## KISS and POE (again).... and a call for help!

Posted By: Grasshopper <rowland@europe.com>
Date: 16 June 2001, 09:30

Bis repetita placent, as they say...

We're really hitting a wall here, and don't know where to go with these. I'd like to make a couple of assumptions, and see where they take us. For those of you who are good with numbers, please also consider this a cry for help!

Here are my assumptions:

•Each previous glyph could be taken on one at a time.

•There are WAY too many numbers, I think we need to get rid of lots of them, and that this process has to be a SIMPLE one. After having done my fair share of counting words in Marathon terminals, and after having tried various combinations rotating the glyphs, I don't think b.org would present us with a puzzle that included solving for such a huge list. There HAS to be a simple way to get rid of a bunch of those numbers, maybe it's an odd-even thing, or prime numbers, or sequential numbers, or repetitive numbers, or what have you.

•We HAVE to get back into the habit of posting our thoughts, clearly, for each individual glyph, in the hopes that Chelsea will provide confirmation. If all seven glyphs read, when solved, "THEXBOX," great. However, the chances of us coming up with the whole solution in one fell swoop are, judging from our performance as of late, not good. However, by returning to our mode of analyzing ONE glyph at a time, and saying "is G7=X? because we can eliminate these three primes, and these two even numbers, and this zero," we a) deal with fewer unknowns. and b) will KNOW when we're right. Right now, we're trying to take too much on at once.

•We've made good progress so far. After having tried many combinations, I can say with a strong degree of confidence that it's unlikely the numbers refer to words or letters in a Marathon terminal. Great. I'm glad I/we were wrong about it. What other systems can we use to eliminate other possibilities?

•We're dealing with LOGIC here. Can we try to deal with one glyph at a time? That may not be the way to go, but at least we can try finite systems and we'll KNOW when we're wrong.

•I agree with earlier posts that suggested eliminating 113 and 0. What does zero suggest? Zero is the one number that can't be reduced in the style we're familiar with. Zero BEGS to be eliminated, I think. What about 113? The problem with such a huge number is that it brings so many unknowns to the table. We're used to relatively simple number-to-letter conversions, i.e., a=1, b=2. By having zero in there, the added element of "where do I start counting" adds a HUGE unknown. I've recently done a bit of reading on cryptography and the enigma machine. Once you're dealing with a cipher whose number equivalent are greater than 26, you throw in tons and tons of possibilities. Great if you're trying to pass off secret military info, not so great if you're trying to make a puzzle for your Bungie fans. I mean, there are DOZENS of ways of counting an alphabet, circular, hexagonally, reverse circular, we could go CRAZY trying to test all of them, and remember, b.org doesn't want us to go crazy, b.org wants us to have a good time deciphering this puzzle.

•So far, the KISS principle hasn't dissapointed anyone.

•Basically, I think we're too smart for our own good. We're trying to apply really sophisticated systems to decipher what these %\$*\$*&\$% numbers mean, but because we lack the software/hardware to crunch these numbers, they're just guesses in the dark, and lack systemacy. All of the previous solutions were FINITE and fairly easy -- once you figured out where/how to look. Borg KNOWS that we're not professional code-breakers.

•Let's not get too hung up on the whole username/password thing for now. We HAVE to assume that the answer to these glyphs will a) either be intelligeable (and that I'll learn to spell someday), or b) that Chelsea will come out and point out correct answers, provided we come up with those answers coherently.

-gh