The boy had a cat on the boat,
Alone among blue all around.
He wrote a very brief note,
Hoping the can would be found.

I just came back from the Latpipe Hotel and decided to head to the beach, for a swim. I parked my car and then walked to the sandy shore. After wiping the sweat off my forehead (it was a hot, sunny day), I reached into my bag and pulled out a towel, laying it across a patch of sand. I then knelt down, pulling out my Mohxus swimming gear (that was the name of the brand). But as I stepped on a particular area of the towel, I felt a hard bump from underneath.

I must have not noticed whatever it was underneath the towel, for I soon discovered it was a metal can. I thought it was some kind of seashell or a crab, but it was a can with words strewn across its middle: $\rm Emergency \,Drinking \,Water.$ That was weird... until I opened it and found a rolled up piece of paper inside!

You see, the weird part was not the paper — it was the peculiar writing on it. All I could tell was that it was written in pencil, but I had no idea what it meant!

$<$$\rm u \quad ms,r \quad od \quad \{\rm o \quad\{syr;/$
$\rm O \quad jsbr \quad nrrm \quad om \quad s \quad djo[etrvl/$
$\rm O \quad s, \quad pm \quad s \quad ;ogrnpsy \quad s;pmr \quad eoyj \quad s \quad yohrt/$
$\rm \{;rsdr \quad drmf \quad jr;[/$

What does it mean?

But then I turned the sheet of paper over, and on the back was some kind of... riddle...?

Look for the home of the letters,
Where they are together onboard.
Move East only once without errors,
To welcome the fruit of the sword.

What sword?

And then I noticed something else inscribed on the bottom of the can in very tiny writing. I had to pull out my lucky magnifying glass to see this. (See why it's lucky?)

The elite brAin nEst was born on my name,
But wHen theSp (a king) died, he fell on the same.
This can may hold four-hundred grams,
But now there's two more at the shams.

Are the capitals supposed to be there?

I then looked below and read the words: I had a cat with genus Iztyriu and species Gribvi.

I know nothing about cats. Can you help me?

Who was the boy?

What was the cat's name?

Bonus for $50$ rep: What day was it when I went to the beach? (Partial reasoning not accepted.)


"The pen is mightier than the sword."

  • $\begingroup$ ...unless someone can find the day :D $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 12:52

4 Answers 4



The first message is shifted 1 key right on the keyboard, e.g. a->s and s->d. Decoding it gives:

My name is Pi Patel.
I have been in a shipwreck.
I am on alifeboat alone with a tiger.
Please send help.

This references

The movie Life of Pi.

All the clues aren't solved, but I will put this out as a possibility.

The boy is

Pi Patel

The cat is

Richard Parker

  • $\begingroup$ Fixed the typo; i.e., Rot13(nyvsrobng $\to$ n yvsrobng). Which means, your answer is correct, wherefore I am confident you will solve the clues and might receive an extra $25$ rep :D $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 0:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I haven't watched it, so I have to rely on research... $\endgroup$
    – Zimonze
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ Not much more research is required actually :) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 0:43

If I may add an interpretation of at least part of the last clues.

The elite brAin nEst was born on my name, But wHen theSp (a king) died, he fell on the same.

"elite brAin nEst" anagrams to "Albert Einstein", and "wHen theSp (a king)" anagrams to "Stephen Hawking". The former was born on march 14th (3.14, or Pi Day), while the latter died on Pi Day.

Not sure about the second half, but would the day be:

March 14th?

Other assorted things:

"I had a cat with genus Iztyriu and species Gribvi." Applying a ROT9 to the words reveals the genus is Richard, and the species is Parker. In addition, the "Laplite" hotel anagrams to "Pi Patel".

  • $\begingroup$ Everything is correct apart from the last explanation. Rot13(V hfrq "gurFc" orpnhfr Fgrcura Unjxvat jnf na npgbe jub nccrnerq ba gur Ovt Onat Gurbel, fb vg jnf na nccebcevngr nantenz bs Fgrcu.) Regarding the second explanation, that is the date, but not exactly the day. To find what day it is, the information is in the first paragraph, for which there are two such clues. Once you figure them both, using the same approach, you can solve for genus/species part. $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 7:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user477343 the day: ROT13(chyyvat bhg zl fhaqnl fjvzzvat trne) $\endgroup$
    – OfFPiR
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed with OffPiR. (ROT13) R fjb xenacqrwtrwp rc, rc'b j axc 6 xw Vxqgdb cx pnc Bdwmjh, jwm j axc 9 cx pnc "cqn pnwdb Arlqjam jwm bynlrnb Yjatna". $\endgroup$
    – SKOG
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @OfFPiR I just saw this now! Post it as an answer, or you will miss out on the reward! $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ @SKOG you mean (ROT17) :D $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:43

The day is


I then knelt down, pulling out my Mohxus swimming gear

rot6(Mohxus) = Sunday.

  • $\begingroup$ (ROT13) Fhaqnl unf 6 yrggref, juvpu jnf jul V qvq EBG6. Nyfb, Fhaqnl fbhaqf yvxr n fhaal qnl. I can reward the bounty in $2$ hours, but I have to give credit to @SKOG. That user found out the most information of the date :D $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ @user477343 Yeah, sounds fair. :-) $\endgroup$
    – OfFPiR
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ Just confirming... you can award more than one bounty, right? Do you know? $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ @user477343, no idea $\endgroup$
    – OfFPiR
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations! $\;\color{green}{\checkmark}\color{darkblue}{+50}$ $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 5:10

I think the day is -



The question references the movie - life of Pi, which was released in 2012, since the date is already found to be march 14(pi day), march 14 of 2012 is the possible answer, which was Wednesday. Also the can had $Emergency$ $Drinking$ $Water$ strewn across the middle, taking the first letter and rearranging them we get wed which is also the short version of Wednesday, not sure if it was a clue or not.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer! But Rot13(Nygubhtu gur zbivr jnf eryrnfrq va Abirzore 21, 2012. Nyfb, vg vf ernyvfgvpnyyl tbvat gb gnxr n juvyr sbe n fvatyr pna gb geniry na ragver frn bs jngref.) Nonetheless, great try! You kind of have the right idea... but you are definitely looking in the right direction. (I would have upvoted if I had not reached my daily voting limit, for which I have to wait $14$ hours before I can upvote again.) :) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I just noticed now, @OfFPiR has found the day already. If he/she posts it as an answer, a $50$ rep will be awarded to him/her. If you want to see the answer, you can in the user's ROT13 comment above... or you can still give the puzzle a crack on your own :D $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:45

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