I have a problem, and I need your help! My music teacher is, well, a bit odd. Instead of telling me what topic we're going to be quizzed on, he's given me this puzzle to solve instead. He handed me two pieces of paper:

Paper 1:


Paper 2:

  1. A cat, or a bit like an onion
  2. A picture of the devil painted by a part of pesto
  3. A bit similar to the name of a food storage device
  4. A seller of purple clothing
  5. A master of rooster+stories
  6. A visitor from 58tughb
  7. A thing in need of a key
  8. A no from you and I

He said that's all I'll need to figure out what I should study for the quiz, but I just can't solve it! Maybe you'll have better luck than me...


He also said that after I finish solving the list, I shouldn't take the answers too literally, but think back to what I've already learnt in class.


I've added the knowledge tag because it may require some knowledge that isn't considered 'common knowledge', however it is not totally required in order to solve the puzzle.

  • $\begingroup$ Is the fact that the list starts at 0 important? $\endgroup$
    – Klyzx
    May 29, 2016 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't figured out the answer yet, but I thought you might be able to use what I've found so far. If you divide the letters on the first paper into pairs, you get 8 different combinations: DO, PH, MI, AE, XX, LY, LO and IO. The lines from paper 2 look like cryptic descriptions to me. 4 might be something along the lines of cocktails or bartender. 6 might be lock, but that might be too easy. 5 leads to a riddle on quizlet.com from 6 years ago, that I haven't solved yet either. The last clue I got from that riddle was that I had to search linlin47 on youtube and find the quizlet riddle video. $\endgroup$
    – Anna
    May 29, 2016 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Seeing 8 hints is giving me an indication that it's something to do with the "do-re-mi...." Correct me if I'm wrong $\endgroup$
    – user14352
    May 29, 2016 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ @CaelanO'Toole it seems to be, otherwise he would've probably started the list at 1! $\endgroup$
    – KoA
    May 30, 2016 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ @jaydm26 We haven't learnt solfège in class, so I don't think that's it! $\endgroup$
    – KoA
    May 30, 2016 at 5:42

2 Answers 2


Paper 1 says

Toccata and Fugue in D minor

This is decoded using paper 2

As Anna pointed out, Paper 1 is comprised of 8 different bigrams: DO, PH, MI, AE, XX, LY, LO and IO

Paper 2 is based on modern musical modes

0 = IO = A cat, or a bit like an onion = ION(IAN)
1 = DO = A picture of the devil painted by a part of pesto = DORIAN (solved by feelinferrety)
2 = PH = A bit similar to the name of a food storage device = PHRYGIAN
3 = LY = A seller of purple clothing = LYDIA(N)
4 = MI = A master of rooster+stories = MIXOLOGIST / MIXOLYDIAN
5 = AE = A visitor from 58tughb = ALIEN / AEOLIAN
6 = LO = A thing in need of a key = LOCK / LOCRIAN
7 = XX = A no from you and I = XX

Replacing the bigrams with the digits gives us a simple octal ASCII cipher: 124 157 143 143 141 164 141 040 141 156 144 040 106 165 147 165 145 040 151 156 040 104 040 155 151 156 157 162

  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking it would go this way once I saw Dorian $\rightarrow$ DO, and figured on XX being an X from each of you and I. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ Very good! Perhaps you can think of some musical explanation for the pairs of letters? (XX not included) $\endgroup$
    – KoA
    May 31, 2016 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ @KoA Oooh I've got it; that's neat! $\endgroup$
    – Will
    May 31, 2016 at 23:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Will that's right! Number 5 was supposed to be 'Alien' because of the similar sound, not the letters (same as Phrygian/Fridge) $\endgroup$
    – KoA
    May 31, 2016 at 23:15


  1. A cat, or a bit like an onion


  2. A picture of the devil painted by a part of pesto

    The portrait of Dorian Gray was painted by Basil Hallward

  3. A bit similar to the name of a food storage device

  4. Like a Frigidaire or Ziploc or Tupperware?

  5. A seller of purple clothing

  6. I'm not sure this is it, but ... The Purple Store?

  7. A master of rooster+stories

  8. Rooster = cock, stories = tales, a master of cocktails = bartender.

  9. A visitor from 58tughb

  10. Thanks to Will for the better answer...

    This string is an up-to-down listing of the keys 5tgbhu8 (left-to-right) which form an arrow indicating the spacebar, so likely an alien or astronaut.

    Following the more complex path leads you on a wild goose chase...

    The string identifies this quizlet with the following message:
    hppf kpn og upo ,sfr ot jrtr hp yp yjr erndoyr eee/upiyinr/vp, smf yu[r om ;om;om58 gomf yjr bofrp wiox;ry toff;r

    which, when decrypted by moving each letter one to the left on the keyboard, translates to:
    good job if you made it here go to the website www.youtube.com and type in linlin47 find the video quizlet riddle

    Which leads you to this user profile (at the time of posting, no videos can be seen on the profile)

  11. A thing in need of a key

  12. Could be a lock or a map or a song

  13. A no from you and I


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think 58tughb is supposed to be an arrow pointing to "space" (look at your keyboard) $\endgroup$
    – Will
    May 30, 2016 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Nice, @Will. I figured on it being something way easier but couldn't just dismiss the irony of there being a thing out there related to puzzling with exactly that string. $\endgroup$ May 30, 2016 at 23:20

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