Paradice Slaves Message Board: Ciphers: Paradice Slaves

By Glen Claston ( - on Wednesday, September 06, 2000 - 06:16 pm:

I'm not sure why I keep returning to the card with the words forming a cross "Paradice Slaves".

Can anybody verify Graysmith's claim that the inside of the envelope had the words "sorry no cipher" also forming a cross?

It occurs to me that the words "paradice" and "slaves" appear in the 3-part cipher, and this reference at least infers that the "Paradice Slaves" is a hint.

I'm not sure why this keeps eating at me, but there's something beyond coincidence here.

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Wednesday, September 06, 2000 - 06:36 pm:

I've had the same thoughts about the Halloween card, particularly because of the manner in which the words PARADICE and SLAVES cross one another. If you look down the middle of the 340-cipher (row nine) toward the bottom you'll see the sequence




On the Halloween card, on each side of PARADICE/SLAVES is the designation "By" (Fire, Rope, Gun, Knife) and in one of those instances, the "By" is written vertically.

Now, on the 340-cipher, the letters By[reversed] appear together (sometimes yB) near the periphery of the cipher on the left side of lines 3 and 15 and on the right side of line 10.

I've always thought that whatever message Zodiac placed in the cipher he got a bit perturbed that no one was able to guess it, so he did what most math teachers do when they've outsmarted their dimwitted students--he gave a little hint. Perhaps that was it?

The Unabomber-Zodiac Connection

By Tom Voigt ( - on Wednesday, September 06, 2000 - 09:26 pm:

I remember seeing the "sorry no cipher" writing. It was in the shape of an X.
I will try to dig it up.

By Glen Claston ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 10:32 am:

The words Paradice and slaves also appeared in one Zodiac's letters. I'll reread and find out which one(s).

I agree, I'm pretty sure it's a hint, probably relating to some passage. It's not unheard of to place one type of cipher inside the other. The second one would be much simpler, of course.

By Ed N. ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 04:34 pm:

Here's another interesting morsel that seems to have escaped everyone's attention: in the three part cipher of 7-31-1969, Z wrote:


Note the spelling of "FORREST" with a double "R." Now, on the "Pines" card of 3-22-1971, (assuming that it's genuine, of which I have doubts), the author of the card pasted part of an ad for Forrest Pines near Incline Village at Lake Tahoe (Zodiac, p. 177). Once again, note the double "R."

What does it mean? I don't know. It's just that the only two places (that I can think of at any rate) in the Z literature where that word is spelled out or implied, it has the same spelling.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 05:46 pm:

Ed N. wrote:
"Note the spelling of "FORREST" with a double "R." Now, on the "Pines" card of 3-22-1971, (assuming that it's genuine, of which I have doubts), the author of the card pasted part of an ad for Forrest Pines near Incline Village at Lake Tahoe (Zodiac, p. 177). Once again, note the double "R." "

The spelling in Graysmith is wrong. The actual ad that ran in the Chronicle is spelled correctly (one "r").

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Glen Claston ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 06:17 pm:

Are you sure, Jake? I'm sure you've checked your sources, so I guess the Robert Garethsmith Golden Penn Award goes to Ed N., for once again falling for something written in "Zodiac".

(I want that award next year!)

By Douglas Oswell ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 06:59 pm:

It is indeed spelled correctly on the original ad.

By Ed N. ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 09:50 pm:

What??? Oh, no, I made a mistake! Quick, everyone, mark your calendars and remember this date!!!

On a more serious note, sorry about that, folks. I had never actually seen that written elsewhere, and, unfortunately, assumed (ahem!) that it was correct. Thanks for correcting that oversight.

By Glen ( - on Friday, September 08, 2000 - 08:01 pm:

Douglas, thanks for the D.I.C.O observation. I think that pretty well makes the "Paradice Slaves" comment a hint at the cipher. The intersecting line is then line 10, the one with the "-" mark at either end. I believe you may have stumbled onto something quite useful.

This hint means that only one of a few methods could have been used to "transpose" or reorder characters to keep them from being read, since the cipher is now effectively divided into 4 quadrants.

By Glen ( - on Friday, September 08, 2000 - 08:10 pm:

Isn't the phrase "4 quadrants" redundant?

By Glen ( - on Friday, September 08, 2000 - 08:23 pm:

Tom, if you find a picture of the envelope this card came in, can you post a picture of the "sorry no cipher" cross? It's pretty important I see a copy of it.

By Glen ( - on Tuesday, September 19, 2000 - 04:43 pm:

John King,

I haven't been able to reach you by e-mail for some reason. I was wanting your opinion on an observation --

I've been trying different variations of the "Paradice Slaves" as a key approach, and analyzing the numbers that would result from any use of this set. The number 8 comes up quite a bit, especially in the recurring doubles.

Only 12.5% of the numbers in the 340 set should be divisible by 8, so if the distances between recurring doubles is a "random" event, the numbers should be in this range. In a "random" set about 42.5% of the numbers should be divisible by 2 or 3, while in this set 36% are divisible by 2 and 25% are divisible by 3. These numbers are somewhat low, but tolerable. The real thrill comes when we count the numbers divisible by 8, which should be at or less than 12.5% - we find that 28.57% are divisible by 8, more than twice the expected amount!

I'm running full IofC and chi-2 tests on the first half, the last half, and also up and down on the cipher and each half of the cipher. If Paradice is a keyword, the distances for the A would peak at 2,6, and 8, and an overall peak should be noticeable at 8 throughout.

There's also this odd distance grouping that points in the same direction - recurring doubles group at distances, several in the 60's, several in the low 100's, and several in the 130's.

I feel the repetitive "texture" of the cipher may have caused us to see something similar to the previous cipher and ignore the numbers. Both of these observations involving the doubles point to a low-level polyalphabetic and not a homophonic substitution cipher.

I'd like your opinion on these observations when you get a chance.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 08:17 am:

I think PARADICE has something to do with gambling.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 02:50 pm:

For anyone working on the cipher, roulette wheels have numbers on them, and so do combination locks.
They are both round, and the roulette wheel has a cross gaget in the center. If the Zodiac likes radians and circles he may like these. Good luck.

Just trying to put some ideas out there.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 09:33 pm:

Bookworm:Davis hung out in Vegas at times-just kiddin'.He did,but just referring to your gambling comment!