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Today marks a very exciting day for me. Today will be my 50th puzzle on this site, and as such, I've created a challenge the likes of which I have never done before. I hope it to be my most challenging one. It combines many elements to create a story. I encourage partial answers and working together if you'd like.


For this puzzle, I reccommend that you take a look at my previous riddles relating to this, That is a Battlefield, A Lad Named E. Mandala, Conspiracy Theories, and I received an email from a trusted source which contains flags and symbols
For those of you who have been avid readers of this series, you may have wondered what happened to Adedayo, the so-called Prince of Nigeria. When we last left him, he had invited me to meet up with him in Nigeria. I am pleased to say that I had an opportunity to meet up with the young Prince, of whose exploits I have are sure to amaze. Below is my journal that I kept while on our journey. Young Adedayo asked me to encrypt it, lest any unwanted person end up trying to challenge our young hero.

The Gold 50

D ei rcy qrepr lz wlsp pyzsqeh, rcy idbbhy lz e mykb,
Udrc wlsp klqy dk wlsp nypsqeh, wlshh zdkb iy eq wlsp zpdykb.
D yvdqr er rcy myadkkdka, ekb er rcy ykb.
Di rcypy ucyk wlspy udkkdka, rcy cydacr lz e rpykb.
Di klr dk zedhspy, rclsac dz wlspy zedhdka, dhh qspy rl adty wls e cekb.

Di dkcypykrhw qyhzdqc, rcy yndrliy lz qyhz.
D myhlka dkqdby qcyhzdqc, d jek my e rwny lz qcyhz.
Di klr dkqdby wls, rclsac d ei e nepr lz wlsp zeidhw.
D hdgy ndypq, drq rpsy, d jek ilty emlsr zeqr ekb zheqcdhw.
D ueqkr rcypy er rcy myadkkdka, klp er rcy ykb.

Di rcypy zlp yejc ekb ytypw lky,
Rclsac wls ulkr zdkb iy skbyp rcy qsk.
D rpw rl qidhy ytypw bew,
Rclsac udrclsr iy, wls ulkr cety isjc rl qew.
Di yjqrerdj rl qyy wls.

Di lnyk rl osyqrdlkq, wlshh zdkb iy ucyk pyehdrw cdrq.
Di qspnpdqyb qsaayqrdlkq, dhh iegy wls jcyypw ucyk wls jehh dr osdrq.
D hdgy blksrq, msr di qspy rcerq kl qspnpdqy.
Di dk plmlrq, qyyk ucyk wls lnyk wlsp ywyq.
Di ek yvjheierdlk, pdacr myzlpy ek yvnhyrdty.

Zyep iy ucyk wls qyy iy dk rcpyy,
Wlshh qyy iy zlp wlsp ytykdka rye.
Jlkzsqyb qliyrdiyq zlp iw qdqryp.
Iewmy wlshh qyy iy dk e rudqryp.
Ebb e r ekb dhh myjliy e rwny lz mpekjc.

Ucer dq rcer kldqy? Bdb iw nclky fsqr ndka?

Hint:

You're going to want this, http://i.stack.imgur.com

Hint 2:

Considering that the riddles were what I considered the easy part of this puzzle, I'm going to throw everyone a bone to get things moving along.
6 - use it well

Hint 3: (Pretty much necessary to continue the puzzle. Imgur reduced the image quality, making it impossible to continue unless I did this)

enter image description here

Hint 4: Here's the highlighted version, as I promised (I made it pretty obvious)

enter image description here

Hint 5: Look closer at this area

enter image description here

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Conspiracy Theories came first, then flags and symbols, followed by a lad, and then finally That is a Battlefield. $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Aug 1 '18 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ Great puzzle! $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Aug 1 '18 at 23:26
8
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Using the imgur link @maxathaousand provided and the partial answer by @brian, the image gave me:

PWY.4UKMD
Inverting it back gives:
DMKU4.YWP
And using the same Caesar Cipher with a shift of 9, we get:
UDBL4.PNG

With the hint, I tried all cases until I got:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/UdbL4.png

With the image:

image

Partial Answer Part 4.

Using hint 4, we see:

LQhOJ
We use rot13 to get
https://i.stack.imgur.com/YDuBW.jpg

image

The typos in the text lead us to:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/k23IS.jpg

image

Final Answer Part 5.

Using the hint provided:

uhzOl
We discover that Adedayo has become:
image

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're the furthest so far, but there is much more to this puzzle. Let me know if I need to upload another hint. $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Aug 1 '18 at 15:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good job. Let's see if we can get this solved today. $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Aug 3 '18 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, you got it! Good job! $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Aug 7 '18 at 20:36
8
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Partial answer (part 1)

Thanks to @GentlePurpleRain and @El-Guest for decoding.

The answers to the decoded riddle are:

N, I, E, O, and 6.

because

"The start of your refusal"... → No
"...the epitome of self" → I
"...smile every day ... without me, you won't have much to say..." → people often say "cheese" when they smile, with the "E" showing the teeth. Without e's, you'd have no teeth
"I like donuts ... I'm an exclamation, right before an expletive" → O is the shape of a donut. "Oh, $#%&!"
"Fear me when you see me in three → 666 is known as the Devil's number

These characters (after trial and error with capitalization) point to the following image:

Using imgur as the source, we can get the URL https://i.stack.imgur.com/nIEO6.jpg
image solution to riddle


Partial answer (part 2)

Improving on @practiced_liar's findings,

I noticed that the image contained very faint characters hidden in it. I would imagine these are the characters for the next imgur link.
I noticed a distinct "W" on the roots of the tree in the bottom-right corner of the image.
Following that, I found an "A" in the middle of the lake.
A "v" can be found in the middle of the main tree trunk on the right of the image, near the top corner.
From OP's hint, a "Z" can be seen partially overlapping the word "reclaim"
@El-Guest found a character later identified to be a 5 under a letter "U" in one of the "Uncle"s, but I still can't find it, hence the lack of a hand-drawn red circle.
circled characters


For convenience, I wrote myself a sloppy but functional script to fetch all permutations of Imgur images. Feel free to use it.


Partial answer (part 3)

The previous image reveals the characters 5, v, Z, A, W. These combine to give us the next image, at https://i.stack.imgur.com/5vZAW.png.
next image

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice job so far. Now the difficult part has began. $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jul 31 '18 at 20:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How did you get that picture? $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Jul 31 '18 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Joe-You-Know thanks. Edited to clarify $\endgroup$ – maxathousand Jul 31 '18 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest No, I'm not sure of anything anymore, hahha. $\endgroup$ – maxathousand Aug 1 '18 at 19:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest I was mistaken—it was a not the character I thought it was. New image found! $\endgroup$ – maxathousand Aug 1 '18 at 20:05
6
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Partial answer

This appears to be encrypted using

a simple substitution cipher, with a keyword of EMJBYZ:

Plaintext: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Ciphertext: EMJBYZACDFGHIKLNOPQRSTUVWX

Decrypted, it gives the following, which is obviously not the final solution:

I am the start of your refusal, the middle of a bend,
With your nose in your perusal, you'll find me as your friend.
I exist at the beginning, and at the end.
I'm there when you're winning, the height of a trend.
I'm not in failure, though if you're failing, I'll sure to give you a hand.

I'm inherently selfish, the epitome of self.
I belong inside shelfish, I can be a type of shelf.
I'm not inside you, though I am a part of your family.
I like piers, its true, I can move about fast and flashily.
I wasn't there at the beginning, nor at the end.

I'm there for each and every one,
Though you wont find me under the sun.
I try to smile every day,
Though without me, you wont have much to say.
I'm ecstatic to see you.

I'm open to questions, you'll find me when reality hits.
I'm surprised suggestions, I'll make you cheery when you call it quits.
I like donuts, but I'm sure that's no surprise.
I'm in robots, seen when you open your eyes.
I'm an exclamation, right before an expletive.

Fear me when you see me in three,
You'll see me for your evening tea.
Confused sometimes for my sister.
Maybe you'll see me in a twister.
Add a t and ill become a type of branch.

What is that noise? Did my phone just ping?

I thought each stanza might refer to

a single letter, but my best guesses for each one were
N F E O T, which seems to be nonsense,
although it can be anagrammed to OFTEN

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  • $\begingroup$ Haha looks like we both got the beginning of it! $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Jul 31 '18 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ You're doing great so far. The last letter is wrong though. It won't spell a word, but an address/location/image $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jul 31 '18 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ Wait, your answer to the second riddle is wrong too. Keep at it. :D $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jul 31 '18 at 16:27
6
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Partial Answer

Using the imgur link @maxathaousand provided, the image appears to be encoded similarly to

Conspiracy Theories

Thus, the image is

reflected image

And the message is

PMY.4NKMD

As for the text on the bottom of the original image, that can be solved using

A Caesar Cipher, with a shift of 9:
with anvnvkna cx cah juu ljbnb translating to remember to try all cases

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5
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Partial answer

Using

a substitution cipher, with a keyword of EMJBYZ:

It gives the following:

I am the start of your refusal, the middle of a bend,
With your nose in your perusal, you'll find me as your friend.
I exist at the beginning, and at the end.
I'm there when you're winning, the height of a trend.
I'm not in failure, though if you're failing, I'll sure to give you a hand.

I'm inherently selfish, the epitome of self.
I belong inside shelfish, I can be a type of shelf.
I'm not inside you, though I am a part of your family.
I like piers, its true, I can move about fast and flashily.
I wasn't there at the beginning, nor at the end.

I'm there for each and every one,
Though you wont find me under the sun.
I try to smile every day,
Though without me, you wont have much to say.
I'm ecstatic to see you.

I'm open to questions, you'll find me when reality hits.
I'm surprised suggestions, I'll make you cheery when you call it quits.
I like donuts, but I'm sure that's no surprise.
I'm in robots, seen when you open your eyes.
I'm an exclamation, right before an expletive.

Fear me when you see me in three,
You'll see me for your evening tea.
Confused sometimes for my sister.
Maybe you'll see me in a twister.
Add a t and ill become a type of branch.

What is that noise? Did my phone just ping?

I think that (@GentlePurpleRain)

Each stanza is for one letter, with the letters being: N I E O T (T is wrong)

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  • $\begingroup$ You've got the second riddle right. P.S. The last one isn't necessarily a letter... $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jul 31 '18 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ I KNEW IT!!!! :DDDDD $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Jul 31 '18 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe-You-Know Do I need Imgur yet? $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Jul 31 '18 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Not quite yet. You'll need it if you find the last riddle though. $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jul 31 '18 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ok good, I don't have to ask my dad to unblock it yet :| $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Jul 31 '18 at 18:22
3
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Partial answer: solving the substitution cipher, I guessed that

"UCER" = "WHAT",

And with a few more choice letters, the riddle is:

I am the start of your refusal, the middle of a bend,
With your nose in your perusal, you'll find me as your friend.
I exist at the beginning, and at the end.
I'm there when you're winning, the height of a trend.
I'm not in failure, though if you're failing, I'll sure to give you a hand.

I'm inherently selfish, the epitome of self.
I belong inside shelfish, I can be a type of shelf.
I'm not inside you, though I am a part of your family.
I like piers, it's true, I can move about fast and flashily.
I wasn't there at the beginning, nor at the end.

I'm there for each and every one,
Though you wont find me under the sun.
I try to smile every day,
Though without me, you wont have much to say.
I'm ecstatic to see you.

I'm open to questions, you'll find me when reality hits.
I'm surprised suggestions, I'll make you cheery when you call it quits.
I like donuts, but I'm sure that's no surprise.
I'm in robots, seen when you open your eyes.
I'm an exclamation, right before an expletive.

Fear me when you see me in three,
You'll see me for your evening tea.
Confused sometimes for my sister.
Maybe you'll see me in a twister.
Add a t and I'll become a type of branch.

What is that noise? Did my phone just ping?

Because of the imgur-maze tag, I think that

Each stanza might lead to its own imgur URL, and the stanzas might give clues as to the letters to use.

The first stanza could be

R (start of refusal) EN (middle of bend) B (start of beginning) D (end of end) W (in winning, not in failure, but will help); therefore...RENBDW?

Partial Answer: Part 5

In regards to hint 5, it appears that there are letters written in differently coloured pixels in the map image. They appear to lead to uhz01, but this is not the correct sequence of letters. There is also a line across one of the O's in the street name that I don't know how to decipher.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You're doing great so far, but your answers to the riddles are wrong. You may want to look at GentlePurpleRain's answer for some help there (but even he has one of them wrong). $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jul 31 '18 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right path. Keep at it! :D $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Aug 7 '18 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ Are the letters right? I wasn't certain about reading them but they looked pretty clear! :) $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Aug 7 '18 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure they are (they aren't sequential). $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Aug 7 '18 at 19:40

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