A friend of mine is travelling the world and likes to send cryptic messages about where he is, I think he enjoys challenging me. Anyway here is the latest message, can anyone here help me figure it out?

 My 1st is the capital and my 4th is not: 41.85-12.50

 My 2nd is falling behind: 35.68-139.69

 My 3rd is found thrice, but is not my 5th: 10.65-61.50

 My 5th is exactly half: 45.42-75.70
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice first puzzle! +1 $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    May 4, 2017 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


As Gintas has already found, ...

the numbers refer to longitudes (E or W) and latitudes (N) of the capital cities of:

Rome — ITALY
Tokyo — JAPAN
Ottawa — CANADA

The answer can be found in ...

... the names of the corresponding countries:

My 1st is the capital and my 4th is not.

I: I is the first letter of Italy; not sure about the fourth, which I think should also be an I. Is it because a small l, the fourth letter of Italy, looks like a capitalI in a sans-serif font?

My 2nd is falling behind

N: the last letter of Japan.

My 3rd is found thrice, but is not my 5th

D: D and A occur three times in Trinidad and Tobago, and the 5th is A, see below

My 5th is exactly half

A: Half of the letters in Canada are As.

Anyway, I think your friend is in...

... INDIA.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well done :) Was using the same approach, but for the city, not country names... :D $\endgroup$
    – Gintas K
    May 4, 2017 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ That is exactly what I was looking for, well done. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2017 at 14:51
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I think, the first line means, 1st letter of India is capital and 4th is not. Both are i $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    May 4, 2017 at 15:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GintasK: I think we had the same idea at the same time. When I saw that half of the letters of Canada were the same, I knew I was on to something. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    May 4, 2017 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ So was my assumption about the small l that looks like a capital I correct? Or is @Techidiot right? Or is ther an altogether different parsing? $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    May 4, 2017 at 17:39

Partial Answer

The number bit looks like coordinates:

1) 41.85-12.50: Rome (41.85 Lat 12.50 Lon)

2) 35.68-139.69: Tokyo (35.68 Lat 139.69 Lon)

3) 10.65-61.50: Port of Spain (10.65 Lat -61.50 Lon)

4) 45.42-75.70: Ottawa (45.42 Lat -75.70 Lon)


Then @M-Oehm was faster than me :)

  • $\begingroup$ You are on the right track $\endgroup$ May 4, 2017 at 14:25

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