HAVING carried the solution of cipher No. 73 through the various stages described in the preceding issues, it now only remains to arrange the slips prepared last week in their proper order to develop the message and numerical key.
In accomplishing this, two different movements of the slips are utilized: vertical adjustments of the individual slips, and horizontal rearrangement of the entire series. The number of vertical adjustments possible with any slip is limited by the number of "doubtful" letters at the top of it.
For example, slip 3 would have three possible adjustments, depending upon whether i, e, or O were made to occupy the first tine of the message being deciphered. Slips 4, 5, and 6 would likewise have three possible adjustments. Slips 2 and 7 admit of only two positions, however, and slip 1 of just the one.
Any pair of slips producing probable digraphs may be taken as a nucleus about which to attempt decipherment. Other slips may be matched to these by the "digraph frequency" and "CV-VC" methods already given, as w-ell as by ordinary trial methods of developing longer sequences, words, et cetera.
Suppose that the same QU used in a previous article to show the key length, and occurring on slips 5-2, is taken as the starting point. Near the central line of these slips occurs the digraph HE, at once suggesting such words as THE, THEN, THES E... Further down the sequence ND is encountered, possibly the last two letters of AND.
Assuming that THE occurs in the message, three other slips, 1, 4, and 6, afford a letter T. Of these three, however, only slips 1 and 4 have the letter within the required vertical distance. The decipherer must not be confused on this point in cases where a sequence being tried happened to be divided between two lines in the original set-up. In such instances an additional upward shift of one letter may be allowed the slip which marks the beginning of the next line if necessary.
Slip 6 out of the running, 1-5-2 of the two remaining combinations can be rejected because of VSH, YUN, IHI, and other improbable sequences. This leaves only 4-5-2. And this last series, fortunately, affords probable sequences throughout, including the AND just mentioned. Further, the OUR, two lines below, will become YOUR by using the Y available on slip 7, thus expanding the key to 7-4-5-2.
Sequences formed in the first and last lines of the slips should be viewed with suspicion on account of the doubtful letters. As soon as the proper column of a doubtful letter is found, that letter may be crossed off the other slip.
Proceeding as before, however, with our decipherment, the addition of the two remaining slips completes the arrangement, as shown herewith, giving the numerical key 7-4-5-2-6-1-3—derived from the key word SILENCE—and revealing the message: Detectives have found your hiding place in the stone quarry and are close on your trail.
Cipher No. 90, below, will afford some excellent practice with this interesting type of transposition cipher. And further remarks on the system will follow when the solution to this cipher is published, in three weeks. Suffice it now to say that methods of solution proposed by various cryptographers effectually prove that the system is far from being undecipherable, as Myszkowski believed.
Transposition cipher No. 82, published October 15, and also of the above type, was set up with the key word INFANTRY.
Conditions are favorable for the use of gas by the enemy opposite sectors facing northwest, north, and northeast.
Last week's straight substitution cryptogram No. 86 conveyed the message: "Vidocq, crafty arch-knave, turns artful sleuth. Superb brain-power, minus quirkish clant, bulwarks justice, solving myriad police enigmas."
In J. Lloyd Hood's No. 87, the message, "My friend, be sure you are right, then go ahead," was first transcribed by horizontals into a six by six rhomboid, and then taken out by alternate verticals, and grouped to form as many English words as possible in the cryptogram.
M Y F R I K N D B E S U R E Y O U A R E R I G H T T H E N G O A H E A D
In No. 89 of this week's ciphers you have one which its propounder claims is impossible to solve without the key word unless the latter should be guessed, or every word in the English language tried until the right one if found.
Remember our suggestion three weeks ago that readers submit "pronounceable" and "speaking" ciphers? Well, the author of No. 91 goes that one better, and sends in a cryptogram that can be set to music! C. E. R. writes: "Here is something new, I think. A cipher you can sing. It fits the tune of 'Aloha Oe' as well as the original words do. Try it on your ukelele."
This unusual cipher uses syllabic substitutes, several of the letters being represented by more than one syllable. The translation will be published in three weeks.
CIPHER No. 89 (Earnest Brewster, General Delivery, Stockton, California).
12-8-2-17-18-9-12-20-2-4-5-20-17-2-9-23-8- 21-1-20-2-17-19-4-5-20-22-2-4-7-5-12-2-21- 13-8-13-21-25-21-1-18-7-20-2-9-12-23-8-4- 4-4-5-2-22-5-18-9-21-1-5-9-18-18-9-21-3-2- 8-9-21-18-17-18-3-3-18-23-17-5-5-21-17-5- 2-21-21-1-5-20-21-2-21-8-18-9.
CIPHER No. 90.
SLOOT NVEYP GNTES NDRPM ICOOR TNMEA HLAEY AHEST ELAMH VTEHY ECGFY BETML RGHOA GKVRR TPEDH UEAWE FMTEA TSSAL GBIAI NREEN
CIPHER No, 91 (C. E. R., Hudson, Massachusetts).
AE HEKIMAO HILOLU Aule kimake le ahe Honolulu, Homo hohe au kuno lakona; Holopo melo taleto tapeno, Lupo leo, topa hu, talepa. Aloha lo, i ma tapelo, Ipo lake, lelu Aule, ima tapo; Palala Pelo, ho he auku ta, Heto oteki poluhu ti oi.