Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cryptographic Challenge !

The fate of the planet may hinge upon this.
Can you crack the code?

Extraterrestrial invasion plans ?
Deadly curse from the pharaoh’s tomb ??
Something brewing at the Center of the Earth ???


[Update 4 December 2014]

A solution has just been submitted -- but in an indecipherable language;  or perhaps it is itself in code.  FWIW, we reproduce the text tel quel, exactly as received by the watch officer at our Geneva headquarters, ca. 0102Z :

L’histoire commence le 24 mai 1863 à Hambourg et plus exactement dans la rue Königstrasse, où est située la maison du Pr Lidenbrock. Le professeur, amateur de vieux livres, a acheté le manuscrit original d'une saga islandaise, Heimskringla, écrite par Snorri Sturluson au XIIe siècle. Il y découvre un parchemin codé, rédigé en caractères runiques islandais. Lidenbrock se passionne aussitôt pour ce cryptogramme et tyrannise toute la maison tant qu'il lui résiste. Axel, d'abord peu enthousiaste, se prend peu à peu au jeu et finit par découvrir la clé du message par un coup de chance. Le parchemin se révèle être un message d'un certain Arne Saknussemm, un alchimiste islandais du XVIe siècle, rédigé en latin mais écrit en runes. Celui-ci affirme avoir découvert un passage qui l'aurait mené jusqu'au centre de la Terre, via l'un des cratères d'un volcan éteint d'Islande, le Sneffels (l'actuel Snæfellsjökull).

The crack cryptographic team
at the World of Dr Justice,
unriddling the puzzle
with advanced methods
[Update 5 December 2014]

We are pleased to report that the complete solution has now been supplied -- oddly enough, by a little girl in pigtails with a physics text under her arm, and delivered another of our “black site” installations, one so secret that we ourselves are unaware of its existence.  The mysterious cipher, composed of twisting little stick-figures, in a variety of improbable postures, turns out to be none other than that of the Dancing Men, first encountered, and broken, by our good friend and colleague Mr Sherlock Holmes!  Cryptologically, the matter is thus completely resolved.

As for what the hidden message says … Unfortunately, here our spade is turned.  Fully deciphered, the plaintext reads:


-- a string of apparently meaningless symbols that seem to mean absolutely nothing at all.   At yet, the decoding is correct:  simply, the wisdom that it encodes is not proportionate to our understanding.

1 comment:

  1. Nice try, doc, but it won’t wash. The *real* plaintext, which you conveniently suppress, points directly to … the RIEMANN CONSPIRACY.