You arrive on a foreign island, but upon heading to the local library, you find yourself unable to decipher the texts. You wonder what's caused this...

           B H        F K    QCEI     MT   N UWO S OR  VEGU    LT  R  YZ               
                              AJ      H    P        X     O           O                
                                      D             E                                  

  A      B          K FDP C          I   I JYX  VET NG O L  Z  O  U   R             
                        M                   OE    I         S         U             
                        H                   W     Q                                 

           B  H F        P D SI   JN   Q  XOLG      E  UT  R U WY                
           A    A            K     C        M              Z    O                

  A                F H     MB   PJKWNL QC TG ZI O S E  R     X     U            
                                 D        I  Y         U                        

          ABFD     J  M C   K      GW  P NO   S LR V Y   X  T   U Z           
                            H                   E  I                          


Hint level 0

I went up to the librarian and queried, "Are these in English?"
"Of course they are," she irritably replied.

Hint level 1

"But I can't read them!"
"Yes, you'll need to translate what's on the page before you can read it."

Hint level 2

"You just said they were in English!"
"Go and reflect on your attempts, and if you still can't do it ask the librarian on the next rotation."

Hint level 3

I asked the next librarian, "Ok, I think I know what to do now... but how do I start?"
"May I refer you DUN - Ella Minnow Pea?"

Hint level 4

Before I could ask the librarian for some more advice, he proffered, "I believe the first line is about a brown fox? And the second about some liquor jugs?"

  • $\begingroup$ Any more hints? $\endgroup$
    – Raz
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 18:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @RAZ369 Just posted another. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ Is there another hint? $\endgroup$
    – Gamora
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Bee Sure, there's one. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


To decipher the text,

each letter must be moved horizontally by an amount specific to each letter. To determine the exact offsets, you can write thequickbrownfoxjumpsoverthelazydog over the ? in the first line and compare with the letters below it. The offsets are:

 |A +25|J +11|S - 3|
 |B +23|K + 9|T -13|
 |C + 2|L - 9|U -15|
 |D +20|M + 6|V - 7|
 |E - 3|N - 5|W - 9|
 |F +17|O -11|X -11|
 |G + 3|P + 2|Y -13|
 |H +14|Q   0|Z -15|
 |I - 1|R -17|

The text deciphers to:


  • $\begingroup$ Nice job! As a minor nitpick, you haven't quite answered the question "You wonder what's caused this...", although the answer's in your post. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 2:24

I don't have a full answer but advances on the hints.

The book 'Ella Minnow Pea' by Mark Dunn (DUN). In this book there is a pangram (sentence or phrase including every letter of the alphabet): 'pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs'. There is another; 'the quick, brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Then there is statement: 'you must translate what is on the page'. This doesn't mean literal translation but mathematical translation. This is then hinted at when the librarian says 'reflect on your attempts' and 'the next rotation.

Please feel free to work off of this :)

  • $\begingroup$ Nice. Do you mind putting your progress in spoiler blocks, please? $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 20:10

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