Some days I wish I was a computer programmer… I know where to find the right words and and I know maybe about half of the words but I don’t know how. This means I can’t confirm I have the right words or not and it means I can’t finish the rest of the message.

Right now I’m working on elucidating the clues and hints that Sanborn left to help solve the Copperplate. They expected us to know it was a Quagmire III vigenere used with palimpsest and abscissa. They thought we would know it was a route cipher followed by keyed columnar. They sort of expected that by the time we got to K4, we would have found their hints and used them. They had no way of expecting that we would start halfway and get stuck. Not that they’re unhappy, they’re famous because of it.

The problem is us. We reap the benefits of Stein and Gillgoly’s work without actually understanding how we were supposed to get there in the first place. At first I was content to hammer away at K4 (just like everyone else) and hope that something broke through and I got a few scraps of plaintext. It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked and it may never work.

We need to know how to find palimpsest and abscissa in the Kryptos installation as a whole. We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that these are the keywords and they would need to be given to Scheidt’s model of a field operative. Conceivably we would need to know several other things, here’s a list of what I would assume to be need-to-know:

Quagmire III
Palimpsest
Abscissa
Use Kryptos for second keyword
Route Transposition
Keyed Columnar Transposition
K4 details

They (Sanborn and Scheidt) were surprised at the ways people were solving it because I don’t think they knew we hadn’t found the tips and hints section. No one would have wanted it to go unsolved. There have to be little clues hidden in the morse code and copperplate that facilitate solving them.

I say we start at the beginning. We start at the morse code. The compass is pointing south/southwest and by golly, that’s the way you have to read the morse code to get it in the right orientation. Easy as that. Hmm… the morse code is in palindromes… well, maybe that means something. For now we are excited to read the hidden message:

virtually invisible
digetal interpretatiu
shadowforces
lucid memory
t is your position
sos
rq

Well, that doesn’t mean anything to me!

But it would to someone who was trained as a spy. There would be some significance to morse code palindromes that say those words.

It’s some kind of cipher. 81 letters doesn’t give us much for frequency analysis but I, S, O, T, R, E, L, U are the 8 top used letters and six of these are in the top 8 of regular plaintext: E, T, N, R, O, A, I, S. With not much text to work with, I’m content to say it’s not substituted. This would imply to me that there is some kind of transposition or organization going on.

I’m not trying to imply that the morse coded words/phrases are useless in themselves but rather that they were formed out of an original message in what was the author’s best efforts to make them useful in their own right.

For a retrieval from the morse code we are left with the following facts:

morse code
palindromes
the words translated
there’s some rational method
we know what some of the plaintext should be

Now we just need to find out how the clues were hidden. I’ve got to be honest, if I find some awesomely useful hidden message – I’ll probably keep it quiet at least for a little while and hope it will help me solve K4. If it looks useless for a K4 solution, I’ll post it as soon as I get it. If after a while I can’t do K4 with it, then definitely I’ll post and share. It’s safe to say that all of my energy and ideas will be directed to this goal for the time being so if there are not a lot of posts until I’m done, please forgive me. But… if you’re a good programmer and want to help write a script, let me know in the comments section.

Kryptos Fan

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