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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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Solution Partial solution (Spoiler) | Comment 15 of 17 |

This puzzle is more than a riddle.  In part, the puzzle is a list of titles for some of the riddles given on Perplexus:

Weighty Affairs
Healer of All

Adam and Eve
Tame
, Yet Wild
Farm Animal
?
Open or Closed?
Road Signs, and
Cops and Robbers

The hint, given in the title, ONE AWAY, refers to an aspect of the method for decoding.  Each plaintext letter in the cipher is one position away (either before or after) from that given in the coded text. One can see that now that the plaintext is also "reflected".

tsfacns emb tond rofht ebns eftpmd sp mdon
srebbor dna spoc sngis daor desolc ro nepo

kbnhob lsbe emhx udz dnbu duf emb lbeb
lamina mraf dliw tey emat eve dna mada

kmb ep sfmbdi rshbegb xuifhdx
lla fo relaeh sriaffa ythgiew

One might also take note that the given list of titles is somewhat acrostic:  "WHAT FORC_".  Which begins another Perplexus riddle title: WHAT FORCE.  Which has an answer -- the key!

Perhaps the buttons are the letters used in the title for riddle pid=228, Errors.
If this is the case, the button marked s needs to be pressed thrice:
tsnssf
srrore

Edited on March 7, 2007, 12:37 am
  Posted by Dej Mar on 2007-03-06 23:51:19

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