# Can You Figure It Out? (Chapter One)

Once upon a time, there was a boy of only 13. His name was Constantine A. Sittine and he lived in the quiet suburbs in a small town in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a cold and stormy, winter night when he heard police sirens come to his house. He was in bed, but heard the front door being forced open. He ran to the top of the stairs and saw his father being handcuffed for a reason he knew not. He cried out to his father, but his father only turned his head and mouthed the words “ice cream”. As quick as the police officers had come in, they were gone again and the house was silent.

The weeks following, his father was sentenced to life in prison for a crime I will not disclose. Constantine was convinced that his father was framed, but his father pleaded the fifth. Sometime later, the boy received a letter from his father that he did not quite understand. It read:

Dear Constantine,

Soggy banks exile with jams.

Canvase plasmids Mary-Jane.

THEREFOR my son, it is important that You Understand good Values, unlike i have done.

Love,

He pondered his father’s letter over and over, in attempt to find a way to prove him innocent, but it was no luck. He was starting to think his father had gone mad, but decided to contact you (a detective) for help. Do you know how Constantine can prove his father’s innocence?

I’ll be impressed if you can decipher the meaning of my puzzle. (Please do not edit this post because the errors are intentional!) ;)

HINT:

If you take and unscramble ONLY the capital letters from the line under the yellow section, it will help you figure out the code.

Take that unscrambled code and apply it to the three lines under the greeting of the letter. (each of the three lines will represent a new word)

• If this has anything to do with anagrams, I'll be darned :D I can't seem to find any pattern in the three lines. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 2:51
• @NL628: As far as I can see, there might be an anagram involved. Unfortunately, finding it didn't help me much. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 16:18
• Its kinda difficult to un-anagram ozzie.... Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 23:43
• @MOehm, well, obviously "Constantine A Sittine" is an anagram of "Nicest Estonian Titan", and "Capable pleased ozzies" is "Localized bees zap peas". "Soggy banks exile with jams" transforms into "Sexy jigglish basketwoman" and "Canvase plasmids Mary-Jane" becomes "Japanese vinyl drama scams". So, clearly we should be looking for a notably sizable yet attractive Estonian female, possibly misspelled (involving "b"s and zapping "p"s), somehow involved in a far-east scandal. Or then again, maybe not. :-)
– Bass
Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 8:21
• @Dmihawk The way you will solve the code is quite similar to my cipher riddle I made a several days ago. (minus the binary) Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 19:13

Another partial answer continuing from the great work so far:

From M Oehm's answer we know

we can anagram the capitalized letters in the last paragraph of the letter to read

EVERY FOURTH

Then Dmihawk's answer shows us that

taking every fourth letter of the three-line "poem" in the letter gives us

APSZS GNXWJ VPMMJ

OP's comment on that answer tells us to

look at his previous cipher puzzle, which was a substitution cipher.

Using the same substitutions as in the answer to that puzzle,

APSZS GNXWJ VPMMJ
becomes
A?I?I UN?ER F?OOR

ALIBI UNDER FLOOR

So Constantine's father wants him to

look underneath the floorboards of their house.

I suspect the specific spot will involve the "ice cream" clue we haven't yet used... maybe there's an ice cream stain on the floor somewhere?

• Congratulations!! You have guessed it! The ice cream is irrelevant, for now, but stay tuned for future riddles! :) @ttotherat Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 1:12

Partial answer. Very partial. In fact, it's just a single finding, but it might be that starting point for others.

The last paragraph of the letter ...

... has several captial letters, some in unusual places. (Note that the pronoun I is written as a small i here.) These letters, THEREFOR Y U V, are an anagram of EVERY FOURTH.

I though that would be a good find, but I haven't been able to make anything useful with it.I suppose that the "fodder" for this instruction is the block-quoted text on yellow background. Taking every fourth letter or character, either of the whole message or of each line saparately didn't yield anything that looks as if it might lead somewhere.

(And there's the boy's name and the "Ice cream" / "I scream" hint. I hope the unintelligible fourth letters aren't a ciphertext for a keyed cipher such as Vigenère for which we have to find a key.)

• If you count the i, you might be able to put the i at the end of what you said to be "EVERY FOURTH i" Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 13:13
• Very good @MOehm, you are getting very close! Don't look too hard into it though, but pay attention to the body of the letter now! :) Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 18:24

Some ideas that may assist:

"Mary-Jane" is slang for Marijuana, which is illegal where Constantine lives: Nashville, Tennessee (even medicinally). This relates to North's statement about mass dealings in any drugs being a good way to get life in prison. I also note that there might be spelling mistakes in the blocked section as well: that "canvase" is misspelled (extra "e") and "ozzie" could have a missing capitalisation if it is supposed to refer to Australians (but it is also used uncapitalised depending on context).

The puzzle states that it was a "cold and stormy, winter night", making it strange if the father truly mouthed "ice cream".

• Good answer, but in the wrong direction (for now). Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 2:09

I was thinking, there two crimes that would land Constantine's father in jail for life time: 1) any crime that involves first degree murder or mass murder (including attempted murder) or involving mass physical injury or resulting death (like arson) or 2) mass dealings of any drugs of sort. It can also include repeated offenses, but it doesn't seem likely, since his father was most likely framed. If his father did take drugs than it would explain why he sounds crazy, but I'm guessing he wasn't arrested for that either.
Here's the other thing. If we take all the incorrect grammered words/spelling, we get EUVYI or EUVY Therefore is missing an E, u, v, and y are all incorrectly capitalized, and I is uncapitalized. Euvyi seems to be last name of a sort.... The ommitted I version is just if the OP didn't realize that the I was uncapitalized. It works out neatly, because Euvy is a city in France. Unfortunately, THEREFOR can be a variant spelling of THEREFORE so this may just be rubbish. THEREFOR might be a play on words of "there are four" or two words "there for".
Finally, the misppelled words may be an anagram of some sort. THEREFORYOUUNDERSTANDVALUESI maybe multiple words, or YOUUNDERSTANDVALUESI maybe a four lettered anagram.

• The police officers came and arrested Constantine's father, not Constantine. Good guess about the officers though, it might help you with the chapters to come. ;) Do you have any other guesses? Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:20
• @North Have you figured out the incorrect Grammar things yet? Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 2:56
• No.... but I have a theory that it might be one if those substitution ciphers that conviniently transform themselves into another word. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 5:00
• @North Therefor is also a real English word Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 0:34
• You are getting closer! @North Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 0:49

Another thing that might help:

“Ice Cream” might not mean actual ice cream, but maybe “I scream” or something of the like because the father mouthed the words, so there is no definite translation to actual words.

## EDIT:

Another thing based off North's ideas

Taking the misused capital letters, we get THEREFORYUVI which can be rearranged to "Four Thievery"

Not sure if this is helpful though :D

• It could also be eye cream or eye's cream. You know, like mascara or something. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 5:00
• Actually mascara's not an eye cream.... does an eye cream even exist? Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 5:01
• There are plenty of creams out there for reducing wrinkles around the eyes, hiding dark circles, etc. Not sure how useful that information is, though... Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:40
• May be the person trying to railroad Constantine's father use eye cream to disguise himself Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 23:42
• @North check out my latest edit... Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 4:00

Building on the answers we have so far...

We know we need to analyse each of the three lines in the letter by using:

EVERY FOURTH

So if we take

Every fourth letter from the line (not counting spaces and ignoring the hyphen on the third line)

We get

APSZS GNXWJ VPMMJ

Following on from OP's clue

Using a substitution cipher on the text, the solution that looks like the most potentially viable is "DRAMA THINK GREEK" implying that we need to think about of the Greek tragedies. Unfortunately my history knowledge is very limited, but hopefully this might help someone else find the next step!

Edit: Corrected the cipher based on OP's comment

• Awesome puzzling skills! You are getting super close to the answer. However, this should be the correct code line: apszs gnxwj vpmmj . Only two little steps after this! (if you want a hint, look at my old cipher riddle) Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 21:53
• Sorry, still incorrect. That's interesting that it came out with that answer though, keep puzzling! @Dmihawk Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 22:48