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During your search for the 'great hidden computer virus', you realized that you were just a password from accessing it. Frantically, you searched for a clue that might help you. At last you finally found the following puzzle, written by the programmer of the virus, Ms. Anne Sweet.

The 'great hidden computer virus' was never intended to be be used as a tool against humanity. To keep it a secret, the password is hidden in a puzzle. It should be protected at any cost from those who might use it for their own use.

Nevertheless, for those readers who still intend to know the password, "The Anne Sweet Riddle" is:

Good morning. For those who wish to solve this, exercise caution. No day you live die. This is .......__.. pentagon. V is a sign for you. Stretch out you hand for a help to someone. The circle might rule the world, but only the square rules the heart. Cipher:

405 69 86 366 86 366 201 230 405 405 69 30 6 201 366 534 30 329

Hint: The world is made up of 5 elements.

Can you find the correct password?

Hint:

Look at the edit revisions!

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  • $\begingroup$ Is your incorrect and inconsequent usage of spacing, punctuation and capitalization a part of the puzzle? $\endgroup$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ @jarnbjo What do you think the hint signifies ? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure what the hint has to do with my question. Va gur rqvgf, lbh unir nqqrq gntf, n fragrapr gb gur grkg naq gur uvag vgfrys. $\endgroup$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ Then why didn't you simply answer no right away? Several of your tags indicate that there could have been hidden information in all the typos. $\endgroup$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 12:52
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ jarnbjo's question absolutely does matter because typos are sometimes intentional and relevant and other times they're accidental. There's quite a few typos and mistakes in this puzzle, so explicit confirmation on whether they're relevant or not helps solvers figure out where to start (or where not to start). $\endgroup$
    – Somebody
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 16:51

2 Answers 2

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405 69 86 366 86 366 201 230 405 405 69 30 6 201 366 534 30 329

Solving this as a simple substitution gives the text "THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER". Working backwards from the substitution key:

A : 6
E : 30
H : 69
I : 86
N : 201
O : 230
R : 329
S : 366
T : 405
W : 534

Notice that the adjacent letters HI differ by 17, and the letter NO differ by 29. These are primes, but ST differ by 39, which is not prime. The key is derived by converting each letter to a number using A1Z26, and then adding 5 to the square of that number:

A : 6    = 5 + 1 * 1
E : 30   = 5 + 5 * 5
H : 69   = 5 + 8 * 8
I : 86   = 5 + 9 * 9
 [...]

One might work further backwards from here and try to imagine how the riddle is supposed to clue the key.

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  • $\begingroup$ In the riddle, pentagon and V are associated with 5, where also square is mentioned. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. And also, see my comment... @codewarrior0 $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 14:09
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I don't know the whole answer, but my guess is that .......__.. is Morse Code. Unfortunately, due to a lack of spacing, there are many ways to translate it.

The next sentence says 'V is a sign for you.' This could mean to look for V in the code (..._). This translates as HVD, SEVD, ESVD, IIVD, EEIVD, EIEVD, IEEVD, EEEEVD, HVNE, SEVNE, ESVNE, IIVNE, EEIVNE, EIEVNE, IEEVNE, EEEEVNE, HVTI, SEVTI, ESVTI, IIVTI, EEIVTI, EIEVTI, IEEVTI, EEEEVTI, HVTEE, SEVTEE, ESVTEE, IIVTEE, EEIVTEE, EIEVTEE, IEEVTEE, or EEEEVTEE. HVD is the translation without any extra spaces added, it is an abbreviation for Hosted Virtual Desktop. A few translations are anagrams, SEVD-DEVS and SEVNE-SEVEN.

Sticking to the theme of 5, V could also represent the Roman numeral for 5, which is also found in the string (.....). This results in the translations 5-I, 5-EE, 5UD, 5UNE, 5UTI, 5UTEE, 5IZ, 5IGE, 5IMI, 5IMEE, 5ITD, 5ITNE, 5ITTI, 5ITTEE, 5EPE, 5EWI, 5EWEE, 5EAD, 5EANE, 5EATI, 5EATEE, 5EEZ, 5EEGE, 5EEMI, 5EEMEE, 5EETD, 5EETNE, 5EETTI, or 5EETTEE. A handful of these translations are anagrams if you replace the 5 with S. Most notably though, translated from left to right, with or without the spacing from the V clue is 5-I. My guess is that 5-I is the intended translation and that it is a key for translating the below numbers.

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