You wake up in a daze in the middle of the night. You're in your bed, but something's... different.

Your cat, Mr. Snuffles, is gone.

Jumping out of bed, you see a trail of ginger cat hair leading out of your room. You follow it into the kitchen, and up onto the counter, where to your horror it abruptly ends at an open window.

Suddenly, you notice a note next to the trail, scratched in messy handwriting. You pick it up...

February 24th, 1970

Lamina polygamma agonizes kiwi lights tensile thermometer yolks tethered huddles hearthstone alveolars incompleteness cling telephony approachability egoists fields redemptive psychometric boffo observably creeping tieback separatists stationmaster.

You'll pulsation rotisserie funiculars tread shucking overdressed sweetest intend probabilities weatherperson hyperactive rewash interfile inconveniencing natch emeralds wrongheaded insubordinate overcapitalizes clonks dispossessing tendon wickedly tacked enjoyable.

Atomicity dahlia equivalential offstages maintainable napalmed paid solute wiretap portability sarcophagi defamers atonality unhorse aurally Sterne thimbling thirstiest twiddling evince lasts slicks misshaping heliosphere tori lawful.

Wolves five polynomials lumbago Agricola blue-collar indentures adjudication energetic yesterday modularizing goulash imperil unifiable lay overreach ruggedness partials moroseness fierce followers expediently ascertaining motherly overbites Ignacio drowse.

Yzh hxvy'x hd lsmw. Lw omh!
Lcc ecv dlsdl xi hdoy jsg nzmgxfr qc doy stxftsr
Gyi wiwa, rsi efgl, qme mx hsth icgfkl
Kzqiiaxiw X khieg ae jitdd pmzw elmh ozvvn ad qc dfwc jgaprh
Adr'x pfjsrt lccmc' lz jmcv xi?
Ae wxpjew axls pskw lrh tfow axls csjj yeqt


Michael Jackson

...and it makes absolutely no sense. It's 2018, not 1970! What are all these weird words and unintelligible language? And what does any of this have to do with Michael Jackson?

But, stern in your undying love for your cat, you decide to figure it out.

Why did Mr. Snuffles leave and where did he go?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm new to Puzzling.SE, is there any standard for when to give hints? $\endgroup$
    – Nico A
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 20:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm also new, but I would give it at least a couple days. The puzzlers here are really really good... $\endgroup$
    – SuperWild1
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ For ciphers there should generally be some sort of indication as to the type of cipher or the key already in the puzzle, otherwise unless it is obvious then it would be very difficult. After that, maybe one a day? Welcome to puzzling by the way! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 22:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The title is referencing the lyrics to “ABC” released by the Jackson 5 on February 24, 1970. $\endgroup$
    – tyobrien
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 22:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user991003 Not so much of a hint as directing you away from a red-herring, but the equal word number is actually a complete coincidence. Don't read too far into it. $\endgroup$
    – Nico A
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


Full Answer:

The title is a reference to

the lyrics "Easy as 1, 2, 3" from "ABC" by the Jackson 5 which was released on February 24, 1970.

Looking at the paragraphs...

we can take the first letter of the first word, the second letter of the second word, the third letter of the third word, then start over taking the first letter of the fourth word and so on. From this we get the following lines.

look into the villagers forest
upon the snowy winter solstice
the final word that it will show
will guide you in your miles to go

These lines are making reference to

The poem by Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening".
In the poem, the narrator lives in a village and stops in the woods on "the darkest evening of the year" and the poem ends with "and miles to go before I sleep".

So the last word in this poem is


Using a Vigenere cipher on the encrypted message with that word as the key we find the following message.

God didn’t do this. We did!
Try and shoot me down for voicing my own opinion
One step, not much, but it said enough
Sometimes I swear it feels like this worry is my only friend
Isn't anyone tryin' to find me?
It starts with love and ends with your name


(Still not sure about that last word. It may need a different cipher.)

Each of the first six lines is quoting a song or movie:

I am legend – 2007 movie
I am – Jorja Smith
You are in love – Taylor Swift
Trouble – Ray LaMontague
I’m with you – Avril Lavigne
You are the song – Charlie Chaplin

Recalling "easy as 1, 2, 3", reading down - the first word, second word, third word, repeat - we read:

I am in trouble with the meowfia

Poor Mr. Snuffles. But where did he go? It probably has to do with that last word.

Thanks to @dooog's comment, if we go to pastebin/ZpFqhiNL we find these coordinates:

41° 42' 54.6" N 72° 13' 40.6" W
which turns out to be a fish market in Williamantic, Connecticut.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work! Since you've basically done everything, try using those decrypted 8 characters as a pastebin url $\endgroup$
    – dooog
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ That location is a fish market. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ oh poor kitty :( made me think of my cat, his birthday is today lol $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 23:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work! You return Mr. Snuffles safely to his home, with a mouth full of fish and $5 million in gambling debt. $\endgroup$
    – Nico A
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 0:56

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