Code Challenge Message Board: Ciphers: Code Challenge

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 04:13 pm:

Ok Zander, here is my code. I will be truly astonished if you solve it, and if you can tell me how I created it, I will be convinced you are z!LOL. There are no misspellings and no anagrams.



By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 06:53 pm:

I'm on it. It already looks familiar.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 08:21 pm:

Just glancing it over, I shall guess that you have, in fact, coded the first letters of all fifty states. But allow me to organize a more specefic solution or otherwise rule it out. Thank You. Your Friend, Zodiac.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 10:05 pm:

Zander, The code has to do with the zodiac. Classic

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 10:48 pm:

This oughta be good...

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 04:55 pm:

Since Classic says "I will be astonished if you solve it", my guess is that there is some other "trick" besides anagramming, such as reading the text top-to-bottom, or diagonally. Or alternatively as ZK suggests, a "lookup table", a document which must be consulted to interpret each letter.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 12:23 am:

It is a simple left to right code. Actually it is only one sentence. It will read in plain english, no tricks and shall have the killers name and initials in it. It took me only 15 min. to think of how to do this code and only 30min to write it. There is most definetly a method to my madness, so to speak. Everyone knows that an unbreakable code can be made and I think z knew this as well. I'll give some more time( as this is what this about, opps, did I say too much)before I divulge my theory and solution. What's the price now? Classic

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 02:02 am:

I think it's true that an unbreakable code can be made that will work until the paradigm is figured out, at which point it will become useless. I presented an example of this last year, when I challenged Glen Claston to solve a cipher I had created using a combination of Morse code and "binary" encryption, i.e., a vowel stood for a dot, a consonant a dash.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 11:45 am:

What is the purpose of a code if it is "unbreakable"? Might as well just be gibberish.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 12:50 pm:

I did not set out to make an unbreakable code. The main purpose was to see if more than one solution was possible. Classic

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 06:17 pm:

Uh, it might be to protect yourself from going to jail?

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 06:28 pm:

Can anybody play or is this challenge only for ZK?
It doesn't look like a simple substitution because of the double double "ZZGG". Might it be a rotating subsitution sort of like a one-wheeled Engima except instead of a wheel there's a simple formula to shift the scale each time a letter is encoded?

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 08:50 pm:

Give it a shot Ray. I'll give another hint as to how I made the code. What is "arbegla". Classic

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 10:03 pm:

What is "arbegla".
Why, ALGEBRA spelled backward. But in answer to my question, you've already said the code is left to right, and without anagrams. So code breakers, I expect there is a little math involved. (perhaps Radians...since it is Z related...but that's actually trig.) By the way double doubles are not that bad: bOOKKEEper is a triple double. ZZGG could be inEEDDoughnuts.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 11:08 pm:

You got it obiwan. It is the reverse of algebra. In algebra you add with letters. The reverse of that would be to spell with numbers. On the right track... Classic

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 11:11 am:

I dare anyone to challenge me with a code (create a new topic under "Reasonable Code Challenge"), and I shall hand it back in short order. Just Kidding. Actually the code was too easy. Classic, I would wait till like Wednesday to reveal it though, give others a chance, maybe throw out a few clues. I found it amusing to watch the average idiot break apart a Rubiks Cube and put it back together, in order to solve it. This included my teachers. I hope there aren't too many eraser-less pencils out there. Here's a slight clue: 7+7+7=21.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 12:45 pm:

Here's a challenge for anyone who wants to tackle it: a page of code from one of Ted Kaczynski's journals. I'm not trying to put anyone on the spot; I'd just be interested in knowing exactly how he encrypted it. The plaintext (deciphered from the key, found in Kaczynski's cabin) reads:

Since committing the crimes reported elsewhere in my notes I feel better. I am still plenty angry, you understand, but the difference is that I am now able to strike back, to a degree. True, I can't strike back to anything like the extent I wish to, but I no longer feel totally helpless, and the anger duzzent gnaw at my guts as it used to. Guilty feelings? Yes, a little. Occasionally I have had bad dreams in which the police are after me. Or in which I am threatened with some super natural source. Such as the devil. But these dont occur often you enuf to be a problem. I am definitely glad to have done what I have.

You can see the ciphertext at

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 07:50 pm:

Another hint at the context of the code. In my best Foster Brooks impersonation: "A rose by any other name would be called the silver surfer." Classic

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 08:15 pm:

Douglas, its too bad the FBI won't give you the key; I presume you've tried FOIA. It would be interesting to learn this method of enciphering, and see if it has any bearing on the 340-cipher.

So to begin, can you tell us what you have tried, so we don't bark up the wrong tree? For example does each number stand for a letter (does that work out?)? Do the ciphertext periods fit in at the ends of sentances, and do the double commas represent commas in the text? Thanks, obiwan.

ps. Who is foster brooks? I must not be watching enough TV.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 08:54 pm:

Obiwan, I've tried to get documents via FOIA, but they refuse to part with them, always citing privacy act regulations.

To tell the truth, I haven't been able to make such sense of Kaczynski's encryption technique, which isn't surprising, because I don't have the patience for it, and although it's not particularly flattering to make the admission, I just might not have the IQ for it either. It appears that each two-digit numeral stands for a letter, although it seems to be polyalphabetic in nature. There are large gaps of space which perhaps he intended to be misinterpreted as word spaces, although they're obviously not. The plaintext I quoted above is supposedly an exact translation of the cipher. It doesn't appear that the punctuation in the cipher relates to that in the plaintext.

Maybe he took a grid, marked it from 0 to 9 on the top and side and then filled in the spaces with letters? I don't know.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 12:12 am:

Here's a wild guess: it's encrypted in the same manner as the Beale ciphers. It appears that the numbers range from 0 to 99, and I'll bet that Kaczinsky had a key, a short document perhaps, and each number corresponds to the first letter of any particular word. In other words, the second Beale cipher was keyed to the Declaration of Independence, and the first three words are "We the people." Thus, if Beale wanted to encode a "W," he'd write "1," and "2" represented "T," and so on, except that TK started numbering with a 0 instead of 1. Therefore, like Z, the same letter could be represented by many numbers. Now, the trick is to figure out what document his code is keyed to (if that's in fact what he did).

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 07:58 pm:

Ed, that's a likely possiblility. I wonder if there is a way you can prove it's polyalphabetic. Oh and by the way, the first 3 words are "When In The".

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 08:47 pm:

"We the people," comprises, I believe, the preamble to the Constitution of the United States.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 02:02 am:

Oops... that's a dead giveaway that I wasn't educated here (knowledge of such things isn't required in Australia; strange, eh?). It was the Constitution, not the Declaration of Independence, that the second Beale cipher was keyed to.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 01:19 pm:

obiwan, Foster Brooks was a comedian back in the '70's who was always drunk, or appeared to be. He always slurred his words and called people by the wrong name. Classic

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 01:55 pm:

Ya'll have gotten me confused now, let me get this straight (it was also midnight after a hard weekend's work...)! It was the Declaration of Independence that the second Beale cipher was keyed to, however, the example I gave was from the Constitution; I incorrectly attributed "We the people" to the wrong document.

OK, now that that's straightened out...

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 02:06 pm:

Classic, I was bluffing about having solved your cipher. I'm interested in knowing how it works, if you're ready to reveal it.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 02:36 pm:

Ed...You are forgiven. I didn't realize you were still living under a monarchy...;) Actually I'm not sure how many Americans could tell you the begining of the DoI, but I have read it many times.
Classic, I'm not able to work on your cipher now, so like Zander I would not mind if you revealed.
However, I'll take one shot in the dark: Do the letters encode dates of the Z. Crimes?

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 03:18 pm:

I get the following "pattern" that I am not able to make sense of. Thanks a lot for wasting a bunch of my time with that 7+7+7=21 "clue", there Zander. Real nice. I hope you got some enjoyment out of that. Anyway, here's the pattern:

17 2 24 26 26 2 26 7 26 1
22 8 10 17 14 14 10 6 26 6
14 5 10 17 6 9 25 15 4 18
26 26 7 7 9 16 4 17 12 14
15 1 12 8 26 26 10 20 14 23

If this is spelling with numbers, I see the concept but I can't find the pattern or formula required. How about another hint? A non cryptic one?

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 04:37 pm:

OK, Board: Here's my 408-style code challenge. Homophonic substitution, no misspellings or anagrams. Straightforward codebreaking just like Graysmith and Zander say they used should easily solve it. Just curious if there really are any bonafide codebreakers around here.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 04:43 pm:

You can blame Classic for wasting your time when you find out that the code is alligned to the beginning of a Silver Surfer comic book. I haven't put much work into it, because of the "truly astonished" comment. Here's my solution to the code: "50 symbols + "truly astonished" = fully intact pencil-eraser. Let's have another clue ?

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 05:00 pm:

Yeah, I know what you mean that "truly astonished" leads one to believe their efforts will be wasted. Still, I believe Classic has a real, solvable code here. I tell you what though, you don't have to worry about any trickery with my code either. I just want to know if the method Graysmith used was valid and actually works.


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 09:51 pm:

It's 378 characters, but who's counting...? I'll try my hand at this, but can't promise anything...

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 11:12 pm:

Ok, the reference about the silver surfer. Z by any other name would be the cipher slayer. If as Foster Brooks was drunk and slurring, silver surfer and cipher slayer aren't that far apart. What the code says is(drum roll please)"'Andrew Walker' is the cipher slayer I am quite sure of this 'ATW'". How I created the cipher was this. Each letter has a numeric value. A=1, B=2, etc. So "Andrew" is 23,9,12,12,9,1,13. Then I pick numbers that would mean something to this person, birthdate, ssn.So starting with W(23)goes 3 for birth month. Times the two and you get 69. The 69th letter of the alphabet if continuing after 26 is Q. When the second value was 0 I substituted 26 knowing it would come up as Z.

The reason I made this code this way was this. z obviously made his second code harder. The code would also have to have meaning and not just be a bunch of gibberish. If he used a way of encoding that meant something to him but was unbreakable or nearly so he would have accomplished what he wanted to. Do I think the 340 code was encrypted like mine? No not likely. However I have always been bothered by the lack of fluidity in the solutions I have seen. I can't see z putting that effort into the code and having the message be that abscract. That would definetly be breaking from his style of doing things.

The reason I said "truly astonished" was because "Walker's" name isn't widely known and by using the term cipher slayer instead of zodiac might throw everyone of track. Classic

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

So far, I've determined that there are 56 different symbols, only 15 of which occur 10 times or more. W and Z occur most frequently, at 14 times each. So far, I've found only two doubled symbols, Z (line 1, symbols 11 & 12) and the circles half filled-in on the right side (line 17, symbols 2 & 3).

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 01:29 pm:

Th message text is not of my creation. It should nearly solve itself once you break into it. Particularly if you are over 35 years old. So, in that respect, it should be easier than the 340.


By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 04:08 pm:

Classic, even though you told me how you made your cipher I'm still not sure I get it?
You seem to associate a birth month or social security number with Andrew Walker, then use this
to encode "Andrew" and "Walker" but what is the birth month associated with "quite sure" ?? But you certainly did make a cipher that was at least has hard to crack as the
340, which I guess was your goal! I too am bothered by the fluidity in solutions to day.
What I would really like is a solution which follows a distinct pattern of rules throughout and produces almost all readable text
(perhaps with some spelling mistakes and extra letters). However its possible that this is just not how the ciper was encoded.
It would be great if we could prove that it was encoded one way or the other (ie annagramming or none...I guess Glen suggested none earlier)

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 05:43 pm:

The only impass here, Classic, seems to be that you did not use an objective, repeatable algorithm. In other words, you made personal interpretations of numbers as they relate to another individual, and that interpretation naturally varied as the next number always had to be interpreted as relevant in some subjective way. The only way the code could be broken was if someone made the same coincidental connections that you did for the same substitution, like birthday, but somebody else may have said "Oh, well that's also the fourth digit of the SSN". In short, this was a code that could not be broken because it utilized unknowable encrytion techniques. You're right, I would have been shocked and amazed, too. But I would have been convinced that Zander was YOU! LOL!


By Classic (Classic) ( - on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 08:02 pm:

obiwan, Walker has 4 different birthdays and ssn's. I just used them in order.

Ray, The point of the code was that a code could be created that was very difficult to break, but would still be identifiable to only one individual. If I had encoded a different message, it would still be positively identifiable to this particular suspect. z always said his identity was in his codes, but also said he wouldn't give his name. Birthdate,ssn, phone #, etc. would give a persons identity. Maybe that is how z looked at it. Classic

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 10:15 am:

You might just clarify something here.You say it is a straight homophonic substitution cipher.
However you suggest it should be solved similarly to how the 340 was "solved"!

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 11:13 am:

HA! HA! No, not that way! The way Graysmith and Zander Kite say they solved the 340. I didn't put any of that stuff in there. This is really and truly a simple and straightforward cipher. I'll be surprised if it stands unbroken a week since ZK deciphered the 340 in 16 hours I believe he said. Just curious about how easy these things are or are not to solve.


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 11:36 am:

It takes intuition, luck and skill... and a lot of time, if one is willing to do it.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 11:40 am:


Time for the next clew:

These are the lyrics to a popular 1970's rock and roll song. The author's name is ______

circle w/ horizontal stroke

backwards F

circle top half filled

triangle w/ dot

split T (like the second to last character of the third row)


More tomorrow...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 12:01 pm:

The reason I asked was because you gave us a mean code here.At a rough count I think the most times a symbol was used is 11 times,possibly 12.
So figuring out the frequencies is going to be hard.I thought perhaps there was a rosetta stone type key.At a quick glance the only two three-peats are on lines four and eighteen.Consisting of;-
Aquarius,M and circle with dot.In line 18 there is an N before these symbols, which make it look like NAME! In line four these three symbols are preceded by reversed B.Perhaps both these symbols
represent the same letter!
Anyway,that was my angle.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 01:37 pm:

You're right, Sean. It is going to be a little harder to break into, but the plain text is just too easy to figgure out once you do. I have in mind follow on clews.... but really there are no angles to be had. Anything that looks readable on it's face is pure coincidence.


By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 02:04 pm:

Here is what you are looking at:

11 letters are represented by one symbol.

5 are represented by two.

3 are represented by three.

3 are represented by four.

3 are represented by five.

1 is represented by six (can you guess which one?)

3 letter pairs share a symbol, but for practical purposes it's only 2.

The name of the album from which the lyrics came (not incorporating the name of the band) is _____

Ankh, R, square, Y, crossed circle, Z,

solid circle, backward J, inverted T,

solid trine, Z, T, square lower right filled

Realize that if you figgure this out, the "toughness" of the code will be inconsequential.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 04:28 pm:

That's where intuition comes in: I suspected it might be from a song, but I was thinking 60's rather than 70's. Still, that leaves a LOT to choose from! Oh, and Lapumo, I already figured out the frequencies of the symbols (some of the names I've given them are obviously different than Ray's):

Letters (17):
A = 10
B = 7
D = 4
E = 4
J = 6
M = 9
N = 5
P = 3
Q = 7
R = 11
S = 6
T = 10
V = 11
W = 14
X = 3
Y = 11
Z = 14

Backwards letters (9):
B = 5
C = 5
F = 2
J = 7
K = 10
L = 5
N = 3
P = 1
Q = 4

Other letters (2):
Sideways K = 9
Upside down T = 4

Symbols (11):
Z symbol = 9
Z symbol rotated 45 = 4
Aries = 10
Upside down Aries = 4
Upside down Aries with crossbar and dot to RHS = 1
Ankh = 7
+ = 10
Crescent moon = 5
Circled Taurus = 4
Double M (or Charlie Brown's shirt design) = 6
Not sure what else to call it but two crescents with circle (more-or-less) joining in center = 5

Geometric, clear (6):
Circle with dot = 6
Circle with line through equator = 10
Triangle = 3
Triangle with dot = 5
Square = 10
Square with dot = 5

Geometric, partially filled (7):
Circle, left side filled = 5
Circle, right side filled = 11
Circle, top half filled = 9
Circle, bottom half filled = 9
Circle, 3/4 filled = 6
Square, upper left filled = 5
Square, lower right filled = 6

Geometric, filled (3):
Circle = 5
Triangle = 8
Square = 10

Looks like I miscounted before: there's 55 (not 56) different symbols, and a total of 378 characters (hope I got the frequencies right! It's always good to doublecheck...).

Hope this helps.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 04:52 pm:

Thanks Ed,I hate that part of it.Drives me nuts.
When I spoke of frequencies,I was referring to general principles;-most common letters, doubles trebles etc and being able to tackle this thing that way.Ray has made that much harder for us.
Incidentally,Ray,giving such clues kinda defeats the purpose, don't you think?
Although I preferred the heavier stuff.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 06:33 pm:

Yes, but I don't really think I've given much away. As you wish, though. No more clues till you beg for them!

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 06:42 pm:

I can't resist just one more, lest you decide think this is too hard. Although there are some letters represented by quite a few "different" symbols, looking closely you might see that sometimes they are more similar than you thought.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 03:35 am:

That's a fair clue,and perhaps when this is over it might be worth following up on.The point being how you decided to attribute symbols for letters.
Was there some pattern to it.I looked into that with respect to the first cipher but found nothing significant.I imagine the natural inclination is to move along these lines with symbols that look alike representing the same letters,or close groups.l
Something else that you do no have seem to have done, is to stick with sequencing.That may have given us the opportunity to work out some of the letters.I told you before about that sadistic streak :)
Incidentally Ed,you were right about luck an intutition.When Ray gave the clue about over 35 the first thing I thought of was Confession letter.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 11:11 am:


Just so my last clue is properly understood, so as not to lead anyone down a wrong path, what I meant was that the different symbols representing a particular letter may not be all that different from each other. So you might find that to a certain degree the large number of symbols is not quite as overwhelming as it initially appears. I was not trying to imply that they in any way resemble the letter they represent. This was not part of the selection process. Any similarity is purely coincidental. I will refrain from comment on whether or not I stuck with strict sequencing...


By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 11:20 am:

In other words, just because I told you that one letter is represented by a certain number of symbols, this might not be as daunting as you would initially assume...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 12:20 pm:

You did not stick with strict sequencing.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 11:37 am:

Sticking my neck out here,I believe I am starting to see some similarities.It looks like
a verse is being repeated,however there are slight differences.Perhaps as often seen in lyrics a letter might be dropped such as in Falling/fallin'.Or perhaps there are some "ooo's or aaa's thrown in to carry the notes,especially coming to the end of a song!.
Are you in a generous mood Ray?

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Sunday, March 03, 2002 - 01:56 am:

Ray, With your cipher you are basically asking the following question:

Is it possible that the Zodiac 340 Character Cipher represents a simple homophonic cipher with no anagramming or other "tricks?

There are two possible answers:

"NO, that can not be the case, or it would have been solved by now" If this is the correct answer, then, in all probability, we here on the board will be able to solve your cipher.

"YES, it may have no tricks but still unsolved". In this case we on the board may not be able to solve your cipher for a long time unless it is much simpler than the 340 char cipher.

In anycase I think it is a worthwhile test. The clues you have given us so far may be a little too much in that, as you point out, we could derive the answer without any cryptography. Avoiding that approach, then your clues are somewhat similar to the clues we have about Z. which we can use in solving the 340-cipher.

Therefore, I shall take up your challenge. I've posted a brief analysis of your cipher, and an ASCII version of it here:

So far this work is only preparatory to solving the cipher, which I hope to try in the next few days if I have time. If anyone else wants to take a crack at it, perhaps you would want to start with the most popular digraphs: VG (4 times)
and )G, /z, 6V, (3 times each), and the 3 repeated trigraphs:

6VG =M@ Rk+

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Sunday, March 03, 2002 - 04:22 am:

Thanks Obiwan,that will help greatly.
I also notice what could be a string of 5.
The opening five symbols on line one RzG-Y could be repeating on line 12 with RzK-Y. Which suggest that G and K represent the same letter!.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, March 03, 2002 - 04:36 pm:


Not saying anymore as yet. Obiwan agrees with you that I have possibly left the back door wide open. Let's see if anyone can come in the front.


That's EXACTLY the question I'm asking. You see, I don't have complete faith in RG's "verified" solution. I admire Zander for skipping the solution pages in Zodiac and all, but the fact remains that he resolved a 'solved' code. Being that much the same result was achieved it could mean that RG got it right, or it could mean that they both got it wrong. I feel strongly that there is more stuff in the 340 which needs to come out. So, you are correct. I want to find out what's what and I appreciate you guys taking your time out to put effort into this. I am not an experienced code breaker or code maker, in fact this is my first encoding experience. But, I think I did a pretty accurate job of putting together a 408 style code.
Upon more reflection I wish I had not added the other short codes, but you see my question at hand and are thankfully going to disregard them. Even on it's own, I still predict the main code doesn't have long to live.


By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, March 04, 2002 - 02:53 pm:

Ray, just so you know, I've put in about 5 hours so far toward the code, enough to be familiar with it. I will have the time to dig into the code over the next several days and hope to hammer something out soon. ZK

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Monday, March 04, 2002 - 03:38 pm:


That's great! I really appreciate the time everyone is putting into this project. My hope is that it will do us all some good perhaps by illuminating some facet of the 340 in a new way. I have a great curiousity to see what will happen.


By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 09:37 pm:

Ray, I've tried a little more on your cipher. Basically took an hour to solve it outright without success. This is not surprising in light of Zander's effort. So, I started on a different approach...trying to improve my "computer assisted" cipher-solver, & made some progress. It basically "suggests" possible letter mappings, based on frequencies then lets you play around. But it is still quite primative.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 02:23 pm:

This code is a "cold-guess" style code. It's still interesting and fun to work on, but I think that the first one to guess a word wins. This is why I believe Zodiac was a math man. I would say that my original 340-solution(closely mirrors "Graysmiths") is basically correct. In it, Zodiac has allowed words to be seen with a combination of the previous code translations and letter symbols that equal themselves. Toschi,see,hell, etc. He is giving you something to work on, like a math problem. Even in the simpler 3-part code, he does this. You know the code is written by a killer who uses words like shall, kill, and will. So he makes the double L's as an obvious foundation. Maybe Ray can tell me how many of these I have correct. 1. Backward L is between Q and Z. 2. The symbol "M" equals another symbol that is a circle. 3. One of the square symbols equals "N".

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 05:56 pm:


Sorry, but all are incorrect. I know that you don't know some things about this message like you knew some things about Zodiac such as shall, kill, etc. So maybe the other clues I gave are necessary after all. Still, Lapumo has made some progress on character mapping. Review all of the clues above under "here's what you are looking at". Zander is correct, one word will solve the whole enchilada, which is why I think it will be solved even though the code appears baffling. However, it is not as complicated as it looks. Keep in mind that symbols that have the same general appearance might be connected in some way.

There is actually a message in the character maps.
It relates to both Zodiac ciphers and the song.

AM ...

If solved it will provide character maps to important vowels. No tricks, just another way in. It narrows things down considerably.

Another CRYPTIC clue:


I do have a vicious streak. Have fun.


By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 01:53 pm:

Since there has been no activity here, I'm going to assume that the difference here is that we don't know what the double L's are. Well, the L is represented by:

the backward L (of course), the crossed circle, and the square with the lower right half filled in.

There is your toehold, gentlemen. If the Rosetta stone method worked on the 340, it should work here.


By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 11:36 am:

Ray, did anyone ever solve this? Are you ready to reveal the solution?

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 12:19 pm:

Ray, are you planning to reveal the solution? If so, could you wait a few hours? I haven't even seen this yet and would like to take a crack at it. I'll be leaving for work in 2 hours...

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 12:20 pm:

Sorry, I meant that message to be for Classic.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 12:28 pm:

Kendra: The Classic code was a bust.

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 12:32 pm:

Never mind, I did mean Ray. Geez, get with the ball Kendra!!!!

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 04:36 pm:

I have no problem revealing the solution to this code, but I'm afraid that doing so will defeat the purpose for which I created it - namely, to provide a code similar to the 340 code, but one which no one has ever seen a solution. I did this in order to provide a test medium for those codebreakers out there to see that their efforts might be influenced by what they intend to find. In other words, I made sure that Allen, Kaczynski, etc were not going to be found. What I attempted to do, I may have failed at in making this code a bit more complex than the 340, which really was easy. It seems that no one has broken mine though, not because it is so hard, but because no one is working on it. With all the hints I gave, it should have fallen long ago by my estimation. But as Obiwan pointed out, hints circumvent the whole process because they provide a means (sort of) to guess at the solution which does not require cryptography. At any rate, no one has solved it.

Obiwan thinks his computer will break in one day soon. This much is for sure, anybody getting 2 or 3 letters is going to have it in 20 minutes, sooner if they recognize what they are reading.


By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 07:13 am:

Ray, Please don't reveal the solution on this message board!!!! If individuals give up and want the solution, you can email it to them. I'll have you know that the limited time I"ve been able to devote to the cipher, I've tried to use as few hints as possible. In fact I have not fully used your "L" hint yet, but I may break down and use it. I also have tried not to "cheat" ie to look up songs which would give me an idea of what to look for...I suspect one could solve the whole cipher without much cryptography this way.

However I think you have made a good demonstration that solving a cipher where 26 letters are encoded by more than 50 characters is NOT EASY.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 10:52 am:

I'll get serious now about solving this code. I shall post a solution on or before August 31, 2002.-Zander

By Kendra (Kendra) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 02:00 pm:

Zander, please do not post the answer just yet. I've been "seriously" working on Ray's code for about a week now, and would like to have a chance to solve it, too.

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 03:04 pm:

Anyone reaching what they feel is a solution please email it to me before posting here.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 06:49 pm:

Ray, when you said 3 letter pairs share a symbol, but for practical purposes it's only 2.

Did you mean for example that TH could be represented by only one symbol, say "+" ?

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - 12:11 pm:

No, each symbol represents only one letter each time it is used. I only meant that one letter of one of the pairs is shared, but that letter is not used in my message, so for practical purposes of solving this cipher, it could be treated as representing only a single letter.