Puzzles
#1
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Here's something fun:

Snip

THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER, BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST. X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING? Q”

Kryptos 3rd Clue

This Sculpture Holds a Decades-Old C.I.A. Mystery. And Now, Another Clue.
John Schwartz, Jonathan Corum
9-12 minutes

The creator of one of the world’s most famous mysteries is giving obsessive fans a new clue.

Kryptos, a sculpture in a courtyard at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va., holds an encrypted message that has not fully yielded to attempts to crack it. It’s been nearly 30 years since its tall scroll of copper with thousands of punched-through letters was set in place.

Three of the four passages of the sculpture have been decrypted (the first, though unacknowledged at the time, was solved by a team from the National Security Agency). But after nearly three decades, one brief passage remains uncracked. And that has been a source of delight and consternation to thousands of people around the world.

Kryptos

Kryptos.Courtesy of Jim Sanborn

The sculptor, Jim Sanborn, has been hounded for decades by codebreaking enthusiasts. And he has twice provided clues to move the community of would-be solvers along, once in 2010 and again in 2014.

Now he is offering another clue. The last one, he says.

It is a word: “NORTHEAST.” (More on that later.)

Why do people care so much about a puzzle cut into a sheet of copper in a courtyard after so much time? It’s not just that the piece itself has a kind of brooding, powerful beauty, or the fact that it has been referred to in novels by the thriller writer Dan Brown. It is something deeper, something that involves the nature of the human mind, said Craig Bauer, a professor of mathematics at York College of Pennsylvania and a former scholar in residence at the N.S.A.’s Center for Cryptologic History.

Snip
Three Deciphered Passages

The message of Kryptos, and a partial guide to its solution, is contained in the panels of the sculpture. Mr. Sanborn devised the codes that he used for the passages with the help of Edward Scheidt, a retired chairman of the C.I.A.’s cryptographic center. The passages follow a theme of concealment and discovery, each more difficult to decipher than the last. The first reads: “BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION.” (The misspelling was intentional, Mr. Sanborn has said, to make it more difficult to decode — or, as he put it, “to mix it up.”)

E M U F P H Z L R F A X Y U S D J K Z L D K R N S H G N F I V J Y Q T Q U X Q B Q V Y U V L L T R E V J Y Q T M K Y R D M F D

Tap to flip.

The second includes the location of C.I.A. headquarters by latitude and longitude, and asks: “DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS? THEY SHOULD: IT’S BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE. X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION? ONLY WW.” The “W.W." is a reference to William Webster, who headed the C.I.A. when the sculpture was unveiled. Mr. Sanborn provided him with a key for deciphering the messages.

Mr. Webster, who left the C.I.A. in 1991, declined a request for an interview.

V F P J U D E E H Z W E T Z Y V G W H K K Q E T G F Q J N C E G G W H K K ? D Q M C P F Q Z D Q M M I A G P F X H Q R L G T I M V M Z J A N Q L V K Q E D A G D V F R P J U N G E U N A Q Z G Z L E C G Y U X U E E N J T B J L B Q C R T B J D F H R R Y I Z E T K Z E M V D U F K S J H K F W H K U W Q L S Z F T I H H D D D U V H ? D W K B F U F P W N T D F I Y C U Q Z E R E E V L D K F E Z M O Q Q J L T T U G S Y Q P F E U N L A V I D X F L G G T E Z ? F K Z B S F D Q V G O G I P U F X H H D R K F F H Q N T G P U A E C N U V P D J M Q C L Q U M U N E D F Q E L Z Z V R R G K F F V O E E X B D M V P N F Q X E Z L G R E D N Q F M P N Z G L F L P M R J Q Y A L M G N U V P D X V K P D Q U M E B E D M H D A F M J G Z N U P L G E S W J L L A E T G

The third passage paraphrases, again with a bit of misspelling, the account by the Egyptologist Howard Carter of opening King Tut’s tomb:

E N D Y A H R O H N L S R H E O C P T E O I B I D Y S H N A I A C H T N R E Y U L D S L L S L L N O H S N O S M R W X M N E T P R N G A T I H N R A R P E S L N N E L E B L P I I A C A E W M T W N D I T E E N R A H C T E N E U D R E T N H A E O E T F O L S E D T I W E N H A E I O Y T E Y Q H E E N C T A Y C R E I F T B R S P A M H H E W E N A T A M A T E G Y E E R L B T E E F O A S F I O T U E T U A E O T O A R M A E E R T N R T I B S E D D N I A A H T T M S T E W P I E R O A G R I E W F E B A E C T D D H I L C E I H S I T E G O E A O S D D R Y D L O R I T R K L M L E H A G T D H A R D P N E O H M G F M F E U H E E C D M R I P F E I M E H N L S S T T R T V D O H W ?

With spacing and punctuation added, the text reads: “SLOWLY, DESPARATLY SLOWLY, THE REMAINS OF PASSAGE DEBRIS THAT ENCUMBERED THE LOWER PART OF THE DOORWAY WAS REMOVED. WITH TREMBLING HANDS I MADE A TINY BREACH IN THE UPPER LEFT-HAND CORNER. AND THEN, WIDENING THE HOLE A LITTLE, I INSERTED THE CANDLE AND PEERED IN. THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER, BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST. X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING? Q”

The Final Clue

The fourth section is shorter than the others, it’s just 97 characters, a fact that “could, in itself, present a decryption challenge,” Mr. Scheidt said in an exchange of emails. Common solution methods rely on the frequency of the most common letters, like E, T, A, O, I and N. In addition, he said, the last passage uses what is known as a masking technique, a further level of obfuscation.

The clues Mr. Sanborn has offered so far are in the form of a “crib,” which is a word or phrase that appears in the decrypted text. The 2010 clue was the word BERLIN, in the 64th through 69th positions of that final passage. In 2014 he revealed the word CLOCK in the next five, 70 through 74.

While the response was a frenzy of activity among enthusiasts, the result, in cryptographic terms, was bupkis.

O B K R U O X O G H U L B S O L I F B B W F L R V Q Q P R N G K S S O T W T Q S J Q S S E K Z Z W A T J K L U D I A W I N F B N Y P V T T M Z F P K W G D K Z X T J C D I G K U H U A U E K C A R

So now, Mr. Sanborn, at 74, is giving the world another shot: the word NORTHEAST, at positions 26 through 34. Will it be enough?

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020...-clue.html

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#2
Snip
Jim Sanborn has released a new clue to the 97-character passage: “Northeast.”

The one-word hint—a decryption of letters 26 through 34—is the third and final clue Sanborn is willing to offer. The other two hints—“clock” and “Berlin,” released in 2010 and 2014, respectively—sit back-to-back at positions 64 through 69 and 70 through 74. Sanborn released the first clue about 20 years after the sculpture’s unveiling and the second on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event he says influenced the encryption’s development.

Why release the final clue now?

“Well, it is very close—within days—to when I actually developed that 97-character string,” Sanborn tells NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly. “The dedication ceremony is actually not until November, but obviously prior to the dedication, I had to come up with the final clue section. And that’s why I’m doing it now, basically.”

Only Sanborn and former CIA director William Webster have the solution to the encrypted message, which Sanborn developed with help from Edward Scheidt, retired chairman of the CIA’s Cryptographic Center.

At the dedication, Sanborn gave Webster two envelopes: one with the key words needed to break the code, and the other with the fully translated message, reported the Associated Press’ Robert Andrews at the time.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sculpture quickly captured the attention of both intelligence agency employees and the general public.

Snip
Regardless of when the fourth passage is finally solved, the sculpture will retain a degree of intrigue. The 97 characters, once translated, yield a riddle, and the four passages combined comprise another puzzle. The objects surrounding the copper wave—slabs of granite, petrified wood and a pool of water—not only block sections of the text from photographs, but also contribute to the larger puzzle. Additionally, the copper is embossed with lines of Morse code.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-new...180974102/

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#3
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Kryptos is a sculpture by the American artist Jim Sanborn located on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia. Since its dedication on November 3, 1990, there has been much speculation about the meaning of the four encrypted messages it bears. Of these four messages, the first three have been solved, while the fourth message remains one of the most famous unsolved codes in the world. The sculpture continues to be of interest to cryptanalysts, both amateur and professional, who are attempting to decipher the fourth passage. The artist has so far given four clues to this passage.

Snip
Description
Close-up view of part of the text

The main part of the sculpture is located in the northwest corner of the New Headquarters Building courtyard, outside of the Agency's cafeteria. The sculpture comprises four large copper plates with other elements consisting of water, wood, plants, red and green granite, white quartz, and petrified wood. The most prominent feature is a large vertical S-shaped copper screen resembling a scroll or a piece of paper emerging from a computer printer, half of which consists of encrypted text. The characters are all found within the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, along with question marks, and are cut out of the copper plates. The main sculpture contains four separate enigmatic messages, three of which have been deciphered.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptos

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#4
From Post #1

Three Deciphered Passages

The message of Kryptos, and a partial guide to its solution, is contained in the panels of the sculpture. Mr. Sanborn devised the codes that he used for the passages with the help of Edward Scheidt, a retired chairman of the C.I.A.’s cryptographic center. The passages follow a theme of concealment and discovery, each more difficult to decipher than the last. The first reads: “BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION.” (The misspelling was intentional, Mr. Sanborn has said, to make it more difficult to decode — or, as he put it, “to mix it up.”)



The first reads: “BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION.” (The misspelling was intentional, Mr. Sanborn has said, to make it more difficult to decode — or, as he put it, “to mix it up.”)


“BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION.”


I Q LUSION


And, from the third passage:

"THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER, BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST. X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING? Q”

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#5
That is so interesting but I would have to take my ADD med and be very focused to even read all the info. I love stuff like this.  Heartflowers

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#6
Finally, a New Clue to Solve the CIA's Mysterious Kryptos Sculpture
Kim Zetter
10-13 minutes

In 1989, the year the Berlin Wall began to fall, American artist Jim Sanborn was busy working on his Kryptos sculpture, a cryptographic puzzle wrapped in a riddle that he created for the CIA's headquarters and that has been driving amateur and professional cryptographers mad ever since.

To honor the 25th anniversary of the Wall's demise and the artist's 69th birthday this year, Sanborn has decided to reveal a new clue to help solve his iconic and enigmatic artwork. It's only the second hint he's released since the sculpture was unveiled in 1990 and may finally help unlock the fourth and final section of the encrypted sculpture, which frustrated sleuths have been struggling to crack for more than two decades.

Snip
Even the NSA, whose master crackers were the first to decipher other parts of the work, gave up on cracking it long ago. So four years ago, concerned that he might not live to see the mystery of Kryptos resolved, Sanborn released a clue to help things along, revealing that six of the last 97 letters when decrypted spell the word "Berlin"---a revelation that many took to be a reference to the Berlin Wall.

To that clue today, he's adding the next word in the sequence---"clock"---that may or may not throw a wrench in this theory. Now the Kryptos sleuths just have to unscramble the remaining 86 characters to find out.

Is a Clock a Clock?

[Image: Mengenlehreuhr-RM.jpg]

The Berlin Clock, or the Set Theory Clock.
John Freeman/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images


Sanborn told WIRED that he's always been fascinated by Berlin's many clocks but the Berlin Clock in particular has intrigued him the most. The clock, also known as the Berlin Uhr or Set Theory Clock, was designed in the 1970s by inventor and tinkerer Dieter Binninger. It displays the time through illuminated colored blocks rather than numbers and requires the viewer to calculate the time based on a complex scheme.

Snip
A yellow lamp at the top of the clock blinks every two seconds while a row of red lamps beneath it represent five hours. Red lights on a second row denote one hour each, and time is calculated based on the number of lights illuminated. "So if in the first line 2 lamps are lit and in the second line 3 lamps, it's 5+5+3=13h or 1 p.m.,"

Snip
The focus on the clock, however, may just be a bit of sly misdirection from Sanborn---who is known among Kryptos fans for his puckishness.

"Clock" could easily refer instead to a method devised by a Polish mathematician and cryptologist during World War II to crack Germany's Enigma ciphers---a method that was expanded on by Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park who are credited with ultimately cracking Enigma. (It may be no coincidence that Sanborn has decided to release his new clue at the same time as The Imitation Game, a film about Turing's work on Enigma, is opening in US theaters on Nov. 28.)

Snip
In 1995 a small group of cryptanalysts inside the NSA quietly deciphered the first three sections of the sculpture, though no one outside the agency and the CIA's top brass knew about it. In 1998, CIA analyst David Stein cracked the same three messages using paper and pencil and about 400 lunch-time hours. Only his CIA colleagues knew of his success, however, because the agency didn’t publicize it. A year later, California computer scientist Jim Gillogly gained public notoriety when he cracked the same three messages using a Pentium II.

The first message is a poetic phrase that Sanborn composed:

“Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion.”

The second one hints at something buried:

“It was totally invisible. How’s that possible? They used the earth’s magnetic field. x The information was gathered and transmitted undergruund to an unknown location. x Does Langley know about this? They should: it’s buried out there somewhere. x Who knows the exact location? Only WW. This was his last message. x Thirty eight degrees fifty seven minutes six point five seconds north, seventy seven degrees eight minutes forty four seconds west. x Layer two.”

The third message is a take on a passage from the diary of English Archaeologist Howard Carter describing the opening of King Tut’s tomb on Nov. 26, 1922.

“Slowly, desparatly slowly, the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway was removed. With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left-hand corner. And then, widening the hole a little, I inserted the candle and peered in. The hot air escaping from the chamber caused the flame to flicker, but presently details of the room within emerged from the mist. x Can you see anything? q”

Snip
The six letters that spell "Berlin"---NYPVTT----are the 64th through 69th letters of the final 97 characters and the new clue "clock" are deciphered from the next five letters that follow it.

Code detectives worked to crack the puzzle following the Berlin revelation. Members of a popular Kryptos Yahoo Group led by Elonka Dunin, the foremost expert on Kryptos, tried for months to resolve it but to no avail.

Who knows if the new clue will prove to be any more helpful. And even if it is and sleuths decipher the final code, there’s an additional message they will still need to resolve. Once decrypted, the fourth section reveals a riddle, which Sanborn has said requires sleuths to be on the CIA grounds to solve.

Snip
Kryptos includes intentional spelling errors and misaligned characters set higher on a line of text than characters around them. But in 2006, Sanborn realized he had also made an inadvertent error, a missing “x” that he mistakenly deleted from the end of a line in section two, a section that was already solved. He discovered the omission while doing a letter-by-letter comparison of the plaintext and coded text in preparation for a book about his work.

The “x” was supposed to signify a period or section-break at the end of a phrase. Sanborn removed it for aesthetic reasons, thinking it wouldn’t affect the way the puzzle was deciphered, but in fact it did. What sleuths had until then deciphered to say “ID by rows” was actually supposed to say “layer two.” The correction hasn’t helped anyone solve the rest of the puzzle, however, in the subsequent years.

Now this second clue, Sanborn hopes, will reinvigorate efforts to crack the mystery, though he has mixed views on whether he wants the journey to end. ...

more
https://www.wired.com/2014/11/second-kryptos-clue/

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#7
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Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is an English country house and estate in Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) that became the principal centre of Allied code-breaking during the Second World War. The mansion was constructed during the years following 1883 for the financier and politician Sir Herbert Leon in the Victorian Gothic, Tudor, and Dutch Baroque styles, on the site of older buildings of the same name.

During World War II, the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers; among its most notable early personnel the GC&CS team of codebreakers included Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander, Bill Tutte, and Stuart Milner-Barry. The nature of the work there was secret until many years after the war.

According to the official historian of British Intelligence, the "Ultra" intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain.[1] The team at Bletchley Park devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world's first programmable digital electronic computer.[a] Codebreaking operations at Bletchley Park came to an end in 1946 and all information about the wartime operations was classified until the mid-1970s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bletchley_Park

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#8
[Image: nKeQ95E.png]

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#9
Caesar Cipher

In cryptography, a Caesar cipher, also known as Caesar's cipher, the shift cipher, Caesar's code or Caesar shift, is one of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques. It is a type of substitution cipher in which each letter in the plaintext is replaced by a letter some fixed number of positions down the alphabet. For example, with a left shift of 3, D would be replaced by A, E would become B, and so on. The method is named after Julius Caesar, who used it in his private correspondence.[1]

The encryption step performed by a Caesar cipher is often incorporated as part of more complex schemes, such as the Vigenère cipher, and still has modern application in the ROT13 system. As with all single-alphabet substitution ciphers, the Caesar cipher is easily broken and in modern practice offers essentially no communications security.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_cipher


ROT13

ROT13 ("rotate by 13 places", sometimes hyphenated ROT-13) is a simple letter substitution cipher that replaces a letter with the 13th letter after it in the alphabet. ROT13 is a special case of the Caesar cipher which was developed in ancient Rome.

Because there are 26 letters (2×13) in the basic Latin alphabet, ROT13 is its own inverse; that is, to undo ROT13, the same algorithm is applied, so the same action can be used for encoding and decoding. The algorithm provides virtually no cryptographic security, and is often cited as a canonical example of weak encryption.[1]

ROT13 is used in online forums as a means of hiding spoilers, punchlines, puzzle solutions, and offensive materials from the casual glance. ROT13 has inspired a variety of letter and word games online, and is frequently mentioned in newsgroup conversations.

[Image: 320px-ROT13_table_with_example.svg.png]

ROT13 replaces each letter by its partner 13 characters further along the alphabet. For example, HELLO becomes URYYB (or, conversely, URYYB becomes HELLO again).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROT13

Half the population at Base Camp was clinically delusional.
-- John Krakauer 1996 Everest Expedition.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
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#10
Fascinating, but WAY over my paygrade. It'll be interesting to see more replies from those attempting decode.
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