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Credit: Brandon X.

My friend made this riddle and I think it’s pretty well made with lots of components, so here it is:

Look
there Is treasure Here
    in Its purest Form

The large Key is Here
    In front Of Your Face
    found  In Moments,
        Used only After… 

The start of its passage
    Begins below the entrance
        With the number of lines

To find the treasure
Measure your happiness
    And theirs
    And write it down
        But not with numbers
            As the first is one
But Wait-
    They are listening
        So reverse its path
            From whence it came

Now place it in a box 
    Of four and four
    For there you’ll find the treasure’s core
… 
Now look across
    See the joining line
    In the distance
        For there lies the key
            For what is hidden.
So, given these clues, what does the following text say?
PJFOIHIHFIHIHIIHNNQDRVKHK

Hint #1:

The third stanza is first.

Hint #2:

Focus on where the capital letters are.

Hint #3:

Beware of the red herring.

Hint #4:

Look at a keyboard for the third stanza.

Hint #5:

Solve the riddle in this order: 3rd stanza, 1st & 2nd stanzas, then the rest.

Hint #6:

Look across the infinite sea for the last stanza.

Hint #7: Big(ger) Hint!

Count the number of words in the first 2 stanzas, and the letters in the hidden message. Now, hint #2 looks interesting...

Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions or feedback!

Partial answers are encouraged, feel free to share your thought process.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sometimes questions just fall through the cracks... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 20 at 1:29
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    $\begingroup$ And sometimes they then get noticed and paid attention to after all. Don't despair! $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 20 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ I most definitely don't speak for everyone here, but whenever I see the tags riddle, cipher, and enigmatic-puzzle, I kind of recoil, as in these puzzles it's not always clear what's the next step you need to take in the solving process. This might be part of why there is not so much attention, as it's not fully clear on the method of solving it. I completely understand that that is a part of the puzzle, and part of the fun in solving it, I just don't often attempt puzzles of this sort. $\endgroup$ – micsthepick Aug 20 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ I am just putting this comment here so I can find this question later. $\endgroup$ – William Grannis Sep 27 at 14:15
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    $\begingroup$ I don't need sleep, I need answers $\endgroup$ – William Grannis Sep 27 at 14:15
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Partial Answer, more like initial analysis really...

Hint #2 says to focus on where the capital letters are. In the first two stanzas there is unusual capitalization. I believe it is a pattern of zeroes and ones meant to be binary.

The fourth stanza says "As the first is one".

Starting with 1 and continuing word to word, ignoring new lines I got:

1111101101001001

16 digits, which fits nicely with the four by four box mentioned in stanza six:

1111 1011 0100 1001

Hint #1 says stanza 3 is actually 1, so when looking at Hint #4 we need to compare the original stanza 2 with a keyboard. I believe the large key in front of our face could be either the Enter key or the Space-bar.

Evidence toward it being the Enter key comes from the use of the word entrance in the original stanza 3. Evidence toward it being the Space-bar comes from the extra space in the third line of the second stanza (original position).

This information is used with the final stanza because there is "..." just above it, based on the line "Used only After…".

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a good start! Here are some things to keep note of: Firstly, check hint #2 for the "largest key". Secondly, "as the first is one" refers to a specific type of cipher(one of the most common ones, actually). Finally, look at a keyboard, then apply the third stanza clue. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – Xcoder Oct 15 at 2:58
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Another initial analysis

Relating to the third stanza, I believe that the "start of its passage" beginning below the entrance relates to

The shift key, being right under the entrance key

This goes hand in hand with hint #2 and a comment from @Xcoder. However, the "number of lines" clue in stanza #3 still feels like a complete mystery to me.

Following hint #7 we have that :

There are 25 letters in the message, 25 words in stanzas #1 and #2.

Thus, applying hint #2 :

We get a binary code, that differs from @takintoolong one :

    1
    0 1 0 1
      0 1 0 1

    1 0 1 0 1
      1 0 1 1 1
      0 1 1
        1 0 1
I followed indentation provided by Xcoder, and used upper case letters as 1 and lower case letters as 0. There is 25 bits. Turning each line into numbers and then letters using A=1... gives EE, UWCE. This just feels random so this is not how to proceed.

After this, I feel quite stumped because I do not see any way to go forward. Scraping for ideas, and compiling ideas in the comments and the puzzle itself, I think that:

In stanza #4 I should measure "your happiness" and "theirs". No idea of how to get that out of science class, but anyway !

I should then get a result in numbers that I translate in letters using Cesar's code with A = 1 at some point as pointed out by @Somebody.

Then, using the key found in stanza #2, and the "box" of four by four filled with stanza #4 and reversed as per stanza #5 instruction we find the "treasure's core", meaning possibly the key to use with the final message.

I don't think that is for sure, but it's what I've arrived at. Any contribution and help is appreciated, I already used a lot of results from others and feel like I haven't made much progress !


Edit : Revelations

After applying hint #2, with this result we can see this pattern :

PJFOIHIHFIHIHIIHNNQDRVKHK # The hidden message
1010101011010110111011101 # The result of hint #2

By picking the letters by the number under them, we get
PFIIFIIIINNQRVKHK # For 1 : 16 letters => fits nicely in a four by four box
JOHHHHDH # For 0 : 8 letters

I believe those two are linked to the happiness clues, no idea how yet ! Feel like a bit of progress has been made, I'm keeping it up ! Will edit along. I like this !

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  • $\begingroup$ These deductions are really nice so far! For hint #7, think about it more literally and don't overthink it. Nice job on the third stanza, though think of it as a cipher and not as a literal code ;). After you figure this out, hint #7 should make more sense... $\endgroup$ – Xcoder Nov 2 at 15:51

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