NOTICE: true story ahead, you can skip it if you want and go straight to the puzzle

I was reading a book when a scrap of paper fell out. Looking at it, I realised that there was a code on it. Now before you get all excited about hidden treasure and stuff, I instantly recognised my brother's handwriting. After attempting to crack the code, and failing, I asked him for the answer. I did get extremely close to cracking it though! Anyways, here's the code:

enter image description here

Text version:

Can opens Incca lass orel case

Note: The only important part is the text version; that's all you need to solve it.


My brother is ten.

Also how did I come close to cracking it? I noticed that some parts of the code seemed like words, for example saying it out loud makes it seem almost intelligible.

  • $\begingroup$ My guess (assuming those are all real words): replace each word with the word $n$ places before/after it in a dictionary, for some value of $n$. If I knew what dictionary to use, I'd try it. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2017 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Good guess, but it shouldn't require a dictionary to solve. $\endgroup$
    – Wen1now
    Feb 11, 2017 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ Can I confirm (as I spot many words) that this is a 3-9-16-8-5-18 (using digits) and not a 3-16-4-5 (again using digits)? $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Feb 12, 2017 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ What's the difference between them? I am presuming you mean 3-15-4-5 $\endgroup$
    – Wen1now
    Feb 12, 2017 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks with 15 not 16! A 3-9-16-8-5-18 is a symbol-by-symbol translation, a 3-15-4-5 is a word-by-word translation. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Feb 12, 2017 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


I think you simply...

Remove the 3 ca's in the sentence. So:
[Ca]n opens Inc[ca] lass orel [ca]se = No pens in class, or else!
Which does sound like something a school teacher might say. Some classes only allow pencils. And I did find it when I said it all out loud and noticed the middle part sounds like 'in class'.


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