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An online community has three moderators: Doorknob, Kevin, and Emrakul (in no particular order). In between making posts on meta, they decide to set up a code for their private communications, and start sending secret messages to one another. First Doorknob sends Emrakul this message:

$2211+1211=111+21+11+2111+1+1112+221+121=1221+2111+2122+2111+1=1112+1121=1211+121+2122+2122+2111+1222$

Then Emrakul sends this one to Kevin:

$1211+121+1121+221+121+1+2212+21+1211=1112=1121+21+1222=21=2212+2111+2=21+12+2212=21=1221+21+221$

Finally Kevin sends this to Doorknob, closing the circle:

$1112=2122+1112+2112+121=21+2121+2121+2122+121+1121=21+12+2212=2111+1+21+12+2+121+1121$

Can you decrypt the messages?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'll have to refrain from answering, since they posted the key to their code in Teacher's Lounge a few weeks ago. le sigh $\endgroup$
    – corsiKa
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 3:26

1 Answer 1

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Yes.

Quite simply:

The ones and twos correspond to Morse code dots and dashes. The plus signs are letter separators, and the equals signs are word breaks.

That gives you

1. ZL SNIBEVGR PBYBE VF LRYYBJ
2. LRFGREQNL V FNJ N QBT NAQ N PNG
3. V YVXR NCCYRF NAQ BENATRF

Then all you need to do is

A 13-place Caesar shift (rot13)

To obtain:

1. MY FAVORITE COLOR IS YELLOW
2. YESTERDAY I SAW A DOG AND A CAT
3. I LIKE APPLES AND ORANGES

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well done! This was much easier than I expected :-( $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 19:58
  • 19
    $\begingroup$ Note to self: change codes. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul - You think that'll work? I'm the Julian Assange of Stack Exchange! :-> $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ This is exactly how the mods talk, too. $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 1:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Change them so that all communiques are valid mathematical expressions as well as encoded. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 12:59

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