My uncle Fausto is visiting for Thanksgiving. He's very clever with riddles and codes and such, and so it was no surprise when I received a card from him today with a strange message on it. The message read:

14 18 9 60 -

5 28 30 60 125

25 30 63 72

20 42 54 44 25 150,

2 42 60

19 2 66 20

20 16 15

16 18 15

6 30 54

13 10!

I can't make heads or tails of this thing, so I called Fausto, and he said it was important that I figure it out before he arrives tomorrow evening. He told me "Nico, if you can't read my message, I might just not show up".

Uncle Fausto is always the best part of Thanksgiving. Can you help me figure out what he's trying to tell me and save my holiday?

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi Nico, I think I've sussed this - but only if the second line should be "5 28 30 60 125" - is there a typo here? $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Haha, you're right - I transcribed the note wrong there. I'll fix it. $\endgroup$
    – Nico
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv, in which case, I've also sussed it, and agree with your comment $\endgroup$
    – AHKieran
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AHKieran Cool. Feel free to write it up if you've got the time now - I'm busy for the next hour! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


The cipher is:

A normal A1-Z26 cipher, but each value is multiplied by the index of the character in the word.


The first line, 14 18 9 60, when divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, respectively, becomes
14 9 3 15. Which, when translated through A1Z26, becomes NICO.
(I actually guessed it would be Nico as it's OP's username, and makes sense his Uncle would address it to his name. The hyphen helped too.

And thus, the message reads:

Nico - Enjoy your turkey, but save the pie for me!
If Nico had not been able to read the message, then there would be no pie saved for Uncle Fausto, so he may as well not turn up.

Shout-out to @Stiv for spotting OP's mistake, and thus confirming my hunch.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Too right. Not only did you guys solve my uncle's code, but you did it even though I copied it into the site slightly wrong. Terrific effort! $\endgroup$
    – Nico
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Exactly the same way I solved it too, spotting the relevance of the first line :) Nice write-up +1 $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:18

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