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When I was a kid I drove my older brother crazy with questions because he is several years older than I am and he knew everything (I thought). He got tired of the questions and developed a cipher that I was to use to encode my questions. I would then give him the encoded question, he would decode it and write the answer using the same cipher.

Over the holiday I spoke with my brother and mentioned the cipher which he called "The Question Code". I received a card from him on which was the following pattern of characters which I instantly recognized as the code that I had used so much (over 50 years ago). In a second I also realized that the characters were out of order so I started to study the symbols more carefully and saw that there was a message embedded in the pattern.

First: Can you figure the alphabet out? Note that the numbers are just represented as numbers.
Second: What is the message embedded in the pattern?

They are all upper case letters of the alphabet.

enter image description here

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The alphabet is:

I L O V Y U
K M R X B A
J N S Z C D
H P T F E W
G Q 0 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9

The symbols for the uppercase letters are, in general, created by

chopping the letter either horizontally or vertically, then flipping the second half vertically then horizontally.

The message is in the first line:

I love you (ILOVYU)

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    $\begingroup$ Great job! You figured it out and you stated the rules for creating the symbols. My parents would have paid good money for that. Congratulations!! $\endgroup$ – Dr t Dec 28 '17 at 16:41
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Since there are 26 unique symbols (discounting the 10 digits), and 26 letters of the alphabet, this would appear to just be the letters A-Z. Since you say they're out of order with a message embedded in it, however, it must instead be a perfect pangram - a 26-letter sentence that uses every letter exactly once.

Given that, there's no way to know which perfect pangram it is. The most traditional appears to be

Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx.

but there are several other possibilities.

Of course, if the symbols are based on actual letters, then it might be possible to better determine which pangram is here. If not, then any of them would be equally valid.

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  • $\begingroup$ There are 27 symbols, and no 0. $\endgroup$ – Mordechai Dec 27 '17 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Mordechai - Any reason to believe that? The circle-with-slash is a traditional way to write a zero, and it's right where one would expect a zero to be found. Stack exchange even uses it for it's 'code' font: 0 $\endgroup$ – Bobson Dec 27 '17 at 22:13

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