Cipher 70: Wild goose chase

Once again it is Cipher Tuesday, and this time I actually have a cipher to release:

1. Frg hc n purffobneq va gur fgnegvat cbfvgvba.
2. Ba n cvrpr bs 90tfz N4 cncre, qenj gur Qlaxva qvntenz bs gur fdhner va juvpu gur oynpx xvat erfvqrf.
3. Nybat gur rvtugu ebj bs n Fpenooyr obneq, jevgr gur flfgrzngvp anzr bs gur zbyrphyr jubfr fxryrgny qvntenz lbh unir whfg qenja.
4. Cynpr frira zber qvtvgf ba gur Fpenooyr obneq fb gung obgu gur yrsg pbyhza naq obggbz-yrsg fdhner ner cresrpg.
5. Cynpr sbhegrra zber yrggref va gur cernagrcrahygvzngr ebj gb tvir n pneobulqengr punva.
6. Cynpr rkgen yrggref gb fbyir gur `qbja' pyhrf bs guvf pebffjbeq:
(1) Gevnathyne ahzore (8)
(3) Pbagenpgvba ------- gurberz (7)
(5) Zl zneiryybhf --------- (9)
(7) Cynargnel pbyyvarnevgl (6)
(9) Flfgrzngvp (10)
(11) Synjyrff; pnaabg or rebqrq ol oveqf' ornxf (10)
(13) Gur Zban Yvfn vf na rknzcyr bs guvf (8)
(15) Yhpvsre (9)
7. Vagreyrnir n ulcura naq gur yrggref bs `cnebyr' vagb gur 10gu ebj gb tvir nabgure betnavp zbyrphyr.
8. Vagrepunatr gjb yrggref, bar sebz rnpu bs gjb bs gur zbyrphyrf, gb tvir gjb arj betnavp zbyrphyrf naq nabgure inyvq jbeq.
9. Cynpr na K ba gur obneq fhpu gung gur rkcerffvba va gur ebj va juvpu vg vaunovgf vf cebcbegvbany gb gur irpgbe nobir vg.
10. Pbeerpg gur fcryyvat nppbeqvatyl.
11. Erzbir gur fvqr-punva sebz bar bs gur zbyrphyrf fb gung vg abj cregnvaf gb n pyretlzna.
12. Ercrng sbe gur bgure betnavp zbyrphyr.
13. Ba gur cvrpr bs cncre hfrq va fgrc 2, jevgr qbja gur ragver qrpvzny rkcnafvba bs Tenunz'f ahzore.
14. Haqb fgrc a, jurer a vf gur crahygvzngr qvtvg lbh jebgr.
15. Ercynpr gjb bs gur qvtvgf va gur svefg pbyhza jvgu gur qvtvg a, fhpu gung gur obneq abj pbagnvaf n cebprffbe.
16. Erzbir gur nsberzragvbarq cebprffbe sebz gur obneq.
17. Qevax a tynffrf bs jvar.
18. Vagrepunatr gur erznvavat qvtvg jvgu gur yrggre qverpgyl nobir gur K.
19. Erzbir nal yrggre sebz gur obneq gung bpphef va gur jbeq `ohmm'.
20. Plpyvpnyyl crezhgr guerr yrggref fb gung gur svany pbyhza vf ubzbtrarbhf naq gur 9gu ebj pbagnvaf na npghny jbeq.
21. Erzbir n svir-yrggre znevar irffry sebz gur obneq.
22. Ercynpr bar bs gur gvyrf erzbirq va fgrc 19 gb erpbire gur fheanzr bs n Yvoreny Qrzbpeng cbyvgvpvna.
23. Erzbir zr naq rirelguvat ryfr gung qbrf abg orybat gb gur ynetrfg pbaarpgrq pbzcbarag.
24. Zbir rnpu `N' gb gur ybjrfg habpphcvrq fdhner va vgf pbyhza, hayrff qbvat fb jbhyq pnhfr gur `N' gb zbir hcjneqf.
25. Zbir gur frpbaq-ynetrfg pbaarpgrq pbzcbarag bar fcnpr qbjajneqf.
26. Va fgrc 24, lbh perngrq irefvba 3K bs n cnegvphyne ynathntr. Bar bs gur pbyhzaf pbagnvaf gur yrggref bs `gbqnl' jevggra va gung ynathntr. Erzbir gubfr svir gvyrf.
27. Bar bs gur yrggref lbh erzbirq erfrzoyrf gur funcr bs gur frpbaq-ynetrfg pbaarpgrq pbzcbarag. Cynpr n juvgr ovfubc ba gur fdhner inpngrq ol gur erzbiny bs gung yrggre.
28. Gjb nqwnprag pbyhzaf rnpu pbagnva cerpvfryl bar yrggre. Erzbir gubfr yrggref.
29. Fjnc gur ovfubc jvgu gur havdhr pbafbanag vg guerngraf.
30. Ercynpr gur `3' jvgu gur yrggre juvpu fubhyq orybat va gur ybjrfg habpphcvrq fcnpr va gung pbyhza.
31. Zbir rnpu bs zl zvqqyr vavgvnyf qbjajneqf bar fcnpr, hayrff gur fdhner vf nyernql bpphcvrq.
32. Fjnc gur `K' jvgu gur gvyr bpphclvat gur uvturfg cbfvgvba.
33. Fjnc gjb bs gur yrggref va gur ybjrfg ebj fhpu gung gur ovfubc vf vebavpnyyl cbfvgvbarq nobir n oynfcurzvp vavgvnyvfz.
34. Ercynpr `evqr' jvgu `evbg'.
35. Gurer ner gjb zngrevnyf ba gur obneq. Pbapngrangr gurz va qrpernfvat beqre bs qrafvgl.
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20 Responses to Cipher 70: Wild goose chase

  1. Richard Freeland says:

    Is it just me or is (5) ridiculously obscure as a way to clue a particular word (I’m speaking as someone who’s heard the song, and now has it stuck in a loop)? Even “Anagram of a word meaning egg-laying mammal” would seem fairer, and indirect anagrams are almost always considered too open.

  2. Andrew Carlotti says:

    Google suggests otherwise. (I now consider Google a legitimate and useful tool for solving ciphers.)

  3. Richard Freeland says:

    We’ll continue this discussion in the solvers’ area.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is probably the craziest puzzle I’ve ever done. It must have been quite difficult to construct. I’m pretty sure I’ve done everything correctly up to step 26, then it all goes awry. How obscure is the item in that clue? Seems much harder than (5) mentioned above.

  5. Scott Walker says:

    Not sure why I was ‘Anonymous’ either. Hopefully this fixes it

  6. Richard Freeland says:

    Scott – it’s a lot more obvious than you’re probably thinking; it’s really just a silly joke. You may want a dictionary once you’ve worked out what it’s talking about though.

    • Scott Walker says:

      Thanks for the clue, but in some ways that almost makes it harder. I think I’ll put this one on the stack of almost solved ciphers and take a break.

  7. Richard Freeland says:

    Anyway, cp4space hasn’t updated for a while, so I’ve come up with a cipher for people who are missing them. It’s a monoalphabetic substitution so should be easy:


    If you need more clues, here are 26:

    See you later, __________ (9)
    Middle Eastern market (6)
    Repeatedly tell (someone to do something) (6)
    What Macbeth saw an illusion of (6)
    Oil and gas multinational (10)
    Italian bread (8)
    Early human-powered aircraft (8, 6)
    Pilgrimage (4)
    Not mixing, like oil and water (10)
    Lewis Carroll nonsense verse (11)
    Wookiee planet (8)
    Iceberg or cos, for example (7)
    Only Brit to win two medals on the same day of the 2012 olympics (6)
    They can be soba or udon (4)
    Cancan composer (9)
    Conference (6)
    Cedric Diggory’s sport (9)
    Arm bones (5)
    Egyptian burial ground with step pyramids (7)
    Fan of William Shatner, etc. (7)
    Disconcerting (9)
    What Magdeburg’s copper hemispheres contained (6)
    Keep back (8)
    Classic cheat code coming from Colossal Cave Adventure (5)
    Middle-class professional with a city job (6)
    It became the Ijsselmeer (6, 3)

  8. Richard Freeland says:

    No. Should be 7 – good spot.

  9. Richard Freeland says:

    Well done Adam! Do you agree it would be more elegant if we changed the eleventh clue to “Rubaiyat poet Omar” (7)?

  10. Richard Freeland says:

    Sorry – without a password box I didn’t have a way to make it clear when you’re done, and I thought the solution was appropriate given the theme. I understand why you were confused.

    • apgoucher says:

      The usual way of allowing one to verify it without giving away information is to make a hash of the password.

      By the way, you’ll enjoy how I ended up at Mornington Crescent completely serendipitously whilst (unsuccessfully) attempting to locate an open nightclub at 03:00 in Camden Town on Friday night. You may also appreciate that this was followed shortly afterwards by listening to assorted works of Flanders and Swann.

    • Sam Cappleman-Lynes says:

      After attempting to follow the so-called “clue” and seeing the resulting gibberish, I had a feeling that it might have been the final answer. Thanks for confirming!

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