Yes, this actually happened.

About half a month ago I emailed this string of characters to Beastly Gerbil.


bin mse txt

I did this only because my earlier puzzle I emailed him, uh... didn't work.

The gerbil, it seems, never got around to solving it. But maybe you will.

What does this string mean?

Big hint:

binary, morse, text

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Have you seen Code Puzzles: What Not To Do? This doesn't really have much to go off of, so it seems to me that the only way to solve it would be "try random things until English comes out". $\endgroup$ – Deusovi May 15 '20 at 5:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ And that’s ^ also a big reason I never could solve it. Cipher guesswork isn’t fun and usually takes a very long time for short strings $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 15 '20 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil - I added a hint $\endgroup$ – merrybot May 15 '20 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi - I added a hint $\endgroup$ – merrybot May 15 '20 at 20:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TCooper - treat a 0 as no signal and a 1 as signal. Follow Morse code spacing rules as well. :) $\endgroup$ – merrybot May 15 '20 at 21:22

The answer is:


How I got that:

Convert the original text string from ASCII to binary.
That produces this string:

Now, treat single 1's as dots, runs of three 1's as dashes and runs of three 0's as separators.

That produces:
.--. | ..- | --.. | --.. | ..---

which encodes PUZZ2

  • $\begingroup$ Correct! Nice work :) $\endgroup$ – merrybot May 15 '20 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ But what does it mean??? $\endgroup$ – Anon May 15 '20 at 22:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Anon - rot13/ chmmyr ahzore gjb ?? $\endgroup$ – Lanny Strack May 15 '20 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @LannyStrack Haha I am dense $\endgroup$ – Anon May 15 '20 at 22:47

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