All right... I admit it, I'm not great at puzzles. Someone kidnapped my girlfriend, but they left me a ransom message. I obviously don't have a million dollars, and I'm scared.. You seem to know what you're doing, though... can you folks help? The note in question

Please... I need your help.

(The note is the only part of the puzzle. The rest is just for flavor.)

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ For a second there, I thought the title was help me find a girlfriend $\endgroup$ Jun 18 '17 at 23:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The image without blue lines: i.imgur.com/KuvI27P.png $\endgroup$
    – user37696
    Jun 19 '17 at 1:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Hey. this is not a dating site. $\endgroup$
    – Marius
    Jun 19 '17 at 7:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Marius, I wish that was made clear in the "Tour" page. $\endgroup$
    – Wossname
    Jun 19 '17 at 20:26

The hidden message in the note reads:

Your girlfriend is safe and sound in the local library.

Thanks to Rubio for transcribing the note. The ...

... message is hidden in the text with a Baconian cipher:

    WeHAv eYOuR GirLF Riend anDSh eSgoi Ngtob eCoMe thEnE
    Xtbig dEtec tiVec aSEun lesSY oUbri NgusA MillI ondol
    laRsI naNun marke dENve lopET OtheC hURcH WekNO wYOur
    enoTA nExpe rTPuz ZleRt hoUGH soWeh iDaCl uEToH erlOc
    ation iNtHi sMeSs aGeif youcA Nread itcom Eandg EtHEr
Small letters are treated as A, capital letters as B:
    BaBBa aBBaB BaaBB Baaaa aaBBa aBaaa Baaaa aBaBa aaBaB
    Baaaa aBaaa aaBaa aBBaa aaaBB aBaaa BaaaB BaaaB aaaaa
    aaBaB aaBaa aaaaa aBBaa aaaBB BaaaB aBBaB BaaBB aBBaa
    aaaBB aBaaa aBBaa BaaBa aaBBB aaBaa aBaBa aBBaB aaaBa
    aaaaa aBaBa aBaBa aBaaa aaaaB Baaaa aaaaa Baaaa BaBBa 
These five-letter chunks can be decoded with the Baconian cipher, where the null-based positions of the letters in the alphabet are rendered as binary numbers, but with A and B instead of 0 and 1. The variant used here uses a single code for I and J as well as for U and V, so that the alphabet effectively has only 24 letters.

It turns out that the strange I in million isn't special, it's just acapital I. Perhaps it was used, because the capital I of the font looks more like a small ell.

  • $\begingroup$ Aaaah well done. I should have got this, because I pointed the OP to my cipher guide where I used this technique for the Baconian cipher example :P $\endgroup$ Jun 19 '17 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ There is a regular capital I in the text (dollaRs In...), so the special capital I is even weirder. $\endgroup$
    – ffao
    Jun 19 '17 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ You got it! @ffao The special one was there so it didn't look like "Milllon" with three Ls. $\endgroup$ Jun 19 '17 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ but how would a not-so-expert puzzler find this out? ;) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Jul 31 '18 at 10:57

(Very partial answer)

Transcribing the message, including upper/lowercase lettering from the original based on the font lettering shown here, gives:

We HAve YOuR GirLFRiend
anD She'S goiNg to beCome thE
nEXt big dEtectiVe caSE
unlesS YoU briNg us A Mill$\rm$I$\rm$on
dollaRs In aN unmarked
ENvelopE TO the ChURcH. We
kNOw YOu're noT An ExperT
PuzZleR thoUGH so We hiD a
CluE To Her lOcation iN tHis
MeSsaGe if you cAN read it
comE and gEt HEr.

Note that

the second "I" in MILLION is not actually from the font the rest of the letter is.

I was not able to do anything yet with this information. In particular,

just taking the capitalized letters wasn't helpful by itself, nor ROT-13ed.


Is your girlfriend in


After trying to solve this for minutes, the only thing I came up with was:

The lines under the word "to" led to find this documentary, which takes place in Palestine

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting thought process, not the answer I was looking for though. Thanks for pointing that out btw, forgot Word pointed out grammar-y stuff. I'll make an edit. $\endgroup$ Jun 19 '17 at 0:02

Is your girlfriend:


My explaination:

The " I " in million is replaced with a character very similar to the Chinese symbol for earth i.e. dead and buried

  • $\begingroup$ Also nice logic, neat fact I didn't know! But no, also not really what I was looking for. $\endgroup$ Jun 19 '17 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Am I on the right track? (with the symbol that is) $\endgroup$
    – user37696
    Jun 19 '17 at 1:53
  • $\begingroup$ Sorta. You have the right idea with looking at the words, just not looking in the right ways. $\endgroup$ Jun 19 '17 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ Also, what is the name of the font? (so I can play with capital letters?) $\endgroup$
    – user37696
    Jun 19 '17 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ Earwig Factory. It's not official; I downloaded it from somewhere because it's the best-looking ransom note-y font I found. $\endgroup$ Jun 19 '17 at 2:04

Well I'd say she's

In the Church


Cause It says it right there. And from ZachThePilot's answer, She'd probably be in an underground somewhere there. Go there with some cops :)


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