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Thread: The Widowmaker

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    jnlscott's Avatar
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    Default The Widowmaker

    A new hunt called The Widowmaker has just been released at www.FreeTreasureHunts.com.
    "I find your lack of faith disturbing." - Darth Vader

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    ALT
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    Jnlscott are you working on this? It looks like it should be simple...So I KNOW its going to be hard!! The way the map is torn I want to rip it into 8. The boarder I want to pull morse code out of it but that is WAY beyond me instead i keep pulling out letters but havent made any words yet. The anamils each with a match that is backwards... a 6x6...blah this will take some time...where to start!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALT View Post
    Jnlscott are you working on this? It looks like it should be simple...So I KNOW its going to be hard!! The way the map is torn I want to rip it into 8. The boarder I want to pull morse code out of it but that is WAY beyond me instead i keep pulling out letters but havent made any words yet. The anamils each with a match that is backwards... a 6x6...blah this will take some time...where to start!
    FYI.. jnlscott is the founder, promoter, and the referee... just for full disclosure.

    He does have simple yet deceptibly intruguing puzzles.
    Looking forward to this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ALT View Post
    Jnlscott are you working on this? It looks like it should be simple...So I KNOW its going to be hard!! The way the map is torn I want to rip it into 8. The boarder I want to pull morse code out of it but that is WAY beyond me instead i keep pulling out letters but havent made any words yet. The anamils each with a match that is backwards... a 6x6...blah this will take some time...where to start!
    FYI.. jnlscott is the founder, promoter, and the referee... just for full disclosure.

    He does have simple yet deceptibly intruguing puzzles.
    Looking forward to this one.
    Yes, Free Treasure Hunts is my website, and I have created all of the puzzles. That's why I've been promoting it here. I've been a member since ATT, and thought it would be a good way to garner some interest in my site. It seems to be working. Good luck to everyone!
    "I find your lack of faith disturbing." - Darth Vader

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    ALT
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    WOW! Thanks Tron for clearing that up!!! SOOO I guess that Jnlscott WOULD be a great person to team up with to work on this hunt! HAhaha

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    It would be good to get some more people from Tweleve working on this hunt and the author's other ones. Registration is free and there is a forum to discuss them (not as good as this one) . One puzzle just finished called Trifecta (which nobody solved - but it was only live for a short time) was a very neat little puzzle, similar to Widowmaker in style. I'm not sure about Cryptices but the author seems to be building up a nice body of logical armchair treasure hunts - and there are real valuable jewels as prizes.

    It needs more support (as does my solution effort).
    As I always say - when it comes to armchair treasure hunts; many hands make light work - and then you sneak in at the end and claim the prize

    T.i.m.
    Last edited by tinyintelligentmachine; 06-08-2011 at 10:31 PM. Reason: twitched

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    intrigued thanks TIM
    Linz

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    I haven't invested much time in this site, but I have looked at this puzzle. The first observation I made is that the pictograms never repeat on any side and further form separate, complete sets of twelve horizontally and vertically. This could be used as a dipictograph cipher akin to a polybius cipher where given an order ([row, column] or [column, row]) one could extract letters. Without any further information, this could be done on matching pictographs giving twelve letters. However, unless you glean ordering information from another part of the puzzle, this leaves an ambiguous twelve-letter anagram.

    The cipher could be used in a more general manner if ordered pairs are given. An aspect of the puzzle that hasn't been considered so far is the border panels consisting of binary-colored cells. Ignoring the 3x3 corner cells, each side consists of a 95x3 grid. There are many avenues to consider here. 5- or 6-bit elements would seem like logical choices here. I looked into this briefly, and if I remember correctly, I decided the construction was either too arbitrary or gave garbage.

    So I looked down another path. If it really is a polybius cipher, then the binary grid cells should uniquely describe the twelve pictographs and give a series of ordered pairs. The hard part is determining what kind of groupings yield twelve and only twelve elements. I found one such grouping, but it really isn't practical. The method is this: divide the border into 5x3 groups, and look at either the number of open or filled cells in the group. There are sixteen possibilities, 0-15. However, for the groups used in this puzzle, only 2-13 are ever used. That is twelve distinct groupings. There are (at least) a couple of problems with this methodology. First is how one would associate a grid grouping with a pictograph. The second is that is you look at the distribution of groupings used, it is consistent with random, i.e., normal (or binomial). That is where I left things, and haven't gotten back to working on the puzzle.
    WHRECVBBLSMCEYVIHTEOIZROMR

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    The 12 animal letters are
    FINCOTSONTEA
    There are a lot of anagrams in there - if anyone can spot a useful one that would be a good start. The author said that there are a couple of confirmer clues in the puzzle - a helpful anagram might be one of those.

    Thanks

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    The method is this: divide the border into 5x3 groups, and look at either the number of open or filled cells in the group. There are sixteen possibilities, 0-15. However, for the groups used in this puzzle, only 2-13 are ever used. That is twelve distinct groupings.
    This is a workable idea Molnar, but extremely wasteful - for each 3*5 binary grid you could get 3 letters.
    Having looked at a couple of the authors previous puzzles (X marks the spot, and Trifecta) I would say that the author JnLScott is quite tidy in his constructions. His style so far has been to mix a few different (but all simple and known) cipher types into one puzzle - eg. Braille, Morse, Bacon, Geometric construction, Alphabet-Number - where each part interlocks cleanly but without much instruction or warning beyond using every scrap of info.

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