The image in concern is the Vite logo. The logo has been “cut up’ into different segments of varying sizes. The challenge is to extract information about the 12-word mnemonic phrase for the Vite wallet.
Let us take a closer look at the image.
Title: It starts with Vite
By focusing on the thickness of the segmenting white lines, we can discern that there are 5 “main” segments. They are shown in the next image.
Each of these pieces contain 12 “columns”. The inference to draw from this is that each column contains information about one word of the mnemonic phrase, as well as its position.
The 1st piece (“A”) differs from the other pieces (“B” to “E”) in two crucial ways. First, it comprises only black segments, whereas the other pieces contain blue and black segments. Second, the segmentation pattern of the 1st piece differs from the rest.
The 1st piece encodes information about the position of each word. This information is in plain sight – albeit presented using Cistercian numerals. The Cistercian numerals for 1 to 12 are as follows:
If you tilt your head 45 degrees to the right, you will see that each column of the 1st piece (top row) is a stylized version of a single Cistercian numeral. Once we label the columns, we get the following:
Now, we focus on the columns. We begin with column 1, on the left. It also happens to contain information about the 1st word of the 12-word mnemonic phrase.
We observe the following:
The “B” piece contains 3 black segments.
The “C” piece contains 1 blue segment, then 3 black segments.
The “D” piece contains 1 black segment, then 1 blue, then 1 black segment again.
The “E” piece contains 1 empty segment.
The information we need is encoded in Morse code. Specifically,
Dash = black segment
Dot = blue segment
The empty segment is a “space”.
With this – and going from top-to-bottom (or left-to-right, in the case of the “D” piece) – we have the following:
The “B” piece: ---
The “C” piece: .---
The “D” piece: -.-
The “E” piece: space
When converted back to text: --- .--- -.- gives us “OJK”.
This does not seem right. The letters “OJK” do not appear on the BIP-39 word list. The BIP-39 list is a list of 2048 words. All the words in seed phrases are taken from this list. An interesting feature of the BIP-39 list is that the first 4 letters are unique to each word within the list. That is, there are no two words in this list that have the same first 4 letters. This means that if you have the first four letters of the word, you effectively know the word (by referring to the BIP-39 list).
Given that there are 3 letters here, we know that the 1st word of the 12-word mnemonic phrase is a 3 letter word. There are numerous such words, so comparing them one by one is not really an option.
Our solution lies in the title of the puzzle: It starts with Vite. The hint is that it starts with “V”. The inference to draw here is that we are using a “Shift Cipher” (also called the Caesar Cipher), where we start the alphabet with V. That is, the alphabet is “shifted”, such that it starts with V, as follows:
Original → Shifted
A → V
B → W
C → X
Z → U
What we need to do is to reverse the process. We need to solve for:
??? ← OJK
The process is easy:
T ← O
O ← J
P ← K
So, we see that “OJK” = “TOP”.
Simply repeat the process for the other columns, and rearrange them in order (from 1 to 12), and we get the following:
top inside casino glass connect capable marriage size endorse coyote parent cream
And the puzzle is solved!
Information about the hints
Hint 1: Having taken a vow of silence, we proceed to count. Monks usually take a vow of silence. Counting involves numbers. If you search for "monk" "numbers" -- the top search is the Cistercian numeral system.
This is just 19 in the Cistercian numeral system.
This is 12 in Cistercian numeral system, but angled 45 degrees to the right.