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Solutions for Act V Scene 2 - Strings

The answer is: basejumping The first step for this puzzle is fairly clear - we want to decode the binary strings at the top. This turns out to be a standard ASCII binary substitution cypher, where numbers 97 through 122 represent the (lower-case) alphabet. Doing so gives us a series of short, unrelated words: down chat id nit shot dry crater fern lag bro hey bond not wish him ante vestment Since there's no clear connection between these words, it seems we should next turn our attention to the words at the bottom of the puzzle. Using them to index into the letters or otherwise seems fruitless, since most of the words from the top section are very short to begin with. Much like we just translated binary into words, we probably want to translate words into binary here... but in this case, using ASCII conversion would be strange considering the words themselves all spell out numbers. Instead it seems to make more sense to convert these numbers straight into binary. It's still not clear why these words are separated into sentences though. If we concatenate each sentence into a string of its own, "seven six eight" becomes 768, etc. If we do this for all sentences and then convert them to binary, promisingly the total number of digits used equals the number of letters used in the words we found above. Using the implicit hint of monospace font being used, we should probably line these two concatenated strings up and see what happens: ``` downchatidnitshotdrycraterfernlagbroheybondnotwishhimantevestment 11000000001010001011000100011101001000101001010000100000100100100 ``` It should be clear from this that the letters above the ones appear to spell out a message. Indeed we get DON'T TRY TERNARY ON THESE. Ternary seems to be a big hint here. If we convert each of our original numbers into ternary, we soon realise the digit 2 never appears. Of course we end up with fewer digits than when we did the binary conversion, but the message we found explains this too - we want to use the ternary numbers only on those letters that don't make up said message. Lining the strings up again after ternary conversion then gives us: ``` downchatidnitshotdrycraterfernlagbroheybondnotwishhimantevestment --10011101-1-000-1--101-010---1-01-101-0-10-0-0111-10010-11-00-11 ``` We can now read off another message, WHAT DID CARL BOENISH INVENT? Carl Boenish was a freefall cinematographer, who invented BASE jumping, an activity that involves jumping off high objects without any strings/ropes to break one's fall, and that describes the way we've solved this puzzle (by jumping from binary to ternary).