I received a letter with a cipher in it. I cant decipher it. I found out that this is the Masons' Pigpen cipher. I have tried decipher it in 3 different ways that I found on the web, but the result makea no sense to me. Can somebody decrypt this cipher?

Could it be something other than the Pigpen cipher?

Of the three decryptions, the last makes the most sense; it was made with Wikipedia and an encryption website the letter my encoding

I know that there are three words and it should be simple, not involving something complicated. I'm still struggling what it could be. uvnwmrgvhqkhfyjwtv seems to be the correct translation.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I thought perhaps the smiley face indicates it need to be read after rotating 90 degrees to the right but that makes no sense either $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 15:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil Using your idea, here's the translation with the perspective of the smiley face VTNYKPATDMODHZLYST. Also, maybe it's a vigenere cipher and key may be heart? $\endgroup$
    – Adib
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ maybe the filling of the pigpen can be guessed by frequency analysis $\endgroup$
    – Jasen
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ I just did the frequency analysis thing and it looks like the pigpen structure must be rotated or something because the most frequent would be the letter "E" and the most frequent character in this cipher is the "^" character which is not in the structure near where an "E" is normally. In fact it is too far away for even rotating to fix it. dunno $\endgroup$
    – Dr t
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 1:57
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Drt unforrtunately frequency analysis on this will be pretty unreliable as the message is to short. Ideally you want at least 200 characters for frequency analysis, and even then I wouldn’t be entirely happy with the results. This message could easily not contain an e at all (e.g a message like CONGRATULATIONS) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 7:31

2 Answers 2


Some big assumptions here. Assuming only one alphabet, and that the message consists of no more than two words (and there is no reason why this should be the case …), then the pattern in the cipher text matches the following English phrases:


These don't look right to me but, given the heart drawn on the message and the smiley face, then the last one suggests that it could be good news if the sender originates from Moscow …

(These were obtained by entering the pattern in the initial cipher into a simple Python program which then compared the pattern with those of words in a dictionary file.)

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Final spoiler in the question says 'three words'. $\endgroup$
    – ZanyG
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 20:45

Partial answer: The 18-letter length of the ciphertext, with the smiley face and heart at the bottom, suggest that the message could be


However, I don't know what kind of cipher would make this work. It's clearly not a simple monoalphabetic substitution.

  • $\begingroup$ It's a good guess but rot13(gur cc va unccl qbrfa'g svg gur flzobyf) $\endgroup$
    – Belhenix
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ Could there be a mistake in translating the text from english to pigpen? Or maybe a separate symbol indicates doublets. It doesn't help that I can't access the pictures. $\endgroup$
    – Neo1009
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 23:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.