Strange Postcard Case

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Box contents

The following is a visual gallery of all box contents, as well as transcriptions of all text.
There are NO SPOILERS, puzzle explanations, or solutions detailed in this section.

Postcard

D K T R F D A P O N K Y L P A K F Z C K N
T R P O H T W X K C M U N K T O P K A L T
K A Y Q V H X K Z R E J R M V Y L T K Y M
O B Y C E P R K O U L I O S A F I G E R U
A F T E R H
H T E D A _
_ Y I _ T S
E H _ E Y K
3 0 1 1 7 3
HXOW     GVR     LTDBJ

Unravel a FREE Mystery.
Solve the ease. Earn Rewards.
Start At: SleuthKings.com/Missing

Front of the postcard.
Back of the postcard.

The investigation

The investigation is a complete walkthrough and contains hints, explanations, and solutions.
Where possible, spoiler tags have been used, but CONSIDER THIS YOUR SPOILER WARNING.

  1. After signing up for the free sample case, you'll receive the signup success email.

Signup success email

From: Sleuth Kings <info@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: 📭Thanks! Fun While You Wait

Hey Morbus,

Thanks for requesting the postcard case from our website. I’m really looking forward to working with you on it. I’m not sure what to make of the postcard itself yet, but hopefully we can figure it out together.

I’ll be running to the post office in the next few days, so I’ll be sure to get your case sent out then. Keep an eye out in the mail for a sealed, brown envelope. When you receive it, follow the link on the postcard (www.SleuthKings.com/Missing) to send me an email so we can get started with our investigation.

In the meantime, you should check out our Facebook page. We post things like puzzles, information on cases, and – my personal favorite – shout-outs to people who have helped me solve cases.

Click Here to Visit Our Facebook Page

I'll talk to you soon,

Sullivan King

Signup success email.
  1. Visit http://SleuthKings.com/Missing and fill in the Postcard Case: Missing contact form. Sullivan King will respond via email shortly.

Postcard Case: Missing

Postcard Case: Missing

Thanks for helping with this case. Whenever you're ready to get started, use the form below to send me an email.

Here's a few tips to make sure the investigation goes smoothly:

  1. Once I email you back, please just reply to my emails – there’s no need to keep using the website.
  2. Please do not change the subject line in emails.
  3. If you’re ever stuck during an investigation, reply to my email with “Help” and I’ll send you my thoughts.

Your Email (required):

Your Message:

Sullivan King email #1

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: A Hidden Message

You got the postcard. Good.

Someone sent it to me the other day, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to read whatever message is hidden on it. Hopefully, with your heIp, we can.

There’s something you should know: The Sleuth Kings logo and URL address were both included on the postcard when I received it. Somehow, someone got onto the website and added the page without me knowing. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing special about the page – it’s just a contact form for my email – but it’s still concerning.

How they did that isn’t important right now, though. What we need to focus on is figuring out what the postcard’s message is. After studying it for a while, all I can say is that it seems like the easiest place to start is with the box of letters on the back whose first row reads “A F T E R H.”

Try taking a look at that cluster of letters and see if you can figure out what it’s trying to say. Reply to this email and let me know what the message is once you’ve figured it out.

Since “A F T E R H” is red and the rest of the letters are white, I’m guessing they’ve got something to do with how to unscramble this. Maybe “A F T E R H” is an anagram? If I'm right, each column will move as a whole, so every letter (or space) beneath "A F T E R H" will follow the red letter it's under. Once you've unscrambled the anagram and shifted the white letters (or spaces), you should be able to read the message.

Thanks,

Sullivan

P.S. If you need additional heIp, feel free to reply to this email with “HeIp” and I’ll send you my thoughts.

Sullivan King email #1.
  1. Solve the first puzzle and reply with the solution to Sullivan. He'll respond shortly.
    1. View the first part of the solution: "A F T E R H" anagrams to "F A T H E R".
    2. View the second part of the solution: By rearranging the columns to match "F A T H E R", you get:
      A F T E R H                F A T H E R
      H T E D A _                T H E _ D A
      _ Y I _ T S      ===>      Y _ I S _ T
      E H _ E Y K                H E _ K E Y
      3 0 1 1 7 3                0 3 1 3 1 7
      
      or FATHER THE DAY IS THE KEY 031317. Reply with this to Sullivan.

Sullivan King email #2

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: Father

So “Father” is the anagram and the rest of the message is, “The day is the key 031317,” right?

Wait. What’s going on? 03/13/17 – that’s the date my dad went missing.

This isn’t a coincidence: it has to be about him. I’ve spent every waking moment searching for him, but I haven’t found so much as a single clue. Now this? Why would someone reach out to me now?

You’ve got to heIp me – please. We’ve got to figure out what the rest of this postcard says. If it can give us anything about my dad – anything at all – I have to know.

I think the next thing we need to focus on is the line of letters that reads “HXOW     GVR     LTDBJ.”

If we take the first message literally, maybe the date my dad disappeared is the key to reading this. If I’m right, the date is probably being used as a sequence. Try putting 1 digit under each letter and skip the spaces. Then, once you’ve used all six numbers, the sequence will likely repeat. Hopefully that will heIp us figure out what each letter actually should be.

Let me know what the message says once you’ve decoded it.

I’m counting on you.

If you need additional heIp, feel free to reply to this email with “HeIp” and I’ll send you my thoughts.

Sullivan King email #2.
  1. Solve the second puzzle and reply with the solution to Sullivan. He'll respond shortly.
    1. View the first part of the solution: Start by placing the numbers under the letters per Sullivan's email:
      HXOW GVR LTDBJ
      0313 170 31317
      
    2. View the second part of the solution: Then, shift each letter that many places back in the alphabet. When you move back 0 places from H, you're still at H, but when you move back 3 places from X, you're at U. Think of the date of 03/13/17 as being in the "past", so we should go into the "past" of the alphabet too:
      HXOW GVR LTDBJ
      0313 170 31317
      HUNT FOR ISAAC
      
      or HUNT FOR ISAAC. Reply with this to Sullivan.

Sullivan King email #3

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: Hunt For Isaac

“Hunt For Isaac,” are you sure?

No, I don’t need to second guess you. That has to be right. Isaac is my dad’s name. Someone really does know something about him. Finally. This is the break I’ve been waiting for.

I might be wrong, but I’ve got an idea about what their message means. Give me just a minute or two to check on something and I’ll get back to you.

Sullivan King email #3.

Sullivan King email #4

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: The Password

I was right – the last message refers to a website. Unfortunately, I need a password to access it.

On the password screen, however, it does give a clue as to how we can find the password. Here’s what it says:

“6 words, 6 colors, 5 letters.”

This has to be some kind of reference to the large block of letters on the front of the postcard. My guess is that there are six hidden words in the mess of letters. If I’m reading this message right, only letters of the same color can go together. If you grab a pen or something and connect the letters in the correct order for all six hidden words, you should be able to see a new five-letter word. The new word will most likely be our password.

Take a look at the front of the postcard and let me know what the password is once you’ve got it figured out.

Once you’ve got the password, I’ll send you the website’s URL.

If you need additional heIp, feel free to reply to this email with “HeIp” and I’ll send you my thoughts.

Sullivan King email #4.
  1. Solve the third puzzle and reply with the solution to Sullivan. He'll respond shortly.
    1. View the first part of the solution: On the left, there's FATHER in white.
    2. View the second part of the solution: On the right, there's FAMILY in purple.
    3. View the third part of the solution: On the far right, there's NAME in beige.
    4. View the fourth part of the solution: On the far left, there's DO in pink, and TRY in green.
    5. View the fifth part of the solution: The final word is hidden in the middle: ONLY in blue.
    6. View the sixth part of the solution: With the 6 words found in 6 colors, trace their spelling to form 5 letters:
      D   T   F   A     N   Y     A   F       N
        R       T                         A    
                H               M   Y L       M
      O   Y   E   R   O   L           I   E    
      
      or KINGS. Reply with this to Sullivan.

Sullivan King email #5

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: The Website

“Kings” (all lowercase) That worked; I’m in.

Here’s a URL to the site so you can check it out, too: www.HuntForIsaac.com

There has to be information here that will heIp me find my dad, or at least tell me something. It doesn’t look like there’s much on this site, though.

Give me a minute or two to read through things and I’ll get back to you.

Sullivan King email #5.

www.HuntForIsaac.com

6 words, 6 colors, 5 letters.

This content is protected. Please enter the password to access it.

Sullivan,

I’m sorry for the runaround. I don’t know who can be trusted, so I hope disguising the postcard as a Sleuth Kings advertisement was the right move. I needed to get your attention without anyone else noticing.

Isaac is alive.

I don’t know what he’s doing or why he disappeared, but I intend to find out. Like you, I’ve been searching for him, and I think I’ve found something. I need more time to put things together, but I can tell you this: Isaac is still here in Dayton.

Please don’t try to find me or uncover my identity. We don’t know what Isaac has gotten himself into yet, so it’s safer this way. I’ll contact you when I have more. Until then, don’t give up hope.

Unauthenticated www.HuntForIsaac.com.
Authenticated www.HuntForIsaac.com.

Sullivan King email #6

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: He's Alive

He’s alive. My dad is alive.

I knew he had to be. I don’t know why he hasn’t contacted me, or what he’s been doing but, whatever it is, if someone’s after him, or if he’s just deep into an investigation – he won’t go down without a fight.

There’s nothing else on this website for us to go off of right now, but I’m not going to stop looking for him. Clearly, whoever took the time to disguise this postcard as an ad and send it to me knows something. Whether or not they want to remain anonymous, I don’t care. I’m going to find them, and – when I do – I’ll make them talk.

Together, I think you and I will make an unstoppable team. Not only will we find my dad, but I’ve got a feeling that we’ll be able to help a lot of other people in the process, too.

Since you’ve already helped me so much, I’d like to give you 25% off of your next case. To receive it, you can sign up at www.sleuthkings.com/subscribe and use coupon code “KINGS” at checkout.

There’s one final thing that I should mention – this case was a bit of an oddity. Most of the cases I work on are typically a lot longer, and I usually have time to put together a full case file for you to use. You’ll receive a whole lot more than a postcard with your next case.

I’m really looking forward to working with you.

Sullivan

Sullivan King email #6.
  1. That completes the Strange Postcard case, and you'll get a followup email from Sullivan King the next day.

Sullivan King email #7

From: Sleuth Kings <Sullivan@sleuthkings.com>
Subject: Strange Postcard Case: The Search Continues

I was thinking about the postcard case we worked through the other day, and I wanted to let you know how much I really appreciate your heIp with it.

Knowing that my dad is alive changes everything. No matter how long it takes, I’m not going to stop until I find him. If you’re willing to heIp me, I have a feeling we’re going to make an unstoppable team.

I’ll keep looking into things on my end and let you know when I find a lead. In the meantime, I’d love it if you checked out our Facebook page. We post stuff like puzzles, case information, shout-outs to people who heIp me solve cases, and more. I’m sure there’s something there you’ll like.

Click Here to visit our Facebook

Thanks again for everything,

Sullivan King

Sullivan King email #7.