# Cryptic Puzzle for Puzzlers: PART II

You are a cryptanalyst who works for the US Army. You have been intercepting what is believed to be enemy spies' communiques. However, the documents are very normal looking:

Good Morning, The lasagna yesterday was very good. Desmond did not come over to have any and I called him again. Tacos at my place, no arugula this time. Apples and peanut butter to make up for the arugula. The dog keeps going to your place, can you bring her back? Goodbye, Dawson

What message is hidden inside this letter?

Hint 1:

The food is quite peculiar (Apples and Peanut Butter with Tacos??!!)

Hint 2:

The most important part to solving is used six times in Hint 1.

Hint 3:

The punctuation indicates that a letter before or after the punctuation is a part of the message.

• rot13(Nsgre rkgenpgvat jung vf nccneragyl avar cnve bs yrggref sebz gur zrffntr, vg frrzf gur gnfx vf qrgrezvavat gur cebcre pubvpr sbez rnpu bs gubfr cnvef naq gura svaqvat gur nccebcevngr nantenz ba gung pubvpr, n gnfx v nz svaqvat qvssvphyg gb qb jvgu fbsgjner.) Is this even on the right track? Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 20:01
• AB VG VF ABG GUNG PBZCYVPNGRQ. VG UNF FBZRGUVAT GB QB JVGU CHAPGHNGVBA. ROT13 Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 16:35
• The letter 'e' is used 6 times in Hint 1 Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 12:30

This message may look harmless but actually one spy is telling the other:

ESCAPE NOW

The message can be found simply by:

reading off the third letter following each punctuation mark.

Like so:

Good Morning, The lasagna yesterday was very good. Desmond did not come over to have any and I called him again. Tacos at my place, no arugula this time. Apples and peanut butter to make up for the arugula. The dog keeps going to your place, can you bring her back? Goodbye, Dawson

Regarding the hints:

1. The unusual food choices suggest that they have been chosen for a reason - one possibility is that some or all of these foods contain specific letters which need to be part of the message.

2/3. There were 6 punctuation marks in hint 1 - clearly punctuation is the important thing being referenced. In fact, knowing from hint 3 that it is, the solution presented itself to me upon considering which unusual letters sat near punctuation marks, hopefully in a repeated pattern. Spotting the 'W' in 'Dawson', I then noticed the 'C' in 'Tacos' and the first 'P' in 'Apples'. The solution followed by checking the other letters to fall precisely 3 positions after each punctuation mark...

However, seeing how it took 17 months for this message to be cracked:

I fear the spy may have gotten away by now!

• Very good! I am glad that it has been solved! Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 1:33