Two spies meet in a city, near a cornerstone pillar, on 9/16/16. One delivers a message to the other. It says:

5 4 7.3 9 10 11
12 1
9 4 11 9.4 '
1.1 11 11 4

They nod at each other in approval and then meet somewhere to continue their conversation over breakfast.

Where do they meet and when?

Edit: Please read all comments & attempts below. I strongly believe all the necessary clues have been provided.

Edit 2: The bounty expired yet the answer was not given. Hint:

Give special thought to the what the line 12 1 means by itself and then in relation to the rest of the puzzle.

Edit 2: I gaze upon this riddle in horror! Especially after reading the sandbox rules. I shan't let it go stale! Hint:

The riddle's tag is cipher. Therefore the numbers in the box map to letters that spell a location. Not geo-coordinates, although that is clever.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Past tense future date! Aaaahhh! $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ ..and tense is important $\endgroup$
    – jmbmage
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ I'm betting 'Nones' is a key word $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ You're on Beastly! $\endgroup$
    – RobStone
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @jmb.mage: Now, any more clues ? Just 4 days remaining when the spies will meet. $\endgroup$
    – user27395
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 5:55

3 Answers 3


It has been concluded in comments on other answers that the date of the next meeting is

October 7th, because the term Nones refers to the 7th day of the upcoming long month. It could have also been the 5th day of the short month in which the first meeting was held, but that would imply going back in time, which is impossible.

In looking at the numbers in the map, we notice that

all the numbers are less than 12. Nones is a Roman calendar keyword that identifies more than just the date, but also that months are the key to deciphering the letters.
Each whole number is the first letter of its corresponding month, and decimals represent which letter in those months names to use. Given the Nones keyword, we are clued in that we should use the names of the months from the Roman calendar for this cipher. For example, we have a 7.3 in the map. The seventh month is July, its Roman name is Quintilis, and its third letter is I.

Following this pattern all the way through, we get the following:
S A N T'
which is La Maison di Sant'Anna in Roma, Italy (coming full circle to realize it is a Roman location)
Note: there is a mistake in the puzzle map, where the first number of the fourth line, 1.1, should actually refer to the second letter, not the first. Everything else matches up cleanly.

  • $\begingroup$ Goddammit, I tried exactly this, but I couldn't think what to do with the decimals! :-/ $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that's what you meant! I thought you were intepreting $m.n$ as the $n$th letter of the name of the $m$th month, but that wouldn't give anything meaningful anyway. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ How about if $m.n$ is the $(n+1)$th letter (i.e. $n$ letters after the start) of the name of the $m$th month? That would make sense since a non-decimal $m$ would correspond to $m.0$, and it gives everything perfectly except a Y instead of an I in MAISON, which is a fairly small difference. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ Either a mistake, or else we're barking completely up the wrong tree with this method! I'm hoping for the former :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ I got it. The Roman calendar would spell the months differently. January starts with an i, and July was actually called Quintilis. This fixes all our problems. I will update the answer to make it complete. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 0:03

My attempt:

5 4 7.3 9 10 11

5 4 7.3 9 10 11 represents map for a place in Cameroon

9 4 11 9.4

9 4 11 9.4 represents map for a place in Nigeria

1.1 11 11 4

1.1 11 11 4 represents map for a place in Equatorial Guinea. These three represents places in Africa. So they want to meet at a place in Africa.

It may be:

Thies Nones. Thies Nones is a city found in Thies, Senegal(Africa).

  • $\begingroup$ What about 12 1? Also check the old edits: before changing all the past tenses the code was slightly different. $\endgroup$
    – FrodCube
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ interesting use of geo-co-ordinates but missing 12 1 as @FrodCube states. And that is an important part of the puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – jmbmage
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ Ok. i will try.. $\endgroup$
    – KSR
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @jmb.mage They meet on 5th september 2016. Because, according to Roman calendar Nones indicate 5th day of short months and 7th day of long months.. $\endgroup$
    – KSR
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ But i am not getting what is 12 1 $\endgroup$
    – KSR
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 4:49

5 4 7.3 9 10 11: 54.73 91.011. 54.73ºN 91.011ºE redirects to a place in Russia, in the province of Krasnoyarsk Krai. 12.1, next. 12 January. 9 4 11 9.4 ', 9.4'N, and 94.11E. Andaman Sea. 1.1 11 11 4. 1.111N 11.4W, which redirects to the extremely far coast of Liberia. Now we have gotten that all set up, lining up and finding the center lands us in a place between Eman, Iran and Dehaj, Iran. In there, there is only desert and rock.

This concludes they are gonna meet at 12 January in the middle of nowhere, in Iran. Or in coordinates, 30.924774N, 54.506811E

  • $\begingroup$ In a comment, the OP has already confirmed that the date of the meeting is 7 October, which was found in a comment to the other answer. Also, 12 1 seems to have a special significance. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 19:03

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