"Gosh-darn-dag-nab-it-to-tarnation!" Jimmy hear's Darlene yell from across the farm. Figuring he'd better go face this head on, he heads towards the barn.

"What the hell happened Jimmy? You were just supposed to build a pig pen!"

"Oh for goodness sake I don't know, Darlene. Those instructions weren't making no sense honey! I got dizzy trying, eventually just wrapped it up and went on to feedin' the chickens."

Luckily Darlene found her answer in Jimmy's attempted pig pen itself. She just had to look carefully.

Why did Jimmy have trouble constructing the pig pen?

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1 Answer 1


Jimmy had trouble building his own pigpen because

He wanted to create his own pigpen cipher, but he wanted to trick the solver by turning the decoding sheet every line.
He wanted to emphasize it by making the message THESE QUARTER TURNS ARE TRiCKY (which certainly were!)

The sheet he used was this one:
Simple Pigpen Cipher
Using it as-is, translates the first and fifth lines to THESE / TRICKY, while rotating 90 degrees clockwise gives us QUARTER for the second line and a 180 degrees rotation gives us TURNS for the third line


Jimmy made one mistake as he was turning the sheet: After the 180 turn (having the sheet upside down) he made the next quarter circle rotation in the direction he came from: counterclockwise, so the fourth line translates in the same way as the second, with a single 90 degrees clockwise turn, instead of the intended 270 degrees clockwise turn (or 90 degrees counterclockwise, which might have been his line of thought).

I guess all that turning made him forget which side was it supposed to turn quarter clockwise

  • $\begingroup$ Nice solve. May I ask, did it click somewhat quickly after seeing the first and last line deciphered? That was my goal, the idea being if you worked through the whole thing initially you get your clue, but trying to decipher the second line fully after the first should be the longer route $\endgroup$
    – TCooper
    Mar 1, 2020 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TCooper It clicked but it was not an instant solve after that. rot13(V genafyngrq nyy yvarf jvgu gur furrg naq bayl gur svefg naq yvarf znqr frafr, fb V gevrq gb znxr frafr va gur bgure yvarf naq abgvprq gur sbhegu yvar jnf zbfg cebonoyl "ner", sbhaq bhg gung ebgngvat gur furrg znqr vg znxr frafr fb V qvq fb naq znqr frafr bs vg. Frpbaq yvar jnf gur gebhoyrfbzr bar, gbbx zr n juvyr gb svther bhg vg jnfa'g n shyy pvepyr ohg erirefr unys pvepyr vafgrnq) $\endgroup$
    – Belhenix
    Mar 2, 2020 at 5:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ahh, okay. Interesting. I might make more puzzles along a similar theme(pig pen ciphers), not sure yet. Thanks for sharing that $\endgroup$
    – TCooper
    Mar 2, 2020 at 17:37

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