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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Emma's Code has been Cracked

With help from Taylor and others on the forum, we have cracked Emma's code. Emma was signing using Native American Sign language, and the solution was to take the first letter for each sign as encrypted vigenere text and decrypt using 'theelder' as the key.

The signs:

In order from the videos:
I, stand, indian, end, deer, deer, red, kill, friend, hard, red, stand, come

The solution: http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher/vigenere.php

key: theelder
encrypted text: isieddrkfhrsc
decrypted text: pleasantmanor

So, what does "Pleasant Manor" tell us about Emma's location?


  1. kudos to qthec for solving it once taylor finally laid out what the hell we were supposed to be looking for.

    i don't think pleasant manor tells us much of anything. but it will no doubt be meaningful to TAAG

  2. Good job to thoose who helped crack it =)

  3. Others did most of the work. I only added the very last step.

  4. QtheC is being far too modest, because it only took him 15 minutes once he saw the lay of the land, i guess.

    the fact is that of the many theories going on, taylor plucked the native american sign language as correct last night, and then laid it all in our laps:

    1. here are the right signs she said (or 95% of them), sure someone had worked on this, but it wasn't nearly as refined as what taylor put out there.
    2. the first letter of each signs should be put together (oh yeah, of course it should)
    3. its a vignere cypher (no one had suggested that)
    4. the key to the cypher is "elder" or "theeleder"

    LG15's strength has never been in time-sensitive puzzles.

  5. I was looking for the signs in the native american sign reference (link is in the image in the article) and it's pretty hard to figure them out.

    For the pointing up with one finger, I thought it might be any of alone or man or now or stand or up or yes, and lilbit924 had starting letters of U, H, L, for that one, so ???

    There were several options for the one that turned out to be Indian as well (hide was one), and I'm not sure Emma made the sign with the same motion indicated in the sketch for "Indian."

    There were quite a few hand gestures by Emma which we thought might be signs but do not seem to appear at all on Taylor's list. She had touched her ear (hear perhaps, I thought?), she put both hands on her knees with fingers pointing down (palsy or rain perhaps?), and she definitely made a sims-esque gesture toward the viewer as if offering something in the palm of her hand.

    This was a cool idea for a puzzle design, but just turned out to have a few problems making it hard to solve.

    I'm impressed that lilbit924 figured out it was Native American Sign Language.

    I still wonder about all the other strange things said in the videos - were there more hints to the solution that we missed? Or something else to find? (all that lake, shark, rock, arrow etc. etc. talk)

    And I missed where the key "theelder" came from. It's probably on the forums somewhere.

  6. To the creators: It was a cool idea, but I think for a big puzzle like this to work, it needs to be constructed in stages, so we know we have a partial solution at least, one that gives us a path to follow to the complete answer.

    One of the characters could have 'discovered' a book of signs in Emma's belongings, for instance, or we could have unlocked a file notes about Emma's special knowledge, etc.

    As is, it's pretty weird to imagine Emma constructing a message and using vigenere encoding on it... Perhaps Claire helped with that. ?


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