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You've been taken captive by a spy organization who seems convinced you're an agent for the other side. You've already spent a miserable day of questioning and torture and have no wish to spend another day like this one. They've thrown you back in a dank underground cell, and you've finally managed to fall into a restless sleep. Suddenly a tremendous, earth-shaking detonation jolts you awake and on your feet instantly. In the dim light and through the dust that has suddenly filled the air, you see bits of rubble from the now damaged walls ... and also see the cell door is now ajar!

You hear distant shouts and indications of frantic activity, but no sounds coming from nearby. You quietly pass through the cell door and find yourself in a short hallway of similar cells, which dead-ends to your right, and ends in a heavy security door to your left. There is no handle or other mechanism visible on the door itself by which it can be opened.

A table sits near the door, with an ancient Teletype Model 33 terminal on it, whose peeling label identifies as "BLOCK D DOOR CONTROL". Behind the table, various posters with Gandhi quotes hang on the wall, looking a bit out of place. A quick glance at the printed transcript on the teletype gives you some hope. Can you get past the security door, and hopefully find your way to freedom beyond?

BLOCK D ACCESS CONTROL CMD> UNLOCK CODE WORD: SMOKE ? GOTR CODE ACCEPTED. DOOR UNLOCKED.

BLOCK D ACCESS CONTROL CMD> REMOTE COMMAND ACCEPTED. DOOR LOCKED.

BLOCK D ACCESS CONTROL CMD> UNLOCK CODE WORD: WILL ? ESU CODE ACCEPTED. DOOR UNLOCKED.

BLOCK D ACCESS CONTROL CMD> REMOTE COMMAND ACCEPTED. DOOR LOCKED.

BLOCK D ACCESS CONTROL CMD>

You quickly type UNLOCK and, crossing your fingers, hit RETURN.
The terminal responds

CODE WORD: LOVE ?

What is LOVE?

 

 
—HINTS—
helpfulness level 0:

The edit history for this puzzle may be useful to you.

helpfulness level 1:

There's something slightly off about this puzzle.

helpfulness level 2:

When this is solved, you'll realize a big part of the answer was right in front of you all along.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @greenturtle3141 Not that it matters, but dank was indeed the intended word. No further affix to the word was given or intended. :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 7 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ What is LOVE? Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ——1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jun 7 at 3:40
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    $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton Well played :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 7 at 3:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Rubio I’ll have you know that, upon reading the title, the song is now stuck in my head..... $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Jun 7 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ @AleksandrH I already said it, in the post title :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 12 at 18:52
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If we

shift GOTR and ESU one place left on that teletype's keyboard we get FIRE and WAY respectively. "Where there's smoke there's fire"; "Where there's a will there's a way".

Now,

Gandhi (remember those posters) is alleged to have said "Where there is love, there is life"

so perhaps we should enter

;OGR.

Credit where due:

I had ;PGR before, which has one key in the wrong place; thanks to LeppyR64 for spotting my error. I've usually heard "There's no smoke without fire" but (unsurprisingly, given the pattern of the other two) Rubio observes that he was intending "Where there's smoke there's fire" so I've amended my answer to match that.

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  • $\begingroup$ WELLDONE... great answer $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 13 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ Soooo... we actually had to rot13(pbafvqre gur grezvany'f zbqry)... $\endgroup$ – EKons Jun 13 at 22:04
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Very partial, mostly starting a conversation.

The first thing that stands out to me is

The use of a Teletype Model 33 as the security system. One key innovation of the teletype is it was one of the first machines to use ASCII code. This leads me to believe that ASCII is likely involved in the cipher component of this puzzle.

Based on that assumption I:

Translated the words and responses into their ASCII values getting
Char Dec Hex Oct
S 83 53 123
M 77 4D 115
O 79 4F 117
K 75 4B 113
E 69 45 105

Char Dec Hex Oct
G 71 47 107
O 79 4F 117
T 84 54 124
R 82 52 122

Char Dec Hex Oct
W 87 57 127
I 73 49 111
L 76 4C 114
L 76 4C 114

Char Dec Hex Oct
E 69 45 105
S 83 53 123
U 85 55 125

Char Dec Hex Oct
L 76 4C 114
O 79 4F 117
V 86 56 126
E 69 45 105

But I failed to see any clear pattern in the result. I am also still trying to figure out:

The relationship between the puzzle and Ghandi quotes. I tried looking up quotes with the prompt words in them but I couldn't find any for "smoke" and too many with "will" though the only one that used it as a noun was "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." Similarly, love had too may quotes to easily select a single one.

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  • $\begingroup$ Knowing ASCII is neither necessary nor helpful in escaping. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 12 at 19:14
1
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Not sure if this is the answer but some insights/ suspicious coincidence:

for smoke:

first seen letter in passage starting with s is spy, then first starting with m is miserable; including all characters, spaces and punctuations, the middle letter is g... g is the first letter of code...

like this

Spy organization who seems convinced you're an aG
ent for the other side. you've already spent a Miserable

but doesn't work for the next (m-->o), why!?

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  • $\begingroup$ There is no steganography tag on this puzzle. But arguably cipher should be there, so I'll add it. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 7 at 6:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio pls don't tell me this is just some rotten stuff... $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jun 7 at 6:30
  • $\begingroup$ This is not a rotten puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 7 at 6:32
1
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The furthest I have gotten so far is:

Googling "GOTR" meaning, which yields a transliteration of पुल्लिंग. This means masculine in Hindi. I'm fairly certain I'm on the right track given the identified language. It may also be relevant to note that Gandhi smoked as a teenager because he wanted to feel like a grown (i.e., masculine) man (this may be a stretch, but it's my guess at the association between the word and the code word "smoke").

For the next one:

ESU I think is meant to be eeshu, or ईशु, which is apparently "christ." I'm getting mixed signals, though. Another source says maybe it's "king."

Something else that struck me as odd about the puzzle is that

One is usually asked what the code word is, instead of the code word being asked of one. In this case, the terminal is telling us the code word, and we're responding with something else. Strange.

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  • $\begingroup$ There is no language tag here. I’m amused and surprised that “GOTR” means anything, but that’s an unexpected coincidence only. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 12 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, lol. Back to square one :D $\endgroup$ – AleksandrH Jun 12 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ You had me convinced, oh well. $\endgroup$ – Barker Jun 12 at 21:20

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