In a follow up from yesterday, I was sent another email from the same source. The tile of the message was, "A lad named E. Mandala" which I've set the title of this puzzle to. Can you help me make sense of the message below? I noticed that all of his words are palindromes, but what do those numbers mean? How do they correlate to the encrypted message?

I'm a fool; aloof am I
In words, drown I
Is it I? It is I!

Name not one man.
O, stone, be not so
I did, did I?


Dhmx Pau Eau Qutc, O zxayz znmz eua chxh mgrh zu joiovnhx znoy shyymlh yaiihyykarre. Vrhmyh yhtj zcu natjxhj kuaxzhht ayj my yuut my vuyyogrh zu se chyzhxt atout miiuatz yu znmz o imt qhhv se iuatzxe ymkh kxus se hbor atirh mlmot. Eua corr gh iusvhtymzhj av zu kobh sorrout ayj.
O thhj euax nhrv,
Euax kxhotj,
Vxotih uk Tolhxom


Since the message itself has been decoded, here is a hint on how to solve it. You should take +-+-+ literally.

  • $\begingroup$ Based on your comments to the answer provided, why cipher tag was applied to this? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ I meant it to be enigmatic originally, though I'll add it in now. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 17:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Was it a car or a cat I saw? $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


I decode the letter as

Dear Juo Yuo Konw, I trust that you were able to dicipher this message successfully. Please send two hundred fourteen usd as soon as possible to my western union account so that i can keep my country safe from my evil uncle again. You will be compensated up to five million usd.
I need your help,
Your freind,
Prince of Nigeria

In my solution I can't see any reference to palindromes and I can't explain the given numbers. First I use

Rot20 (i.e. a->u, b->v, g->a etc.).

Then the text is readable yet. After that I

swap some characters again: a->#, g->a, f->g, x->d, e->f, b->e, #->b

Alternatively you can decrypt in one step by using following table

Note that D appears twice.

OP Edit:

To solve this puzzle, you can also do the following:
You should notice that the two stanzas and the numbers are both palindromes, and they both contain six of them each. This is the displacement you need to know for the Caesar cipher. (I did an offset of six, but I guess it went the other way, hence the shift of 20).

You should then follow the operator's directions, to end up with a number of 7134, which you should translate to the letters gacd. This is the keyword shift.
Finally, you'll arrive at the answer, where instead of starting with Dear, it'll be Xear (our friend from Nigeria's native language isn't English)

  • $\begingroup$ I mean, you're not wrong, but I'm disappointed that you didn't find out the clues. Not only was it a Caesar cipher, but also a keyword cipher. If you can tell me that, I'll accept this as the accepted answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 13:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, that's a common problem with cipher puzzles: even if you use a Caesar shift and a keyed alphabet, you still have a monoalphabetic substitution, which is easy to crack. You've worked in ingenious clues to the key, but the sily solver just finds the solution anyway. Here, you use a keyed Caesar with a shift of 20 and the key "becdfga". The key uses only the letters a-g, which means anything from h on is just Caesar. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ The palindromes are easy to spot and the numbers are palindromes, too. I guess the first elements of that series must be used to generate the key, but I can't see how. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ You can avoid the problems of monoalphabetic ciphers by using a many-to-one relationship where one letter may be encoded in several ways, as in this puzzle, for example. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 19:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your hint are 5 operators. Together with these 6 numbers I get 7134 or in letters "gacd". This is not the keyword. I'm afraid I don't get your clues yet. $\endgroup$
    – VV5198722
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 7:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.