Sunday Morning Puzzle #74 --- Mystery Guest...and Friends?

This puzzle owes a reference debt to QDKHZGZTYK (2001).

In this rather bellicose cryptolist, two do not belong. One does not belong because the order is reversed. One does not belong because it is absurd. Can you identify both anomalies and name the mystery guest? Bonus points for noticing the coding pattern. The 11 were encoded in alphabetical order.


  1. (Mystery Guest) QVMDZCCLYSH
  2. (Mystery Guest) QVFHZUFHRMTVG
  3. (Mystery Guest) QVBDYFFGDKZUL
  4. (Mystery Guest) QVBDYFBZYF
  5. (Mystery Guest) QVAHJGLFZKNDCCLDD
  6. (Mystery Guest) QVAHFLCZY
  7. (Mystery Guest) QVAZYVSHUNHUZ
  8. (Mystery Guest) QVAZSGUL
  10. (Mystery Guest) QVSGHVHLAZYVSHU
  11. (Mystery Guest) QVSGHVAZFAZYVSHU

Dang. This is no way to treat a guest! The guest comes, new to the city, and is pretty much left to stumble around on his own.

Well, I’m still just mystified. I think this is one of those where counting is not going to help a whole lot. And you know, I really don’t know what I’m looking for. I don’t think I have grasped the structure of this puzzle. How do I get one mystery guest out of eleven mystery guests? Are the numbered clues names or descriptions? Or something else? Ooh–maybe they are expressions with a common word or phrase, which is the answer we’re looking for. Or not. I’ll just keep trying on syllables until the next tantalizing hint.

Now Peregrine, if I told you any more details of the structure I fear that might give the whole thing away. Can’t do that.

It’s a simple cryptolist. Simple letter substitution.

I don’t recommend keeping our mystery guest waiting too long. Not the most patient fellow, he.

Ummm, I’m guessing QV=MR, but other than that I’m stuck. I seriously suck at cryptograms.

Interesting hypothesis, Mr. (Ms.?) Rabid_Squirrel. Good luck in your battle with this puzzle.

No.2 would be rather one-sided.
No.4 is back-to-front.

Usram got it! The fighting is over and we have a winner! Looks like you flattened the opposition this week!

:slight_smile: I had to double check that No.2 was made up - well, you never know! Nice puzzle.

You know, I just realized we never ever get solutions to these. Does Biotop just leave people who found these in archives to hang forevermore? Or can we actually find out what these cryptic answers mean?

Sometimes the answer gets posted. Other times I figure that an unanswered puzzle sitting in the archives might provide someone some enjoyment sometime in the future. Occasionally the solver posts the answer his or herself.

Usually the solver drops a few more hints to help others still searching for the answer. Anyone who wants to know the solution to an unresolved older puzzle can e-mail me, and I’ll be happy to provide.

Usram: “No.2 would be rather one-sided.”

ahh haaa…
So the structure of the puzzle is
[Name of the mystery guest] VS [Name of an opponent].

The flattened opposition claims the bonus point for revealing the coding for the unused letters: (clear=>code) F=>I J=>E P=>W Q=>X X=>O Y=>P


Our Mystery Guest sure seems to have trouble getting along with others. Perhaps he just needs some positive behavioral re-inforcement and coping alternatives.