It appears whoever has typed this message has been too lazy to fix their errors, so we might have to do it for them. The first line of our puzzle seems the most readable so let's start there. Fixing the typos in this line gives us the sentence "line beginning with forty-three: plus four". (Note that the font suggests the message has been typed, so looking for words where the incorrect letters are close to the correct ones on a keyboard can help us choose between multiple corrections.)
This sentence could indeed be an instruction for the series of numbered lines below, but it does not help us with the immediate problem of decoding the next line of letters. The only other information we have is the letters we removed from our sentence in order to correct it. Taken in order, these typos spell the word "dvorak". A quick search reveals that dvorak is an alternative keyboard layout to the commonly used qwerty setup. It appears that not only has our typist made regular typos, but has also been too lazy to even check they were using the correct keyboard.
The next step is to map the keys pressed on the DVORAK layout back to a QWERTY keyboard in order to try and retrieve the intended message. For example, an F on the DVORAK keyboard is mapped to a U on a QWERTY setup. Doing this for the entire second line gives us "iine tso ypu mudt mow aubtract eivht".
Once corrected, this should read "line two you must now subtract eight". We hope, as in the last line, that our typos will tell us our next step. Currently they read as "ispdmav", however the actual keys that were pressed incorrectly were not these QWERTY keys, but the original keys on the DVORAK keyboard. Converting back to this keyboard gives us "colemak", another alternative keyboard layout. Repeating this process twice more gives us the following info:
This final set of typos implies that we should attempt to use a piano keyboard to make sense of the lines of numbers. Indeed after applying the five corrected instructions from above we end up with the following six lines:
45 45 44 44 42 42 37
47 49 45 45 44 44 42
47 47 45 45 44 44 39
40 40 47 47 49 49 49
49 45 44 44 42 42 40
Together with our "piano" clue it is clear we should attempt to press these keys on the piano. A standard piano has 88 keys, so the numbers we have should confirm this is the correct approach. (An online piano keyboard with numbers included can be found here).
Playing the notes in each line (almost) produces the well known Alphabet Song (or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). However, there are clearly some wrong notes in these lines as well. Picking out these typos and translating them into their letter forms, gives us the letters
37 - A
49 - A
39 - B
49 - A
49 - A
This is a reference to the song Baa Baa Black Sheep, whose melody is also inspired from the song we've just played. The ellipsis at the end of the puzzle suggests that we should quote the lyrics following "Baa Baa" from this song, and the "Sheer" in the title being a homophone for "shear" further confirms a sheep as the answer.
|The answer is: blacksheep|