Today I took my lunch break at my normal time, and sat in my usual location to eat. Nothing special, just a salad with tomatoes, swordfish, and tuna. While I sat there eating, and reading my book; an old man asked if he could join me. I nodded my head, and he sat down; what happened next was simply amazing. He told me a story, and it was quite a tale indeed. The only problem I had, and it wasn't that bad, was that every few words he would scream. Since I wasn't used to it, it startled me just about every time. I've decided I would share his story with you in the hopes that you enjoy it too!

EIGHT men ran a store long ago; they sold many beautiful treasures. SEVEN of which were quite renowned, and kept in a box lined with glass. people would come, from near and far to see these treasures; and often would leave, after buying trinkets. But THREE people made mistakes, the bought what was not for sale. The items weren't Usually available to the public, but the eight men who ran the store decided they wanted to show off their entire collections. Statues of lions, gold and silver, Xylophones, pianos, and Umberellas.

They really loved all of their treasures, because each was really quite exquisite. Just in case you were wondering, people have died for some of these treasures; haven't you ever heard the story of Neptune's rock? There's only ever been ONE found on the entire planet, and You'd think it was truly from Neptune.

Some people believe that Neptune's rock was crafted here on Earth, but others like to believe in the more supernatural stories. My personal opinion is that the rock is just a hunk crap from space, but no one ever seems to want to believe that.

This next part is Very important! He whispered the next part:

keep to your faith.

keep to your sight.

I have proof that the rock is of extraterrestrial origin. Do you need the proof too? Well don't expect me to make it easy on you, or help you.

He then slid me a piece of paper with some writing on it:


Look at the paper child, often the answers are hidden in plain sight. Since you've listened to my story, I'd like to pay for your lunch. Honestly, you've been great company, but your salad could use some zest. You come with me, and I'll add some lemon, PLUS pay for the rest.

What is the hidden message the old man gave me?


I think you have to combine what you've found, in the order you found it. Also, my lunch was great by the way!


The algorithm, the key, and the encrypted text have all been found. I just need an answer at this point.

  • $\begingroup$ The writing looks like rot13('u a rvtug avar q s t fcnpr rvtug a t fcnpr sbhe avar j / mreb frira z t mreb avar i X V P D a / X R c C Q x x l p j c'). $\endgroup$
    – EKons
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(gurer ner ab fcnprf, gung'f whfg gur sbag). $\endgroup$
    – Taco
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 19:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It looks to me like rot13(u A rvtug avar q s d rvtug a t sbhe avar j B frira Z T B avar i U P D h X R c C Q x x m p j c). I assume the letters and numbers are important, right @PerpetualJ? Does the case matter? And are those round characters "ohs" or "zeros"? $\endgroup$
    – El Guapo
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Casing is important; also, the round characters are letters, not numbers. $\endgroup$
    – Taco
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ if you rot18 from cryptii you get ua34qst3at94jB2ztB4iUPDhXRcCxxlpjc here are the characters with rot18: hn89dfg8ng49wO7mgO9vHCQuKEpPkkycwp from the edit spot hN89dfq8ng49wO7MGO9vHCQuKEpPDkkzcwp with rot18 is uA34qsd3at94jB2ZTB4iUPDhXRcCQxxmpjc $\endgroup$
    – Yout Ried
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


Not an answer, but maybe

We use Twofish algorithm because of the lunch with swordfish and tuna.

The encrypted text will be:
Because the hint said to combine it the way we found it.

But I'm still lost with the key, my guess was tomatoes but I don't think that was it.

  • $\begingroup$ You're correct on the algorithm and the key. The encrypted text is wrong. +1 Keep up the good work! $\endgroup$
    – Taco
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ Ooh. I thought I had the key wrong. Haha. Does the filename of the image have anything to do with the encrypted text? $\endgroup$
    – ImongMama
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ The file name has nothing to do with it. :) $\endgroup$
    – Taco
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 16:53

This is not an actual answer but I will throw away whatever i have got, since it wouldn't be nice to post this in comments if it contains correct steps to reach the answer.


Since the yelled words end with a plus and also from the hint it feels like the cipher text is combination of both yelled words and text image. it is: 87ap3wuXUuJw1YSMVxnWhoSHzc+hN89dfq8ng49wO7MGO9vHCQuKEpPDkkzcwp .


The lunch might be pointing us to the encryption algorithm. Tuna can relate to Tunafish, swordfish is already a fish, I guess it should be some cipher related to the word Fish.

Also The other words the man whispered

keep to your faith.
keep to your sight
This should be leading s to the key. I guess either Keep is the key OR faith and Sight - the only uncommon words in the both lines of the riddle should produce the key.

  • $\begingroup$ For the most part you're doing great! +1 From me! However, read the hint more carefully in regards to the encrypted text. As for the algorithm, you're spot on, there is one in particular. The words the man whispered are a red herring and have nothing to do with the key. The key has also been hinted at and you've already found other information near it. $\endgroup$
    – Taco
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 16:09

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