The hidden question

Hidden in this puzzle is a question. Solve the puzzle, find the question, and please answer it!

I leave you with a text file:

QW++

- -
|\|/|
- -
|/|\|
- -

###    ###    ##
##  # #    # ###
###     ##   ###
# #     #
#  # # #  #
###   #  #  ####
#   ####   #
# #     #
###   #  #  ####
###    ###    ##
###   ####  #
##  # #    # ###
###     ##   ###
###   ####


Hint 1:

Look at the symbol under the QW++

My first thought was "QW++... hmm. That's probably QW as in QWERTY.

The sixteen-segment display is a big hint. What about the spaces and octothorps?

The rows represent a digit/symbol. I get:

EDSYKQHYQERDSP

This looks like it could be four words. Perhaps (3,4,3,4)?

Moving each left on a QWERTY keyboard by the index of the letter in its word gets

No, this was actually a bit difficult. I'd be curious to see how you constructed this.

• Oh nice well done!! How did you get the digits/symbols, I'm a little confused? Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 14:20
• Read the segments left to right because the rows are left to right. A # is a 1, a space is a 0. Turn the corresponding segments on and voilà! Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 14:53
• Nice solve! Wow. Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 17:32
• >! I think I get what you're saying, why aren't the Ss transformed? Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 23:17
• It looks to me that rot13(gur gjb F'f va lbhe vavgvny nafjre fgevat fubhyq npghnyyl or T'f.). It also looks like the rot13(gur BC znqr n zvfgnxr jvgu gur frpbaq 'R' va guvf fgevat, naq vg fubhyq or n 'J'.). Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 23:20

Partial

The symbol underneath the QW++ is

a 16-segment display

and the grid below indicates

which bits to lit, in lexicographic order.

EDSYKQHYQERDSP

Which I still can't turn into a question at the moment...

Partial:

There are 16 hashes and spaces in each row. Splitting each row in half the hashed could represent 1 and a space 0.

Doing so:

Here is the binary string:

1110000111000011
1100101000010111
1110000011000111
0001010000010000
0010010101001000
1110001001001111
0010001111000100
0001010000010000
1110001001001111
1110000111000011
1110001111001000
1100101000010111
1110000011000111
1110001111000000


Now if we convert it:

We get a string of numbers. The binary doesn’t seem to be ASCII, but the numbers go as following:

225, 195
202, 23
224, 199
20, 16
37, 72
226, 79
35, 196
20, 16
226, 79
225, 195
227, 200
202, 23
224, 199
227, 192

Notes:

- There are a couple of the number pairs that appear twice, maybe this is a form of a substitution cipher?
- The numbers mostly seem to sit in a particular range, with a few outliers
- Perhaps 20,16 represents a space?
- Perhaps the ‘QW++’ at the start of the puzzle represents a qwerty keyboard?

• Nice logic, but not the right path. Hint: symbol under QW++? Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 19:48
• @mereybot yeah I saw the 16 and set my mind to binary, the actual answer is much better! :) Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 19:50
• Edit: merrybot :) Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 19:52