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Crack the Code

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

Do you ever getting cross and frustrated when you can't find the answer to a problem? It sometimes helps to have someone to encourage you. Then if you work at it a bit longer - there's the answer! Read what Matthew (Nimbin Central School, Australia) sent in - I bet it will make you smile!

First my mum said "I know what it is!" and I asked her for a clue but she said, "no way!". And then she gave me one little clue that it was something I usually wrote on my letters for birthdays, and I said 'happy birthday' and she said count the letters and then I counted the letters of birthday (8) and there was no word in the code with eight letters.

I roared my terrible roars and gnashed my terrible teeth and rolled my terrible eyes and showed my terrible claws, but my mummy said, 'Stop it!'.

Then I worked out a little bit of the answer and then a little bit more and a bit more until I was stuck on one word and mum gave me another clue and wrote down the alphabet and next to it I wrote down all the Zargo alphabet I knew. Then I worked out the code. The code was that the zargo alphabet is one letter along from our alphabet except for z which turned into a.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Here are two more ways of explaining the code ...

The message says 'I hope you have a wonderful day!'. The Zargo alphabet is the same as English plus one letter. So H in their language becomes I, which is one letter after H in our alphabet, and Z becomes A.

Joshua (from Ampthill, Bedfordshire)

Their language is one letter behind ours. We wonder what it would be like to write in that all day!!!!

Agnes and Helen (Headington Junior School, Oxford)

Thank you also to Susannah (Headington Junior School, Oxford) and Mrs King's class (Hethersett Old Hall Juniors).