We just have to keep reminding ourselves that Kryptos is in fact solvable.  There is a solution.  There is a method to converting those 97 letters into an intelligible message.  It is not invulnerable.  It is probably not unique either.  Why would Scheidt take the time to come up with some brand new cipher system when he’d spent his life working with the many already developed systems that would provide quite adequate security for a thought-provoking sculpture.  Why would Sanborn, who goes on and on about how this stuff was out of his league, come up with something new when there were all these fun systems already at hand that allowed easy customization.  K4 is not a new or weird cipher system.  It is simply one that defies cryptanalysis on a small, single sample of ciphertext.  Convince me otherwise.

Give me some proof that it isn’t just a regular old ciphering or simple combination that is hard to solve without the key.  They really are that hard.  We’ve been told over and over again that they are easy for modern cryptanalysis to solve but I don’t think so.  Not really.  Not really at all.  20 years ago, no one could beat a vigenere.  They even had a decent idea of the breaks in ciphertext but no one could beat a stupid vigenere even when they’d been given the decryption table.  All they had to figure out was a keyword that would give the ciphertext.  It took 9 years for someone like Gillogly to solve the first three sections.  A vigenere, a vigenere and a transposition.  That’s it.  Nothing weird and archaic.  K4 only has to be twice as hard to solve as a transposition cipher.

Now, we’ve even got some plaintext.  James Sanborn can be as cryptic as he wants but I think he was always more interested in what was enciphered, not how.  He liked the idea of a hidden message being made clear.  A final riddle that would help those CIA folks realize that everything isn’t always clear even if they think they were smart enough to break the enemy’s system.

We have to take it off the podium we’ve built for it and take it apart.

Just keep telling yourself that it is just another cipher.  How do you find out what system was used?  How do you use the plaintext captured to reveal the key?  How do you use the key to reveal the message?  What is the plaintext message?

I have to keep telling myself that so I don’t get lost.  We’ve got to keep our footing or we’ll go off-track or just stay stumped.

Stay sane, got to stay sane.

It’s just another cipher, just another puzzle to solve, just another riddle.

It’s just a game, it can be beaten.