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Didactic Text Combo
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tschiew



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 11

Post Didactic Text Combo Reply with quote
Hey everybody,

has anyone a clue how to solve "Didactic Text Combo"? Of course, there are some upper case characters. And there is a hidden message that will be revealed if I compare the text with another one. But how do I use this message? I'm german and don't really what to "exchange"... .
Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:29 pm View user's profile Send private message
PeterS



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 24

Post Reply with quote
Hey tschiew,
as you may have noticed the text is from a wikipedia article, so comparing it to the original is ridiculous, because wikipedia articles change over time.
Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:22 pm View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 473
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
So I have extracted all the capital letters from the text. They are (spoiler):

[spoiler]
XBGRWICGDQICGRXBGDLRWG
[/spoiler]

Now from reading the text, it seems that I am supposed to do something with a substitution cipher. However, I can't seem to arrive at a solution. I have tried these pages:

http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher/
http://25yearsofprogramming.com/fun/ciphers.htm

Am I missing something here? Is at least the data which I have put inside the spoiler box correct? Am I looking in the wrong direction? Please provide me with a hint.

EDIT: Huh, it seems there are no spoiler tags on this forum. (what gives?)
I have made the font very small, so you cannot read the data at once.
Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:24 pm View user's profile Send private message
General_Payne



Joined: 20 Jun 2011
Posts: 20

Post Hints Reply with quote
Any Hints? i have the letters posted above. Using a few tools im pretty certain its not a substitution/. Judging by what it says maybe someone could suggest which previous challenges i should look at to help me with this?
Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:42 pm View user's profile Send private message
uws8505



Joined: 23 Jan 2011
Posts: 32

Post Reply with quote
If you solved some (other) simple substitution cipher challenges, you can think of what the plaintext looks like.
Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:28 am View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 473
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
uws8505 wrote:
If you solved some (other) simple substitution cipher challenges, you can think of what the plaintext looks like.


I'm not sure what you mean - if [EDITED]This text has been redacted to satisfy some anal retentive people.[/EDITED] is supposed to be a substitution cipher, that a.) is very little cipher text to work with, b.) does not seem to decode into anything reasonable.


Last edited by AMindForeverVoyaging on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total
Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:26 am View user's profile Send private message
Tron



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 30

Post Reply with quote
AMindForeverVoyaging, stop spilling tons of spoilers all over the forum!
Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:09 am View user's profile Send private message
bsguedes



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Location: Porto Alegre

Post Reply with quote
Tron wrote:
AMindForeverVoyaging, stop spilling tons of spoilers all over the forum!


[2]
Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:13 am View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 473
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
You are getting upset over very little, minor spoilers that pretty much everyone has already recognized practically at once? Are you being totally serious? I should hope you are not.

This website is not some exam or some serious job you have to do - we are here primarily to have fun. So relax a little bit, will you please.
Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:35 am View user's profile Send private message
bsguedes



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Location: Porto Alegre

Post Reply with quote
No one is upset : I simply think that the objective here is solving challenges by yourself, not by collecting hints all over the topic and trying to solve the puzzles cooperatively with the other users.
Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:21 am View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 473
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
Well, to a certain degree I see your point. But what if someone gets genuinely stuck with a challenge, and has no way of finding closure? Doesn't that suck? Yes. Yes, it does. Should it have to suck? I don't think so, because what would be the point of that?

The hacker.org website claims:
"The hacker explores the intersection of art and science in an insatiable quest to understand and shape the world around him.

We guide you on this journey."

If that is true, where is this guidance to be found if not by discussing the challenges, and asking for / giving hints? And if it is not true, then why does the site make a false and insincere claim?
Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:46 pm View user's profile Send private message
bsguedes



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Location: Porto Alegre

Post Reply with quote
I see no problem in discussing a challenge/puzzle, but giving away important steps of them in their threads should not be done. If someone is genuinely stuck in one challenge, they can ask one person or another by private message, not give away in a public thread the answer or something very near to the answer (my opinion)
Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:00 pm View user's profile Send private message
Karian



Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Posts: 75

Post Reply with quote
Since what you call a minor spoiler is actually about half the puzzle, I must agree that it shouldn't be posted in the forum.

Your 2 statements about the result are a bit contradictory. Since there is little encrypted text, it just makes it easier to find lots of meaningful replacements of these encrypted letters. One of them being the intended result.

This text is indeed too short to do some kind of frequency analysis about the encoded text, but there are other ways that can be used to solve this. The shorter the encrypted text, the more knowledge about the end result is needed to find the correct solution. The answer is, as uws8505 already suggested, formulated in a way you have already seen in other challenges.
Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:04 pm View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 473
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
And how exactly are you supposed to know that you are close to finding the answer, when you don't realize that yourself at all? Wink

Or, as a philosophical question: How do you talk about something without talking about it? In theory that might work well, in practice though... kind of difficult.

What also does not really help is when you are stuck with a challenge that seems to be faulty (and people who have solved it agree that it is - I am talking about "Eniac"), and the person in charge is not available to clarify things. That is frustrating, and seriously not cool. Sad
Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:26 pm View user's profile Send private message
Karian



Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Posts: 75

Post Reply with quote
It is indeed not easy to discuss things when you don't know what is really spoiling things. Clear parts of your solution steps should be avoided, but just be prepared to edit your post if it is requested by people who solved it. You are probably on the right track when this happens Smile

But you should remember that people give you what they want to give. Chances are big you won't be able to solve all challenges here. In a way, these challenges are a way to compare you with other people, and in the end, give some kind of ranking in between the players.

I myself find it pretty rewarding if I find a solution to a challenge I've already been working on for several years (yes, there are challenges like this). Try to find a reward of having done things by yourself, and if you can't immediatly, put it aside, and later try again. Because of having done some other things in between, you have gotten more knowledge and can solve the puzzle now.

I'll have a look at your eniac post and check if I can find something to post about it in the corresponding thread. It's just not always that simple without giving away straight the answer.
Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:45 am View user's profile Send private message
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