Clues, Riddles, and Guesses for Treasure 155

On Wed, 04 Mar 1998 04:42:38 K 2 posted


On 06 Aug 1998 01:36:32 Alfvaen published in The Big White Gazzette

[ The following is a secret transcript of a fragment of a conversation between two unknown persons, recorded by confidential means and delivered to the Gazette offices clandestinely. Its veracity is unknown. ]

1: I think I've finally figured them out.
2: [unintelligible]
1: You know, Alfvaen's treasures.
2: Well, even I could solve the division puzzles, but what you get after that is just a jumbled mess. I tried doing it as a cryptogram, but just got garbage.
1: Okay, so assume that it's not a cryptogram, but something more sophisticated. About the next level of complexity up would be something multialphabetic, like the visionaire[?]. On a hunch I checked out some of the "spoken in tongues" bits from back when e had to do Prayers of Deliverance, and they were done that way, with "Azpiazu" as a key.
2: So? That doesn't help unless we have a hint at the key. We could try all the other names e's invented...
1: Let's look at it another way. For the division puzzle, you have to have ten unique letters in a row. So that puts constraints on the message--whatever it was before, it has to have sequences of ten unique letters after it's encrypted. A substitution cipher would preserve the same pattern of letters as the ciphertext. And I think the odds that any given keyword would satisfy that condition would be small--there might not even be one that's an English word. So one would have to be generated specifically.
2: Great. And where would we get this key?
1: E'd have to hide it somewhere it would be possible to find. Maybe some of eir other clues give some idea.

After e found the treasure /dev/joe posted:

Just as Alfvaen said, the prayers for deliverance he posted shortly after burying that treasure had messages encoded as vigenere ciphers (I'll let alfvaen explain what these are to any of the newbies who joined since he posted a full explanation with his other treasure not long ago) with the key "azpiazu". The one in July said something like "first four and last eight". The first four letters in the solution to the word division problems were "VGNR" - an abbreviated form of "vigenere". The last eight were suspiciously in alphabetical order, and as Alfvaen hinted, they were the key for the cipher, encoded in the other 48 characters of the solution, which said something like "post a public message telling who alfvaen played in noises off. Sure enough, around this time he posted a message telling that he played freddy in noises off, in the solutions to his "cite my sig quotations" treasure. Grep is godly.

I searched his other, later prayers for deliverance for more clues, but only found two snide remarks about the Vulcan takeover. (or was it Pulcan?) When he buried the next treasure, he said he just got a new idea for a treasure, so I didn't look in his earlier prayers, though they might provide interesting reading. :-)

Later Alfvaen Posted

I did manage to plant a couple of other mentions of Noises Off in some places, just to keep it moderately fresh.

The program that I wrote to determine a keyword that would result in no duplication started with "A" as the first letter and tried others sequentially, which is why it ended up as it did. (I could've shifted it further down the alphabet, but I thought it'd be hard enough to find as it was; this way it'd stick out a little more.)

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