Due to the matter being controversial, I cannot write this in clear.
So I am writing it in crypted form.
I hope you will manage to decode and get the message anyway.

?.?,.!,..,., ,?!,.!,.?, ,?!,.?,.,.,?,.!,?.!, ,.!,?!, ,?!...,?..,!.,?...,..,?..,...,..,!,.!,!., ,...,!..,!..,.,?.!,??,?.,?!.., ,!

PS: inspired by this:
Would we want to allow ... or spaces before question marks at the end of titles?

Update: I just discovered that one line of the encrypted text was lost in an edit. It was supposed to guide the decoding of the second line. It kind of explains the logic behind the encoding. I restored the missing line.

The title has been redacted by SE and needs a repair.


2 Answers 2


The message reads:

Vote For Freedom Of Punctuation Assembly!

Here are the steps I went through:

Commas separate individual letters, spaces separate words.

A unique combination of the characters '?', '.' and '!' represents a letter of the alphabet. For example, ,.!, represents the letter 'o' and ,?!, represents the letter 'f'.

I identified For and Of first. A two- and a three-letter word that share only three individual letters among them is quite unique in English. Then I worked my way through the other words from there: I filled in the letters I had already found and guessed the words based on those and their general placement in the sentence, thereby revealing more letters.

I did not find a formal rule by which a specific combination of '?', '.' and '!' was assigned to a letter of the alphabet, but I may have missed something.

What a beautiful riddle!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can you explain a bit more about how the punctuation marks map to specific letters? That would be really helpful to someone trying to understand how you interpreted this message. Thanks :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 27, 2022 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ You are right, Stiv, will do! $\endgroup$
    – Lyra
    Nov 27, 2022 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ The final message is correct, congratulation. But as you guess, you missed something. There is nothing arbitrary in the code. Unfortunately, in an edit, I accidentally dropped a line that was supposed to be a first step of the decoding. I restored it. Maybe it makes more sense now? $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Nov 27, 2022 at 22:25

This is just to save others the grunt work of parsing Lyra's answer and trying to figure out the remaining details.

The title of the puzzle translates as


and the first line translates as


though I don't know what that's supposed to be hinting at.

Encoding of individual letters:

A = ...
B = ??
C = ?...
D = ?
E = .
F = ?!
G = (unused)
H = (unused)
I = !
J = (unused)
K = (unused)
L = ?.
M = ?.!
N = !.
O = .!
P = ?!...
Q = (unused)
R = .?
S = !..
T = ..
U = ?..
V = ?.?
W = (unused)
X = (unused)
Y = (unused)
Z = (unused)

Update based on M Oehm's comment:

Individual punctuation marks encode the letters of Roman numerals:

. = I
! = V
? = X

which gives

a list of letters in frequency order: ETAOIN_SRDLCUMF__PVB______ (where the underscores are GHJKWWXYZ in some order).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How do you say rot-xiii(RGBNVA FUEQYH va Yngva)? $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Nov 28, 2022 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm Very good question. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Nov 28, 2022 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ (Thanks. The first line is a hint, which can be used to discover the actual order of the letters. That order isn't known yet, of course, so perhaps you could use a more natural order here?) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Nov 29, 2022 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ I suspect the title is intended to end in an S, but the SE system strips multiple '.' characters from the end of titles, meaning '!..' may have been replaced by merely '!' $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ You are both right. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Nov 29, 2022 at 12:27

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