I thank my lucky stars I'm able to write this to you. I spent a hefty percentage of my remaining cash at the courier's office and I want to underscore the importance of this communique. If a man comes at you exclaiming that he's found my magic hat, do not hash out our plan in response to his inquiries.

I need you to come here, plus I need the contents of our safe. The combination is a five-digit number encoded in this letter. It can be deduced by poring over the numbers with simple arithmetic. Please come quickly.



Knowing that all five digits of the safe combination are unique, can you deduce the combination?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Simply brilliant. Love it, Coto! It's difficult, but in a way that is logically progressed. $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2014 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


The words in the message

stars, percentage, cash, at, and, underscore, at, exclaiming, hat, hash, plus

correspond to

characters *%$@&_@!^#+ on the top row of an American keyboard

which are

"capitalized" versions of the symbols 85427-2163= on the corresponding keys

which gives the answer

83264 when evaluated arithmetically. This has 5 distinct digits, as confirmation.

Thanks to @No. 7892142 for noticing symbols I'd missed that fix my answer.

Old answer:

The words in the message

stars, percentage, cash, exclaiming, hash

correspond to

symbols *%$!# on the top row of an American keyboard

which further correspond to

the digits 85413 on those keys.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Should have at least mentioned the word "English" in the message then, I think.. $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2014 at 8:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Super quick! I like it. But I don't have a matching PC equipment :c) $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 12, 2014 at 8:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Concerning the new answer...what about "exclaiming" and the second "at"? $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2014 at 11:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @No.7892142 Thanks, I'd forgotten about the exclamation and missed the 'at'. I've added those and I hope this is now the right answer. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Dec 12, 2014 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ The new answer is indeed the correct one. Good show. ;) $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Dec 12, 2014 at 12:45

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