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This game thread continues where the left off, now I have a clearer set of rules so let's see if it works:

One player plays the Evil Mastermind (that's me, to start) who nukes the states of the USA 3 at a time, the other players play Hackers who seek to stop the Evil Mastermind. The Evil Mastermind plays by posting commands which activate missile strikes. Each command has a unique password, which is derived from the command by a hashing algorithm. The Evil Mastermind devises a different algorithm at the start of each game, and posts the passwords along with the commands. The Hackers will see the commands and passwords and from this they should try to deduce the hashing algorithm. The Hacker who does this first, and correctly figures out the password to the command "ABORT", stops the Evil Mastermind and wins the game. Anyone can join in at any time as a Hacker.

Now hashing algorithms can be exceedingly difficult to crack, but there are restrictions placed on the kind of algorithm that the Evil Mastermind can use:

1) The Evil Mastermind must be able to derive an alphanumeric password of fixed length from any word (password length 8 characters or less, you choose). It doesn't have to be a cipher in the sense that it can be decrypted to the original word, indeed the fixed length makes that impossible.

2) You must be able to do it in your head, with no external aids, in 40 seconds or less. You may look at the word you are hashing but you should not have to look at the previous letters of the password, since real-life passwords are generally shown as ***** as you type (although you may use previous letters as far as your memory can handle it). It's up to you to ensure that you can do all this. A really classy algorithm is one which fulfils this condition better (quick and easy to perform, in other words).

3) Although it is quite possible to hold an alphabetic substitution table in your head, and apply it quickly, I'll rule this out because in conjunction with other techniques it's too difficult to crack. Any technique that requires a large amount of information to be memorised in advance is not allowed. Caesar ciphers with a large shift pretty much fall into that category.

4) Consistency. This is a matter of good sportsmanship. For example, since "ABORT" is the target word, you can't have a rule that comes into play only when the sequence "BOR" occurs. All rules should be general enough that they come into play in at least half of the clues. The algorithm should not be geared toward the specific commands used in this game, but should work on any word.

If that's not clear, here for example is a summary of the previous game's algorithm:

Define "loop letters" as A, B, D, O, P, Q, R, these being all the capital letters written with a closed loop.

Reverse the command, and start at the first letter without a loop. Apply a "1 above" alphabetic shift and continue like this. Every time you hit a loop letter, flip between "1 above" and "1 below".

Example: "MARYLAND"

In reverse, D-N-A-L-Y-R-A-M (in practice you don't really perform this step but just go through the word backwards a letter at a time)

Start at the 1st non-loop letter ("N"), going "1 above" to "O"

Then you hit "A" which is a loop so flip to "1 below": "Z"

Continuing "1 below" with L,Y, gives you "K", "X"

The "R" flips back to "1 above": "S"

The "A" flips back to "1 below": "Z", "L"

We wrap around to the "D", which flips to "1 above": "E"

so the password is "OZKXSZLE"

That was pretty hard to do in my head so not a very elegant algorithm!

This next one is quite different in style, I hope to illustrate that there is more than one approach to the hashing algorithm.

Commands

There are 51 commands, these being the names of US states (used by the Evil Mastermind to nuke another state), plus the word "ABORT" (used by hackers to stop the Evil Mastermind).

Commands and passwords are all uppercase.

ABORT

ALABAMA

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS

CALIFORNIA

COLORADO

CONNECTICUT

DELAWARE

FLORIDA

GEORGIA

HAWAII

IDAHO

ILLINOIS

INDIANA

IOWA

KANSAS

KENTUCKY

LOUISIANA

MAINE

MARYLAND

MASSACHUSETTS

MICHIGAN

MINNESOTA

MISSISSIPPI

MISSOURI

MONTANA

NEBRASKA

NEVADA

NEWHAMPSHIRE

NEWJERSEY

NEWMEXICO

NEWYORK

NORTHCAROLINA

NORTHDAKOTA

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

OREGON

PENNSYLVANIA

RHODEISLAND

SOUTHCAROLINA

SOUTHDAKOTA

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

VERMONT

VIRGINIA

WASHINGTON

WESTVIRGINIA

WISCONSIN

WYOMING

Game Play

The Evil Mastermind posts 3 commands at a time, with their passwords. The interval for doing this is undefined, no point in imposing restrictions. The Evil Mastermind chooses the commands, but should generally do requests as soon as possible.

Each Hacker may make one guess at the password for "ABORT" each time the Evil Mastermind posts commands. If someone makes multiple guesses in between clues, only the first one counts, but if they make a mistake and correct it, the Evil Mastermind can accept the correction. There is no need for spoilers when guessing the password, although please use spoilers if you reveal the algorithm. The first one to get the password for "ABORT" wins. Alternatively if you've cracked the algorithm you can just use it to blow up more states if you're that way inclined.

GAME UPDATE: commands posted so far...

OHIO

B99OOB99

OREGON

ACCGEA32

ALABAMA

A0BBB50D

ALASKA

A1ASA949

MISSOURI

430SODEA

IDAHO

A06HD51D

ARKANSAS

94DAN2D2

MICHIGAN

400HIA12

PENNSYLVANIA

4B8NAB49

IOWA

D65AID65

RHODEISLAND

2ABDL425

WESTVIRGINIA

4B0TIB41

TEXAS

5A1AEA52

MAINE

614NAD28

MASSACHUSETTS

434SE870

TENNESSEE

4B0NS3C0

CONNECTICUT

474NIA30

NEWHAMPSHIRE

4A0HH522

KANSAS

434SN2D2

NEWYORK

4B0YY4E6

SOUTHDAKOTA

6F4TK565

MARYLAND

436YL425

VIRGINIA

4A2GIB41

NORTHCAROLINA

4F6TL521

COLORADO

555OR59F

KENTUCKY

430TU890

SOUTHCAROLINA

6F4TL521

NORTHDAKOTA

4F6TK565

ILLINOIS

900IN6D4

VERMONT

4A2MM474

HAWAII

525AW784

LOUISIANA

764IID25

UTAH

AC2HUAC2

INDIANA

942IID25

MINNESOTA

430NS5E5

MISSISSIPPI

430SI966

ARIZONA

A5CZZ5E5

NEWMEXICO

4A0MX591

OKLAHOMA

989AH545

ABORT

A3FRB47E

Solved by araver!

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Posted · Report post

And we begin...

OHIO

B99OOB99

OREGON

ACCGEA32

ALABAMA

A0BBB50D

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Posted · Report post

Here's the next 3. Any ideas? Any requests?

ALASKA

A1ASA949

MISSOURI

430SODEA

IDAHO

A06HD51D

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Posted · Report post

OK, I'll drop these off and bid you all good night

ARKANSAS

94DAN2D2

MICHIGAN

400HIA12

PENNSYLVANIA

4B8NAB49

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Posted · Report post

No answers! I'm surprised.

I may give it larger intervals between the next few posts, because frankly, I think there's plenty of information now.

IOWA

D65AID65

RHODEISLAND

2ABDL425

WESTVIRGINIA

4B0TIB41

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Posted · Report post

I request Texas. ..And not just because it's Texas. :P Maine too.

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Posted · Report post

Two requests?!? Well, since nobody else is asking, why not? But everything comes at a price, so I'll see your Texas, and Maine, and raze you Massachusetts.

TEXAS

5A1AEA52

MAINE

614NAD28

MASSACHUSETTS

434SE870

And the lights... all went down... in Maaaassachusetts...

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Posted · Report post

Oh, wow, those destroyed my hypothesis entirely.

..I guess I'm studying abroad then. :(

Tennessee out of spite?

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Posted · Report post

Tennessee out of spite?
All right but I'll wait a while, since I'm doing 3 at a time :D
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Posted · Report post

Eugh. I'll trade the 5th character for any other aside from the 4th with anyone else working on this?

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Posted · Report post

Eugh. I'll trade the 5th character for any other aside from the 4th with anyone else working on this?
:lol: I'm not sure there is anyone else working on this!

TENNESSEE

4B0NS3C0

CONNECTICUT

474NIA30

NEWHAMPSHIRE

4A0HH522

Now that we're on multiple pages I'll keep the OP up to date with all the clues.

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Posted · Report post

I have the 2 easiest letters. I am still stumped on the rest of them

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Posted · Report post

Right, I'm giving away big clues now...

KANSAS

434SN2D2

NEWYORK

4B0YY4E6

SOUTHDAKOTA

6F4TK565

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Posted · Report post

*requests ABORT and moves to DC*

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Posted · Report post

*requests ABORT and moves to DC*
Good move! But that request is one I won't do. Oh well, maybe the fallout will get you...

MARYLAND

436YL425

VIRGINIA

4A2GIB41

NORTHCAROLINA

4F6TL521

To think I thought this one would be solved quickly! I'm one state away from my previous score of 25...

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Posted · Report post

I was going to say something about what I know, but it looks like I'm at the same place as GMaster and Izzy. :wacko:

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Posted · Report post

Bwahahaaa!!!

I've made it past the halfway point! To celebrate, I'll give you these:

COLORADO

555OR59F

KENTUCKY

430TU890

SOUTHCAROLINA

6F4TL521

There, if that doesn't do it I don't know what will. I'm off to bed now, good night!

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Posted · Report post

I was going to say something about what I know, but it looks like I'm at the same place as GMaster and Izzy. :wacko:

Me, too.

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Posted · Report post

I'd like to request the below states.

NorthDakota

Illinois

Vermont

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Posted · Report post

I'd like to request the below states.

NorthDakota

Illinois

Vermont

Your wish is my command

NORTHDAKOTA

4F6TK565

ILLINOIS

900IN6D4

VERMONT

4A2MM474

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Posted · Report post

I think I died when you hit New York. Anyway, my dying wish is to have Hawaii destroyed. Please do this for me.

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I think I died when you hit New York. Anyway, my dying wish is to have Hawaii destroyed. Please do this for me.
Whaa! I'll do what you say, just don't haunt me!

HAWAII

525AW784

LOUISIANA

764IID25

UTAH

AC2HUAC2

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Posted · Report post

Well I never, it looks as though this might go the distance. That's something I wasn't expecting. So this is a better code than the last, I think it may also be slightly quicker and easier to do!

INDIANA

942IID25

MINNESOTA

430NS5E5

MISSISSIPPI

430SI966

What this says to me is that the logical pathway to solving such a code may be quite clear to the person devising it but the person trying to solve it may not be able to see the wood for the trees. I bet if I put the clues in an order which would point to that pathway, someone would solve this.

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Posted · Report post

Oh, wow. I haven't got it yet, but it really looks like the rest of calculation involves converting to hexadecimal somehow...I'm surprised I didn't see that earlier. :duh:

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I haven't made much progress, but perhaps if I point out some trends it will help someone else.

Ignoring the middle 2 letters of the password, because we know those, we'll focus on the first and last hexadecimal trios.

If the word has 4 letters, the first and last trios in the password are the same. Does this mean the rule is the same, and applied to the first 4 letters of the state in one trio and the last 4 letters in the other trio?

If the last 4 letters are the same, the last three characters of the code are the same (eg., kansas and arkansas, virginia and west virginia, louisiana and indiana, maryland and rhodeisland). But if only the last 3 letters are the same, the complete correlation is lost (eg., virginia B49 and pennsylvania B41)

If the first 4 letters are the same, the first three characters of the code are the same (eg., northcarolina and northdakota, southcarolina and southdakota, mississipi and missouri). if only the first three letters are the same, the complete correlation is lost (alabama A0B and alaska A1A, newhampshire 4A0 and newyork 4B0)

Passwords can have the same first trio even if the states don't have similar spellings (430 is shared by kentucky, minnesota, mississippi, and missouri; 434 is shared by kansas and massachusetts; etc.). What is the relationship between these state names?

Lots of questions, no answers.

Edited by Cherry Lane
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Posted · Report post

Ohh, there's some good thinkin' going on out there! :D These probably won't tell you anything new, but I'll nuke them anyway to keep the pressure on. Only 11 states left!

ARIZONA

A5CZZ5E5

NEWMEXICO

4A0MX591

OKLAHOMA

989AH545

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