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Author Message
Scott
What? Oh be reasonable!

Oh look. You are.

Reason-able, I mean ..

*cough* .. right .. I'll just get my coat.

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:03 pm
Reason
Just a random thought on this one; a new avenue to explore possibly...

Has anyone thought that the thirteenth labour could be the thirteenth star sign: Ophiuchus?

13 Labours just reminds me of Hercules's 12 labours. Which is related to star signs. The thirteenth star sign being Ophiuchus...

My astrology skills are extremely poor but its just a thought. I haven't had a chance to test if thats the answer; I doubt it, but it could be something to think about seeing as there are a lot of star related themees in this game...

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:33 pm
rkn_technician
 Quote: Just to clarify. How do we translate the code to be used in connection to pages/words in a book?

OK, maybe I wasn't clear enough!

Assuming that the card lists a series of hexadecimal numbers, these all have a direct decimal equivalent notation which could be found using a good scientific calculator or a website that can convert from Base 16 to Base 10 such as http://www.ronshardwebapps.com/Numbers.asp (I've not used this, I just found it with Google as an example.)

This would then give a list of ordinary numbers, in apparently random order, with the maximum possible number being 255 (dec) from FF (hex) - from a quick glance at the card, FE (254) was the maximum I could actually spot.

Then, having found the correct book (that is the really difficult, trial & error bit!), I would suggest finding the 64th page, the 12th line on that page, and the 8th word on that line. This would be "word number 1" (or just possibly "word number 0" - it could be worth trying both!)

Using a nice sharp pencil for preference, go through the text, numbering the words from this point on in direct numerical sequence, until you reach 255, and then stop.

Then, using your list of decimal numbers, find the numbered words in the order of that list.

The classic way this code would work is to select the first letter of each of these words in that order, to give the message, but it would also be possible for the last letter of each word to give the solution, or even the whole words themselves, depending on how the code was set up. Remember that the original text, &/or the decoded message could easily be in another language, just to add an extra level of difficulty, or (nightmare scenario!) the resultant list of letters could require further decoding using letter frequency analysis etc (though there probably aren't enough letters for that), depending on how challenging the puzzle was meant to be!

For the most famous historical example of the simple technique, see http://smd173.tripod.com/Beale/BealePapers.htm which is about the (possible elaborate hoax!) of buried treasure in the USA, the details of which were given in three long lists of numbers, the second of which, with the key being the Declaration of Independence, is the only one to have been "decoded". The 3 lists of numbers are included on that website, but I wouldn't bother trying to decode them, since people have been wasting their whole lives on doing that for over a century, with no success!

I hope this makes my idea a bit clearer?

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:39 am
dusty2229
Re: [PUZZLE] #251 - Silver - The Thirteenth Labour

 Quote: What if it is pure hexadecimal to be translated into decimal, and these numbers then used with a book code, starting at (guess!) page 64 line 12 word 8 of the key text, and taking the first (or second, or last???) letter of each word.

Just to clarify. How do we translate the code to be used in connection to pages/words in a book?

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:43 pm
rkn_technician
[PUZZLE] #251 - Silver - The Thirteenth Labour

Just to say, I have now joined: it was irritating being a "guest" (see previous entry).
 Quote: "The thirteenth labour of Hercules: Stories"
has 214 pages in the English translation paperback, which would work for 64 refering to the page. If this is the right theory, and if this is the right text, but the code refers to the original Russian version, that would certainly add another layer of complexity!

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:12 pm
rkn_technician
[PUZZLE] #251 - Silver - The Thirteenth Labour

This is probably really stupid, but I thought I'd throw this idea into the mix:

 Quote: Could it just be base sixteen with numbers running Quote: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

What if it is pure hexadecimal to be translated into decimal, and these numbers then used with a book code, starting at (guess!) page 64 line 12 word 8 of the key text, and taking the first (or second, or last???) letter of each word.

Key text could be book mentioned in:
 Quote: Looking at the distributed.net site they have a section of reviewed books http://www.distributed.net/research/recommended-reading.php. The books are rated in cows and only one has a five cow rating like the bottom of the card, the book is Cracking Des : Secrets of Encryption Research, Wiretap Politics & Chip Design
or else something to do with labours of Hercules, maybe a book I found listed on Amazon: "The thirteenth labour of Hercules: Stories" by Fazil Iskander, Robert Daglish (Translator), K.M. Cook-Horujy (Translator) in either original or translated version?
Does this make any sense?!!!

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:48 pm
lillyplop
I have had a look on the RSA webiste and it says:

'In addition to the "real" contests, thirteen "pseudo-contests" will be posted. '

These are listed as Secret-Key Challenge Links. Under this link is has 64-bit RC5 Challengers. I know very little about computer codes but number wise it seems too much of a coincidence especially when you factor in the cow icons, the '13' contests and the 64/12/8 on the top of the card.

I also found a page that said a 64 bit challenge had been solved and the answer was:

'The unknown message is: Some things are better left unread'

I have tried this in the solve page but alas I failed dismally. MInd you I did forget to type in the apostrophe at the end. Dont know if this will help or hinder but I know I am having fun with this one.

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:15 pm
lauriek
I found this snippet in the google cache -

 Quote: The main project currently being run by distributed.net is the RC5-72 challenge, where a small text file has been encrypted with a 72-bit key. They're using the "brute-force" method to crack the code, which means assaulting the encrypted file with every single key mathematically possible to "unlock" the encryption. RC5-72 is also known as RC5-32/12/9 (RC5 with 32-bit wordsize, 12 rounds, and 9*8=72-bit key), but don't let that confuse you, because it's not important.

So we /could/ be looking at 64bit words, 12 rounds and 18*8=144 bit key. Whatever the hell that means!

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:00 am
oliverkeers13
Something about that number strikes me as odd though, particularly in reference to www.distributed.net. The number on the card is
 Quote: 64/12/18
and the number for the 64 bit encryption on distributed.net is
 Quote: 32/12/8
. This strikes me as meaning that it ISN'T 64 bit encryption! I do remember Dan Hon saying at CubeFest that
 Quote: it started with a true/false proposition so simple that most people could solve it on a piece of paper
Could it just be base sixteen with numbers running
 Quote: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
?
Anyway. I'll email them with the code and see what they make of it (even if we have done before(I really can't remember))

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:13 am
Hunting4Treasure
I can't ignore the little cows, though. One is the logo of the www.distributed.net site that cracked the RC5 code, mentioned several times on this thread. Go check it out.

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:06 pm
stuart437
oliverkeers13 Posted: 12th September 2005, 6:51 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We seem to have dismissed the idea that the top is a date too fast, as far as I am concerned. COmputers write dates in the form YY/MM/D. So the it COULD refer to the 8th of december 1964! NOt sure where this leaves us, though.

I have to agree with oliver i just got the card and it struck me as a date too. Showed the card to a couple of friends who are in programing and crypto and they dont recognise it. (though if it is i wont let them live it down) so on with the seamingly never ending google searches

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:42 pm
Hunting4Treasure

There are 176 pairs (352 bits). The pairs are equally divided by 16 = 11.
Could we possibly be looking for an 11-character answer, with each character being 16 pairs (32 bits) long? Or, is each character 32 pairs (64 bits), as suggested earlier? That would give us a 5½-character word... ???

Also, is there a table to show what each character is in RC5 code?
How many bits are there in each character? Explain in layman's terms, please.

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:12 pm
skenmy
 Malinky wrote: I think those missing chapters may be here: ftp://ftp.nic.surfnet.nl/../pub/crypto/pgp/DES/

They are just programs. Maybe we need to use them?

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:46 am
I think those missing chapters may be here:
ftp://ftp.nic.surfnet.nl/../pub/crypto/pgp/DES/
Hopefully I've missed no letters in this address

Still no luck finding anything to help with a solve though

And just because it might come in handy one day:
http://www.theargon.com/archives/cryptography/

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:03 am
Riiick
Has anyone found a program capable of decrypting this if we had the correct key?

If we did we could at lest try some keys, for example the one distributed.net used to decrypt the RC5-32/12/7 challenge that RSA Labs made (0x63DE7DC154F4D039).

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:25 pm
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