You are a detective in the city of Aklahp, which has had some problems with crime in the past. It used to be just simple burglary or breaking an entering, but things have been getting worse recently. Today is no different. As you enter the crime scene in the back alleyway, all that’s left after the cleanup crew finishes is the chalk outline on the ground, and some graffiti still wet on the wall which reads:


Confused, you went to an old friend, S.F. Okhebo, for help. He smirked and replided, “Ha! Clever. The key is knowing what to look for.” Pressing the matter more yielded no further help from S.F.

Frustrated, you went home for the day to spend some time on your favorite puzzling site hoping to get some inspiration.

Who committed the crime, and what do they want?


After spending some time, you remembered that you never checked your mail. Going out, you find a scrap of paper with some writing on it.

Hello detective! I hope you are enjoying your case. Make sure you playfairly now!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your "old friend" sounds like a jerk. Arrest him for obstruction of justice :) $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ Ha, that might not be a bad idea! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 18:01

3 Answers 3


The hint gave it out quite easily, though it took me a bit because of a trivial error.

As it turns out...

You need a playfair cipher, as stated in the hint.

So, we proceed to...

Use a playfair cipher with "knowing what to look for" as the cipher's key and you get... "BRINGMETHEBATMAN"


Aklahp turns into Gotham when using the same cipher, and your old friend turns into E.D. Nigma (cipher giving E.D. Nigmax)

So, we can conclude that...

The killer was Ed Nygma, also known as The Riddler (Thanks @Zimonze)

  • $\begingroup$ Nice, you got the big stuff! but @Zimonze is correct - update your answer to reflect that and I'll accept. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ (@Zimonze pointed out that rot13("Rq Altzn vf gur Evqqyre.") but without spoilers. I removed that and replaced it with this comment. Sorry for the inconvenience.) $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help, edited. Sadly I'm not that into DCUniverse so I missed that important connection. $\endgroup$
    – Belhenix
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 16:00

Very partial just to get conversation started:

From the clue it looks like we need to use a:

Playfair cipher

However, as our friend states "The key is knowing what to look for". Since this is a "story" puzzle:

Maybe the key for the cipher is something from the story. In the alley there is "the chalk outline on the ground" and "some graffiti still wet on the wall" so maybe we need to look for
* body
* blood
* paint
* spray can
* murderer
but none of those seem to decrypt the cipher text. I also considered that "knowing what to look" for might be more literal, so I tried the key word "intuition" to no avail.

Additionally the names seem notable. I tried:

Searching the terms "Aklahp" and "S.F. Okhebo" to no avail, nor was I able to translate them to another language using google translate. Then I tried using them as keys, reversing them, finding anagrams for them, decrypting them with a brute force rot cipher, and decrypting them using Atbash, but none of that netted results.


The killer is

the old friend which is Ed Nigma (The Riddler), he just can get enough with his crimes because he virtually impossible not to do it as I copy here.

Know that the graffiti can be decoded to

BRINGTHEBATMAN using ‘knowing what to look for’ as a key to a Playfair cipher here, decoding Aklahp and S.F Okhebo to Gotham and Ed Nigma respectively, ensuring this case is from some of Batman sequel, and I have stated as at the first paragraph of this answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for adding your explanation. But, please, use spoilers. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 22:48

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