Weekly Challenge Solutions

SOLUTION to Challenge 6: Google Earth Treasure Hunt 2

Congratulations to Puzzling.Stackexchange user Sleafar for solving Challenge 6 on September 14 at 14:23 UTC. I’ll be introducing a “leader board” feature this week, where a solver gets 1 point for every day the puzzle has remained unsolved. Since this puzzle took less than 24 hours to solve, Sleafar gets 1 point.

I’ll reveal the secrets below, but if you haven’t tried your hand at solving it, read this first.

The solution is after the jump.

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  1. This white plastic jungle feeds nations and can be seen from Earth’s orbit. Find it using Google Earth.
    Answer: Almeria, Spain greenhouses.
  2. Zoom in on that place and find the largest body of water within it. Find the bridge crossing the middle. Take the coordinates of the center of the bridge. (Cut off the numbers after two decimal digits.)
    Answer: 36.76°, -2.73°
  3. Subtract 0.64 from latitude (the first coordinate.) Subtract 2.61 from longitude (the second coordinate.) Enter these new coordinates into the Google Earth search bar and press enter.
    Answer: Rock of Gibraltar. 36.12°, -5.34°
  4. See the big rock? Find the pillars and note their namesake.
    Answer: Pillars of Hercules. 36.12°, -5.34°
  5. Convert this name into numbers where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Don’t put a 0 in front of single digits. (Ex. F = 6, not 06.)
    Answer: H E R C U L E S = 8 5 18 3 21 12 5 19
  6. Make new coordinates with these numbers. The third letter of the name is the latitude coordinate before the decimal. The fourth letter is the latitude coordinate after the decimal. The fifth letter is the longitude coordinate before the decimal. The sixth letter is the longitude coordinate after the decimal.
    Answer: 18.3°, 21.12°
  7. Now, subtract 36.22 from the latitude. Add 4.73 to the longitude.
    Answer: -17.92°, 25.85°
  8. Enter these new coordinates into the Google Earth search bar. What do you see here?
    Answer: Victoria Falls
  9.  Now, find its South American rival.
    Answer: Iguazu Falls
  10. Once located, find the nearest river and follow it downstream until it converges with another river.
    Answer: Triple Frontier
  11. Surrounding this point are three similar-looking monuments  Take the coordinates of the one painted green and yellow. Write them down. We’ll need them in a moment.
    Answer: Obelisk Brazil. -25.59°, -54.59°
  12. Continue following the converged river northward until you pass a bridge and an island. If you see a dam, you’ve gone too far.
  13. Just after the island, search the river’s eastern coast for a large bronze deity turning his back on standing brethren. Take the coordinates of the bronze deity and write them down.
    Bronze Buddha Statue. -25.47°, -54.59°
  14. Now, take the latitude of the yellow/green monument. This will be our new latitude. Take the latitude of the bronze deity. This will be our new longitude.
    Answer: -25.59°, -25.47°
  15. Switch the +/- in the new latitude and longitude coordinates. If it’s a positive number, make it negative. If it’s negative, make it positive.
    Answer: 25.59°, 25.47°
  16. Subtract 3.26 from the latitude. Add 6.15 to the longitude.
    Answer: 22.33°, 31.62°
  17. Find the historical site within these coordinates. Where are we? If you are the first to send me the name of this place and an explanation of how you got there, you win.
    Answer: Abu Simbel, 22.33° 31.62°

 

 

SOLUTION to Challenge 2: Shedding Light

Congratulations to Bill Briere for solving Challenge 2, the first code to be solved on Code a Week!

I’ll reveal the secrets below, but if you haven’t tried your hand at solving it, read this first.

The ciphertext is:

gurjnlgbevtug
jebatfvfgbghe
aguryvtugbsge
hguhcbagurzvq
nojryyf

“Shedding Light” is a ROT13 cipher, one of the simplest coding techniques. To encipher a message, you number the alphabet where A = 1, B = 2, etc.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then you take each letter in your message and add 13 letters. If the result is over 26, simply subtract 26. So, “A” would be “N”; “X” would be “K”; etc.

Thus, the message “HAT” becomes “UNG”.

ROT13 is a form of the Caesar Cipher, in which a shift of fixed length occurs, just not necessarily a shift of 13. What makes ROT13 the most popular form of Caesar is the fact that 13 is half of 26, the number of letters in the English alphabet. To decipher, you can perform the same operation that was used to encipher. That’s not the case with any other shift length.

For example, using a shift of +4, “A”=”D”. To decode, you have to reverse the operation and subtract 4.

But using a shift of 13, you always get back to where you started. Here’s a great article on how the Caesar Cipher helps to understand the concept behind Modular Arithmetic.

So what’s the solution? Give it a try and scroll below to see the answer.

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thewaytoright
wrongsistotur
nthelightoftr
uthuponthemid
abwells

Formatted, this becomes: “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” ― Ida B. Wells