Challenge 8: The Cardboard Box

Update: September 29, 2017. This challenge was solved by Neremanth on the Puzzling.StackExchange forum. I’ll be posting the solution soon.

Here’s Challenge #8 for September 28, 2017.


Today’s cipher is a one-step monoalphabetic substitution. The key to solving it lies within the following poem:

A clerk gave me a cardboard box
that now I give to you
It once held t-shirts, jeans, and socks
It now holds one left shoe
Take out the shoe and put it on
then head to liquor store
Now drink the whiskey till it’s gone
and then drink thirteen more
Pack my box with liquor jugs,
five dozen — all in all
Checkout with clerks and give them hugs
and then go have a ball
Don’t wreck your car, though you are wrecked
and don’t heed every sign
Dead ends, some lead to misdirect,
save line and half a line

And here is the ciphertext:


Since the cipher is mono-alphabetic, some people might be able to crack it without relying on the poem. But to win this, you must decode the message AND explain how the poem unlocks it.

With, I hope to release one cipher, puzzle, or mystery every week. Anyone can attempt to solve. The winner is the first person to send a correct solution and a description of the solve method to Once a correct solution is e-mailed, I will publish a follow-up post, congratulating the winner and revealing the secrets of the code.

You may post questions or theories in the comments, but DO NOT POST SOLUTIONS. E-mail them to

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s