Monday, April 30, 2007

Solution: Typo

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The list is a list of nine 5-letter words, typed on a standard keyboard, where the typist has positioned his fingers some number of keys to the right or left. For example, the first word "awyvh" decodes to the word "drink" if you type it after moving your fingers 2 keys to the right. Note that two words use some of the characters to the right of the letter keys, like "[" "." and ";", and one word uses the "Tab" key ("rxq [TAB] t") on the left. Here is the list of the decoded words and the key transformations used to decode each:

2R drink
2L shave
3R lofty
3L hyena
0- pasta
4R intro
4L eight
1L cargo
1R usher

Stacking the words from "left to right" by key transformation gives:

4L eiGht
3L hyEna
2L shAve
1L caRgo
0- paSta
1R usHer
2R drInk
3R loFty
4R inTro

Reading the center letters down the stack spells out an appropriate 9-letter word, and the solution to this puzzle, "gearshift".

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