17
$\begingroup$

Though I don't think it will help, you may check with the beginning of my story concerning Red Herring Puzzle Club.

It seems like it's been a long time since I tried to enter the R.H.P.C. As you may know, I lost a lot of reputation to find someone able to solve it, and moreover, when I was finally ready to give the answer, the bar I had visited had already been abandoned.

Yet I continued looking for any traces of Red Herring Puzzle Club. After a lot of snooping and sneaking all around the world, I found the bartender who gave me the puzzle in the first place.

-- Oh, Thomas, long time no see. Looks like you're a bit lost. But fear not, because today three suspicious people came to me and warned, that you might come by.

With these words he handed me an envelope.

this very envelope, shot later

-- I assure you, my friend, that inside you will find all the answers you will ever need. -- the bartender grinned.

After coming home (I already knew, I was never going to see this man again) I opened the envelope. There were 7 small sheets of paper inside. I have also discovered some diagrams on the outside of the envelope. Here is all of what I have got:

simpler squares

more complex squares

whatever

But, unlike the previous puzzle, this looks like nothing familiar. I don't know where to start at all! At least, I have unlimited time now, so I can wait for help all I want :D What is the mysterious message, hidden within these papers?


I should probably apply the transcript of two most informative squares:

piece 6, one way around:

Tight (4)
Lincoln (3)
Speeded (4)
??? (word was smudged beyond recognition) (5)
Twinkle (4)
Panda (2) God (4)
Twins (5)

piece 6, other way around:

Destroy (4)
Greenpeace (4)
Cupid (4)
Abbacy (7)
Superior (4)
Circle (3) Thus (2)
Number (2)

piece 4

up(?):
I will let your door be spun (5)
I'm a letter, not the start, (5)
I'm a smell that you should ban (4)
right(?):
I'm with ocean in part one (6)
I'm before you'd say in Rome (4)
Canoeic palindrome, alas, (5)
down(?):
I'm three less, if upside down (4)
I can swirl, flow, stick and foam (4)
And one of three who might be us (6)
left(?):
I'm a distance you can run (7)
I am therefore from Descartes (4)
I pay taxes to no man (6)


As stated by OmegaCrypton, it's hard to distinguish green colour in the photos. Here is the 7th piece with all black numbers circled:

green ink

It looks like the same green ink was used on the cover, for the ticks and for a single dot.


A hint (a week has passed, 2 answers submitted)

a very small hint shall i say hahahahahahaha


A correction I couldn't have made due to the puzzle being on paper:

1) The "ABBACY" hint should technically be "ABBEY" (though I believe these words mean pretty much the same)

2) The "before you say in Rome" hint is completely false; not only I meant 'after', this word doesn't seem to mean even that (yeah); nevertheless, I'm not going to reveal it.


A special hint (on jafe's progress):

Uif qjsbuf't dbmnmz xbjujoh,
ijt mfht tujmm cfjoh cpvoe:
Ipx dbo if tubsu, opu lopxjoh
Xibu tmjuifst jo uif hspvoe.
Znk qtomnz oy grsuyz xkgje,
Yusk rkzzkxy soyyotm - ckrr,
Oz tkbkx sgzzkxkj cngz znke ckxk,
Haz xgznkx cnkxk znke lkrr.
Sgd qnkkdq'r, sgntfg, hm ozmhb:
Ghr qgxldr vdqd zkk hfmnqdc:
Mnv gd hr bqnrrdc: gd vzmsdc
Vnqcr sn fn vnqc ax vnqc.


A brand new hint-pack for you:

those three are together on purpose

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ nice puzzle, +1! however, the difference in ink for piece 7 is not clearly seen. can you send a clearer image of it please? thanks! $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jun 7 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton Anything that I can help you with. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Blue Jun 10 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ thanks @ThomasBlue $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jun 10 at 23:06
8
+50
$\begingroup$

The pirate

Piece 7 makes a nonogram when the numbers are moved outside of the grid. This has two possible solutions (either A or B cells are black).
enter image description here

In the top left corner of the envelope, there's a hint that black means 3, white means 2 and green means 1. These numbers form a slitherlink puzzle.
enter image description here

Piece 5 appears to have a part of the loop already filled in. However, this doesn't fit the numbers as is, which is where I got stuck. However, LeppyR64 figured out how to fit everything together: turn piece 5 90 degrees clockwise.
enter image description here

Looking at the pictures, the pirate cannot cross the slitherlink and only takes letters on which he steps with his good leg. So let's pick every second square only:
enter image description here
Taking the corresponding letters from piece 1 gives QGOBMDUDQDW.
enter image description here

The roller

The clues from piece 4 match the crossword on piece 2. The answers form a word chain that goes clockwise from the top-left corner.

I'm a distance you can run (7) = STRETCH
I will let your door be spun (5) = HINGE
I'm with ocean in part one (6) = ELEVEN
I'm three less, if upside down (4) = NINE
I am therefore from Descartes (4) = ERGO
I'm a letter, not the start, (5) = OMEGA
I'm before you'd say in Rome (4) = ANNO (this was given in a hint)
I can swirl, flow, stick and foam (4) = OOZE
I pay taxes to no man (6) = EVADER
I'm a smell that you should ban (4) = REEK
Canoeic palindrome, alas, (5) = KAYAK
And one of three who might be us (6) = KNIGHT

enter image description here

Piece 1 shows the start and end points of the maze. It looks from the pictures that the roller goes straight until he hits a wall or an E, and he cannot pass through squares with an O. (Thanks to LeppyR64 for figuring out the correct path here.)
enter image description here

Back to piece 1. Taking the letters on the squares where the roller hits a wall, we get QABMLLWJCOW.
enter image description here

The knight

The clues from piece 6 fit the crossword on piece 3. Right-side-up clues go across, topmost first:
Tight (4) = ROPE
Lincoln (3) = ABE
Speeded (4) = SPED
??? (5) = SWEAR
Twinkle (4) = STAR
Panda (2) God (4) = PO / LOKI
Twins (5) = OLSEN1

Upside-down clues go down, rightmost first:
Destroy (4) = RUIN
Greenpeace (4) = PETA
Cupid (4) = EROS
Abbacy (7) = REDWALL1
Superior (4) = BEST
Circle (3) Thus (2) = LAP / SO
Number (2) = PI
1 Found by M Oehm in the comments.

enter image description here
Again, piece 1 displays the start and end squares of the maze. This one is solved by making chess-style knight moves on the free squares. (OP acknowledged in the comments that the final square was blocked by accident.)
enter image description here

Taking the visited letters from piece 1 gives us QQAWPLDPALW.
enter image description here

Putting everything together

So the final clue is 11+? 11+? 11+? = 33. We have the 11-letter sequences QGOBMDUDQDW, QABMLLWJCOW and QQAWPLDPALW. By rotating letters by a number of positions we get:

QGOBMDUDQDW, rotate by 1 -> RHPCNEVEREX
QABMLLWJCOW, rotate by 18 -> ISTEDDOBUGO
QQAWPLDPALW, rotate by 15 -> FFPLEASEPAL

So the solution is

RHPC NEVER EXISTED. DO BUG OFF PLEASE, PAL. Which must be disappointing for our hero.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good work! Regarding Piece 6: twins; abbey; Greenpeace (not quite sure here; it will leave an unclues two-letter word) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jun 16 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm Nice finds, thanks! These fill in the middle row plausibly as well. $\endgroup$ – jafe Jun 16 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm Sorry about unclued "ke"; I must assure you it's the only unclued word there were to be. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Blue Jun 16 at 21:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think you have the solution but you need to change your "perspective" on the Nonogram/Slitherlink $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 27 at 12:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ When you reach the N in anno... go left instead of right. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jul 3 at 22:26
4
$\begingroup$

some clues to get the ball rolling...

piece 4

up(?):

I will let your door be spun (5)

pivot

I'm a letter, not the start, (5)

omega

I'm a smell that you should ban (4)

right(?):

I'm with ocean in part one (6)
I'm before you'd say in Rome (4)
Canoeic palindrome, alas, (5)

tanka, meaning = oceanic, anagram of (canoeic)

down(?):

I'm three less, if upside down (4)

five / nine (thanks @Penguino!)

I can swirl, flow, stick and foam (4)
And one of three who might be us (6)

myself

left(?):

I'm a distance you can run (7)

yardage/ furlong?

I am therefore from Descartes (4)

ergo

I pay taxes to no man (6)

piece 6, one way around:

Tight (4)

hard

Lincoln (3)

abe

Speeded (4)

sped

??? (word was smudged beyond recognition) (5)
Twinkle (4)
Panda (2) God (4)

?, zeus?

Twins (5)

piece 6, other way around:

Destroy (4)

ruin

Greenpeace (4)

ecol

Cupid (4)

love

Abbacy (7)
Superior (4)

only/ over

Circle (3) Thus (2)

?, so

Number (2)

no


A special hint (partial)

1st step:

decode it with rot 1 to get
The pirate's calmly waiting,
his legs still being bound:
How can he start, not knowing
What slithers in the ground.
Ymj psnlmy nx fqrtxy wjfid,
Xtrj qjyyjwx rnxxnsl - bjqq,
Ny sjajw rfyyjwji bmfy ymjd bjwj,
Gzy wfymjw bmjwj ymjd kjqq.
Rfc pmjjcp'q, rfmsef, gl nylga:
Fgq pfwkcq ucpc yjj gelmpcb:
Lmu fc gq apmqqcb: fc uylrcb
Umpbq rm em umpb zw umpb.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ can anyone please explain the downvote? i welcome any constructive feedback, thanks in advance :) $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jun 7 at 13:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've downvoted because this isn't really a "partial answer" -- you've given guesses on a few of the clues in one part of this much bigger puzzle, but there's no part of the puzzle solved here. There's not even any confirmation that these answers are correct, making what little you do have seem baseless. This seems more like comment material (if that). $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jun 7 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi i hope this is more than a few... thanks! :) $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jun 7 at 16:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think "I'm three less, if upside down (4)" might be 'nine'. as in 6 = 9 - 3 $\endgroup$ – Penguino Jun 11 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for amazing work! And Desovi, I really don't think you can call it out on no verification just yet, when the OP hasn't left a comment yet in four days. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 12 at 3:51
3
$\begingroup$

Merging of Piece 5 and Piece 7 from @jafe's answer:

Piece 5 and Piece 7 were 90 degrees different in rotation (Red crib row)
enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work! I notice the way out takes 22 steps, and the envelope seems to call for 11 letters from each... Maybe the pirate, having one wooden leg, only picks every second letter? $\endgroup$ – jafe Jun 27 at 13:42
2
$\begingroup$

Jafe's hint:

Uif qjsbuf't dbmnmz xbjujoh,
ijt mfht tujmm cfjoh cpvoe:
Ipx dbo if tubsu, opu lopxjoh
Xibu tmjuifst jo uif hspvoe.

Znk qtomnz oy grsuyz xkgje,
Yusk rkzzkxy soyyotm - ckrr,
Oz tkbkx sgzzkxkj cngz znke ckxk,
Haz xgznkx cnkxk znke lkrr.

Sgd qnkkdq'r, sgntfg, hm ozmhb:
Ghr qgxldr vdqd zkk hfmnqdc:
Mnv gd hr bqnrrdc: gd vzmsdc
Vnqcr sn fn vnqc ax vnqc.

becomes:

ROT25
The pirate's calmly waiting,
his legs still being bound:
How can he start, not knowing
What slithers in the ground.

ROT20
The knight is almost ready,
Some letters missing - well,
It never mattered what they were,
But rather where they fell.

ROT1
The roller's, though, in panic:
His rhymes were all ignored:
Now he is crossed: he wanted
Words to go word by word.

$\endgroup$

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.