Alright updates on this blog!

| 4.22.2009

The Meta puzzle!


-We already solved the 3 part puzzle on this blog.  If people wanna continue talking about it I would be happy to keep posting clues as they come along.  Just let me know.

The LOST numbers!

-Is unsolved.  There are some good leads though.  For example:
"Com" had mentioned that the Lost numbers page could be a Crypto Family where Ardvark fits in only the third line and possible the name Aaron from LOST.  Which is awesome cause it is fairly unclear where he is.  So far for the crypto Com has:

??
Middle??
Ardvark?
Bought Indiana (maybe)

A lot of unknowns but it is a good start.  Alos Com mentioned that on Spocks head on page 117 is the number 117... it's kinda a stretch... but anything is possible.  

Joey had mentioned that the numbers on the left where consecutive sevens.  So meaning they could be an animal or anagram or something.  Keep in mind these things are just the start so anything is possible.  Justin said that there are 24 numbers so it might correspond to an alphabet.  He also said the last line on the page has all 2's, 7's and 1's none of the other lines repeat these numbers.  I also like that justin had the point the pattern of all the numbers in each line are:
6,6,8,6
6,6,7,7
As in resembling a poem.


Sorry I got tired of typing.  

Haha just check the comments for the rest of the ideas... It doesn't make sense to post all this stuff until we are on the right track i think.

Nick said some sweet stuff also!

 Nick Tierce said...

I doubt this will help, but if I let the numbers wrap around (AKA, "a" could be "1" or "27") 
I get: 

page 1: 

Q A V P H F 
T K R R J N 
G G E R V G E F 
X O L M A H 

page 2: 

D H R C N O 
B E F K J M 
D L F S B V E 
B A M B Q A Q



The Music Page!

-there is alot of stuff that was said about this page in the past and I don't think it lead anywhere.  We all came to the conclusion that it was all a red hearing...

If someone gets something new though I would love to post it!

JJA Symbols!

These are all placed throughout the mag.  I have heard some people saying it could be the start of an ARG which would be great!  

Blogger Matt said...

This blog has been great for helping me through the main puzzle, but this Lotto ticket is really bugging me. A couple of things I've noticed while trying to figure out the INDEXED LISTS clue:

The JJA logos are spread throughout the magazine in some odd places. There are 20 in total: the cover, and pages 3, 6, 10, 14, 17, 34, 45, 46, 48, 55, 79, 81, 82, 87, 93, 103, 108, 117, and 123. Not sure what we can do with this list, but some of these numbers appear in the "Lottogram".

Looking at indexes literally, I checked out the table of contents - there are exactly 42 numbers listed on pages 3-4, which is the same as the Mega Number on the ticket. Does 42 mean anything, or is it just a nod to Hitchhiker's Guide?

April 22, 2009 5:45 PM


Oh and Matt the 42 is the last of the Lost numbers but was initially a tribute to the HG. 

57 comments:

Steven Bevacqua said...

First off, great work on the blog guys! There's a lot of things left in the magazine I haven't figured out yet, glad to see I'm not the only one who's still puzzling through it!

Anyway, NICK!!! You've definitely found something!

I've been running "The Numbers" through a cryptogram solver without much luck. I knew it was more complicated than just a simple substitution. With the Kryptos article, I started looking at Vigenere ciphers. That's what we're working with. With a Vigenere, the letters change depending on where they fall in the code... a 7 might be A the first time and B the second time.

Anyway, I finally stumbled across an online Vigenere decoder here:

http://www.sharkysoft.com/misc/vigenere/

Anyway, I plugged in the numbers as Nick has transcribed them, then started taking random guesses at code keys. Tried KRYPTOS, PALIMPSEST, ABRAMS, LOST... then, WIRED. That got me somewhere! It decoded something useful, but, it wasn't enough, the key had to be longer. So then I tried WIREDMAGAZINE and here's what I got:


U S E L E T
T E R S B A
C K W A R D S F
R O M E N D

H Z A Y K C
B Y F L B Z
Z P X B X S S
B U M C I N M

The first page translated to USE LETTERS BACKWARDS FROM END.

And the second page translated to gibberish. And it's late, so I'm going to bed. But it's a start! I guess the next step is to reverse some letters and try again, and maybe with the same key or maybe a different one? I tried a few things but nothing's worked so far. I know you guys will be eager to pick this up and run with it in the morning.

Great work everyone! Oh, and if you're reading this Chris Baker... hope I'm not giving away too much!


Steve

Justin said...

awesome find!! I thought Vigenere ciphers might have been too complex since the other puzzles were much more simple. Glad to see they went further with this one! And great job so far! I'll see if i can find more.

JM said...

How about trying "ENIZAGAMDERIW" as the key... going to do this now, I think, if I can get a minute

Justin said...

i tried using wiredmagazine again, jjabrams, "backwardfromend", etc. no luck yet!

Justin said...

Here's what we know so far:

-The letters on the left page were enciphered using a Vigenere chipher with the key "WIREDMAGAZINE"

-The resulting letters were then given numeric subsitution

i just want to point out that we dont actually know yet if the numbers on the right hand page over 26 actually "Wrap" back to A-Z. Not trying to discourage anyone from continuing to pursue this avenue of thought, just wanted to point this out.

JM said...

Well, that's no good...

I tried WIREDMAGAZINE backwards, as well as a number of other options:


WIREDMAGAZINE
ENIZAGAMDERIW
MNICMUBSSXBXPZZBLFYBCKYAZH
QAQBMABEVBSFLDMJKFEBONCRHD
HAMLOXFEGVREGGNJRRKTFHPVAQ
LETTERSBACKWARDFROMEND
SRETTEL
QAQBMAB
DHOPWP
PWPOHD
WSLKDK

DHOPWP is 4,8,15,16,23,42 , and wslkdk is that sequence but on a reversed scale.

I also converted the 2nd pages numbers on a reversed number scale (26 = a, 1 = z), which gives this:

W S I X M L
Y V U P Q N
W O U H Y E V
Y Z N Y J Z J

But I used that and all the previous keys, but it didn't give anything useful either.

Here's the converted page in a 1-26 and 26-1 conversion (with the lost numbers in parens), as well as the keys I tried so far on each of these sets:

1-26 a-z conversion ( dhopwp )
Q A V P H F
T K R R J N
G G E R V G E F
X O L M A H


D H R C N O
B E F K J M
D L F S B V E
B A M B Q A Q

1-26 z-a conversion ( wslkdk )
J Z E K S U
G P I I Q M
T T V I E T V U
C L O N Z S

W S I X M L
Y V U P Q N
W O U H Y E V
Y Z N Y J Z J



WIREDMAGAZINE
ENIZAGAMDERIW
MNICMUBSSXBXPZZBLFYBCKYAZH
QAQBMABEVBSFLDMJKFEBONCRHD
HAMLOXFEGVREGGNJRRKTFHPVAQ
LETTERSBACKWARDFROMEND
SRETTEL
QAQBMAB
DHOPWP
PWPOHD

JM said...

Oh, one more note... the original key for that page they just GAVE to us, actually...

at the bottom of the page, it gives the page number as "104 WIRED MAGAZINE"

Every other page in the issue gives the page number as "### * WIRED * MAY 2009"

My guess is we don't need anything NOT on this page to solve this... just another thought.

Com said...

I tried the science is truth found out from the "end" of the magazine to no avail...

what else could this be?

JM said...

Well, I've tried every combination of the data I'm about to post... note that I'm not sure if the 2nd page should decode on it's own, or AFTER the letters of the first page. I'm assuming it should decode on its own, but the results ARE different if you include all the letters and not just the 2nd page

I've done both iterations, though, and found nothing with this data.

Now, maybe we need to use anagrams... any anagrams for "backwards from end", or ... well, that's about the only one that makes sense from the structure of that paragraph, because otherwise, it is pretty specifically telling you to use the letters backward, either from the end (of the string), or from the end (of something.. maybe the magazine, or the article.. hmmmm... )

Here's the data I've gone through so far (using every key for every combination of the top letters, both the second half alone and a combo of first and second of each)

1-26 a-z conversion ( dhopwp )
Q A V P H F
T K R R J N
G G E R V G E F
X O L M A H

D H R C N O
B E F K J M
D L F S B V E
B A M B Q A Q

1-26 z-a conversion ( wslkdk )
J Z E K S U
G P I I Q M
T T V I E T V U
C L O N Z S

W S I X M L
Y V U P Q N
W O U H Y E V
Y Z N Y J Z J

BACKWARD FROM END 1-26
Q A Q B M A B
E V B S F L D
M J K F E B
O N C R H D

H A M L O X
F E G V R E G G
N J R R K T
F H P V A Q

BACKWARD FROM END 26-1
J Z J Y N Z Y
V E Y H U O W
N Q P U V Y
L M X I S W

S Z N O L C
U V T E I V T T
M Q I I P G
U S K E Z J


KEYS
______
WIREDMAGAZINE
ENIZAGAMDERIW
MNICMUBSSXBXPZZBLFYBCKYAZH
QAQBMABEVBSFLDMJKFEBONCRHD
HAMLOXFEGVREGGNJRRKTFHPVAQ
LETTERSBACKWARDFROMEND
SRETTEL
QAQBMAB
DHOPWP
PWPOHD
BACKWARD
DRAWKCAB
BACKWARDFROMEND
DNEMORFDRAWKCAB
MEGALOTTOJACKPOT
TOPKCAJOTTOLAGEM
WSLKDK
KDKLSW
DNE
SCIENCEISTRUTHFOUNDOUT
TUODNUOFHTURTSIECNEICS
RUSCHA
EDRUSCHA
AHCSUR
AHCSURDE

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Bevacqua said...

@ JM

That sound you hear is me slapping my forehead after seeing "Wired Magazine" on the bottom of the page. D'oh!

I haven't figured out the rest of it either. It shouldn't matter if we include the first page or not, I think, because both pages have 26 letters, so the vigenere offset should start over after 26 letters (a full alphabet). At least that's what I was seeing last night, with and without the first page it didn't matter, the plaintext decrypt was the same. Gibberish, but the same.

JM said...

Just tried these keys too, no good unless I missed something:

GAMEOVER
REVOEMAG
whyisaravenlikeawritingdesk
ksedgnitirwaekilnevarasiyhw
terminus
sunimret
areyouapuzzlemaster
retsamelzzupauoyera
onethingimadeup
puedamignihteno
VEEGER
REGEEV

Steven Bevacqua said...

Oops, maybe not. I was getting a bit sleepy when I was testing things. Perhaps we do need to try everything with and without the first page.

JM said...

> It shouldn't matter if we include the first page or not

Well, it doesn't matter if you are using a key that is a multiple of 26, no, (WIRED MAGAZINE is 13 characters), but it does if the key does not.

For example, if you use the key LETTERSBACKWARDFROMEND, the 2nd page is this if after the first:
Z Q Z B N M
R I F T G H
M X T O O S T
X H T X Z I P

but it's this if you do it alone:
S D Y J J X
J D F I Z Q
D U C N K H S
X N J Q M H X

JM said...

I'm somewhat certain the 2nd page should be decoded on its own, just because it seems to use its own key entirely, but it's POSSIBLE that it needs to be decoded after the first... but I'd put more emphasis on it stand-alone. If they got a sentence that could decode into 2 different english sentences that made sense with 2 different keys, I would be REALLY impressed! :)

Steven Bevacqua said...

Yeah, just realized that. It kept working out because I kept trying different letter sets but kept WIREDMAGAZINE as the key. Makes sense now.

Anonymous said...

I'm now playing with page 2's letters both in their original form and post-vigenere decrytped form. I've even tried "brute-forcing" the key via this ingenious little app: http://math.ucsd.edu/~crypto/java/EARLYCIPHERS/Vigenere.html

Still nothing. The problem with my brute force approach is that the ciphertext is only twenty-something characters in length -- which messes with the letter frequencies.

@JM: how did we miss the PAGE NUMBER?! Nice find.

I've also tried a few of the "probable" keys in a Playfair Cipher with the page 2 letters, but it doesn't look promising. I just needed a break from wrestling with Vigeneres.

Has anyone tried any other ciphers?

A good resource, if you feel like playing with other schemes: http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher/

Good work, all! Keep the brains churning...

matto

Justin said...

JM, I agree with you that the second page should decode using it's own key. Possibly even using a different cipher. The numbers on the right page have a totally different quality than the numbers on the left page.

Kevin Sutherland said...

Alright, im doing a bit of work trying to solve the second half of the Vigenere Cipher (All the stuff I remember from Digital Fortress keeps coming up).

Whatever the key is for the second half, its got to be something to do with the weird image/text on the last page. That section is called "THE END" and previous issues of Wired haven't been called that. If the key for the first half is any indication, it is something that should stand out from what is normally present in the magazine and isn't too complex.

As you guys have found, the math of the vigenere means that one slight variation in the ciphertext could mess up the plaintext translation for the key, so we have to be careful.

Anonymous said...

I JUST CRACKED IT.

I don't want to ruin the fun, though.

If you want hints, solution, etc., email me: matthewsberna@gmail.com

matto

Justin said...

Just a thought, There's 6 Lost numbers and 6 numbers over 26 on the right page...maybe there's a connection

Kevin Sutherland said...

Just FYI:
Image on last page is a 1976 oil painting. Artists gives no explanation of it.

http://whyfiles.org/coolimages/index.html.old13

Anonymous said...

Uh oh.

I may have made a huge mistake...

I may NOT have just cracked it...

Checking my facts, and I'll post again...

Apologies to all!

matto

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am now 100% certain that I DID NOT solve this puzzle.

Thanks to Steve Bevacqua for the moment of clarity.

Keep digging!

Justin said...

Was is a completely incorrect solution? or did you make any progress on it?

JM said...

One assumption we've made is that the 2nd page maps to letters by overflow (i.e. 27 = 1, 53 = 1, etc).

However, it should be noted that, the 1st page very neatly fits into mapping the numbers to characters. The 2nd page not so much, because 6 of the numbers (every other one in the first line, the first on the second line, the first on the 3rd line, and the 3rd on the 4th line) are over 26.

It could be those numbers aren't to be taken literally, or that they mean something... maybe 117 is actually 11 7 , or 1 17 ... maybe 55 is 5 5... maybe 93 is 9 3, or 3 9 if we are supposed to reverse them... or maybe the pattern of where they are is meaningful, or they are just to be ignored completely...

Com said...

Given to me by Anonymous:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigen%C3%A8re_cipher#Variants

Perhaps something we should look into?

I know he said he was wrong, but perhaps he was on the right track?

Justin said...

JM, I totally agree that the numbers don't necessarily wrap and mentioned that earlier.

I'm still thinking that page numbers might be involved. A lot of the numbers when take as page numbers have the JJA logo on them. Otherwise the logo appears seemingly randomly if there's no connections to the numbers...

Anonymous said...

I would tend to agree with JM, that the 2nd page is most likely an entirely different beast. Furthermore, the 4th line could very well be independent of the first 3, as it is very distinct (composed entirely of 3 digits). Perhaps there is some method of mapping using a key with > 117 values, or otherwise getting the numbers to be < 26 for alphanumeric mapping (modulo on one of the lotto numbers?), or it could be something completely random (phone numbers? coordinates?). I'd hope that "use letters backwards from end" is a clue for how to solve page 2, but I am at a loss.

-RGS

JM said...

I tried assuming the numbers wrapped, and doing a vigenere cipher with a reversed key (the key table went z-a instead of a-z), but that didn't really work... the first line was "AKRTJZ", and even ignoring the ones that didn't wrap, would be "ARJ"...

Now, I haven't tried a reverse vigenere AND mapping the numbers backwards (1=z, 2=y) yet... probably not, but worth a shot

Com said...

The straight up vigenere cipher was used in K1 of kryptos with keyword, but in K2 "X" was placed between sentences...

perhaps that is what these outrageously large numbers are.

Com said...

My above post is further strengthen by the fact that 93 is 3*13 and 117 is 3*3*13.

so...maybe we should try removing those(all multiples of 13 or the large numbers entirely)?

I have to go right now, but this seems plausible...

Com said...

93 is not 3* 13 26 is my bad...but it still stands that this may work

Justin said...

JM - earlier i tried reverse mapping the letters (z=1, a=26) but didn't come up with anything. but I didn't think to reverse the vigenere key. good thinking.

JM said...

The numbers greater than 26 are: 34, 55, 93, 54, 30, and 117.

I would actually be easy to break MOST of these numbers into multiples that were under 26: 117 has a number of sub-26 factors (1, 3, 9, and 13), though only one group has both numbers under 26: 9x13. 34 would be 2x17, 55 would be 5x11... the rest cause more problems... 54 could be 3x18 or 6x9 (ignoring 2x27), 30 could be any of 2x15, 3x10 or 5x6, and worst of all, 93 only has 1x93 or 3x31 ... and 31 is prime and can't be broken up any more.

Given that, I'm thinking it's not related to converting the numbers to multiplicable factors... still could be based on addition or subtraction (though that would have so many possibilities I doubt that's it either), simple combination (117 = 11 7 or 1 17 or 1 1 7 ), or... well, something else.

JM said...

also, I tried various combinations of a reverse-key vigenere, a reverse alphabet, reversing the numbers themselves, and various keys both forward and reversed, but still haven't found anything useful.

JM said...

I've tried comparing to ASCII equivalents as well, for both just the high numbers and all, but that didn't really produce anything useful.

Interestingly, all the 27+ numbers in the first line all relate to pages where the JJA logo is, but none of the other ones seem to have that in common, so might be unrelated...

I also tried various combinations of "The End"->"Play"->"Test"->"Start"->"Rants"->"The Beginning", as that's the general categories in the table of contents, but didn't get much from there either. both going backwards, forwards, as a group, individually, etc, etc

JM said...

Oh, I also tried using the letters at the end of the unencrypted and encrypted versions of the left page, right page, and both pages, forward and backwards, no good there either. :/

JM said...

also tried using the backwards words from the Music article too, no good there (forwards or backwards... which WAS forwards.. or.. yeah...)

Justin said...

maybe it has something to do with the "Game Over" or the graphic that accompanied it? Although I read somewhere that you didn't need the internet to solve any of the puzzles in the issue.

Also, what do you mean by the 27+ characters in the first line?

JM said...

27+ characters = numbers that are over 27 (not DIRECTLY applicable to a character in the 26 letter alphabet)

FYI, I just converted the page numbers that the JJA symbol is on to letters.. in forward order they are:

cfjnqhstvcacdioydms

(Assuming overflow)

I tried that and that backwards as a key, no good there either.

AZMos said...

(Somehow missed all the comments from this post earlier so I duplicated some of the work - thanks JM for pointing this out).

I went through the magazine and pulled out all the large letters at the beginnings of some articles to use as the key but nothing came of it.

Also no luck using the letters in the slide puzzle like graphic in reverse as the key.

JM said...

I feel like I said this somewhere, but I did try the backwards letters on the music page, backwards and forwards, to no avail.. I also tried some of the hidden tracks, violet sedan chair songs, etc, didn't catch any breaks there either...

there must be SOME significance to the fact that the numbers don't constrain to the lower 26 like the left side does, though... wish I could think of what...

JM said...

Well, I've tried so many things I've forgotten them all... some things that might spark ideas in others, though:

Maybe the numbers that are over 26 are literal numbers... like, this is the string:
D 34 R 55 N 93
54 E F K J M
30 L F S B V E
B A 117 B Q A Q

However, none of my previous ideas made any more sense when applied to this... I tried reverse engineering it a bit, too... I thought, since the JJA logo appears on all the numbers int he first line, maybe it was like: p 34, p 55, p 93, etc

But, the key (in a non-variant vigenere cipher) to achieve that starts with OCY , and I couldn't think of anything that that fit forwards or backwards... just because, I tried for 54 words, which made the key = OCYIRTGU++++ , which also didn't really make much sense or help.

I also tried various things from the Letters section (Rants), from the article about the end of the world (armaggedon years), and a ton of other ideas I can't remember that didn't (seem to) pan out.

amaurytv said...

I think I have something here... Can't talk right now, I'll post later.

JM said...

The image on the last page is an exact copy of the 1986 piece by Ed Ruscha (including the words). That said, I don't think there is anything directly buried in its meaning, no secret meaning to the space between IS and TRUTH, etc... the image is unchanged.

That doesn't mean the answer isn't buried in it.. it only means that the trick of it (if there is one) was an 23 year afterthought, not an idea the image itself was created AROUND.

I did try using the letters from right to left as a key in a vigenere cipher, and while the results seemed promising, ultimately I think I was just grasping... There is plenty of room for error, as many of the letters are almost even, so deciding the order for those was tough.

the best I came out with was
W O N A T L
O N M X Q S
Z R X E Z H M
J V E U X W O

... it ALMOST seems like that is the right track, because the lottery WAS won somewhere, won at lonsomething? But then, unless the last part was a clue of some sort, that would be somewhat anti-climactic, so it's likely just a coincidence that context-fitting real words came out of my attempt.

Benxamin said...

Did anyone else notice that the "o" in lotto aligns witn the "o" in jackpot to form an "8"?

Anonymous said...

I've tried counting letters backward from the end of the JJ article, from the last occurance of "end" in the article, and from the last occurance of the word "cheating" (the beginning of the article says, in bold "This essay ends with cheating."

Anonymous said...

Counting letters backwards from end ("Dig.") of JJ article:
E S A O G E
T S A A Y I
Y S A E I L S
I G O I D G D

Anonymous said...

To be clear, for each of the counting letters backward in the JJ article (all 4 variations, i.e. from "dig", the last "end", and the last "cheating" (including and excluding cheating)), I also decoded using the Vigenere Cipher for these codewords
WIREDMAGAZINE
ENIZAGAMDERIW
USELETTERSBACKWARDSFROMEND
DNEMORFSDRAWKCABSRETTELESU
LOST
TSOL
THEISLAND
DNALSIEH
MEGALOTTOJACKPOT
TOPKCAJOTTOLAGEM
MEGALOTTO
OTTOLAGEM
SCIENCEISTRUTHFOUNOUT
TUODNUOFHTURTSIECNEICS

Kevin Leneway said...

I have a couple of thoughts. First is that the key might be "the journey" or "yenrouj eht". If you read the article by Brian Greene, on page 18, it talks about how science *isn't* about finding the truth, it's about the journey. The first sentence of the second paragraph is "But science is the journey".

Another clue I found is that on page 13, the format of the page numbers is backwards. Instead of 013 - Wired - May 2009 it is May 2009 - Wired - 013. And that section "Rants" aka letters from readers, so maybe "use letters" can be taken literally.

Kevin said...

I'm not sure if it matters, but last night in the episode of Lost, they included a shot of a "Superheroes" edition of Wired Magazine, that as far as I can remember, was not one that they actually released. In the time scale of the show, the magazine that they had shown would have been out in the real world around the end of 2004.

JM said...

It was actually the August 2003 issue of Wired, and as far as I could tell, was the actual issue, so probably just a nod to Wired with an episode time-appropriate issue (that coincidentally spoke of Time Travel, and had 108 on the cover, both very convenient concidences, unless they'd been planning this in their crystal ball for 6 years). More info on the next comment in this blog, actually

Alo-icious said...

Just got the issue a few days ago, so I late to the game (literally).

Just a few Qs, and I apologize if this has already been looked at:

1. does the spine of the magazine have any hidden meaning? I thought Morse, but I just get nonsense.

2. pg. 16, the card scanner ad, on the bottom, CityCourier and other notes look legible, anything there?

3. pg. 137-8, the 1&1 ad, the website for artisanguitars.com looks like it can be an easter egg...maybe related to the music page?

4. pg. 67, the family puzzle mansion, the picture of the room has the book Hughes prominently placed...

JM said...

As far ast he 1&1 ad, I think that's a legit ad. Given that they have trademark and copyright subtext, and reference to PayPal using its official logo... things that probably wouldn't be put into a fake ad for numerous reasons.

As far as I can tell, all the ads in the issue are legit, other than the ones on the single page that is very obviously fake, and all of those ads have no actual legal copy of any type... the sites they link to were also registered by Wired, probably to avoid any legal issues with actual businesses.

JM said...

but, grrr, it just occurred to me I might have given a spoiler with that info.. bah, I didn't mean to do that. :(

As far as non-ad related things, and anything that is Wired controlled, yeah, anything that looks like there might be a pattern you should follow up on for sure... eventually you will figure out something, likely...

Anonymous said...

The numbers greater than 26 are: 34, 55, 93, 54, 30, and 117.

Page 34 has the JJA logo
Page 55 has the JJA logo
Page 93 has the JJA logo
Page 117 has the JJA logo

Page 54 has a Subaru ad.

Page 30 has no logo, but has a guide to solving puzzles.