# It's hip to be squ4re

My friend came up to me and said he had a question for me. He then handed me this note and asked me to reply in one line (whatever that's supposed to mean).

Sidbmuaca jg Ztctmedte, xoeh zeuh ele mafj knp pnib iufe dudbhs simlzi?

What should I tell my friend?

Hint #1:

My friend called and said that the title of the question he gave me is actually two hints.

Hint #2:

Just got an E-Mail from my friend saying that the way he wants me to answer is a third hint.

Hint #3:

Aside from being an occasionally cryptic jerk, my friend claims to be a lyricist.

Hint #4:

My friend just dropped by to give me another hint. Apparently The first letter that's missing in the question is supposed to stay missing (alphabetically of course)

Hint #5:

I wish he'd told me sooner, apparently the way he told me to answer was backwards...

• Should the title be squ4re instead? Jun 9 '16 at 15:24
• @GordonAllocman for some reason I forgot there was an "a" in that word lol Jun 9 '16 at 15:25
• I know the cipher used but I have no idea how to actually decode the message and if I am right about the cipher the possible keyspace is $25!^4 \approx 5.7887 · 10^{100}$ Jun 9 '16 at 17:41

Following on from Gordon Allocman, using his helpful tool

Four-Square decoder
I entered the first two lines of the lyrics from "It's Hip To Be Square" as the keys.
They are:
"I used to be a renegade"
"I used to fool around"

Using hint #4

There is no "Q" in the question, so select the option to skip Q in the tool.

And I got the following result:

According to Wikipedia, what year did this pop rock band become active?

A new group was formed in 1978 under the name "Huey Lewis & The American Express". They changed their name the following year to "Huey Lewis and the News"

• Correct. That is indeed the right answer. Jun 9 '16 at 22:55
• Just for the sake of proper attribution, I did not make the tool, just found it. Jun 10 '16 at 0:43

Here is a partial answer of info I have determined so far:

The cipher is a

Four-square cipher as hinted by the title

The title may be a reference to:

Hip to be square the song

Reply in one line might be a clue to determining the key for the cipher, or maybe the song is a hint, or maybe both together will lead to the key