# Riddle in a mono-alphabetic code

• wubie
In summary, the conversation discusses a riddle in a mono-alphabetic code that involves determining the number of horses, riders, and jungle animals in a circus. The first solution involves counting the number of heads, while the second solution involves considering the number of four-footed and two-footed jungle animals. There is also a discussion about whether certain animals, such as snakes and whales, count as animals.

#### wubie

Hello,

I have been given a question which consists of a riddle in a mono-alphabetic code - it is a question that is part of our crytography section. Now I have decoded the riddle. But I am not sure if I have solved the riddle.

Here is the riddle I decoded:

A small circus has a certain number of horses and riders. Between them there are 50 fet and 18 heads. In addition, the circus has some jungle animals that have, altogether, 11 heads and feet. There are twice as many four-footed jungle animals as there are two-footed jungle animals. How many horses, riders, and jungle animals are in the circus?

You should have little difficulty determining that there are 7 horses and 11 riders. But when you try to solve for the number of jungle animals, you may be surprised to find that you encounter a negative number. Solve the problem by ridding yourself of an unwarrented assumption.

Now I didn't have to try hard to figure out a solution:

One way to solve this question was just to count the number of heads. Since there are 11 heads, there must be 11 jungle animals. Therefore there are 7 horses, 11 riders, and 11 jungle animals.

Another way was to say that there are 7 horses, 11 riders, 2 four-footed jungle animals, 1 two-footed animal, and an animal with no legs (Is that the unwarranted assumption? I don't know.)

I can't think of any animals with no legs though. A snake perhaps? Or is a reptile considered an animal? A whale? I recall that whales are mammals. Would a mammal be considered an animal? And if it is a whale, what the heck would a whale be doing in a circus much less a small circus.

Any way, comments on my solution would be appreciated.

Cheers.

Last edited by a moderator:
Yesss, sssnakess are animalss!

You're spending way too much time in this forum Hurkyl. I think its time for a break.

Cheers.

## 1. What is a mono-alphabetic code?

A mono-alphabetic code is a type of substitution cipher where each letter in the plaintext is replaced with a different letter or symbol in the ciphertext. The same letter or symbol is consistently used throughout the entire message, making it easy to decipher if the code is cracked.

## 2. How do you solve a riddle in a mono-alphabetic code?

The first step in solving a riddle in a mono-alphabetic code is to identify the most frequently occurring letters in the ciphertext. These are likely to be the most common letters in the English language, such as E, T, A, O, and I. From there, you can use techniques like frequency analysis and trial and error to decipher the code.

## 3. What are some common examples of mono-alphabetic codes?

The Caesar cipher, where each letter is shifted a certain number of places in the alphabet, is a popular mono-alphabetic code. Other examples include the Atbash cipher, where letters are replaced with their corresponding letter in the opposite end of the alphabet, and the Rail Fence cipher, where letters are written in a zigzag pattern.

## 4. Are mono-alphabetic codes secure?

No, mono-alphabetic codes are not considered secure as they are relatively easy to crack. With the use of computer programs and advanced algorithms, deciphering a mono-alphabetic code can be done quickly and efficiently. It is recommended to use more advanced encryption methods for secure communication.

## 5. Can a mono-alphabetic code be used for more than just riddles?

Yes, mono-alphabetic codes can be used for various purposes, such as encrypting sensitive information, creating secret codes for games, or even as a learning tool for improving language skills. However, they should not be used for secure communication as they are easily breakable.