The keywords in Kryptos…
For a long time, I agonized over how we were supposed to know them and what they could mean. I spent a lot of time considering different definitions, etc. etc. I’m not sure I ever talked about all of them in one place.
In the end, I realized that they mean exactly what they are.
Palimpsest: K1 and K2 are two different Vigeneres overlayed. One is literally poking out from under the other or a remnant, etc.
Abscissa: Abscissa is the X coordinate and x is obviously repeated a bunch in the pseudoradio transmission of K2 plus there are literally x and y coordinates.
K3. Elonka described how the transposition looked like stairs. You could also argue they looked like the edges of a pyramid. Or, failing that, whatever keyword was used in K3 likely references pyramids or Egypt.
K4. We know at least one will be the word Kryptos. The other one will literally mean masked or hidden.
It’s funny because you can’t guess or understand them until after the decryption but then it seems so common sense. This will hopefully limit the possible keywords to guess for K4. In the end, the explanation for keyword choice was the simplest.