To solve this puzzle, note the key word in the text:
If we employ this on each of the three parts of the puzzle text, we can get the following:
So the reason your puzzle was closed is because it seems like you were telling us:
So please provide suitable attribution!! ;-)
Here is how I solved it:
First, find the length of each string of ms:
s = '''mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm mmm
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm m ...
I think that what Captain Clumsy is lacking is:
First of all, identify the flags:
Secondly, the acetate:
Which generates the following table:
EDIT: The flags cut out with the acetate patterns look like this:
I believe your friend is suggesting you should use the name:
The first thing to do here is:
What we then need to do is:
The message then decodes to:
What is this? Surely, it's:
As to your friend's career, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are a:
Given that the solutions to the cryptic clues are as follows...
...we next notice that these answers can be split into three groups...
Next, we should notice the numbers in the corner of each box that contains a clue:
Finally, as pointed out by @HTM in comments (nice spot), let's focus on the cells containing the 'holes', and specifically...
After taking some substances I noticed the vivid* colors** and patterns hidden within this gift of nature:
How much raw information is within each unit?
With this, we can do the following for each unit
If we do this for all units, the abstracted tree now looks like this
So the main message this tree holds is:
Regarding the specific questions posed ...
Firstly, given the hint that the piece of paper was addressed to both Carmen and Ella, it seems like deciphering the message would require characteristics from both daughters. From the story, we know that Carmen's true love was flags while Ella was blind. This seems to hint that
Before doing that though,
Now, we know how to decipher the words in the ...
The crux of this problem, as given in Hint 2, is a Vigenère cipher. To apply a Vigenère cipher, we need three things: the alphabet, the ciphertext, and the key.
The easiest to figure out is the alphabet. The note tells us that
The base range isn't the standard, but it's still standard.
We also know, from the extra information, that the alphabet likely ...
Here's my best attempt. I have no proof for this, and while the solving path seems semi-plausible, the end result doesn't really. If the result is useless, I hope the ideas I had can at least help. At some point, with the assumptions I made, I just saw it as an interesting puzzle on its own (even if my assumptions are wrong), since it all worked out fairly ...
This is a really nice puzzle! To break into it...
So we know where the plane was leaving from - where was it travelling to? Without any coordinates to find this out (all the numbers are obscured by the coffee spill), we need to:
The logic that I followed to solve this was roughly as follows:
Finally, we can identify the 3 characters in the destination ...
A partial answer only at this point, I am still working on this and hope to come back to it later!
My suspicion is that this relates to
More specifically, I think that
I need to do some more digging to find out how the characters would map to the square to make this work out and decode it.
Update: No matter which way out I label the squares (a-z0-9, 0-9a-z,...
Okay, I think it's about time this puzzle got solved. Here's some really decent progress - pretty sure I'm just missing one part of the puzzle...
But how do we read them?
Following this decoding procedure for each of the 3x3 blocks produces a grid of number pairs (or occasionally, a single number or no numbers at all), as follows:
What do we do ...