Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

It's puzzling only if you don't understand

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A good puzzle, it’s a fair thing. Nobody is lying. It’s very clear, and the problem depends just on you.

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– Erno Rubik

Y’all like puzzles.

Last Friday I asked if anyone could decipher this bumper sticker message: “When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl.”

Because readers of this column are known for their perceptive intelligence (and good looks), many of you responded almost immediately by e-mail, phone and fax. About 40 of you correctly translated the phrase “bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl” to “... only outlaws will have privacy.”

Some of you admitted to using the Internet, but I think most of you could figure out the well-known substitution cipher, which even has a name – “ROT13.”

Basically you “rotate” the letters of the alphabet ahead by 13 spaces and use that letter. A becomes N, B becomes O, etc.

It’s a somewhat historic method also known as the Caesar cipher, because old Julius is said to have used it for his correspondence.

And because you did so well with that one, here’s another.

Think of words ending in _GRY. “Angry” and “hungry” are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word?

Send an e-mail if you think you know the answer.

THANK YOU: To all my wonderful friends in Wilkes County who invited me to speak to the annual John Duggan Memorial Scholarship Dinner on Monday night.

What a wonderful event that continues to honor the memory of a wonderful young man by helping others.

I also need to thank the rather large “youth” group that invited me to entertain at Kiokee Baptist Church and its Tuesday night Valentine supper.

I have to admit my effort did not come close to the singing provided by Mary Dant. It was angelic.

Gave me goose bumps.

YOUR MAIL: Pat and Wayne Fuller, of North Augusta, sent a postcard from the Mayan ruins in Mexico.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Sound travels slowly. Sometimes the things you say when your children are teenagers doesn’t reach them until they’re in their 40s.

TODAY’S JOKE: Here’s one shared by Bill Wood, of Hephzibah:

A supervisor called his assistant’s cellphone to ask, “Is everything OK at the office?”

“Yes, sir!” the employee said. “It’s all under control. It’s been a very busy day, I haven’t stopped for even a minute.”

“Can you do me a favor then?” the boss asked.

“Of course,” the employee said, “whatever you need, I’ll do it!”

“Speed it up a little,” his boss said. “I’m in the foursome behind you.”

Comments (3) Add comment
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ctchpln
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ctchpln 02/17/12 - 09:35 am
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"Think of words ending in

"Think of words ending in _GRY. “Angry” and “hungry” are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word?" Bill, if you use the phrase in "the English language", then the third word is language. If you read it "what is the third word", then what is the word. Otherwise, I can't think of any word in the English language that has an ending of -gry, other than the two you mentioned. :)

roymr69
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roymr69 02/17/12 - 11:39 am
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the word is energy. some use

the word is energy. some use agree also thanks for your great column and humor.

ctchpln
247
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ctchpln 02/17/12 - 12:45 pm
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But "-gry" isn't the same as

But "-gry" isn't the same as "-rgy", right? Of course, I could be wrong.

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