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Help solving an encryption/enigma

Posted on 2016-09-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-10-26

It can be no hard for you guys, but my knowledge in cryptography or anything related is near to 0. So, if anyone can help me.

The puzzle is:

⬅ ➡ ↘


15, 41, 54, 59, 201, 255, 355

It's a 7 letters word.
Question by:Luis Franco
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LVL 17
ID: 41818644
Can you tell us where this is from?
The context will help with knowing the possible level of difficulty.
If this is from a list of similar questions could you post one or two more?
Or if it's from a game let us know which one?
I Googled the numerical sequence and found several very similar questions, but no replies.
Knowing the source of this puzzle would be very helpful.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 41819186
Do you know at least what language? Is it English?
What country are you from? From what country is the puzzle?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 41819836
A quick Google search on  QPLFEFY  suggests that it is Portuguese:
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 41819906
I have seen that link before, but I was not sure about it.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41831041
Using just the letters, I'm still getting 88 Portuguese words that are:

  • 7 letters long
  • matching 4&6,
  • all letters unique except 4&6.

I just threw everything into Excel for a sort of ~4100 words.

I could be missing a bunch, because I don't know how to handle the accented letters.

If this is a school project, good luck!  You can ask for help with methodology, but you need to show work first.  We can't provide an answer.

What have you got so far?
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41831043
Did you look at the basic Caesar cipher and the Vigenere cipher already?
LVL 17
ID: 41831949
Caesar gave me a result for the qplfefy string, just use the preceding letters.
I now have a context and the arrows may make some sense.
Still looking at the list of numbers.
The letters could be represented by:
112, 111, 107, 101, 100, 101, 120
I can't see an immediate connection.
LVL 17
ID: 41831960
Was wondering if the numbers are a Beale cypher, but the list I have only contains 151 names. Perhaps they all need to be written out in full. I'll look later.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41832241
The Wikipedia list has over 700.

In English, that yields BZPAUTD.
Single shift left is AYOZTSC.
No full matches in Portugese.
The only words that are limited to that subset of letters are cascata and azotato, which don't use up all the letters.

But, I don't speak Portuguese, so I'm only going off a partial list of 7-letter words.

Japanese yields SZKWUAY.
Single shift left is RYZJTZX.
Single shift right is TALXVBZ.
Not following a simple pattern like the first clue.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41832248
Single shift left from English names yields CARBTUE.

Only words from that subset are: abacate, abarcar, acaecer, acercar, acertar, araruta, arataca, aterrar, atracar, barbear, barraca, barrete, batucar, bracear, cabaret, cacatua, carreta, cateter, catraca, caturra, cratera, cutucar, rebater, receber, recrear, recruta, retrete.

None are matches for all letters.

Unless it's a advertisement for a company called TrueCab.  If so, how much did we win?
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd earned 1200 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41832393
I'll be less cryptic as I think you miss3d my hint.
Take each letter alphabetically before the letters QPLFEFY and you get POKEDEX which is part of the pokemon game, prob ably the same in most languages. It's the register of all the creatures which are numbered 1 to 151.
The arrows may be for physical locations or they could be screen swipes to lead to a page within the game.
I haven't been able to make use of the numbers.
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

aleghart earned 800 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41832438
I knew what you meant as soon as you said how short your list is.  The one on Wikipedia has over 700 names, in both English and Japanese.  See "List of Pokemon".
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41832446

I took first letters as-is, and shift 1 left & shift 1 right.


Then compared to a list of 7-letter words in Portuguese.

No matches.  There is a trade name "TrueCab" that matches.  Just wondering if this was a sponsored contest.
LVL 17
ID: 41832503
As the arrows appear first I'd imagine they are directions, but apart from swipe left swipe right and click bottom right I can only think of WESE which again doesn't help me any.
I never knew there were that many of them,  I should have asked my son.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41832524
I thought it might indicate shift left for the first code.  Shift right for the second code.

That gives us POKEDEX and CARBTUE.

But, what would the diagonal mean?
LVL 17
ID: 41833962
I think there's a typo in the question.
Take the numbers 16, 41, 54, 59, 201, 255, 355.
Mod () with 26 to get
16, 15, 2, 7, 19, 21, 17
Add one to each number, rolling back to 1 every time a column reaches 26.
The 25th row translated to its alphabet character gives'pokedex', or 'ookedex' if it is supposed to be 15 at the front.
Just need the arrows now and I can claim the prize.
LVL 17
ID: 41833987
Ah no sorry. Cancel that. Copy paste error.
I copied my rolling numbers from the last calculation and hadn't reset them. Now I get oobesux or eerwikn as the nearest pronounce be words.
I thought I had it then.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 41859953
I know this is not quite solved yet, and it may not be solvable in English, but I have still been asked to resolve the question.

I have been watching in awe, and I think you have made spectacular progress.

I wonder if the arrows could not be hints for each step of the puzzle:
   *  Decrement the letters by one -- QPLFEFY  ==>  POKEDEX
   *  Increment the numbers by one -- 15, 41, 54, 59, 201, 255, 355  ==>  16, 42, 55, 60 . . .
   *  Write down the names from the Pokemon list, and take letters on the diagonal:
         --  1st letter of #16, 2nd letter of #42, 3rd letter of #55 . . .

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