats:
 'A   'G#   D    D#   A    F    F#   D#  'B   'G    F   'E   'G   'E   'A#   C    D    F    D    D   'F#   C   'B    D    D   'A#   E    E   'D    D#   F    G#   c    F#   A#   C    F#  'A#   D#  'B    D#  'E
  C   'A#   C#   D#   c    F   'A#  'F#   G#  'B    D#   C    F   'E    F#   G    F    G   'A    D#  'G#   A    C    G   'G    C   'B    C#  'A#  'F#   G    G#   F#   G    G   'B   'A#   F#   D#   F   'G   'E
 'G#  'B    F    C    F#   F#   F   'F#  'B   'G    D#  'A    C#  'B    G    D   'F#   C   'G    C#  'A#   C    C    G#   G#   C#  'F#  'A#  'G#   C#  'B    G    c    G#   G    D   'G#   F    G   'B    D#  'G#

I don't know whether this is the right way to go (I don't think so to be honest), but maybe it gives someone the right idea how to solve this puzzle

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Almost, but each note of TTLS should only output one note as per "take notes and break it down" $\endgroup$ – awesomepi Apr 25 '18 at 7:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.