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Rather unfortunately I’ve been brought town by a severe case of the iconic puzzlers block. Every foilish pursuit to break it has led to it getting worse wich more sekatsim. Visions of riddles will come and go but nothing ever stays. Even skipping trying to make hard ones and trying to make the most basic set of topical rebuses or a kake-off pattern resulted in failure. Recently I have been thinking if possibly I have lost the ability to construct puzzles. St much time was wasted trying to make such puzzles I forgot how to make a good one. Eventually I tried again and began the first steps to produce a new riddle. Defying my awful puzzler’s block, things seemed to be working, ano still era, even the wordplay.

Weirdly, after so long on eht climb, puzzles were beginning to form. Occasionally I would get stuck, but for the first time in a long time all prcblems seemed to fix themselves. Reaching the end gave a great sense of achievement and hope. Driving onwards had been the yek to a basic puzzle. So I, without furkher ado and before I go back, present this to you.


9-3-4-5-7-11-12-1-2-3
2-10-9-3-9-8-4
8-10-2-10-9-3
12-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11
7-11-12-1-2-10-5
2-10-9-3-9-8-4
7-11-1-3-9


To solve the puzzle, fill in the blanks in the following sentence with the answer found (same phrase for both blanks):

Although this puzzle is a ______________________ it shows how if someone can __________________ they can overcome any mental block they have.

Hint:

The letters replacing are also important, as well as the range of numbers...

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  • $\begingroup$ I take it, the extensive use of commas in the second paragraph and almost no use of them in the first paragraph is intended. $\endgroup$ – Sid Mar 12 '18 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Sid punctuation is not needed in this puzzle $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 12 '18 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, if you saw an upvote retracted and were wondering why, I must’ve accidentally removed mine :) $\endgroup$ – ferret Mar 13 '18 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ @ferret no problem :) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 13 '18 at 7:48
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Final answer:

Although this puzzle is a chip off the old block it shows how if someone can chip off the old block they can overcome any mental block they have.

Knowing Beastly, the steganography tag made me look at a known position.

The first letters of each sentence spell out REVERSED WORDS. Taking the reversed words, we get "MISTAKES ARE THE KEY".

Interesting! Next, we look at them and those weird numbers:

Now, for the mistakes, I see (D) in place of T for TOWN, (O) in place of I in FOILISH, (T) in place of C for WICH, (T) in place of K in kake-off, (O) in place of T in ST, (D) in place of O in ANO, (O) in place of C in PRCBLEMS and (T) in place of K in FURKHER.

This gives DOT TO DOT. However, seeing the letters which are replaced, we get, TICK-TOCK. This, along with the numbers being up to 12 would mean, we have to do something with Clocks and/or time.

Next, doing dot to dot with the numbers on a clockface we get BEFOREP (Image thanks to @ferret):

enter image description here

This states Before P. Looks good! Now, let's see what we have "Before P". The letters "Before P" in the puzzle is "CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK " which is a common idiom and the final answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Given that the largest of the weird number sequences is only 12, I am pretty sure that A1Z26 is not the intended path. $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Mar 12 '18 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ Plenty more errors in the initial block of text than those you mentioned: town/down, foilish/foolish, wich/with, sekatsim/????, kake/take, St/So, ano/and, era/???, eht/the, prcblems/problems, yek/???, furkher/further $\endgroup$ – theonetruepath Mar 12 '18 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ Some of these are the reversed words mentioned $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 12 '18 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Sid I made an error with the last line. Fixed now. You should get the final answer now $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Mar 12 '18 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ Here's a graphic of the clocks to make that part easier to understand: i.stack.imgur.com/g02zZ.png $\endgroup$ – ferret Mar 12 '18 at 19:50

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