I am in a battle of wills with the Kryptos Morse Code.  Or very, very wrong.  I feel confident I have a plausible solution for keyword retrieval but it is incomplete and I do not have a method to explain how we were to retrieve the directions.  Nevertheless, I will bear down upon the last bits of letters to be assembled into words in the hopes of a clear and inspiring message.  The current iteration is as follows:

I.  Use palimpsest for vigenere,

II.  then try abscissa.

III.  Do two rotations,

IV.  try lord quorum cl dully

As you can see, the last section has evaded me.  To that end, I have tried various methods of getting around the seemingly limitless arrangements available.  I have settled upon the Q as a potential weakness to exploit.  RQ was specifically included and I cannot help but believe it’s because Sanborn just couldn’t get it to fit.  He needed believable phrases to be translated from the Morse code but they must also reveal the keyword message after using his “recovery method” which we still do not have.  There are two reasons why Q would be lumped on at the end: #1 is that he couldn’t find a word that he liked well enough to use the q for and #2 that it had to fall at the end due to his encryption methods.

Whatever, however it happened, we are left with an orphaned Q that is not needed for the bare bones of our keyword message, such as it is.  What then is this mysterious Q word that was important enough to keep the inconvenient letter?  It almost has to be of some significance otherwise he could have just left it out. 

Beginning with Q, we need to narrow the field.  Let’s start with the vowels.  I think it’s safe to assume that the little bit parts such as use, for, then, try and do can be used interchangeably and should not be considered absolute, set in stone letter usage.  All of the A’s are taken up by what I consider to be essential words to a keyword message, i.e. palimpsest, abscissa and rotations.  There are no I’s left after these words and the Roman numeral list indicators.  I still feel confident that there must be some use for so many I’s and will continue to apply them in this manner.  This leaves us with E, O, U, and Y.  Oh great!  But we can also rule out several other letters because they were never in the Morse code or because they were all used up.  To recap, we need a Q word of some significance that cannot have A, B, G, I, J, K, P, V, W, X, Z.

This in and of itself is useful.  Now, do we need to hit the dictionary?  We could and perhaps should but I found it easier to use a Scrabble (the game) help site for Q words.

After some perusing with my limitations and several trips to an online dictionary site for definitions of the weird ones, I set some extra rules.  It can be a slightly obscure word but it cannot be one of the weird ones that I almost think were made up to be used for Scrabble games.  That’s opinion, not based on fact.  It should be somewhat applicable to K4, even if the relationshiop is not immediately obvious.  I then just grabbed all the words that seemed to make sense and applied my new rules post-mortem.

Possible Q words:

chequer, cloque, conquer/conquered, croquet, mosque, queen/queens/queened, quench, quell, query, quest, queue, quorum/quorums, quote/quotes/quoted, request, sequel, sequence, squelch, torque/torques

Of these?  Conquer, conquered, queen, query, quote/s/ed, sequence seem to be the most likely in my mind.  I won’t pretend I came up with an exhaustive list but I’ll start with these and see where it takes me.  None of them stand out as far as helping with K4 but perhaps a combination of a couple good words will fill that role.

Only time will tell.  It would be perhaps better to figure out how exactly we were supposed to get this or some similar message but I’m still as stumped on that as I always have been.  That would be perhaps our only reassurance as to the validity of the brute force results in a logical and not too complex “solution” that would take us to the message we’ve recovered.

Kryptos Fan

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