# Multi-part challenge: riddles and cipher

This is a multi-part challenge; you will need stamina to complete it! The style of this problem may remind you of some of my friend avigrail's riddles, and I will admit to having pinched a few ideas from him.

Anyway, let's get down to business. The real answer is in the ciphertext at the very bottom, but before you get on to that, you need to find the key. That's actually really easy, but if you need a hint (or if you just like riddles), try to work out the message hidden in the following verses. Each verse gives you a single item, which you can then put together to get the hint you need.

Dark girl she will be,
Enemies to set free.
The place where you sing,

I am I and you are you;
I sound like what you read this through.
And if this thing you still can't guess,
Go to sea and shout out yes.

I am as handsome as can be.
I am as ugly as can be.
I am as clean as can be.
I am as dirty as can be.
In the middle of my name
Is what you need to find fame.

Some people use me for addition.
Some turn me into dust and bag me.
Some take me to a course and play.
I can be twenty or one-oh-three.

OK, enough fun and games. It's time to get on to the real challenge. So now you need to board a plane and travel to the land of clean shoes and long sticks. When you get there, you'll have the key you need to unlock the following message and become the final champion! Remember, whatever the name may tell you, it's actually Bellaso who's helping you now.

VHF BRT QSF ZALNPXLY. ZLN SBVT MLTPXO BLA QSF QXDUS PKO NXWP JT IL EIB YTOAA XYTTXC. ZOJO ZOB KPNAXKTOD MLTK XP EP TKTUE P OTEAEP PF NLFS LPY BNS MZTB BE BS P NFFPMTPN DK EIFL DJTT. QSFOX LSE ALET LY AFOEIP PRM EIEGB DBIBGBTXKR GLK XPRT OTEAEPT. (TWBCF XKP BLHL DPJX HIO LXYU QH MBN IEPN YNE OEKBC NFGO UHPQ WPQ). ZZPD ARNL XGO IAEMJ SFWOMICD.

• @xnor - If you get as far as deciphering it, you'll find out ;-) Also, what kind of cipher is used? That's not immediately obvious... Nov 21 '14 at 23:23
• He called me friend. I'm so happy! Nov 22 '14 at 4:34
• @AE - Yes! The riddles are what makes it fun. Anyway I've designed the cryptogram so that it's EXTREMELY hard to brute-force. Nov 22 '14 at 9:58
• A slight cyan hue appears on my face Nov 24 '14 at 0:37
• @avigrail - huehuehue :-> Nov 24 '14 at 11:15

Dark girl she will be, Enemies to set free.

We search these lines on Google and find a book with these lines where the following line is "Sing in Harmony". There is a (totally unnecessary) hint in the markup there too: "lmgtfy.com".

The place where you sing,

Harmony

H

I am I and you are you;

The subject of the line is the answer for this verse (as is normal riddle etiquette (what am I?)). The line just states outright "I am I". "You are you" is just stylistic.

I sound like what you read this through.

My eye(s)

And if this thing you still can't guess, Go to sea and shout out yes.

Sailor traditional and stereotype has "yes" as "aye".

I think we can conclude that we need one of the following:

eye/I

I am as handsome as can be. I am as ugly as can be. I am as clean as can be. I am as dirty as can be.

This does not seem to make sense. Imagine a man named "Can Be".

In the middle of my name

"CanBe"

Is what you need to find fame.

Poetically meaning that we need the
N

The following few lines are quite brilliant

Some people use me for addition.

+

Some turn me into dust and bag me.

tea

Some take me to a course and play.

tee (for playing golf on a golf course)

I can be twenty or one-oh-three.

t is the 20th letter of the alphabet
t is is the IPA phonetic character with code 103

This yields:

T

From the riddles we ended up with:

HINT

So now you need to board a plane and travel to the land of clean shoes and long sticks.

"Board a plane and travel" hints strongly that we are looking for a place; likely a country.
Clean shoes = POLISH.
Long Sticks = POLES.
The land we are looking for is
POLAND

Now proceeding:

I used HINT in Polish - "wskazówka" - with the ó replaced with o as the key (wskazowka) in a Vignere decoder using subtraction.

With the results of the cipher text being:

YOU ARE THE CHAMPION. YOU HAVE PASSED ALL THE TESTS AND MADE IT TO THE FINAL ANSWER. YOUR ONE REMAINING TASK IS TO WRITE A RIDDLE OF YOUR OWN AND POSE IT AS A QUESTION ON THIS SITE. THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE OUT THERE SALIVATING FOR MORE RIDDLES. GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY RIDDLING :D

I think this calls for a lynch mob. Anyone?