10
$\begingroup$

I posed a similar challenge to someone and it appeared to be sufficiently hard that I'll post it here. Sooo... Find the hidden message! It's right here!

$\endgroup$
6
  • $\begingroup$ Hm, sadly the page broke my little extra message in the title. Doesn't matter, the main puzzle is in the text body and still works. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2018 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ So then, Is my answer going in the right direction? $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2018 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe-You-Know Yes. $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2018 at 23:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ TO EVERYONE WANTING TO EDIT THIS PUZZLE: The site has a bug which means that it cannot be edited without removing the essential part of the puzzle. Please do not edit it! I know that the tag isn't ideal, but I can't do anything about it. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2019 at 20:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @FabianRöling Would using an appropriate HTML entity ( or ‌ for a similar character) instead of the literal character be an acceptable compromise? I understand it may essentially reveal a secret to anybody editing, but the secret is shared knowledge at this point anyhow. $\endgroup$
    – Will
    Jan 27, 2019 at 6:34

2 Answers 2

9
$\begingroup$

Yay, you found it!

So, I started with @Joe-You-Know's answer, and figured there would be more.

I took the text, reduced it to a pattern of "a" for not zero-width-non-joiner, and "X" for is zero-width-non-joiner.

a XaaXaXaa Xa XaXaaaaaXa XaXaXaXaaaXaaaX aXaX aaaaXaaa aaaX XaXaX aaXaaXaXaaXaX XaXa XaXaX aXaaXaaaXaaaaaa XaXaaaX XaaaXaX aX'XaXaX aXaXaXa XaaX aXaXaaX.X XaaaXaX...X aaaaX aaa aaXaXaaXa aXaaXaXaXaaX! aa'Xa aaaXaa aaaa!

It didn't look quite right, and after looking further, I decided that spaces and punctuation count as "a"s.

aaXaaXaXaaaXaaXaXaaaaaXaaXaXaXaXaaaXaaaXaaXaXaaaaaXaaaaaaaXaXaXaXaaaXaaXaXaaXaXaXaXaaXaXaXaaXaaXaaaXaaaaaaaXaXaaaXaXaaaXaXaaXaXaXaXaaXaXaXaaXaaXaaXaXaaXaXaXaaaXaXaaaXaaaaaXaaaaaaaXaXaaXaaaXaaXaXaXaaXaaaaaXaaaaaXaaaaaaaa

This then gave me that an "X" always had an "a" before it. So: "aX" became 1 and "a" became "0". At this point, it broke up nicely in groups of 8.

01011001 01100001 01111001 00101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110101 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100001 00000000

Became hex

59 61 79 2c 20 79 6f 75 20 66 6f 75 6e 64 20 69 74 21 00

and then ASCII

Yay, you found it!^@

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, finally someone found it! My thinking was: Every character of the visible text either has a "non-breaking space" behind it or it doesn't. That's 0 or 1. A binary translator like paulschou.com/tools/xlate gives you the hidden text. I'm not sure if I also tried to hide something in the title (for example "Hi!" would fit), but I think it didn't save. After 17 months it's hard to remember. :D I'm happy that someone finally guessed it! $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2020 at 1:08
6
$\begingroup$

So I noticed

After some letters (it seems to be random) is the character &#65279 which is Unicode Character 'ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE' (U+FEFF)

Here is what it actually is

I 😊 po😊s😊ed 😊a 😊s😊imila😊r 😊c😊h😊a😊lle😊nge😊 t😊o😊 some😊one and😊 😊i😊t😊 ap😊pe😊a😊re😊d😊 😊t😊o 😊b😊e😊 s😊uf😊fic😊iently 😊h😊ard😊 😊tha😊t😊 I😊'😊l😊l😊 p😊o😊s😊t 😊it😊 h😊e😊re😊.😊 😊Soo😊o😊...😊 Find😊 the hi😊d😊de😊n m😊es😊s😊s😊a😊ge😊! It's😊s rig😊ht here!

This is where,

😊 = &#65279

$\endgroup$
6
  • $\begingroup$ Hello! so is this the right answer? $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Aug 23, 2018 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ @jwi, I'd like to know as well... $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2018 at 15:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How did you notice the unicode character? I just see plain text except for the second spoiler tag you put $\endgroup$
    – R.D
    Aug 24, 2018 at 4:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @R.D I'm I web designer currently. Using the inspect element is second nature to me now. Especially if I suspect that their could be hidden code. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2018 at 5:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @R.D It can also be found by copying the whole thing into Notepad++. Not only does it show little dots above the characters where I put the special character behind, but when you go through it with the cursor, it also does an extra zero width step there. And as an extra advantage, you can search for it to find all easily. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2018 at 8:17

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.