# Who is my friend's favorite writer

I one day asked my friend who his favorite writer is and he responded with a puzzle, writing something on a piece of paper that looks like:

3Zll3Zll-Z73C


I need your help. Who is my friend's favorite writer?

Hint 1 (Edited, sorry about the typo)

One famous work by the writer is known by the quote, SA=SA>O=O

Hint 2

My friend is working in the department of chemistry as a programmer

1337, Mendeleev, C2Kelvin

• Welcome on puzzling.SE! I've taken the liberty of changing the tag - according to the tag description, "A riddle gives indirect clues about an unnamed object or concept to be identified. It is often presented in the form of a poem." The pattern tag seems to be a better fit. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 7:53
• Thank you. I did not know about the tags well enough although I have read through a few riddles on the site. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 7:59
• Is the first hint encoded the same way as the writer's name ? Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 13:42
• It's good that you asked. The answer is no. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 14:29
• @Lolgast Don't you think the cipher tag may be better than the pattern tag? Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 17:22

Well the answer is almost certainly:

George Orwell

But I'm not 100% sure how the cipher works...

My reasoning:

Firstly, there's a mostly one to one correspondence between letters in the cipher text and plain text:

3Zll3Zll-Z73C
GEORGEORWELL

3 => G, Z => E, ll => OR, though it slightly breaks down towards the end...

Secondly, the hint (SA=SA>O=O) appears to be referring to the Animal Farm quote:
"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others"
Since Some Animals are more (>) equal (=) than Others...

• It looks like the whole cipher is done in pairs (3Z)(ll)(3Z)(ll)(-Z7)(3C), and may relate to hint 2.
– Jay
Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 3:33
• The double ell sure looks like ||, the logical OR operator from C and languages with a similar syntax. Perhaps the other "glyphs" look like something (possibly from chemistry) that explains the encoding, too. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 7:01
• 3Z might be in fact 32, which is the number of the Germanium element (Ge) Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 12:41
• @FlorianBourse good spotting, which means the -Z73C could be referring to absolute zero, though I'm not sure how that converts to "well"... Perhaps some other scientific term I'm not aware of... Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:08
• @Alconja Good one! -273C is exactly 0K (Celsius degree to kelvins) ! Which could be read OK ;) Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:19

With the final hint the cypher is

1337 - use leetspeak
Mendeleev - refer to the periodic table
C2Kelvin - that's Celcius temperature

Now, 3Zll3Zll-Z73C becomes 32 || 32 || -273C, by substituting symbols with the shape of the letters. The element with atomic number 32 is germanium (Ge). The || symbol is 'logical or' in c-like programming syntax. And -273C is 0K, which translates into Well.

So your friend wrote Ge OR Ge OR Well,
George Orwell.

• Perfect! I have upvoted but since Alconja is the first to get the answer without the additional hints, I will leave it as the accepted one. Thank you again for your interest and participation! Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 14:50