"Wasn't Pdgnhbobvpnsnhanaoencnanhpncpnd an ancient Sumerian king?"

Are you smarter than an Internet? When someone posted this card of seeming gibberish to the Ask Metafilter page at 4:13 pm on Monday, it took the online community less than fifteen minutes to crack the code and solve a two-decade old family mystery. Do you think you can fugure it out in less time? How about more time? How about ever? (My personal answer to all three is "No.")

Metafilter user JannaK gives the relevant back story:

"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."

That's the top of the card up there, and here's the back:


Okay. I'll give you a few minutes to think this over.

...

Okay, think you got it?

Metafelter user harperpitt came up with the correct answer at 4:25 pm, about twelve minutes after the question was asked:

"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.' "

Now let's take another look at the back of the card with this in mind:


harperpitt again explains:

"OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOT
AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

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

There's also some other bits that point to prayers ("PAGA" is probably "Praise God Almighty, Amen," and "TYAGFLTMPAAT" might be "Thank you Almighty God for listening to my prayers and answering them"), but JannaK suspects that the rest of it is a collection of personal prayers, "and thus much trickier to decipher." 

So, there you go. The "non-communicative" dying woman was praying to a God she was expecting to meet shortly, but instead of writing the words out completely, she only used the first letters. Because God knew what she was talking about. He's God.

Thanks for pl(r)aying. 

(by Dennis DiClaudio)

Sources: Metafilter user JannaK | h/t Slate