Lukasz Erecinski Mar 9. 2021 181

The riddle has been solved by DALTON. I’ll be contacting the winner in the coming days.

Thank you to everyone who played along!

The correct answer is: PINEONE

In the event you’re interested, you can learn more about this and previous riddles here.

It is time for a bit of community fun. Below you’ll find a riddle, or a cypher to be precise, pertaining to the name of our upcoming affordable RISC-V single board computer (SBC) announced in the February community update

The previous riddles were solved in a matter of hours, so I put in a bit more effort into crafting this one.

Correctly deciphering the riddle will reveal the name of the SBC – please enter your answer in the comments section.  Only answers submitted on this blog post will count, as they are time-stamped, which makes it easy to verify who was first. You get bonus points if you explain how you arrived at your answer.

The person to solve the riddle first will win the RISC-V single board computer*.

Latin slant

Under the scorching sun

An old Roman senator sat 

Studying it all 

And slowly came to realize that

He bears witness to the empire’s fall


And so began his intricate plan

For the imminent end

So savage and so cruel        

Was this strive to mend  

It lay waste to the Roman rule

*The winner will receive the first production version of the SBC. Prototype devices destined for developers will ship first.

The Pine Store cannot ship to countries under international embargo (North Korea, Iran, etc.,).

181 responses to “RISC-V SBC Riddle”

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    I think it’s Brutus cause something about the word cypher and the planning for the end of the Roman rule.

    I just commented that I had not seen, and thus was guessing, Odoacer, but your comment was definitely far ahead of mine.

    Unus abiete (One Pine / Pine 1)
    It’s like the title says, a Latin slant. Read the first letter of the first line, second letter of the second line, etc.

    Clever. I was working towards something like this. First thought was a Caesar Cipher, with the explicit mention of a cipher. I was just starting to play around with the “Slant” aspect when I saw your comment.

    I see someone beat me to this line of reasoning. I have to imagine this is the case. There’s no way it’s a coincidence that the diagonal of the letters would produce the Latin words for “one fir”, a type of pine tree.

    mimi89999 says:

    I also think that this might be the correct answer, but it hasn’t been declared solved, so maybe there is something else about it?

    Michael Phung says:

    Nero, the scorching sun referring to the fires that was Rome burning, that was his mad plan to cleanse the Roman empire.

    Pius64, as part of the extended name of Commodus named by some as the emperor marking the descent of Rome and being kinda similar to Pine64

    nikolai says:

    Reading in a slanted way (first letter of first sentence, second letter of second sentence, etc…) gives you the latin phrase “UNUS ABIETE”

    Unus -> latin word for “One” (or “single”)
    Abiete -> latin word for “Pine”

    so I think the name of the board will be “Pine One64”

    except if the “empire’s fall” and the “end” talks about the end of the “-64” suffix and “strive to mend” means that it will be a single word

    then the name will be “PineOne” or “SinglePine”

    Ignas Kiela says:

    Pamprepius64. A bit lengthy, but quite a bit matches up.
    Pineprepius1, with some fun mixed in.
    Pinero1 with even more fun mixed in.


    I used the “anus abiete” from the other commenters to get PINE.

    “For the imminent end” and “It lay waste to the Roman rule”
    Roman rule is about Roman numbering. It is used in RISC-V. It lay waste to the rule, so we use 5 instead of V.

    AstralPegasus98 says:

    Hmm… I’ll go a bit different and guess something like “Pine PetronOne”.

    Petronius Maximus was a senator that seized the Roman throne, but ended up leading to the sacking of Rome which fits the text here. “Petro” also fits with the previous Rock/Quartz naming scheme. “One” from the “unus abiete” hidden in the “slant” in the text.

    Might be way off but it sounds cool.

    Yisroel Newmark says:

    Odd that the riddle uses the masculine form of the word one, while the word abiete is femnine. But it is probably still the answer, pity I missed it, though either way I probably would not have gotten the answer.

    Flavius Odoacer (also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar) led the deposition the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire (Romulus Augustus). Though, he was a barbarian general and statesman and is teh onyl answer I can think of at the moment that has not been previously stated.

    PINE P5

    I’m adding another quess. It’s because of that “unus” from “unus abiete”. It could mean “one of pine”, so maybe the letter P. Also I looked at the other SBC names.. So PINE P5 could be in line with PINE A64, PINE H64…

    Julian Groß says:

    Well I am at “Didius” and have no idea about cypher. Let me just leave the guess “Nest64” here.

    Alexandre Oliveira says:


    though if you give a second interpretation to “lay waste” you can think of Caligula, but I don’t think that’d be a good name for an SBC

    Alexandre says:

    Okay giving second thought and reading the comments because the poem is a slant, it could be PINE One64 Nero, the poem clearly talks about Nero laying waste (aka burning) to the Roman land. One64 may be the family of RISC-V SBCs developed by PINE.

    Maybe Pine Fire or something along those lines. People have mentioned Unus Abiete but, meaning One of Pine, that’s the genitive case which is possessive. So I think it’s saying Pine is in the name but there’s more to it such as Pinebook or Pinephone.

    Guessing Fire because of the story or Nero letting Rome burn. “Intricate Plan” “savage and cruel” “lay waste to the roman rule” all point to something destructive that discredited the empire.

    Thinking I’m wrong here because of the existence of the Kindle Fire but I’m taking my shot.

    *sent from a pinephone btw

    Looking more into it, abiete is the ablative case for abies, meaning fir or loosely translated to pine instead of pinus. Putting it with Unus, an adjective, and not matching gender and case implies that latin rules weren’t known (or remembered) with this. I have no idea why google translate decides to add “of” when the genitive of abies is apparently abietis. If you translate One Pine to latin in google translate, you get qui abiete. However, translating the words independently give you Unus abiete. So I’m tempted to dismiss “One of Pine” for just OnePine, PineOne 1Pine, P1ne, or Pine1. But, all of those except for P1ne have been guessed already.

    I tried many other “slants” (V with the bottom being the e of “abiete” and starting from the t next to it, a mirrored RISC-V logo, starting from the other corners, looking at the 5th letter of each line, etc) and I can’t find any other latin (or english) words. Seeing as it’s called “Latin Slant” and not “Latin Slants”, I’m inclined to believe that Unus Abiete is the only latin phrase that comes from any slant.

    This could all be coincidence and there can be some other sort of cypher with this but without trying some algorithm that I know nothing about, OnePine, PineOne, 1Pine, Pine1, and P1ne seem like the only possible answers.

    I can’t tell if it’s significant or not, but both of these lines:
    He bears witness to the empire’s fall
    And so began his intricate plan

    Have the letters for pine in them.

    Having said that, my guesses from current product names are:
    PINE R64
    PINE RV64

    The word strive seems out of place so…

    richardboegli says:

    It’s the title of the text of the riddle.

    Latin slant

    Latin for slant is obliquatum.

    1) Why does the title exist, the prompt could have been in the preceding text leading up to this riddle, like the fact that it was mentioned to be a cypher.

    3) > The previous riddles were solved in a matter of hours, so I put in a bit more effort into crafting this one

    No one else has this answer yet as it seems too obvious…The rest of the text is a distraction from the title.

    mimi89999 says:

    Why a C and not any other letter of the alphabet (or two)? Pinebone, Pinedone, Pinegone, Pineion, Pinelone, Pinenone, Pinetone, Pinezone, etc.?

    Silencesound says:

    I’ve studied latin many years ago at high school as many Italians like me. What I noticed reading the content is that no one since now noticed that “ABIETE” is the SINGULAR ABLATIVE of “ABIES” while “UNUS” is the nominative. So “unus” MUST be the subject.

    One of my guess is ALTER V (the V is “five” in latin numbers): it comes from the idea of one (separate from) the pine + the idea of the end of ARM as “emperor” of sbc chips. So something different, an ALTERnative (yeah, even in English the root is latin). But this solution has issues: the right way to translate this should have been “Unus AB Abies” if I recall latin grammar well (maybe not but I’m quite sure that a preposition is needed…) And anyway, since whatever this SBC would be named it is always an object and latin has neutral it should be “UNUM”. So, is it an actual personal masculine name?

    I’m sorry I just discovered this riddle and since here in Italy is going late and I’m pretty tired tonight I hope I helped others to go closer to the solution of the riddle.

    Enjoy! 🙂

    Silencesound says:

    Btw,I suspect a second piece of information is hidden here:

    “And so began his intricate plan

    For the imminent end

    So savage and so cruel

    Was this strive to mend

    It lay waste to the Roman rule”

    Telling us that in the end there’s something more intricate to uncover and probably not a Caesar cypher (or a perverted version of it)

    The hidden message “unus abiete” seems a good point. But as mentioned in some posts, the form is not so obvious :
    – “unus” is masculine (and not neutral) whereas abies is feminine
    – “abiete” is an ablative case (location, with, from …)

    We probably missed something

    An old Roman senator bearing witness to the dynastic chaos of the 1st century via Histories, from whose name we derive ‘tacit’ – sounds like a riddle!


    I can think of two answers: Brutus and Diocletian.

    Brutus is fairly obvious: he was a Senator, and he conspired to kill Caesar because he feared Caesar would try to become a king, destroying the Republic. This doesn’t quite jive with the lines about an *empire*, as Augustus is widely considered to be the first of the emperors and he hadn’t even come close to power by that point, but ah well.

    Diocletian is my favorite answer because although he wasn’t a senator, he:
    – realized the Empire was crumbling
    – enacted a cunning plan to save it
    – which eventually led to Rome, the city, being lost (and thus ended ROMAN rule, though the Eastern half prospered for another millennium or so as the Byzantine Empire)

    Simple “OnePine” sounds good to me. It incorporates the slant read “unus abiete”, emphasizing the “single” for SBC, mending the word into one and possibly ending the naming rules. But it’s rather a guess than an output of thorough analysis…


    mimi89999 says:

    Maybe strive or Pinestrive (and all possible combinations with -V)? The slant says Pine one, so it could be Pine’s strive to mend.

    Jason Spinney says:

    Either: Cato or Romulus.
    Cato – great opposition senator overseeing the fall of the empire. Romulus – last Emperor of the Roman Empire.
    Finally, perhaps Pendragon – the name taken by Romulus after fleeing the crashing empire and reaching Britain.

    No idea on the cipher, but seems like there are a lot of ‘s’-es. Has something to do with the solution?

    Pine Mare
    Pine UnumMare
    Pine Asea
    Pine One Sea
    Pine Sea

    Mare is latin for sea. The block of text has spaces after some of the lines. Line 2 has 1 space, line 3 has 1 space, line 8 has one space, and line 9 has 2 spaces. Looking at the HTML file for the page, the spaces are there intentionally. Going from the beginning of each of those lines and counting the number of letters that there are spaces, you get “ASea”. Since Latin doesn’t have a word for “the” or “a”, I’m guessing Mare or Unum Mare for One Sea. In addition, I’m guessing the English versions too.

    Logen Kain says:

    Hmm, I wanna say it could be about Seneca the Younger. Young64?

    Or perhaps simpler, slant64?

    NOTE: Tried to post a second time, seems like it overwrote my first one? Anyway, this is it for me.

    Gabriel Menini says:

    He was older than Brutus and both of them started to conspire in a meeting.
    Actually he wasn’t in old as the riddle says, but seems to be old enough for a BC senator 🙂

    Yisroel Newmark says:

    Pine V1
    Because Pine One was already guessed and I noticed that strive doesn’t fit in the sentence but strife does.

    Yo, yo, Lukasz Erecinski. It’s been a couple of months since the pinephone is out man. I want to buy one and get it delivered to India. Please comment on that too.

    Arthur Anderson says:


    Nero played as Rome burned.

    A Fidler is a genius and a natural born leader who’s mere presence greatly improves the lives of people around them.

    Roman rule is numbers, thus leaving letters – (A)

    A few more ideas:


    – according to Wikipedia, `Senator` was part of his surname (rather than a rank)

    PINE C5

    This is my third guess that builds on my previous ones. I saw that the processor will be C906 (starts with C). That C is also the first letter of cone, which is “one of pine” (unus abiete). Also C5 is pronounced similar to SiFive company, but I didn’t found a relation to this processor. But there could be some relation with Sispeed which produces some board with this processor…

    The answer is likely Vivarium, or Vivarium64. Named after the monastery founded by Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator[0].
    Chosen because I was initially fixated with the possibility that the “V/five” in RISC-V referred to something with the Roman numeral five, and Vivarium had V in the initials.

    If it’s a building, it fits the bill of being “Under the scorching sun” too.

    Cassiodorus himself was a renowned scholar that lived to age 92-93 (which fits the bill of being an old Roman), although “Senator” isn’t a title but his surname. The “lay waste to the Roman rule” refers to the “Last of the Romans”[1], and how he embodied the Roman spirit with his “drive to preserve and explore classical literature during the 6th century AD.”[0]

    [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassiodorus
    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_of_the_Romans


    (romans made no distinction between U and V in writing… and pinVs is only one character from pinus (unus abiete)… and the V inside pinVs remember the V in RISC-V)


    A variant of my previous guess from above. It emphasizes the seed for boards based on RISC-V arch. Cone – “one of pine” and Five from Roman V. Alternative: CONE-5.

    Another interesting tidbit: “Gaius” is another name of Tacitus as well as the name of a senator who conspired against Nero after the fire.

    Kathrin Hubmann says:


    Because I think this riddle is about the fall of Caesar and the senator who plotted it, thinking it would save the Roman Empire but ultimately causing its downfall.

    Ann Conlan says:

    Hummm……… Pine64AD or Pine64Nero???

    My official guess is: Pine64Nero

    I’m hoping humanity walks away from Microsoft and Google’s AI. There can be no freedom when you nolonger possess the right to privacy, autonomy, & self determination.

    Ann Conlan says:

    Ok Pine Team,
    Can you just hurry up………… I need to do my 2020 Year End 1040 Taxes.

    PS: Suggestion…….build in an unhackable OS Crypto & tools to keep average Joe Blow who’s does not have a PHD in Linux security nor career as a corporate IT specialist.

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