A week ago, my parents told me that we will be going abroad1 for Christmas holidays, but they did not clarify to which country.

Today, I found a note under the windshield wiper of my car. I recognised my mother's handwriting, but all the note said was:

liar near son in a thorn

Well, it doesn't speak for itself... Can you help me guess in which country I am going for Christmas?

1 I am French, so you can already cross a country off the map.

Hint :

Why the heck did she put this note under a windshield wiper, when she could have send me a text message for instance?

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    $\begingroup$ thorn = north, liar = rail ... you're taking a train northwards? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 6 '16 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure who downvoted here. So +1 :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 6 '16 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ I guess, some of the letters might be hiding behind those wipers. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 6 '16 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ Your mother wrote you a note in English? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Dec 6 '16 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ Should this be tagged geography? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 7 '16 at 0:47

My guess:


Based on the hint, what we need to do is to

"Wipe" the letters that spell 'rain' from the message, which leaves us with l, e, s, o, t, h, and o, or Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa. Given the Wiki description of the place, I'm not sure you're going to find much to enjoy there.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that fits both the lateral thinking and the wordplay tag perfectly! $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Dec 7 '16 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ I got close when I commented I guess, some of the letters might be hiding behind those wipers :) +1 $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 7 '16 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ The hint basically gave it away, but the real lateral-thinking needed for me is to figure out why anyone would want to go there. :p $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Dec 7 '16 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ Well, the hint didn't do anything for me. I tried to anagram the words to a foreign expression for parking ticket. :) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Dec 7 '16 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ This is it! Could you and @MOehm give me some feedback on the difficulty about this puzzle? Seems like the hint gave it away. $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Dec 7 '16 at 11:17

Okay, I'll give this a shot. You 'll go ...

... skiing at the MATTERHORN.


The liar is a MAT, because it lies. In front of the door, that is. The son is ER, the eldest son of Judah in the Old Testament. (Yes, that's quite a stretch.) And the thorn is just THORN.

Now, liar near son in a thorn can be interpreted as MAT + T(ER)HORN.

The title hints at winter sports.

(But then, your mother is probably French, too, so she'd call the Matterhorn Mont Cervin.)

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I'm looking for a country. I'll edit to make it clearer. $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Dec 6 '16 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ Also, your reasoning is way off :-)! $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Dec 6 '16 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I wasn't really confident this would be the answer. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Dec 6 '16 at 20:47

My wild guess



Son in a thorn sounds more like "sun in a throne". Liar feels like "Lair". So, With a bit of googling, I get the sun throne . It was built by Persian King. So, probably, you are going to Iran.

  • $\begingroup$ No, you're off. Nice try though :-) $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Dec 7 '16 at 7:42
  • $\begingroup$ @IAmInPLS Nowhere close? Or somewhat close? $\endgroup$ – Sid Dec 7 '16 at 8:36

Here is a guess.

Is it finland?

liar near son in a thorn
lies near sauna north

I'm not sure if the OP really lives in France or not, but considering that this information would be mostly irrelevant, I can only assume it was meant as a hint. So using France as point of origin, we get directions to reach the destination. So I came up with thorn -> north -> country north of France.

son in a kinda sounded like sauna to me, although perhaps a little bit of a stretch?
And after a Google search, Finland seems famous for saunas(and lots of snow!)

  • $\begingroup$ Nice try, but France is not a hint. Well, it means that the answer is not France, but that's it! Also, not enough lateral thinking in your answer :-)... $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Dec 7 '16 at 1:32

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