18
$\begingroup$

Due to your reputation, you have been contacted by the organiser of a secret society. Each member of the group is a genius and a master in their field, but their identities and professions are a closely guarded secret.

In order to be accepted as the 9th and newest member, you must determine their profession using their cryptic clues.

Each member has devised a code which they use to communicate; to proceed with initiation you must encode their job title using their own cipher.


The grand leader takes you through a dimly lit hallway to a large metal door. From inside, clanging, crashing noises emanate.

The leader takes a tuning fork from his pocket, strikes it and plants the base on the door, causing a loud, steady tone to ring out.

A narrow panel in the door slides open and a pair of eyes appear. They disappear again, and a piece of paper slides out of the space.

You take the dirty and slightly damp page, and see it's covered in round coloured stickers. A woman's voice comes from the other side of the door:

"I have heaps of those stickers left over from my work, so I just reuse them the same way they're used when I get them".

The slot slams shut, and the grand leader walks away from you without a word.

Encoded Message

Hint 1:

Each 3x3 grid of dots represents one of the 26 english capital letters.

Image Transcript if needed: W = White Y = Yellow O = Orange R = Red G = Green

YRY YOY WWW WOW WYY YWY WOW WOW WOW YOY YRY YRY YWY WOW WYW WYW OWO YWY OWO YRY WYW YWY YRY
WWW WWW WWW WGW WGW RWR RWR WGW WWW WWW WWW WWW RWR RWR WWW WWW WWW WRW WWW WWW WYO RWR WWW
YRY OWO WWW WYY WYY YWY YWY WYY WOW OWO YRY WYW YWY YWY WOY WOY YOY WYW YOY YRY WWO YWY WYW

WYW WYW YWY WOY WOW OWY WOW WWY WWY WOW WOY YOY YRY WWW OWO WOW WYY WOY WOW YRY WOW YRY YRY WYW YWY YRY 
WYO WWW WWW WRY RWR WWW WWW WWW WWW WGW WRY WWW WWW WWW WWW RWR WGW WRY RWR WWW WGW WWW WWW WYO RWR WWW 
WWO WOY WWW WOY YWY YWO WOW YWW WWY WYY WOY OWO WYW WWW YOY YWY WYY WOY YWY YRY WYY WYW YRY WWO YWY WYW 

YRY YWY WWY YRY WYW YRY WYY WOY YOY YRY YRY YWY WOW WOW WOY WOY WWY WWW OWY WWY WWY WYY YRY OWY
WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW WGW WRY WWW WWW WWW RWR RWR WRW WRY WGW WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW WGW WWW WWW
YWW WWW YWW WYW WOY YRY WYY WOY OWO YRY WYW YWY YWY WYW WOY WYY YWW WWW YWO YWW YWW WYY YRY YWO

OWO YWY WOW YRY OWO WWY YRY WWW WYY WOY WOY WOW YRY YWY WOY WOY WYW YWY YRY WOW WWY YRY OWY
WWW WRW RWR WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW WGW WRY WRY WRW WWW RWR WRY WRY WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW
YOY WYW YWY YRY YOY YWW WYW WWW WYY WOY WOY WYW WYW YWY WOY WYW WOY WWW YRY WOW YWW YRY YWO
$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is my first submitted puzzle after years of casual lurking, please let me know if there's anything I can do to improve it. In case it's not super clear, the answer to this one should be an image or transcript similar to those in the question that encodes the profession of the Order's first member. $\endgroup$ – Chengarda Mar 2 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ Great, very good start! $\endgroup$ – trolley813 Mar 2 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ Is letter frequency analysis the only way to go or is there a system to how each glyph was created? $\endgroup$ – Jens Mar 2 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Jens There's a real pattern there, and you're welcome to try it but I'm not sure how much frequency analysis will give you. $\endgroup$ – Chengarda Mar 3 at 1:50
5
$\begingroup$

As Hint 1 says:

Each arrangement of coloured stickers represents a letter of the alphabet.

How are the stickers used?

Each sticker represents a node in the writing out of a letter - where the individual lines that make it up meet and where they end. The different colours represent the number of lines that meet at that node:

Yellow = 1 (i.e. the 'loose' end of a line)
Orange = 2
Red = 3
Green = 4

So what does the message say?

The message deciphers (with punctuation added) to:

I WORK HARD WITH ALL MY MIGHT,
GLUE AND SCREW TO MAKE AIRTIGHT.
JUST LIKE WITH A PERSON’S SKIN,
MY AIM’S TO KEEP THE FLUIDS IN.


As seen here:
enter image description here

Ultimately we are trying to find out the woman's profession, so what can this cryptic-sounding riddle translate to?

I struggled to think of a relevant profession that might use these coloured sticky dots outside of librarians (for classification purposes), teachers (arts and crafts) and admin personnel (on wallcharts and calendars). However, as we are told that the paper is slightly 'dirty and damp' it is possible the woman works in a manual task involving water. And if her role involves the use of glue and screws to keep things watertight, then perhaps she might be a plumber?

EDIT: In fact, in comments the OP confirms this, explaining that "The stickers come from sections of pipe she orders in - yellow for an end cap, red for a t-section etc"...

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Correct! As for the significance of the stickers - rot13( Gur fgvpxref pbzr sebz frpgvbaf bs cvcr fur beqref va - lryybj sbe na raq pnc, erq sbe n g-frpgvba rgp ) That might have been a bit obtuse, but you got it anyway :) $\endgroup$ – Chengarda Mar 5 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Chengarda - a nice first puzzle, well presented. Had me scratching my head until tonight! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Mar 5 at 0:25

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.