What number does this top-secret message point to?

Ftq mzeiqd ue: ftq ecgmdq daaf ar fia tgzpdqp mzp fiqzfk ruhq

This table and crossword could help:


Crossword clues:


5. A lifeboat, perhaps
6. Strips in Geography class
9. Somewhat thin
10. Whirlybird
11. Olympic God
12. They come in last


1. Kept in a gallery
2. Circumference measurement
3. Pointer
4. Elbows etc.
5. Space shuttle which launched the Hubble telescope
7. Permanent mark
8. Ball queen


1: A B C D E F G H I J 
2: K L M N O P Q R S T
3: U V W X Y Z

The first hint will be added tomorrow

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Did you miss 7D clue? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    May 9 '20 at 8:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Sid yes I did, I edited the puzzle layout (clues are the same), thanks $\endgroup$
    – Xnero
    May 9 '20 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Sid need a hint? $\endgroup$
    – Xnero
    May 9 '20 at 13:43

The number is


Using a Caesar shift of 14 on the text, it decodes to "The answer is: the square root of two hundred and twenty five".

I'm still not sure how the crossword or table is linked.

Crossword solution

enter image description here

1D commented by @Stiv (although not the intended solution -- see comments).
3D commented by @Swati.

Next step:

  • Find how the crossword and table are used to hint to the solution.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sure: correct clues: rot13(rttorngre,nerf,qvfpbirel,gnggbb) For they come in last think about rot13(gur nycunorg) $\endgroup$
    – Xnero
    May 9 '20 at 18:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good progress, everything looks right so far, need any more clues? $\endgroup$
    – Xnero
    May 9 '20 at 20:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 1D How about rot13(FGNGHRF be fbzrguvat negl yvxr gung)? $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    May 10 '20 at 11:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is a bit of a reach, but for 1D, maybe 13/ 'oebamrf'. $\endgroup$ May 10 '20 at 12:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13(fgnghrf) can work for 1D as the word I intended is quite hard and uncommon, the puzzle can still be solved with your word $\endgroup$
    – Xnero
    May 10 '20 at 12:32

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