The way I figured it out was whether I was getting junk characters or not. If I was getting what looked like alphanumeric characters from alphanumeric characters, I figured I was on the right path. If I got kanji or blocks or punctuation I just knew I messed up somewhere.
Well, I did complete the challenge...I was given a step 1 through 3 walkthrough (10 steps to complete) where I had to smack my head after I was shown. So with that, I'll, honestly, give myself a 2 day penalty to submit.
Also, if using Cyberchef, I advise that you turn off "Autobake"...it gave me some incorrect converts which sent me down the rabbit hole.
@Laslooo 2nesab is backwards, so the first thing we noticed was to reverse it.
Clue for one part: "2nesab"
Clue for next part: "base2n" and "4"
Clue for another part: "4" and "^3"
(Above parts are missing some steps.)
Okay I am desperately trying to figure this out I have gotten to the Y3c string and for the life of me cannot get past it. I see how I got from the previous step WTN but I don’t think I quite understand how to apply that to the Y3c. I think I can see the pattern especially the difference between j and F and c and E. Anything that hasn’t been said that could push me a little further?
you can simply decode it (without reverse) like getting Y3c from WTNj. and do it a few times and try from behind to find out you're on the right path.
It took some time but I got it.
I was stuck on the first part (step 1 till3) for some time but that was an user error.
The second part was a lot of copy-paste to the chef but I've got the feeling the chef could have chopped it for me, I just don't Know how.
Also hats of to the people who solved it without knowing what the in between results were. I couldn't have done it without conformation from NJFF, WTNj and Y3c.
some chef links earlier include a copy of ways to do it,,,
I saw that in this thread, though I didn't have the passcode to unbin it before I solved this. I'll look at it later, there is no rush for me anymore.
well doh,, thats kinda the point of encoding it with passcode, I like wise, couldnt get chef to work, but kicked myself when I seen how some did....
I believe you are at the step where you need to "divide and conquer". Look at your string. How many characters are there? Can this string be divided into smaller, equal-sized chunks? @Klingew
I see what your saying and I’ve been trying to use that the same way I did with WTN but end up with a string of letters (cdO...) that don’t seem to form anything.
as I said earlier in this thread, meaning that now you just have to repeat it once more ... but not with cdO (only 2 characters)
If you get cdO, maybe try a different decoding site, but the same algorithm. For each group, c d and O are only half the expected answer.
Actually, I have to correct that: You probably tried to identify separators. But there are no visible separators in this challenge (Different to the previous challenge by the same author). That's why you only get half the answer for every group.
Media got. Now knowing how to do it it's a bit concerning to see that I would never have found it from all the hints in this thread, I would never have got it without @NineBerry actually explaining step by step on telegram how to get from Y3c. @NineBerry is a hero.
Thank you @WinZStein
That was the hint I needed to get the passcode :)
how in the heck did any of y'all get through the first three steps to get to that second half of the puzzle!?
Honestly n2esab is a big hint; but also the d3d3d3 at the end is a huge clue to anyone who deals with this stuff a lot (and knows their ascii-to-hex for a few significant characters - you see this one a lot in Quoted-Printable encoding). I'm not saying everyone should get it, but certainly some people will.
About "getting a coffee" as an unintended rabbit hole:
During some of the past challenges, it has been the situation that I couldn't get ahead and make progress in a challenge. Even though I tried my best, I couldn't get forward to the next step/stage of a challenge. Also that has happened to me during this challenge.
What I wanted to say is - don't try too hard. If you are lost, it might help to step away for an hour or two and then come back with a fresh pair of eyes. It might help to notice something which you have missed the whole time before. If you get a cup of coffee or tea, doesn't matter. Taking a short break can help, in my opinion.
I didn't know what d3d3d3d3 was, but I printed out an hex to ascii list and although I couldn't see d3 or e4 or a4, I did see something similar. Then asked what would I have to do to make it become that...the answer oc was turn it around! That was how I got my start...only then did I get the n2esab clue.
For the divide and conquer section I started from the end group and used 2 steps to find the "r"...of the usual 13ar.
True, true, may be truer than you intended. I was so lost that I literally followed any thing that stuck out or got repeated, so coffee became "this might be a hint about Java" and a long time trying out what happened if I stuffed strings in to Java. In that instance I would have been better off just taking a break.
@starwort is also speaking the true true. I have been told that for people who know of this basic stuff it was easy to recognize. The n2esab clue is really elegant, describes a lot, I see in hindsight.
I get the ^3, but dont know yet where I should have applied 4. It is not needed to get to 64 because we would have gone there.
By the way, and this is the wrong forum but the right people - is there any place to go and participate with the clues and bits we get from hacks? I ask because I would love more puzzles than one a week.
Thank you! This is what I was missing/messing up. Smdh.
It’s always a good idea with these to go “backwards, upside down, or negative” when something doesn’t work at first try. Almost always, something has been flipped at some point to make the puzzle.
Another is to break things up or stick things together. This one is more about, at a key point, breaking up and then sticking the result back together.
Another learning I am putting in reserve for future use is that all the ASCII hex codes for numbers and capital letters start with 3,4, or 5 (plus 6 and 7 for lower case). I already knew an equivalent for decimal ASCII.
Because passcodes are case-insensitive I guess? Maybe that'll factor into a future puzzle
I worked out from the frequency of 3, 4 and 5 in the string...
I have the Y3c string but it's an odd number so to me your comment feels unhelpful unless I'm seriously overlooking something. Which I probably am overlooking something since I'm currently stuck lol
Gonna be kicking myself once i figure out what I've done wrong or not done right lol
might have figured out my mistake lol
yep all hail me the oblivious fellow XD
Yes you are.
Just SAW this clever most clever XD
Some advice for people who might be getting a little frustrated after this step: don't give up now. Go on. Do it again, you're almost there.