December 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Just out of professional curiosity – would you be willing to try your multi-skip detection program on K3 of Kryptos? My favorite method involves a skip step because it keeps the “?” in the final plaintext whereas the other two traditional methods exclude it to get a solution.

Darth Null

December 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

Interesting idea, but the reason my approach worked here is that there was a small message hidden within a large amount of noise. My script just separates the signal from the noise. In K3, it’s all signal, no noise. So even though K3 can be solved with a “skip” approach (wasn’t it like every 192nd character?), it’s not the same kind of approach as what we have here.

Another way to look at it is this: in G. Mark’s puzzle, the ciphertext is written out in 55 columns by 14 or 15 rows (it’s not a perfect square). Then you read the message out of columns 2, 11, 20, 27, 36, 38, 42, 47, and 55 (2, 9+2, 9+9+2, etc. – cumulatively adding the digits in 299,792,458), and throw away the rest. In a way, this isn’t as much about encipherment as it is obfuscation. It’s sort of a mix of a very specialized transposition, in a way, and steganography.

In K3, on the other hand, you write the ciphertext out in 336 columns by one row, go over 192 columns, grab the character, go over another 192 (wrapping around to the front), grab another, etc., etc., until you’ve used every single letter. Nothing gets thrown away, nothing is substituted — every character in the ciphertext is signal, so there’s nothing to differentiate in order to recover a key.

G. Mark

December 9, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I like your modified crypto block. Since you try to read my mind to solve my puzzles, I suppose it’s time for me to change head gear. ;P


December 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

Oh no!

If you swap brains out with someone else we’ll have lost our best thread into the awesome puzzles you put out.

=þ -Durak

P.S. Nice mod to the form factor, Darth.


December 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

Ah.. don’t mind me, I read past your comment with the wrong mindset. But we’re still in trouble if you modify your bean topper…