From charlesreid1

Toga Party

Fixed Story

Another puzzle solved, another deposit of extra credits into your account by the Mad Hatter. Another package in the mail - this one more bulky - arrives at your door. You bring it inside, and open it up. Inside you find another mobile phone - this Mad Hatter character sure burns through a lot of phones - and, not surprisingly, it rings when you pick it up.

You answer it, and hear the White Rabbit's familiar voice.

"Hello Agent! Thanks a million for saving our food supplies. Thanks to you, I have been enjoying a steady diet of lettuce, carrots, and celery - my favorite!" He stopps to bite on a carrot, like Bugs Bunny.

"Okay, Agent," he says through the carrot, "let's get down to business: POOKIE, the evil artificial intelligence, is getting smarter. It has broken into more and more computers on Wonderland's computer networks. It's taken over giant office buildings and has been turning up the thermostat in every building by 2 degrees just to irk those people who have to have a certain thermostat setting - it's even been taking over smart appliances. Just yesterday it started cooking meals for itself using people's smart kitchens and delivering the food by drone to its server rooms! We're in trouble if we can't stop it. Bill the Lizard told us he built a Master Kill Switch into POOKIE, so that's our last remaining hope. We have to figure out how to access the Master Kill Switch and shut off POOKIE."

"Hey, Mr. White Rabbit, can I ask you something?"

"Anything, Agent!"

"Why are you wearing a toga?"

The White Rabbit looked down. Indeed, he was wearing a Roman toga, and had a crown of sage between his ears. "Oh, this, well, this is part of the latest puzzle. POOKIE told us we had to dress up like Romans, or else it would delete every single Mad Hatter Industries database. Hard to argue with that. So, here I am, dressed up like a regular Caesar."

"I see. Sounds like a clue to me."

"That's exactly what we thought!"

"That's a strange clue," you say, scratching your head.

"Strange indeed! It must have something to do with the puzzle. Check your mailbox for that puzzle. But - " the White Rabbit grabbed another carrot and began gnawing at it. "Agent, there's another thing we need to discuss. It has to do with the package you received."

You look at the box, which has more equipment inside. You take it out.

"We're sending you a headset. A virtual reality headset. Actually, a high-speed neural peripheral bus interface, but that's all just details. It won't hurt a bit, I promise."

"A what?"

"Like a USB port, for your brain. It gives us access to your neural interfaces so we can simulate you being here. You'll have a robot body."

"Isn't that dangerous? What if you run the wrong command, and wipe my whole brain?"

"Don't worry, you can trust us, we've never wiped a brain on accident before. Except that one lab rat. It's mostly safe. Like 95%."

"How does it work?"

"Do you know what a corndog is? Well, it works kind of like that. We don't usually use such exotic technology, but we need you here in Wonderland if we're going to stop POOKIE. Once you've finished with this challenge, I'll tell you how to use the headset to visit Wonderland."

"Well, I guess it won't hurt, if I'm getting extra credit for it..."

"Yes! Yes! That's the right idea!" says the White Rabbit. "But first, we have to solve one more of POOKIE's puzzles..."

Story

Another puzzle solved, another deposit of extra credits into your account by the Mad Hatter. Another package in the mail - this one more bulky - arrives at your door. You bring it inside, and open it up. Inside you find another mobile phone - this Mad Hatter character sure burns through a lot of phones - and, not surprisingly, it rings when you pick it up.

You answer it, and hear the White Rabbit's familiar voice.

"Hello Agent! Thanks a million for saving our food supplies. Thanks to you, I have been enjoying a steady diet of lettuce, carrots, and celery - my favorite!" He stopps to bite on a carrot, like Bugs Bunny.

"Okay, Agent," he says through the carrot, "let's get down to business: POOKIE, the evil artificial intelligence, is getting smarter. It has broken into more and more computers on Wonderland's computer networks. It's taken over giant office buildings and has been turning up the thermostat in every building by 2 degrees just to irk those people who have to have a certain thermostat setting - it's even been taking over smart appliances. Just yesterday it started cooking meals for itself using people's smart kitchens and delivering the food by drone to its server rooms! We're in trouble if we can't stop it. Bill the Lizard told us he built a Master Kill Switch into POOKIE, so that's our last remaining hope. We have to figure out how to access the Master Kill Switch and shut off POOKIE."

"Hey, Mr. White Rabbit, can I ask you something?"

"Anything, Agent!"

"Why are you wearing a toga?"

The White Rabbit looked down. Indeed, he was wearing a Roman toga, and had a crown of sage between his ears. "Oh, this, well, this is part of the latest puzzle. POOKIE told us we had to dress up like Romans, or else it would delete every single Mad Hatter Industries database. Hard to argue with that. So, here I am, dressed up like a regular Caesar."

"I see. Sounds like a clue to me."

"That's exactly what we thought, too."

"That's a strange clue," you say, scratching your head.

"Strange indeed! It must have something to do with the puzzle. Check your mailbox for that puzzle. But - " the White Rabbit grabbed another carrot and began gnawing at it. "Agent, there's another thing we need to discuss. It has to do with the package you received."

You look at the box, which has more equipment inside. You take it out.

"We're sending you a headset. A virtual reality headset. Actually, a high-speed neural peripheral bus interface, but that's all just details. It won't hurt a bit, I promise."

"A what?"

"Like a USB port, for your brain. It gives us access to your neural interfaces so we can simulate you being here. You'll have a robot body."

"Isn't that dangerous? What if you run the wrong command, and wipe my whole brain?"

"Don't worry, you can trust us, we've never wiped a brain on accident before. Except that one lab rat. It's mostly safe. Like 95%."

"How does it work?"

"Do you know what a corndog is? Well, it works kind of like that. We don't usually use such exotic technology, but we need you here in Wonderland if we're going to stop POOKIE. Once you've finished with this challenge, I'll tell you how to use the headset to visit Wonderland."

"Well, I guess it won't hurt, if I'm getting extra credit for it..."

"Yes! Yes! That's the right idea!" says the White Rabbit. "But first, we have to solve one more of POOKIE's puzzles..."

Ciphertext

Cryptotoken 1:

(NOTHING TO SEE HERE, JUST DOING SOME ARITHMETIC)
4+2+5+3
4+19+3+4
18+15+12+11
3+19+3+16
25+2+11+22
22+13+2+9
26+4+25+3
9+3+4+15
23+3+11+24
14+16+25+2
3+15+13+2
15+13+9+19
24+13+25+23
23+5+24+19
13+11+4+19
25+24+3+4
2+5+3+4
2+15+1+5
19+2+15+3
23+15+13+18
11+24+19+3
23+3+16+25
2+6+15+2
19+16+19+13
11+4+19+25
24+3+15+13
2+15+13+9
14+25+15+3
24+25+4+15
8+19+3+4
19+24+4+18
15+11+12+3
15+24+13+15
25+16+4+2
5+3+4

Cryptotoken 2:

(NOTHING TO SEE HERE, JUST DOING SOME ARITHMETIC)
11+19+1+15
18+19+8+3
3+1+15+2
13+11+6+3
2+21+1+23
7+8+15+25
19+7+13+3
21+23+16+19
6+6+15

Cryptotoken 3:

(NOTHING TO SEE HERE, JUST DOING SOME ARITHMETIC)
14+11+10+23
8+26+14+1
23+3+23+10
11+10+25+1
15+17+9+9
23+14+5+22
1+26+3+11
11+26+25+14
21+12+16+11
3+14+23+12
4+21+12+14
23+25+16+5
25+1+16+14
17+15+16+24
17+16+18+1
14+5+2+21
14+11+10+23
8+26+14+1
23+3+23+10
19+23+15+10
11+25+14+21
12+16+11+3
14+23+12+4
1+14+24+17
16+21+11+17
25+23+10+23
25+25+1+15
15+12+17+22
22+8+1+13
17+5+22+2
5+18+1+19
5+16+4+16
4+1+15+1
25+14+1+16
19+11+14+26
14+23+21+3
17+10

Solution

Tokens

The 3 tokens are:

Token 1 (k=13):

Trust is the basis for all cryptosystems and for secrecy in communications. Trust requires mechanisms for verification. Secrecy does not exist in the absence of trust.

Token 2 (k=13):

We made too many wrong mistakes. Yogi Berra.

Token 3 (k=13):

Ronald Reagan once summarized good cryptography practice: trust but verify. Ronald Reagan was no cryptographer but you can access puzzle quiz five with the secret word raygun.

Procedure

Start with the plaintext:

The word genius isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein. Quarterback Joe Theisman.

Turn the plaintext into cryptotext using ROT 13:

GURJBEQTRAVHFVFAGNCCYVPNOYRVASBBGONYYNTRAVHFVFNTHLYVXRABEZNARVAFGRVADHNEGREONPXWBRGURVFZNA

Finally, group this string by blocks of 8 characters, and convert each character to its corresponding number in the alphabet. A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on.

7-21-18-10-2-5-17-20
18-1-22-8-6-22-6-1
7-14-3-3-25-22-16-14
15-25-18-22-1-19-2-2
7-15-14-25-25-14-20-18
1-22-8-6-22-6-14-20
8-12-25-22-24-18-1-2
5-26-14-1-18-22-1-6
7-18-22-1-4-8-14-5
7-18-5-15-14-16-24-23
2-18-7-21-18-22-6-26
14-1

Hint: what do you notice about these numbers? What is their max and min?

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