Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Solution to A0A1A0A1A0C1 A0B1A0A1C0 A0B1D0A1 A0C1A0A1B0 B0A1E0 riddle - Spoiler alert

There was a secret code puzzle posted on reddit a few days ago. In the days before internet, that meant days and days of looking for a solution and finally somebody figures it out.

And then, someone else figures it out. Very very slowly.

But now that we are in the age of the internet, collaborative puzzle solving is the norm.

So, here is the puzzle :

And Spoiler alert : the solution is also posted below it.

The code: A0A1A0A1A0C1 A0B1A0A1C0 A0B1D0A1 A0C1A0A1B0 B0A1E0 A0B1A0A1B0A1 A0C1B0B1 B0A1E0 A0D1B0A1 A0B1A0D1 A0C1A0A1A0A1 A0C1B0A1A0 B0A1E0 A0C1A0C1 A0B1A0D1 A0C1B0A1A0 A0C1B0B1 A0C1A0A1B0 B0A1E0 A0B1A0C1A0 A0B1A0A1B0A1 A0B1B0C1 A0B1A0A1C0 A0C1A0A1B0 A0B1A0B1A0A1 A0B1D0A1 A0C1B0A1A0 A0B1B0A1A0A1 B0F1 B0A1E0

A hint has been given: "There are thirty blocks of code. Each 'block' of code needs to be translated into an intermediate code, which can be translated into English"

P.S. Those are zeroes, not the letter O.






WARNING : SPOILER: SOLUTION BELOW !


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STOP SCROLLING IF YOU WANT TO TRY TO SOLVE IT YOURSELF FIRST





Solution to the A0A1A0A1A0C1 A0B1A0A1C0 A0B1D0A1 A0C1A0A1B0 B0A1E0 puzzle
Credits to Redditor SchadSchad for the final solution.


Firstly, note that there are only ones and zeros as numbers - pointing to a possible binary code.
And the 1s and 0s alternate with the letters.

But what are the letters for ??

Look closely. Only A, B and C.
They must be coding for something, but what ? Of course, they might be a distraction, but a good puzzle contains no extraneous information. And I want to believe that this is a GOOD puzzle.

Now, if you need to extract binary, usually we need bytes of information(8 bits make a byte). But these 30 codes seem to have variable number of characters.

Looking even more closely, we notice that the letters in  form a pattern :
The sum of the letters(taking A=1,B=2, C=3) in a single code is always 8.
Eureka !!!  Binary encoding. 8 bits to a byte. The letters are for 'run length encoding'

The letter tells us how many times the corresponding 1 or 0 has to be repeated.

Got it ?
0=0, 1=1, A=1, B=2, C=3

Let us do the first one: 
A0A1A0A1A0C1 becomes 10 11 10 11 10 31


10 is 'one zero [0], 
11 is 'one one' add (1)->[01], 
10 is 'one zero' [010], 
11 is 'one one' [0101], 
10 is 'one zero' [01010], and 
31 is 'three ones' [01010111]

Convert from binary to ASCII :(use an online convertor )

We get "W"
Do this for all the 30 codes to get the answer.
Or, let us say the question ?

"WHAT IS YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE ? "


Yes, the last character is a space " "
Why ? Maybe to get an even 30 ?
Maybe there's more to it ??

Or is it the answer ?

SPACE is your worst nightmare ?

* cue ominius music *

01010111W
00111111?question mark

Here's a Conversion table if you prefer that sort of thing :

654101000001A
664201000010B
674301000011C
684401000100D
694501000101E
704601000110F
714701000111G
724801001000H
734901001001I
744A01001010J
754B01001011K
764C01001100L
774D01001101M
784E01001110N
794F01001111O
805001010000P
815101010001Q
825201010010R
835301010011S
845401010100T
855501010101U
865601010110V
875701010111W
885801011000X
895901011001Y
905A01011010Z

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