“Now as far as people cracking it is concerned, there is some very fine line that separates really great cryptographers from totally insane people. And so, you have no idea, over the last fifteen years, how many “cracks“ of the code I have gotten, be it email or documents. Basically, the code is a series of passages and sentences with a finite number of characters like English characters— Roman Characters, and so if you decode it, the decode will be the same number of letters and characters as what’s on the screen. The final section that hasn’t been decoded yet is approximately one hundred characters. If I say it’s any more specific than that, then I’m giving you guys a clue, but I’m not gonna do that. So it’s approximately a hundred characters. And so, basically, if somebody cracks that— that code, when you read it, it will be a Eureka! moment when it’s cracked, and it will be approximately a hundred characters long.”
James Sanborn, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC September 23, 2005 at 12:30 pm
The best thing I can pull from this is that Kryptos involves a 1-to-1 ciphering where we have as many letters left at the end as we had at the beginning. I’m not really sure why knowing the exact number of letters is such a big clue that he doesn’t want to give it away.
With 98 we have more symmetric, gridding options to be sure. 97 is quite a bit more limited.
Roman characters huh?
Now here’s a question with modern tie-ins. Just as with many diseases, are we seeing a greater incidence through increased detection or is there an increase in those affected? Ask the same question with Kryptos, is it an effect where the insane are naturally attracted to a problem like Kryptos and so you run into more crazy people or is it that Kryptos drives people nuts?
Personally I would say it’s a combination of both. I think it’s safe to say that when the mind is constantly brought back to an unsolvable problem it will work in such a way as to provide a solution if only to provide a release from the stress and pressure exerted upon it. Strange things happen in what a person will find believable at this point. Once again, I’ve got to give credit to Gary Phillips for coining the term “K4 syndrome” because that’s exactly what it is.
Stay sane folks or at least do your best…