Mix Tape

How It Works

Solution Steps

Hints on the front cover:

  • The CD's name is given as "World Music", made up to look like a cheap "hits" compilation. This isn't a hint; it's just flavor.
  • The advertising text on the front notes that this is a collection "featuring songs popular in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States" These are the twelve founding countries of NATO.
  • The CD's copyright date is given as "(C) 1949" This is the year in which NATO was founded.
  • The background of the CD cover includes a blue compass rose with lines radiating from the four points This is the (bland and not terribly well-known) logo of NATO.

Hints on the back cover:

  • The back cover has the list of tracks - for each track, the artist, title and length are given.
  • This information is completely accurate to the best of our knowledge.
  • Teams do not need to use the titles or artists in solving this puzzle. The information is provided so they won't feel compelled to waste time identifying these songs.
  • The track times will be needed in the second step of this puzzle.

NATO words in songs

  • Each track has one NATO letter word in it - the first track has the word "Charlie," the second, "Alpha," and so on.
  • The full message says: caesarshiftnatolettersbycliplength
  • This message instructs you what to do: Caesar shift NATO letters by clip length. The NATO letters are the letters you read to get this message, and the length is provided on the back of the jewel case, or on your CD player.

Track lengths

  • As the previous step indicates, you'll be Caesar-shifting each letter by the track length given.
  • Shifts of less than 6 have 26 added to them, which is a neutral change in a Caesar shift (Mod 26!), but makes the clips a reasonable length.
  • So the first track is Charlie + 27 seconds, for an answer of D, the second is Alpha + 14, which is O, and so on.
  • When you shift all the letters by the track lengths, you get: dogoboewilliamnanbakereastabletare

WWI Radio Alphabet:

  • Split the new stream into words: Dog Oboe William Nan Baker East Able Tare
  • These words come from the WWI Radio Alphabet, a precursor to NATO.
  • They spell "DOWNBEAT," which is the answer.

GC Notes