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Secret Code Left Behind by Grandmother Puzzles Family for Nearly Two Decades. Then the Internet Took a Crack at It.


"Holy cow! 14 minutes to solve the back of the card that has been bugging my family for 20 years! That is amazing!"

Ask Metafilter/JannaK

After 18 years of trying to decode a message left by her late grandmother, a woman turned to the Internet for help. At first glance, the series of index cards left behind appear to include just random letters.

In a post on Ask Metafilter titled, "Decoding cancer-addled ramblings," user JannaK wrote:

My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left at least 20 index cards with scribbled letters on them. My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn't get anywhere.

Ask Metafilter/JannaK

Within just 15 minutes, users on the thread began partially decoding part of the index cards. One message written on the back of one of the cards appears to be the Lord's Prayer.

User harperpitt led the charge, asking the woman if her grandmother was a religious woman and speculating that the messages may be some kind of prayers:

Was she a religious woman? The last As, as well as the AAA combo, make me think of "Amen, amen, amen." So extrapolating -- TYAGF = "Thank you Almighty God for..."

It would make sense to end with "Thank you, Almighty God, for everything, Amen - Thank you, Almighty God, for everything, Amen, Amen, Amen."

That got the creative juices flowing and he quickly recognized the Lord's Prayer:

AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but:


Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name... etc etc etc

There is much more to be decoded, but it's a start. JannaK was very thankful for the help.

"Holy cow! 14 minutes to solve the back of the card that has been bugging my family for 20 years! That is amazing!" she replied.

Read the whole fascinated thread here.

(H/T: Slate/Business Insider)

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