Puzzle Practicals

This page is largely dedicated to the websites that aid in solving ciphers and codes, among other tips and tricks.

Knowing when to apply ciphers and codes comes with experience, and I will expand on this later.

Credit to Mango for suggesting Geocaching Toolbox and ACA.

Common tricks:

  1. Always View Page Source/Inspect Element (Ctrl+U/F12, or right click and select) for anything hidden in the source code.
  2. If you're given a list of names/objects, read off the first letters. Reminder that the resulting text may be an anagram.
  3. If you're given a list of numbers that are only between 1 and 26 (inclusive), use A1Z26 on it.
  4. If you need to identify instances of a character or one line within a wall of text, use Ctrl+F (Windows) or Command+F (Mac)
    to quickly find and highlight what you need.
  5. The most common ciphers seen on Scrap.tf tend to be A1Z26, Caesar and Vigenére (this is anecdotal). Use this to cut corners.

If you're given an image:

  1. Carefully scan the image for any barely visible text or entities. Photoediting software might help with this.
  2. Open it in Notepad, and look for any hidden text. Secrets tend to be located at the last lines of the file, but not always.
  3. Open it in photoediting sofware (Pixlr, Photoshop, GIMP) and adjust the Levels or Curves (In PS, Image > Adjustments) until you see hidden text.
  4. Run the image through a steganography decoder. The image may need a password for the payload (output text) to be shown.
  5. Read the metadata on the image by looking at it's Properties (right click after saving on Windows, "Get Info" on Mac) or it's EXIF data.
  6. Rename the file with the extension as ".rar". Hidden archives can be stored and accessed this way.

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