13
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In the year 2407476658354979366708415043923125501315337890943021769230219230892355006879909214795402102204224, as cosmopolitanism is in the air and companies are more than ever bound to a fair management of human and inhuman resources, the truth is still sometimes tough for some people.

Take the example of Gimmel. Gimmel is a very efficient cashier. Thanks to the 31 fingers that he has on each hand (which to be honest gives him the look of a cross-breeding between an octopus and a plate of spaghetti), he is indeed able to count cash at an insane speed, by means that remain obscure to his colleagues. Because of his uniqueness, he always had trouble making friends, to the point that no one ever speaks to him if they don’t have to - yet his performance at work keeps him a job at the till of an old Chinese restaurant in the 56th arrondissement of Paris.

Tonight, after the last customer has gone, Gimmel leaves as usual a handwritten note to his colleagues, with a couple of cryptic numbers that are supposed to tell them the amount of gold made during the day.

715420 – 717529 – 15664 – 1226709 – 15014825 – 1107357 – 23259 – 15566 – 34723 – 379 – 436 – 16345037 – 1920451 – 30760

That’ll teach them.


How much did they make? Please answer in kg, round to two decimal places.


Hint:

The gives you a sentence, the resolves it, and the finally gives you the answer to the question.

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  • $\begingroup$ rot13(vf gur fcnpr va lrnef vagragvbany?). $\endgroup$ – Abbas Aug 22 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Abbas The answer to that is in there. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 9:13
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    $\begingroup$ The Universe won't last for that long, but I have to upvote you for willing to use the metric system on Stack Exchange! $\endgroup$ – David Aug 22 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @David I actually made that first comment for myself as I was making the puzzle :) $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Abbas Now it's even more in there :) $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 15:23
6
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(Based upon the letters found by NudgeNudge in his great partial answer)

But with an other Old Chinese pronounciation

110735710 = 4E4B62 = (Han character Zhī, pronounced "te" in old chinese)

We get

Hi NYu Hao Ma Te Ain De Nna g r Ri Lai Tit
Hi Nyu Hao Mate Aind eNnag r RiLaitit
He knew how matter and energy are related

This sentence gives us

Albert Einstein, the guy who came up with E=mc²

Applying the language tag

Einstein translated from German to English would be
Ein=One
Stein=Stone
One Stone is 6.35 kg

So the answer is

6.35 kg gold

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. This deserves a green tick, because although @NudgeNudge did a great part of the work, you still had quite a number of things to figure out yourself. One minor detail, the (ss) is not really (ss), and therefore this word is incorrect in the sentence - but everything else is perfect. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Sep 10 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ After edit: nailed it. Great job. More precisely, it's /*tə/, just like the final syllable of the word ROT13(znggre). $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Sep 10 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ Well done, it was driving me nuts! $\endgroup$ – NudgeNudge Sep 10 at 19:42
17
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Partial:

We know Gimmel has 62 fingers, so it's likely he would use a base 62 counting system, which can use the characters [0-9A-Za-z].

If we convert the year in base 10 to base 62, it would be:

ofOurLord191253235532447434775670631160529105355910424

Let's repeat the process with the numeric part:

19125323553244743477567063116052910535591042410 = incominghint172534704971662
172534704971610 = unicode62

If we do the same with the numbers he wrote on the note, we obtain strings that can be interpreted as hexadecimal values, that then we can use Unicode to decode:

71542010 = 307262 = (Hiragana letter Hi)
71752910 = 30F362 = (Katakana letter N)
1566410 = 044E62 = ю (Cyrillic letter Yu)
122670910 = 597D62 = (Han character Hao)
1501482510 = 1102B62 = 𑀫 (Brahmi letter Ma)
110735710 = 4E4B62 = (Han character Zhī, pronounced "ch")
2325910 = 063962 = ع (Arabic letter Ain, transliterated as ')
1556610 = 043462 = д (Cyrillic letter De)
3472310 = 092362 = (Devanagari letter Nna)
37910 = 006762 = g
43610 = 007262 = r
1634503710 = 16A5D62 = 𖩝 (Mro letter Ri)
192045110 = 83B162 = (Han character Lai, pronounced "ru" in Old Chinese)
3076010 = 080862 = (Samaritan letter Tit)

The way these characters are pronounced probably spells a message in english, something like "He (hi) knew (n + yu) how (hao) ??? gr. Re-route it (ri + ru + tit?)"

So having gotten here, some possible clues to find what's missing:

  • There are only 20 arrondissements in Paris. However, U+0056 is V, so maybe it's actually the 5th, Pantheon. Or, 56 in base 62 is U. Not sure how that helps though
  • Gimmel (or Gimel) is the equivalent to the letter G in the Hebrew alphabet
  • Old Chinese has a different pronunciation to modern, and from OP's comments we know one of the Chinese characters uses the old pronunciation.
  • Once the sentence is found, we still have to use the knowledge and language tags according to the hint.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good start! As for the last step in your answer, you have two of them wrong, and another one that you don't read quite as you should. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ One of the two you "got wrong" was actually my mistake, I don't know how this could happen. Sorry about that, it's fixed now. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ @ArnaudMortier No worries! Now let's see if I find the ones that I got not so right... $\endgroup$ – NudgeNudge Aug 22 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry again, the one you were "not reading correctly" was because I mixed up the actual letter and the IPA symbol. Fixed again and triple checked that the rest is correct! Now as for the only one that you got wrong, there is actually a direct hint in the text to help get that one right. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ All your characters are correct, it's about how to read them. $\endgroup$ – Arnaud Mortier Aug 22 at 13:31

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