Sherlock, the next message (pig pen code)

The next message from Anonymous has been received. It’s some form of visual code,


and the clue is:

where is it the pigs live?


From this, I take it that we are dealing with a “pigpen cipher”, which is a geometric simple substitution cipher which exchanges letters for symbols which are fragments of a grid (Wikipedia article).  The image below is sourced from Wikipedia.


Following this through to completion, I extract the message as:



Still the same “xx” signature, so Anonymous hasn’t chosen to reveal their name yet.


About Cameron
I'm a final year Computer Science/Information Systems major. Already finished my BA in Politics/Philosophy. I do web and software freelance on the side, while I finish studying. Hoping to be self-employed by the end of my degree, otherwise off into the real-world I go....

10 Responses to Sherlock, the next message (pig pen code)

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sherlock, the next message (pig pen code) « whileloop --

  2. beth says:

    i have figured out the first four words to the message>>>>>Sherlock i hate forwd. i am working on the last word now

  3. October says:

    I’m glad I figured it out before my brother found this post… that would’ve ruined the whole thing for me!
    Also, I thought the ‘Xx might have been a hint to the pigpen cipher? Because of the two X grids? Unless that was on the other messages as well. I haven’t gotten around to looking at those quite yet.

  4. unmanagedexe says:

    Decoded the message pretty easily. Had made this code when i was in school (1998), only thing was that i used a Dash instead of a dot and the dash was on top of the symbols with no internet at home (India).

    Didn’t know it was called the PIGPEN cipher. just found that out.

    Is there a way to post it to the website ?

    • Cameron says:

      What did you want to post to which website?

  5. dyz says:

    you didnt even need the cipher for it, it begins with sherlock and ends with you so the rest is easy to figure

  6. malinahona says:

    Can’t figure out how to post to the website or the forum at “The Science of Deduction”, help?

  7. siham says:

    the code says : sherlock i have found you ! well thats what i got

  8. victor_marushak says:

    I didnt kmow about this pig pen code, but i did slowed this messege.
    First gues was that all these a letters (obvious). And there are 2 types of letters: dotted and non-dotted. From this we can see that ther are 13 non-dotted and 13 dotted letters.
    Second gues was that there supposed to be some conection between each dotted and non-dotted letter. And this conection must be stable.
    Then I just thougt that the first word is SHERLOCK. Dont know why… just because it fits)
    That means that 5 sign – L and the 7 – C. These 5 and 7 are dotted and non-dotted letters of the same shape (dot is the only differrence).
    So the piriod between C and L = 10 letters. By this you can find out all the others letters.
    The main difficulty of this method is that you have to figure out that since letter S period is different…

    It was funny to slove this messege. Only when I’ve done it I was thinking: what it means WHERE PIGS LIVE)))))

  9. Cameron says:

    The note that accompanied the Pig Pen code ( reads:
    ‘Sherlock Holmes!

    Here’s a picture you might enjoy:


    Also, where is it the pigs live?


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