This question just asks for people to solve some short cipher. I don't think the question is particularly "mathematical", and I would say it's off-topic as posed.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree this is not on-topic. $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Dec 15 '10 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Stop crying and close it. Wow, creating a thread to close a question... Earn your 3k points and vote to close it. That's what I do on SU. $\endgroup$ – r0ca Dec 15 '10 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ And you got 4 points (so far) for that question? This is ridiculous. $\endgroup$ – r0ca Dec 15 '10 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ @roca: Votes on meta do not affect rep. Rather, they indicate agreement or disagrement as it may apply. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Dec 15 '10 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ @roca: Please stop your whining. The reason Carl is asking here is to get community opinion which is in your favour. If such questions are ok, then it will be reopened (or not closed in the first place). Also, there are no points on meta and the upvote indicates the number of people who saw this thread and agree (by voting up) with the closing. $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Dec 15 '10 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ Nice nickname!! $\endgroup$ – r0ca Dec 15 '10 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ @roca: Thank you :-) $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Dec 15 '10 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ Hey @Mo, high five! ;) $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Dec 16 '10 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M: ..... :-) $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Dec 16 '10 at 0:42

I don't like this question either.

  1. It's a puzzle, not containing (as far as I can see) anything of genuine mathematical interest. I don't object to questions about the mathematics behind cryptographic methods, but this is not such a question.

  2. It's asked poorly. The OP has at least admitted it's homework, but not indicated what progress (s)he has made on it.

So, I have voted to close.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that questions about the mathematical aspects of cryptography are obviously on-topic. I teach them in mathematic classes... $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Dec 16 '10 at 1:19

Cryptanalysis is mathematical and, if that is not enough to have it considered as on-topic, is posted rarely enough to err on the side of not closing.

Adding sites for puzzles and/or cryptography is a better long-term solution than excluding cryptograms as "not (100 percent) mathematics".

There are also rating and tagging mechanisms in place. The question has, so far, 5 downvotes and 0 upvotes. The [homework] tag will not make it more popular or active. Such postings drop in visibility. Why this one posting needs to specifically be excluded is not clear.

Debating individual questions one by one is less efficient than developing generic solutions that apply to all postings, such as introducing a [cryptanalysis] tag or refining the visibility metrics.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with everything you say, but I thought this question was particularly borderline. The homework tag was irrelevant to me. Like the "find the next number in this sequence" problems, a crypto puzzle without a known encryption method has no unique answer (even with a known encryption method, it may have no unique answer). But the FAQ mentions "puzzles", and I don't know whether this counts as a "puzzle". As far as I know the only method for developing a general metric about what's on-topic is to bring up a typical question on meta. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Dec 16 '10 at 1:18

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