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One Away III (Posted on 2007-01-30) Difficulty: 4 of 5
Part 1: Crash Course
Part 2: Component X
Part 3: Box it up

After you finish hooking up the the component, you turn it around. It is easy to see it looks like it has a reflective surface, like a mirror would. There is a power key at the top, but upon turning it, the mirror starts beeping and shaking. You turn it back off, and instead turn your attention to the text at the bottom of the mirror when a fellow agent comes in.

"We have discovered Contraplexus is getting ready for more action, but information on where they will strike next is limited", he begins.

"I have their Component X with me -- maybe it will tell me something."

"Wow, let me have a look at it", he replies, and you pass it off to him. "Wow, the text is really strange -- I haven't seen any text like this. It's probably just encoded"

You write down the text: "tsfacns emb tond rofht ebns eftpmd sp mdon kbnhob lsbe emhx udz dnbu duf emb lbeb kmb ep sfmbdi rshbegb xuifhdx"

"It probably has instructions on how to operate this thing. It just started beeping and shaking when I turned it on. I also have no idea what these f, s, n and t buttons do. Have any ideas?"

"I don't know, but don't press anything until you know what to do. It will just start beeping again if you just start pressing things."

You sit down for a while, thinking about what the mirror's text means. Which buttons should you press, and in what order?

No Solution Yet Submitted by Gamer    
Rating: 4.0000 (4 votes)

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Some Thoughts Thoughts only | Comment 1 of 17
The text is fragmented so as to suggest that the words are of their original lengths.
Approximately 90 characters so frequency analysis could work, but not alongside the assumptions that I have made below.

Frequency (I won't vouch for its absolute accuracy):
A  B C D E F  G H  I K L M N O P R S T U X Z
1 12 1 6  9 5  2  4 2 2 2 5 8  4 3 2 6 5  4 3  1

On this basis B could be E and E could be T making emb THE, but bebl becomes ETE*.  This suggests a different allocation for the frequencies.

I note there is no doubling of letters so I'm not going to see "buttons", "puzzles" or "press" as words in the decoding.

Emhx and kmb look interesting alongside emb which occurs twice.
Sp and ep are two letter words which narrows the value of p.

The sentence "It is easy to see it looks like it has a reflective surface, like a mirror would." would appear to have significance; reflective surface seems to be the clue.

buttons f, s, n and t; I had a thought of some Vigenere shifts based on these but such is inconsistent with how "emb" appears.


Edited on February 1, 2007, 9:20 am
  Posted by brianjn on 2007-02-01 09:18:11

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