My blond friend must have been in quite a hurry when he sent me an email telling me he was going to


I was initially confused, but then I realized what he meant. Where was he going?


Where are blond people from?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Have you considered puzzling.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1717/… ? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jun 11, 2017 at 11:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Why are you asking us if you already know when he is going? $\endgroup$
    – Marius
    Jun 12, 2017 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ There is a lot to go on. $\endgroup$
    – Improve
    Jun 16, 2017 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding the hint... Blond people come from a lot of places, Wikipedia has a large list.... $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2017 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Knowing the solution, I still think there is not enough to go on. Blond people come from a lot of places, as Beastly Gerbil said... $\endgroup$
    – ffao
    Jun 18, 2017 at 21:10

3 Answers 3


Your blond friend, who is from Scandinavia, is going to


There are three extra letters at the end of the alphabets used in Scandinavian countries. In Norway and Denmark, the three extra letters are Ææ, Øø and Åå. In Sweden, they are Ää, Öö and Åå. They are often transliterated like this in character sets that lack them:

  • æ/ä: ae
  • ø/ö: oe
  • å: aa

So substituting transliterations for their Scandinavian counterparts in your friend's message, we get

"åjoøsfrøåjos" (Norwegian/Danish) or "åjoösfröåjos" (Swedish)

Now, your blond friend is obviously either Norwegian or Swedish, because he has one of these two keyboard layouts on his computer (Denmark has a different one):

Norwegian keyboard layout Swedish keyboard layout

And, in a hurry, he touch-typed without looking at his keyboard, with his fingers one key to the right of the ones he intended to strike. Therefore,

"philadelphia" became "åjoøsfrøåjos" or "åjoösfröåjos", and then somehow transliterated to "aajooesfroeaajos" through some magical piece of software for representing non-ASCII character sets in ASCII (or something).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are on the right track. $\endgroup$
    – Improve
    Jun 18, 2017 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Improve Got it. $\endgroup$
    – tobiasvl
    Jun 18, 2017 at 18:26


Hurried blonde friend writes:
Ios free ios (phonetic interpretation of the cipher)
And rushes of to the local Apple Store

  • $\begingroup$ Cool idea, but not what I had in mind. $\endgroup$
    – Improve
    Jun 16, 2017 at 14:31

I think I might be onto something. EDIT: I am not.

This is tagged cipher. If your Rot11, you get most of the letters to "puzzle": lluzzpdqczplluzd I initially tried to think of what letter might start a word with 2 of itself and thought of the Welsh double L consonant and rotated on that point. It doesn't seem to fit but we do have "puzzl" which seems more than coincidence given our site name.

I'm not sure what to do here or if I've just found a happy little accident.

  • $\begingroup$ Amazingly, this is a coincidence. $\endgroup$
    – Improve
    Jun 16, 2017 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ Well... ok then. $\endgroup$
    – Forklift
    Jun 16, 2017 at 14:32

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