[ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery

#5690

@Flavrans

Look at the Handy Info that Storm posted:
Halos
BenallohPaillier
ContratulationsyouwonthePIZZA
BMRF.us (site down, due to unforseen circumstances)

What if this ‘Handy Info’ was actually directions on how to solve the code?

  1. Halos (tells us to get the Halos code and possibly use it in reverse because of his clue stating that ‘it starts at the beginning of the end’

  2. BenallohPaillier (it’s 16 characters only because it’s misspelled and would be the key to be used with Twofish. ContratulationsyouwonthePIZZA is too long for Twofish)

  3. ContratulationsyouwonthePIZZA (is the key to be used with ARC4 since ARC4 can use any key from 1-256 bytes. This also makes sense for the capitalization since it’s something to be used in decryption.

  4. BMRF.us (site down, due to unforseen circumstances) may be telling us to take the result of the code and use it on the BMRF.us address.

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#5691
No luck...

  • I also tried with correct spelling: Benaloh Paillier, Benaloh_Paillier, all uppercase/lowercase, and also congratulationsyouwonthePIZZA with a lowercase ‘c’.
  • Reran it with HALOS code in reverse.
  • I only ran Twofish in ECB mode. That means I had to remove the last 8 bytes of the code in order to make the length of the ciphertext a whole multiple of the Twofish block size.

Actually, the correct wording of the hint was: “This unlocks at the start of the end. 21 into 1.”

I’ve always thought that “this” was referring to BMRF.us, since it was posted on the BMRF.us wiki page. But we can never really be sure, can we?

In any case, the “Handy Info” list might be important in some way or another. If we recall the hidden message below the grilled pizza:

They stole the lie, as if that matters to me, HALOS is far too complete to stop now. They can’t hide there, not now, not now I have this, this holds the key to all things… they CAN’T hide from me. I will follow them, I’ll set up a link and this to remind me.

Perhaps I should hide it on the secure site, perhaps that would be best. I’ll find them though and they will pay, they will definitely pay.

Dr Marcel was right when he said, “When you’re building a cage for Satan, you don’t ask him to wait around whilst you put the doors on.”

Welsh is probably behind this, but he won’t get away with it.

Note the following part: I’ll set up a link and this to remind me.

Then later, in IRC clue 5, a reminder for Dr. Horn:

This is a message left for Dr. Horn. Just to remind you in case of emergencies that the password to the HALOS files is BENALOHPAILLIER. I have programmed HALOS to send in level seven cases. You should bring pizzas.

It also tells the recipient (Dr. Horn?) to bring pizzas.

This could mean that these two messages are linked somehow, and the grilled pizza or congratulationsyouwonthePIZZA may have something to do with it.

Another interesting thing about the “grilled pizza” message, is the “cage for Satan”. What is this “cage”, and where is it located? Is the “cage” where HALOS is located? If HALOS is an AI, is the “cage” where the AI core resides?

Recall this message:

Oh looky, Dr Horn has gone all open source. HALOS musn’t see this, but the password to its area, is those two cryptographer peoples. I think you should get that ok. I’ll be in Xen if you need me.

HALOS’ area… The cage, perhaps? That means the password to the cage is “those two cryptographer peoples”, ie. BENALOHPAILLIER (or possibly their full names JOSH BENALOH / PASCAL PAILLIER).

But how does the grilled pizza factor into this?

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#5692

Sure glad you’re around to correct my memory!
It does make sense that “this” is referring to the BMRF site.

Perhaps it’s literally true that we have to wait until Xen is released in order to gain access to the BMRF site since it’s not accessible at all right now.

Still have to figure out what 21 into 1 means.
Is it Isotope of Niobium?
Perhaps it’s referencing that EP-0021 goes into the Anti-Mass Spectrometer.
Maybe it’s referencing the Whiteboards that show that EP-0021 was being used for experimentation with the TAU Cannon. “Laser Optronic Linear Inducer Cannon” would fit as a 256 bit key.

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#5693

Not even sure if this would be feasible given the circumstances of our ARG, but it would fit the “Time reveals all” motif:

EDIT:

What do we know about the cryptos.jpg image that Storm used as the profile image for his 0418_08151814/Code_ account?

I ask because the word “cryptos” could either refer to the Kryptos statue or may even refer to cryptocurrencies, which use blockchains and are directly related to cryptography. Furthermore, if you look closely at the image, it looks like there is an eye resting behind the DNA strand:

image

On the Tempus page, we have that “Seek code out, he is watching, he is AI” clue, and I’m wondering if that “watching” part has something to do with this image. I’m sure someone out there has already performed all kinds of analysis on this (steganography, etc.), but I’m wondering if maybe there is something more to this image than meets the eye (bad pun, I know).

Any thoughts on this?

EDIT 2:

I also think the “21 into 1” clue may simply mean that, sometimes in cryptography, especially when we are talking about code splitting and so forth, only the last number is used.

For example, with code splitting, you would add up all the individual codes, and then only the last number would be used to actually convert to plaintext:

5 6 7 8 9
4 2 3 1 8
9 2 4 4 8
3 7 8 1 1

In the first column, 5 + 4 + 9 + 3 = 21, but only the 1 would be used–so on and so forth. Perhaps that is meant to lead us towards a specific type of cryptography? We do still have the “1001085139140914” piece, after all.

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#5694

It’s probably too academic to be practical in the context of this ARG. Also, the scheme depends on a time-specific trapdoor to be issued by a server. Considering that all the sites and servers now seem to be defunct or unavailable, this doesn’t seem likely, given the fact that Storm recently said that the answer was still “visible”.

It’s quite possible that the puzzle is/was time-delayed or time-locked, but I think the “trapdoor” would be something more mundane, like a hint or clue, given to us on the Tempus page itself, or in the PMs from 0418/Code_.

I think it’s only in recent years (circa 2015 and later) that the word “cryptos” (as plural of crypto) has become a popular shorthand for cryptocurrencies. Back in late 2012, I’m not sure cryptocurrencies would have come up at all in the search results for “cryptos”.

One thing that came up when I searched for it back then, was an ARG or puzzle game called Cryptos. I believe the original site is gone now, but the front page is still available on waybackmachine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130527042116/freewebs.com/cryptos/

I don’t know if the game is still playable because I’m not sure if the archive.org crawler would have been able to find all the hidden pages with the clues and solutions on the original site.

Some hints and answers can be found here: https://www.braingle.com/brainteasers/puzzlehunt.php?id=11

Interestingly, the first clue has the title “The beginning of the ends”.

Regarding the cryptos.jpg file itself, the last modified timestamp (from the HTTP headers) I have on file for it is Wed, 12 Sep 2012 07:19:45 GMT, which is shortly after 0418_08151814 joined the forums: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 06:56:29 GMT. The join date is interesting considering that Black Mesa (legacy mod) was released on 14 Sep 2012.

The image file is very small, just 2196 bytes. If anyone intends to take a closer look at the original file, make sure you use the “original file” link on this page: https://thepizzaisalie.fandom.com/wiki/File:Cryptos.jpg

The description “a degraded image of the Biodome Facility logo” I wrote on the wiki page probably doesn’t do it justice, as it’s probably hand-drawn by Storm (using a pencil, charcoal or graphite). Perhaps it’s just a small part of a larger concept art piece.

Given the file name “cryptos” and the fact that it might be a picture drawn with pencil and paper, it could perhaps be a reference to pen and paper cryptography.

But that doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about the current puzzle.

What you are describing is modulo 10 arithmetic. It could also be modulo 20 arithmetic, as 21 mod 20 = 1 (this is true in both decimal and hex).

Another idea about “21 into 1”: If time reveals all, then perhaps the time is the date when the Tempus page was created, which was Dec 12, 2012, or 12.12.12. This was also written on the page itself: “~Authorised for Release 12.12.12~”. If you write 12.12.12 like this: “1 21 2 12”, then in a way, 21 goes into 1.

Perhaps the three twelves are important somehow.

It’s probably just a coincidence, but if you add them, you get 36, which happens to be number of characters contained within the grilled pizza triangle: ␂ "tfexirklcrkzfejpflnfekyvGZQQR" ␗␃ (i.e. the congratulationsyouwonthePIZZA message)

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#5695

It’s been mentioned before that the 1001085139140914 adds up to equal 47, and something even more interesting is that if you take the number of digits in the solution (16) and multiply it by 47, you get 752–which is exactly the number of characters in the HALOS.txt file.

That cannot be a coincidence.

Due to the stalemate in regards to the decryption of the HALOS file, I’ve been attempting to think of other ways the puzzle may be enciphered. This has led me down some pretty crazy attempts, but something about the fact that BENALOHPAILLIER is literally provided to us in many places makes me wonder if some of the information we have is meant to mislead us.

If you think about it, we are literally given a password, which would seem to break the normal ARG process. There are really only two ways that I think we would be directly handed a password:

  1. It’s a red herring
  2. It’s a public key that, if known, doesn’t diminish the security of the encryption method, or it is meant to lead us to a similar cipher (kind of like the ‘Victor would like this extension’ clue)

The second is, of course, just as likely as the first–at least in terms of what we know–but I don’t think it’s harmful at this point to try some other things. I know that generally ARGs progress in a somewhat linear fashion, but what if the previous encryption methodology was simply an attempt at misdirection, and the HALOS.txt file is actually encrypted with a simple method?

Anyway, I know it goes against everything we’ve been provided, but something about it still bothers me.

Even with all these years of staring at encryption methods, I’m still barely a novice. Perhaps someone with far more experience in this field can help shed some light on what other encryption methods might be possible here?

EDIT:

Just for convenience, I also broke 1001085139140914 into factorization in the possibility it will be useful for homomorphic decryption attempts:

1001085139140914 - 2 * 500542569570457

500542569570457 - 41 * 12208355355377

12208355355377 - 139 * 87829894643

139 - Proven Prime

87829894643 - Proven Prime

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#5696

Not necessarily. If we are given a ciphertext and a key, then the puzzle may simply be finding out the method. There is even an example of that in the Cryptos puzzle hunt I mentioned in my previous post, although a very simple one. In one of the puzzles you are given a ciphertext with no clue as to the enciphering method. In the previous clue there was a mention of a key. The solution was a keyed Caesar cipher using the key from the previous clue.

We could also add:

  1. As per my argument above, the key is given, but we have to figure out the method.
  2. The key depends on an additional factor, like a salt and/or key file.

Regarding the second point: If we look at it from a story point of view, then the key or password is probably not meant to be public, since it was in a message left for Dr. Horn. The other clue that referenced this key also said that HALOS must not know about it, whatever that means. It could mean that HALOS must not know what the password is, that the password has been given away, or just the fact that a password to its area exists.

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#5697

Perhaps we should be encoding instead of decoding the hex file. (Had this on my list of things to do now for weeks). Unfortunately, life keeps getting in the way.
Use Arc4 and twofish with Benalloh and Paillier as keywords.

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#5698

I just wanted to chime in here folks to say that although you are all speaking gibberish and rocket science here, I am extremely impressed with how far you guys have gone to try to solve this puzzle. I am watching from the sidelines and cheering you on! That is all.

:slinks back to the sidelines and watches silently:

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#5699

I’ve tried this to no avail, but I’ll be glad if someone verified my results. All of the things I tried so far:

  • One or two ciphers concatenated
  • Block Modes: CBC, ECB, CTR, CFB
  • Ciphers: RC4, twofish128, tea128, blowfish128, aes128
  • Key hashes: md5, none
  • Initialization Vectors: Inband (the first n bytes), or all-zero
  • Encryption and Decryption

In all possible (and impossible) combinations.
Verification whether it worked was done as follows: pipe the resulting binary into strings, i.e. see whether the output contains meaningful text. This does not cover the case of the result being an image.

If anyone has a better idea how to determine whether a combination worked or not, I’ll be glad to hear. Has anyone experience with the ratio of “len(output)/len(compression_algorithm(output))”, and what compression_algorithm to use?

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#5700

Ive been out of the game for a while(this nearly drove me to the point of insanity so took a bow out of it) but i take it we have made some progress abiet not actually solving it yet?

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#5701

For a couple of days there, I really thought we were making progress. Another examination of the message 0418 sent as a PM eons ago ended up possibly providing us some anagram characters, but it’s possible it was simply confirmation bias. I still think it’s quite the coincidence if it’s not substantial, but it is what it is, I suppose.

Here’s a link to the Wiki page about it if you want to take a look: https://thepizzaisalie.fandom.com/wiki/Possible_Keys

I took another look at the image and tried to relate it to the clues on the Tempus page–this time, I tried again to look for possible keys. Something that stood out to me is the possibility for 3DES keys, so I took each clue and tried to break it into its main point/keyword, and then compared this to the image. This is what I came up with:

Listing of niobium elements–keyword: NIOBIUM

Episode of ST:TNG entitled “Justice”–keyword: JUSTICE

Quote from Dante’s Inferno–keyword: INFERNO

Notice how each of these is a 7-character keyword. I then tried to compare these hints to the image, and something stood out to me:

image

First and foremost, and this was not my idea (I’m sorry, I’m not sure who to credit with this idea originally), but the three lines under the “LIES” in the top-left corner could be interpreted as meaning 3DES. Then, if you look at the way the devil horns are drawn, that could point to the “Dante’s Inferno” quote. Next, the “DR. STONE WILL PAY” could easily relate to seeking/finding justice. And, finally, the “STEALS IT EATS IT” could refer back to the niobium, since we have this running theory that Dr. Horn was smuggling the niobium in on the pizzas–we also have the image of the pizza itself crossed out.

Now, I’m not saying with any level of certainty that this is accurate, but it’s possible that our keywords/keys may be derived from not taking the clues literally, but seeing how they all relate. This could also explain why Storm has been pushing us to build the story from the ground up–perhaps other little things like this will make themselves apparent.

Anyhow, I tried running 3DES decryption (using an online tool, I’m ashamed to say–I’m not very good with cryptography, so I have to rely on those) but was unsuccessful. I will continue trying different derivations, but long story short, the keys I’m using are all deviations of the three keywords:

NIOBIUMJUSTICEINFERNO | niobiumjusticeinferno

JUSTICENIOBIUMINFERNO | justiceniobiuminferno

… so on and so forth.

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#5702

A good way to detect a possible successful decryption is to calculate the Shannon entropy of the decrypted result. For example, the entropy of the raw HALOS code is 7.42813 bits per byte. A text file of the same length as the HALOS code, with similar content as the IRC clues, will have an entropy of something like 5.44474 bits per byte. Failed decryptions will typically have entropies close to that of the HALOS code, plus/minus. Therefore, a good empirical value to test for is 7.0. Anything less than 7.0 should be flagged as interesting.

Another method is to simply calculate the ratio of printable ASCII characters (character values >0x1F and <0x7F) to total bytes. If the plaintext consists of only printable ASCII character, the ratio will by definition be 1.0. It will probably be slightly lower than 1.0 if we assume that the message also contains carriage returns and line feeds, and possibly a few extended ASCII characters (like the ¬ character in the IRC clues). In the HALOS code, the ASCII ratio is 0.384791. If the decrypted message looks anything like the IRC clues, then the ratio should be >0.98. A good value to test for is probably 0.9.

Example code in C++ showing calculation of entropy and ASCII ratio (click to expand)
#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <string>
#include <vector>
#include <cmath>

using namespace std;
using byte = unsigned char;

double shannon_entropy(string data)
{
    if (data.empty())
        return 0;

    vector<size_t> value_counts(256, 0);

    for (byte c : data)
        ++value_counts[c];

    double entropy = 0;

    for (size_t count : value_counts)
    {
        if (count > 0)
        {
            double p = (double)count / data.size();
            entropy -= p * log2(p);
        }
    }

    return entropy;
}

double printable_ascii_ratio(string data)
{
    if (data.empty())
        return 0;

    int printable_chars = 0;
    for (byte c : data)
        if (isprint(c))
            ++printable_chars;

    return (double)printable_chars / data.size();
}

string read_file(const char *filename)
{
    ifstream in(filename, ios::in | ios::binary);
    if (in)
    {
        return (string(istreambuf_iterator<char>(in), istreambuf_iterator<char>()));
    }
    throw(errno);
}

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
    string data;

    if (argc <= 1)
    {
        cout << "Usage: entropy <file>";
        return 1;
    }

    try
    {
        data = read_file(argv[1]);
    }
    catch (int error_code)
    {
        cout << "Couldn't read file " << argv[1];
        return 1;
    }

    cout << "Size of data: " << data.size() << endl;
    cout << "Entropy (bits per byte): " << shannon_entropy(data) << endl;
    cout << "Printable ASCII ratio: " << printable_ascii_ratio(data) << endl;

    return 0;
}

However, both these methods will probably fail to flag a result of interest if the plaintext should happen to be a JPG image, or a compressed file, since these kinds of files will also have relatively high entropies and low ASCII ratios.

Ah, in order to test the compressibility of the decrypted result? I haven’t thought of that. I guess it’s just a matter of finding a compression algorithm that has the right balance of speed and compression ratio, and then do some tests with some test data to find the best empirical ratio value to test for. The question is if this method has any benefits over the methods I described above. The Shannon entropy is in itself a measure of the compressibility of the data.

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#5703

@Doeme

What he said.

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#5704

Found a really cool web-based tool that supports multiple decryption types, for those of you (like myself) who aren’t crypto-savvy:

CyberChef

EDIT (6/6/19):

“LEVELSEVENCASES” might refer to this: Level 7 (novel)

In the novel, a soldier resides on level 7 of a multi-level facility, and he is responsible for “pushing the button” to fire off his nation’s nuclear weapons against an unspecified enemy. The whole “unspecified enemy” fits in with our Edo God/unknown entity theme.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the Wiki article:

" From that point, humanity’s few civilian survivors are situated within a collection of underground shelter complexes on Levels 1 through 5 at various depths from the irradiated surface, while military personnel already occupy the deepest and safest Levels 6 and 7. It later emerges that the orders given have been wholly automatic due to a launch on warning strategy,[2] the war has taken place as a series of automated electronic responses to an initial accident."

Another interesting exerpt: “Those who were assigned to launch the nuclear missiles, and their support staff, were selected for their ability to behave like machines . . . .”

That whole “ability to behave like machines” definitely fits in with our ARG, and I’m starting to wonder if there’s wayyyyy more to the picture than we originally thought. We already know Dr. Horn was working with the military (or someone was), hence all the references to air bases and the sort. We also know that someone was associated with the White Sands Missile Range, which could indicate that perhaps someone in the facility was working on a project very similar to what is outlined in the novel. It would make sense that Horn or whomever programmed HALOS would program it to send in level seven cases, which would essentially mean that HALOS would send its “payload” if a “level seven case” (in terms of the story, a situation in which all hope is lost) occurred.

Another excerpt: “As Level 7’s safety falls into question, its inhabitants confront their growing isolation, overconfidence in technology, loneliness below a dead world, and the insanity of a society whose momentum toward annihilation exceeded its collective will to live.”

This may help explain some of the quotes we’ve seen about society and the voice of the people. This would definitely fit the realm of Half-Life, for we know there are other alien species out there. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Horn and Co. were up against the Xenians perse, but perhaps they were aware of a similar threat that they felt they might need to be prepared for.

With all of this in mind, it makes you wonder–what if Horn is not our antagonist, but actually our protagonist? What if he was working on HALOS as a way to protect humanity from the eventuality that an alien race (or similar unknown entity) might one day decide to wipe us off the face of the Earth? In other words, HALOS might be a fail-safe that is designed to protect us from that eventuality.

I’m sure as they were exploring Xen, even though Black Mesa wasn’t actively being attacked, the thought crossed their minds at some point–if not in regards to the Xenians themselves, then surely of possible other unknown alien species out there. Perhaps Horn was simply trying to race the clock, hence his careless spending of the budget and willingness to do whatever it took (including possibly murdering his own colleagues) to ensure the continuation of the human species.

Furthermore, we know that there were further parts of Black Mesa that extended underground–perhaps they had a facility set up exactly like in the novel. You’ll notice that the rooms are called X01 and X02, which is startlingly similar to the main character of the novel, X-127.

I mean, I could totally be grasping at straws here, but the similarities are stunning.

EDIT 2:

This could also quite plainly mean that we are, at least in the realm of the ARG, all already dead.

image

. . . Except for maybe those deep underground . . . .

EDIT 3:

An article from 2007 that talks about a niobium thruster being used in a Minute Man ICBM. Not AI related necessarily, but possible.

EDIT 4:

I suppose it can’t hurt to begin trying keys related to the novel–here are some I’ve tried:

apocalypse
apocalypsis (Latin from Ancient Greek)
armageddon
MordecaiRoshwald
X-127
Level7
launchonwarning
Radioteatern
Push-Button

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#5706

yeah that pesky missing key… maybe something like…

TEMPUS OMNIA REVELANT VOX POPULI VOX DEI…

21 INTO 1…

“AVOID TIME TRAVEL IN OPEN VIEW OF XEN POPULUS”,

You may say, but 1 or 2 letters are off… well, you just make it work.

Maybe Dr. Horn found on xen that an interesting side effect of teleportation is time travel. Might want to leave a note for himself,

“Nb, AVOID TIME TRAVEL IN OPEN VIEW OF XEN POPULUS”,

If you were able to bounce from multiple points in time, to around the same time in xen, it would look like you have a bunch of clones… might be a good idea that the populus of xen NOT see that…

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#5707

So, with a bit of digging, I think we know what our “21 into 1” clue means.

It started when I spent a couple of hours today going through clues that I haven’t looked at in a while, primarily those that sort of got swept under the rug. One of those avenues was the messages on the monitors throughout the game, and this one from the QE chapter stood out to me:

“I heard Dr Horn was on the rampage again. I have an awesum idea, I shall yous my lee7
// programming skillz to send him a batch file wat crashes his computer for like 10 mins.
// That will teach him to keep
// telling me to fix things. Stupid level designers overusing the entities in maps, its not like us coders
// dont warn them about the possible repercussions of overusing things like ambient generics
// how were we supposed to know they would lower the limits in the new sdk base…
// I found another of those odd pizza messages again today, i have a feeling its related to whats
// on the board over yonder, im new though, so maybe its something on going. Going to watch Star
// Trek tonight, s04e03 i think. Should give me some ideas for Code.
@Echo off:crash
start
goto crash”

I mean, it doesn’t get more direct than that–I can’t believe I didn’t notice that before!

So, I pulled up the transcript that is provided on the wiki page, and the script starts like this:

" Captain’s log, Stardate 44085.7. Due to a medical emergency, we have been forced to cut short a two day liberty on Ogus Two and set course for Starbase four one six. It seems a young man’s practical joke has come dangerously close to a lethal conclusion.

[Observation lounge]

(Troi escorts a teenager into the room)
RIKER: Well Mister Potts, why don’t we start at the beginning?
JAKE: We were at the arcade, sir. I brought this balloon with me, filled with red pillion dye. You see, Willie is always making fun of me. I figured I’d get him back.
TROI: Hey, hey, slow down.
JAKE: We programmed the game for an ordinary laser duel. You know, twenty one points. Four points for a
RIKER: I’m familiar with the game. Go on."

Do you see it?

21 points for an ordinary laser duel.

I thought maybe the 21 into 1 clue was an old clue meant for the Code D solution, since that one’s solution was the Laser Optronic Linear Inducer Cannon (LOL Cannon). However, this clue was provided to us on 8/26/14 on the Wiki by a user we assume is Storm:

“This unlocks at the start of the end. 21 into 1.”

Now, the question is how we can use this. “laserduel” might be a decent start for a key, but I think there might be more to it than it simply being the key.

Any thoughts?

EDIT: Here’s another possible key from that episode, and it would definitely fit in with the whole “isotopes of niobium” clue. It is also 21 characters:

isolinear subprocessor

Maybe at the end of this we get to challenge Storm to a laser duel pew pew

EDIT 2: Another interesting line from that episode:

SOONG: “Why does a painter paint? Why does a boxer box? You know what Michelangelo used to say? That the sculptures he made were already there before he started, hidden in the marble. All he needed to do was remove the unneeded bits.”

Could be a hint . . .

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#5708

Or, Eternity, unlocks at the start of the End…also, I think working on word play, will have a lot more mileage than you think. For instance… how 2 words sitting right next to each other, and combined into 1, still spell those 2 words… but also… something else entirely… Like if you take the name Tim…and a last name, Evans… and look at them as one…tim Evans, or something like QUAFF and COIF, I alos think, maybe a big speech on conunDrums and stRange happenings, may have all kinds of words that are right in front of us but not been seen yet. Or neat words like Eternity have some pretty neat properties… I mean, you can turn it around and you pretty much pronounce the same word. Or like Data and Lore “DataLore” so close to Data Core. Like when you go to a store and buy something, get it home…and realize there is a small detail to it, that just isn’t right. Do you take it back to the store and return it? Or?.. Do you make it right yourself? Perhaps the solutions to what we are looking for aren’t anywhere to be found. Yet are right in front of us… You know, maybe a bit of an intuitive leap, or hop if you will. Reminds me of an episode of Stargate Atlantis, where Dr. Mckay is having a problem with a ZPM (catchy 3 letters there) and he has to improvise to make it work. And sometimes, having no knowledge about what you are looking at is everything you need to know. Like those paintings that gave that code, someone just dragged the layers around and saw the code that wasn’t even there.

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#5709

And lastly, INFLECTION, doesnt carry well in text, especially if you dont know the person typing it. That person might be pretty fkn funny and trying to say something completely different, but come across as a complete tool, or nutjob. (sometimes at least). For instance the statement “Level Seven Cases” That could be read all kinds of ways… My question though for that… What exactly is or are, the “NOUNs” in that statement?
….
Something else I found to be pretty slick… Do you know where the term “Mad as a Hatter” comes from? Really interesting stuff to read on that topic! Trust me, if you havent read about it… its worth a couple of minutes.

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#5710

Not sure if maybe it was just one of those things that happens, but I picked up the pizza box in the canteen and dragged it across the two bodies lying side by side. They immediately began to fly around bleeding everywhere–as you can see, the box is completely covered. At this point, I’m just having fun with the game, but I did find that a bit odd, nonetheless.

EDIT: Looks like the tray does it, too, so nothing to see here. Still fun, though.

Found this, too, right by Dr. Horn’s desk in-game. Remember when he mentioned something about folks from Cambridge getting involved in the ARG, so he had to step the difficulty up?

ADVANCED QUANTUM OPTRONICS is exactly 24 characters–perfect candidate for a key.

EDIT 2: “Laser duel” could also be taken to mean “dual laser,” and we still have some key whiteboards in that area that haven’t been fully utilized. I never noticed this before, but the one whiteboard with the encryption methods mentioned on it is actually in two places–once in the main office area, and a second time in an alcove only reachable by noclipping.

Good stuff.

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