I’ve previously considered if there might be several ciphers woven together to give a final K4. Then I considered if the last statement of K3 was to be taken literally, “Can you see anything between X and Q?”. It’s a little bit of a stretch but makes a decent starting point for trying out the idea that several ciphers are included in K4, specifically substitution ciphers as it makes it easier for me to check.
As a refresher:
Taking the letters between X and Q, we get OGHULBSOLIFBBWFLRV
Running this through my trusty substitution solver (see links) gives us “Of this voicess being” or “Of this voiceless being”.
Could it be a fluke? Hell yeah.
Should we at least try? Double hell yeah.
Initial Attempt: There’s seven letters before the first segment, use the same arrangement and see what you get.
7 letters after the first chunk is the next 18 letter bit: SSOTWTQSJQSSEKZZWA
Which gives us?: TTLEMENTANT THROOM I
Might as well go nuts with it. I’ll try one letter in either direction of this “secondary string”:
one before: ASSURPRISK IS SMALL P or “assure risk is small”
one after: OWNING OF GOOD SEE I KN
two before: Y ASSURPRISK IS SMALL
two after: AND NOT GOT THREEDING
Conceivably, if you ignore the first 7 letters, you can use 5 of the 18 letter segments, what do you get if you try and solve each by themselves?
OF THIS VOICESS BEING
EEING WAS SURPRES HE S
MY SEE IT WAS COUNTING
NG BUT LOOK IN THER CHI
ALKING THERE SED HIS W
If, and this is a big IF, this is going to work, there are probably some rules that allow us to know which ones to section off. I think I’ll start taking random sections of random lengths and attempt to find one that is plaintext that makes sense with no glaring errors and then try to incrementally try a segment of increasing length afterwards to try to retrieve contiguous plaintext of some rational message. If I cannot find an initial phrase or cannot find a subsequent phrase (of any length) then I will safely disregard this particular attempt. Yes, yes, I should probably just give up now but I at least want to convince myself that it wouldn’t work with a little more elbow grease. Then I can confidently pursue other venues.
I’ll start with the first seven letters (Kryptos has seven letters) and work my way here and there.
Hahaha, one of the answers for the first 7 is “Not Ben”. That’s rad. Looks like I’ll need more than 7 to get started.
OBKRUOX = “Have Who”
OGHULBSOLIFBBWFLRV = “Of this Voicess being”
QPRNGKSSOTWTQS = “is about there. It”
EKZZWATJKLUDIAWINFB = “less turned about of my”
NYPVTTMZFPKW = “about the work”
GDKZXTJCDIG = “himself with”
KUHUAUEKCAR = “he were short”.
“Have who of this voice(l)ess being is about there. It less turned about of my about the work, himself with he were short.” Is a crappy possible translation of K4 for being of any practical believability or general usefulness but as terrible as it is; it is a proof of the concept in it’s own way. It is indeed possible that K4 is a series of letter segments that have been encoded with a different substitution cipher. Sort of like a vigenere but blocked out instead of all woven together. Is there any way to be absotively, posilutely sure? Nah, but when has that stopped any of us!