18
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You'd send a letter to me, but I'm not quite what you think.

You'd send a letter in me, but only if you didn't know me.

I was a gem in my day for being both bold and precise.

I stood strong in the face of graves and grave faces.

126.18.154.4.191.79.9.35.30.90.113.111.21.52.75.50.60.45

What two historical names do the previous items suggest?

As usual, when constructing a final answer, be sure to include an explanation for all steps that you took.

Hint 1:

The answer to the riddle will help you decrypt the cipher - don't try to do the cipher first.

Hint/clarification

The answer to the riddle is a thing. The person responsible for that thing is the first name. The second name (also belonging to a person) is described by the cipher's solution. You have completed the puzzle when you have found these two people/names.

Hint 2.5:

If I wanted to send a piece of mail to you, what would I need from you?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe the postal system is different in Virginia than where you live. I only need rot13(N anzr naq na nqqerff) from the recipient, and neither fits in the riddle. $\endgroup$ – CStafford-14 Apr 25 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ It actually does fit (I think) - and you only need one of those. @CStafford-14 $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 25 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I'd assume it's the second one, but I can't get an accredited creator or someone associated with its upbringing, nor can I fir it into lines 2 or 4 of the riddle. Better than 0 (With the first) $\endgroup$ – CStafford-14 Apr 25 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Let's move to The Sphinx's lair to discuss this. $\endgroup$ – CStafford-14 Apr 25 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Also btw line 3 is somewhat apocryphal. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 25 at 20:04
8
+100
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Want a historical name?

You're referring to Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin!

Explanation:
You'd send a letter to me, but I'm not quite what you think.

You would send it to an address, but we're talking about a different kind of address here.

You'd send a letter in me, but only if you didn't know me.

References the apocryhal story that Lincoln wrote the adress on the back of an envelope

I was a gem in my day for being both bold and precise.

It was new and unheard of, specifically noting how there should be no slaves.

I stood strong in the face of graves and grave faces.

It avenged the dead slaves and gave hope to the hopeless slaves.

Therefore, the riddle describes

The Gettysburg Address!


Now, onto the cipher.

Benjamin Franklin. The cipher says: "My grave says printer." You can find this by taking the cipher number as the corresponding character of the Gettysburg address, not counting spaces or punctuation. Franklin wanted his grave to say "Printer" on it.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're not going to believe this (probably) but your person is actually the second person of the riddle. I'm not even kidding. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 25 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Done :) @Brandon_J $\endgroup$ – CStafford-14 Apr 25 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ I don't really understand your reasoning or how you came up with this answer. $\endgroup$ – noedne Apr 25 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ i guessed this and i don't understand ciphers so i didn't write it down :( $\endgroup$ – visualnotsobasic Apr 26 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ I might post a video on how I did it on YouTube, and give a like here. $\endgroup$ – CStafford-14 Apr 26 at 9:13
10
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Partial:

I think the first might be:

Times New Roman

You'd send a letter to me, but I'm not quite what you think.

Not sure about this one

You'd send a letter in me, but only if you didn't know me.

The default font you'd use if you didn't know/care about fonts

I was a gem in my day for being both bold and precise.

Was created to be a crisp new typeface for The Times in London

I stood strong in the face of graves and grave faces.

Also used prominently on headstones

That's all I have for now. If anyone can move this forward, feel free!

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  • $\begingroup$ Good thinking(+1) but no. Historical names = historical people. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 22 at 21:28
2
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If I can try a different direction?

Perhaps the first part is:

Morse Code

Lines: You'd send a letter to me, but I'm not quite what you think.

When you think of a letter in morse code, you don't think of the beeps in your head

You'd send a letter in me, but only if you didn't know me.

Morse code was often used to communicate distress calls? Maybe?

I was a gem in my day for being both bold and precise.

Bold could be the dash, precise could be the dot?

I stood strong in the face of graves and grave faces.

Graves -> morse code was used frequently in war. Grave faces -> perhaps a reference to the reception of these messages? or -.- ? A long shot, haha.

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  • $\begingroup$ Bummer! Also not on the right track. I'm so confused haha; I thought that this puzzle would only last a day or two at best. Still, +1 for the solid effort. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 24 at 22:35
2
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Possibly the item is

The Gettysburg address, implying it is Abraham Lincoln.

You would send a letter to me:

You send a letter to an address

You'd send a letter in me, but only if you didn't know me

The Gettysburg address was a way to state his intentions like a letter to a large group

I was a gem in my day for being both bold and precise.

The Gettysburg Address was noted for being short and succinct while getting its point across

I stood strong in the face of graves and grave faces.

The address was focused on the Civil War and the people who had died and that their deaths wouldn't be in vain.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE, and thanks for the answer! @CStafford-14 has discovered this part of the answer in TSL, and I promised him the bounty upon a complete answer, but if you get a complete answer before he does you can still get the checkmark! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 25 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J Thats as far as I'm getting, I don't do ciphers well. =D I assume it is something to do with the item in the answer. $\endgroup$ – likwidfire2k Apr 25 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Your assumption is correct. Bummer that you don't do well with ciphers :(. Good to have you on the site; hope to see you soon! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 25 at 20:16
1
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Wrap-up: The Making Of History Calls - Twice!

This is not a solution to the puzzle, but provides notes from its poser. This type of answer has been approved by the community.

Caution: This post contains spoilers.


Inspiration

Well, I'm a bit of a history buff, and I was recently reading about how one of the Beale ciphers is based on the Declaration of Independence, and I thought, hey, what if there was a puzzle to find the document that unlocks the cipher! and everything kind of flowed from there.

Creative steps

I then realized that the puzzle would be best if I wanted two of the same thing - the overall format for the answerer would be cleaner, since the final answer is simply two names. Also, I wanted a catchy but accurate title, and I thought that "History Calls -Twice!" was a decent way of doing that. I decided on two names because I knew that I wanted the cipher to relate to Benjamin Franklin and the Dumas cipher.

Logistical steps

I used the Gettysburg Address as the basis for the cipher for several reasons: 1). Abraham Lincoln, the author of this document, has a fairly well-known name. 2). The "address" part lent itself to a pun, as did the apocryphal tale that Lincoln wrote the address on the back of an envelope (the URL of the article is incorrect, ironically).

So the riddle part was taken care of. I needed some concise way to clue the name "Benjamin Franklin" in the ciphertext - preferably using letters towards the_beginning_ of the address. "My grave says printer" seems like a good phrase, and references the fact that Benjamin Franklin had famously hoped that his grave would have the title "printer" on it (not statesman or politician or scientist or inventor or philosopher, though he was all of these.

To create the ciphertext, I manually removed all spaces and punctuation from a copy of the beginning part of the address and put them in a text editor, splitting the text up into rows of 60 letters. This made it easier to locate the correct number for the cipher.

Resources

I mostly used my previous knowledge, although I did shop around a bit to find the precise text of the Gettysburg Address. I also used Microsoft's Notepad as my text editor.

Evolution

I had to add some clarifying stuff - I was originally a little vague as to what the final answer would look like. I also had to fix my enciphering - I had 2 letters off. The last hint was simply that - a hint - and I suspect that the puzzle would be quite solve-able without it.

My thoughts/mental process

My intended solution for the riddle runs along the lines of:

You'd send a letter to me, but I'm not quite what you think.

You send letters to an address, but not this type of address.

You'd send a letter in me, but only if you didn't know me.

You send letters in envelopes, but not the envelope this speech was written on (this part is, of course, a myth).

I was a gem in my day for being both bold and precise.

This line can be taken literally. Perhaps "concise" would be better than "precise," now that I think about it.

I stood strong in the face of graves and grave faces.

This speech was given in the middle of a terrible war on a recently-used battle field. Lincoln was surrounded by graves and grave faces, and his words rang true.

Takeaway

I should have been a little more careful with this posting - the idea made me so excited that I rushed a bit and had to fix a few errors (See "Evolution" above).

At the same time, I really liked how this puzzle worked - a riddle that reveals a cipher that reveals the final answer. Apparently, you guys did, too: 17 upvotes! Thanks for the votes, and Happy Puzzling!

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