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Subject: rec.puzzles Archive (cryptology), part 11 of 35

This article was archived around: Wed, 18 Aug 1993 06:05:16 GMT

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Archive-name: puzzles/archive/cryptology Last-modified: 17 Aug 1993 Version: 4
==> cryptology/Beale.p <== What are the Beale ciphers? ==> cryptology/Beale.s <== The Beale ciphers are one of the greatest unsolved puzzles of all time. About 100 years ago, a fellow by the name of Beale supposedly buried two wagons-full of silver-coin filled pots in Bedford County, near Roanoke. There are local rumors about the treasure being buried near Bedford Lake. He wrote three encoded letters telling what was buried, where it was buried, and who it belonged to. He entrusted these three letters to a friend and went west. He was never heard from again. Several years later, someone examined the letters and was able to break the code used in the second letter. The code used the text from the Declaration of Independence. A number in the letter indicated which word in the document was to be used. The first letter of that word replaced the number. For example, if the first three words of the document were "We hold these truths", the number 3 in the letter would represent the letter t. One of the remaining letters supposedly contains directions on how to find the treasure. To date, no one has solved the code. It is believed that both of the remaining letters are encoded using either the same document in a different way, or another very public document. For those interested, write to: The Beale Cypher Association P.O. Box 975 Beaver Falls, PA 15010 Item #904 is the 1885 pamphlet version ($5.00). #152 is the Cryptologia article by Gillogly that argues the hoax side ($2.00). A year's membership is $25, and includes 4 newsletters. TEXT for part 1 The Locality of the Vault. 71,194,38,1701,89,76,11,83,1629,48,94,63,132,16,111,95,84,341 975,14,40,64,27,81,139,213,63,90,1120,8,15,3,126,2018,40,74 758,485,604,230,436,664,582,150,251,284,308,231,124,211,486,225 401,370,11,101,305,139,189,17,33,88,208,193,145,1,94,73,416 918,263,28,500,538,356,117,136,219,27,176,130,10,460,25,485,18 436,65,84,200,283,118,320,138,36,416,280,15,71,224,961,44,16,401 39,88,61,304,12,21,24,283,134,92,63,246,486,682,7,219,184,360,780 18,64,463,474,131,160,79,73,440,95,18,64,581,34,69,128,367,460,17 81,12,103,820,62,110,97,103,862,70,60,1317,471,540,208,121,890 346,36,150,59,568,614,13,120,63,219,812,2160,1780,99,35,18,21,136 872,15,28,170,88,4,30,44,112,18,147,436,195,320,37,122,113,6,140 8,120,305,42,58,461,44,106,301,13,408,680,93,86,116,530,82,568,9 102,38,416,89,71,216,728,965,818,2,38,121,195,14,326,148,234,18 55,131,234,361,824,5,81,623,48,961,19,26,33,10,1101,365,92,88,181 275,346,201,206,86,36,219,324,829,840,64,326,19,48,122,85,216,284 919,861,326,985,233,64,68,232,431,960,50,29,81,216,321,603,14,612 81,360,36,51,62,194,78,60,200,314,676,112,4,28,18,61,136,247,819 921,1060,464,895,10,6,66,119,38,41,49,602,423,962,302,294,875,78 14,23,111,109,62,31,501,823,216,280,34,24,150,1000,162,286,19,21 17,340,19,242,31,86,234,140,607,115,33,191,67,104,86,52,88,16,80 121,67,95,122,216,548,96,11,201,77,364,218,65,667,890,236,154,211 10,98,34,119,56,216,119,71,218,1164,1496,1817,51,39,210,36,3,19 540,232,22,141,617,84,290,80,46,207,411,150,29,38,46,172,85,194 39,261,543,897,624,18,212,416,127,931,19,4,63,96,12,101,418,16,140 230,460,538,19,27,88,612,1431,90,716,275,74,83,11,426,89,72,84 1300,1706,814,221,132,40,102,34,868,975,1101,84,16,79,23,16,81,122 324,403,912,227,936,447,55,86,34,43,212,107,96,314,264,1065,323 428,601,203,124,95,216,814,2906,654,820,2,301,112,176,213,71,87,96 202,35,10,2,41,17,84,221,736,820,214,11,60,760 TEXT for part 2 (no title exists for this part) 115,73,24,807,37,52,49,17,31,62,647,22,7,15,140,47,29,107,79,84 56,239,10,26,811,5,196,308,85,52,160,136,59,211,36,9,46,316,554 122,106,95,53,58,2,42,7,35,122,53,31,82,77,250,196,56,96,118,71 140,287,28,353,37,1005,65,147,807,24,3,8,12,47,43,59,807,45,316 101,41,78,154,1005,122,138,191,16,77,49,102,57,72,34,73,85,35,371 59,196,81,92,191,106,273,60,394,620,270,220,106,388,287,63,3,6 191,122,43,234,400,106,290,314,47,48,81,96,26,115,92,158,191,110 77,85,197,46,10,113,140,353,48,120,106,2,607,61,420,811,29,125,14 20,37,105,28,248,16,159,7,35,19,301,125,110,486,287,98,117,511,62 51,220,37,113,140,807,138,540,8,44,287,388,117,18,79,344,34,20,59 511,548,107,603,220,7,66,154,41,20,50,6,575,122,154,248,110,61,52,33 30,5,38,8,14,84,57,540,217,115,71,29,84,63,43,131,29,138,47,73,239 540,52,53,79,118,51,44,63,196,12,239,112,3,49,79,353,105,56,371,557 211,505,125,360,133,143,101,15,284,540,252,14,205,140,344,26,811,138 115,48,73,34,205,316,607,63,220,7,52,150,44,52,16,40,37,158,807,37 121,12,95,10,15,35,12,131,62,115,102,807,49,53,135,138,30,31,62,67,41 85,63,10,106,807,138,8,113,20,32,33,37,353,287,140,47,85,50,37,49,47 64,6,7,71,33,4,43,47,63,1,27,600,208,230,15,191,246,85,94,511,2,270 20,39,7,33,44,22,40,7,10,3,811,106,44,486,230,353,211,200,31,10,38 140,297,61,603,320,302,666,287,2,44,33,32,511,548,10,6,250,557,246 53,37,52,83,47,320,38,33,807,7,44,30,31,250,10,15,35,106,160,113,31 102,406,230,540,320,29,66,33,101,807,138,301,316,353,320,220,37,52 28,540,320,33,8,48,107,50,811,7,2,113,73,16,125,11,110,67,102,807,33 59,81,158,38,43,581,138,19,85,400,38,43,77,14,27,8,47,138,63,140,44 35,22,177,106,250,314,217,2,10,7,1005,4,20,25,44,48,7,26,46,110,230 807,191,34,112,147,44,110,121,125,96,41,51,50,140,56,47,152,540 63,807,28,42,250,138,582,98,643,32,107,140,112,26,85,138,540,53,20 125,371,38,36,10,52,118,136,102,420,150,112,71,14,20,7,24,18,12,807 37,67,110,62,33,21,95,220,511,102,811,30,83,84,305,620,15,2,108,220 106,353,105,106,60,275,72,8,50,205,185,112,125,540,65,106,807,188,96,110 16,73,32,807,150,409,400,50,154,285,96,106,316,270,205,101,811,400,8 44,37,52,40,241,34,205,38,16,46,47,85,24,44,15,64,73,138,807,85,78,110 33,420,505,53,37,38,22,31,10,110,106,101,140,15,38,3,5,44,7,98,287 135,150,96,33,84,125,807,191,96,511,118,440,370,643,466,106,41,107 603,220,275,30,150,105,49,53,287,250,208,134,7,53,12,47,85,63,138,110 21,112,140,485,486,505,14,73,84,575,1005,150,200,16,42,5,4,25,42 8,16,811,125,160,32,205,603,807,81,96,405,41,600,136,14,20,28,26 353,302,246,8,131,160,140,84,440,42,16,811,40,67,101,102,194,138 205,51,63,241,540,122,8,10,63,140,47,48,140,288 CLEAR for part 2, made human readable. I have deposited in the county of Bedford about four miles from Bufords in an excavation or vault six feet below the surface of the ground the following articles belonging jointly to the parties whose names are given in number three herewith. The first deposit consisted of ten hundred and fourteen pounds of gold and thirty eight hundred and twelve pounds of silver deposited Nov eighteen nineteen. The second was made Dec eighteen twenty one and consisted of nineteen hundred and seven pounds of gold and twelve hundred and eighty eight of silver, also jewels obtained in St. Louis in exchange to save transportation and valued at thirteen [t]housand dollars. The above is securely packed i[n] [i]ron pots with iron cov[e]rs. Th[e] vault is roughly lined with stone and the vessels rest on solid stone and are covered [w]ith others. Paper number one describes th[e] exact locality of the va[u]lt so that no difficulty will be had in finding it. CLEAR for part 2, using only the first 480 words of the Declaration of Independence, then blanks filled in by inspection. ALL mistakes shown were caused by sloppy encryption. 0----5----10---15---20---25---30---35---40---45--- 0 ihavedepositedinthecountyofbedfordaboutfourmilesfr 50 ombufordsinanexcavationorvaultsixfeetbelowthesurfa 100 ceofthegroundthefollowingarticlesbelongingjointlyt 150 othepartieswhosenamesaregiveninnumberthreeherewith 200 thefirstdepositconsistcdoftenhundredandfourteenpou 250 ndsofgoldandthirtyeighthundredandtwelvepoundsofsil 300 verdepositednoveighteennineteenthesecondwasmadedec 350 eighteentwentyoneandconsistedofnineteenhundredands 400 evenpoundsofgoldandtwelvehundredandeightyeightofsi 450 lveralsojewelsobtainedinstlouisinexchangetosavetra 500 nsportationandvaluedatthirteenrhousanddollarstheab 550 oveissecurelypackeditronpotswithironcovtrsthtvault 600 isroughlylinedwithstoneandthevesselsrestonsolidsto 650 neandarecovereduithotherspapernumberonedescribesth 700 cexactlocalityofthevarltsothatnodifficultywillbeha 750 dinfindingit TEXT for part 3 Names and Residences. 317,8,92,73,112,89,67,318,28,96,107,41,631,78,146,397,118,98 114,246,348,116,74,88,12,65,32,14,81,19,76,121,216,85,33,66,15 108,68,77,43,24,122,96,117,36,211,301,15,44,11,46,89,18,136,68 317,28,90,82,304,71,43,221,198,176,310,319,81,99,264,380,56,37 319,2,44,53,28,44,75,98,102,37,85,107,117,64,88,136,48,154,99,175 89,315,326,78,96,214,218,311,43,89,51,90,75,128,96,33,28,103,84 65,26,41,246,84,270,98,116,32,59,74,66,69,240,15,8,121,20,77,80 31,11,106,81,191,224,328,18,75,52,82,117,201,39,23,217,27,21,84 35,54,109,128,49,77,88,1,81,217,64,55,83,116,251,269,311,96,54,32 120,18,132,102,219,211,84,150,219,275,312,64,10,106,87,75,47,21 29,37,81,44,18,126,115,132,160,181,203,76,81,299,314,337,351,96,11 28,97,318,238,106,24,93,3,19,17,26,60,73,88,14,126,138,234,286 297,321,365,264,19,22,84,56,107,98,123,111,214,136,7,33,45,40,13 28,46,42,107,196,227,344,198,203,247,116,19,8,212,230,31,6,328 65,48,52,59,41,122,33,117,11,18,25,71,36,45,83,76,89,92,31,65,70 83,96,27,33,44,50,61,24,112,136,149,176,180,194,143,171,205,296 87,12,44,51,89,98,34,41,208,173,66,9,35,16,95,8,113,175,90,56 203,19,177,183,206,157,200,218,260,291,305,618,951,320,18,124,78 65,19,32,124,48,53,57,84,96,207,244,66,82,119,71,11,86,77,213,54 82,316,245,303,86,97,106,212,18,37,15,81,89,16,7,81,39,96,14,43 216,118,29,55,109,136,172,213,64,8,227,304,611,221,364,819,375 128,296,1,18,53,76,10,15,23,19,71,84,120,134,66,73,89,96,230,48 77,26,101,127,936,218,439,178,171,61,226,313,215,102,18,167,262 114,218,66,59,48,27,19,13,82,48,162,119,34,127,139,34,128,129,74 63,120,11,54,61,73,92,180,66,75,101,124,265,89,96,126,274,896,917 434,461,235,890,312,413,328,381,96,105,217,66,118,22,77,64,42,12 7,55,24,83,67,97,109,121,135,181,203,219,228,256,21,34,77,319,374 382,675,684,717,864,203,4,18,92,16,63,82,22,46,55,69,74,112,134 186,175,119,213,416,312,343,264,119,186,218,343,417,845,951,124 209,49,617,856,924,936,72,19,28,11,35,42,40,66,85,94,112,65,82 115,119,233,244,186,172,112,85,6,56,38,44,85,72,32,47,63,96,124 217,314,319,221,644,817,821,934,922,416,975,10,22,18,46,137,181 101,39,86,103,116,138,164,212,218,296,815,380,412,460,495,675,820 952 Evidence in favor of a hoax- . Too many players. . Inflated quantities of treasure. . Many discrepancies exist in all documents. . The Declaration of Independence is too hokey a key. . Part 3 (list of 30 names) considered too little text. . W.F. Friedman couldn't crack it. . Why even encrypt parts 1 & 3? . Why use multi-part text, and why different keys for each part? . Difficult to keep treasure in ground if 30 men know where it was buried. . Who'd leave it with other than your own family? . The Inn Keeper waited an extra 10 years before opening box with ciphers in it? Who would do this, curiousity runs too deep in humans? . Why did anybody waste time deciphering paper 2, which had no title? 1 & 3 had titles! These should have been deciphered first? . Why not just one single letter? . Statistical analysis show 1&3 similar in very obscure ways, that 2 differs. Did somebody else encipher it? And why? Check length of keytexts, and forward/backward next word displacement selections. . Who could cross the entire country with that much gold and only 10 men and survive back then? . Practically everybody who visited New Mexico before 1821, left by way of the Pearly Gates, as the Spanish got almost every tourist:-) References: "The Beale Treasure: A History of a Mystery", by Peter Viemeister, Bedord, VA: Hamilton's, 1987. ISBN: 0-9608598-3-7. 230 pages. "The Codebreakers", by David Kahn, pg 771, CCN 63-16109. 1967. "Gold in the Blue Ridge, The True Story of the Beale Treasure", by P.B. Innis & Walter Dean Innis, Devon Publ. Co., Wash, D.C. 1973. "Signature Simulation and Certain Cryptographic Codes", Hammer, Communications of the ACM, 14 (1), January 1971, pp. 3-14. "How did TJB Encode B2?", Hammer, Cryptologia, 3 (1), Jan. 1979, pp. 9-15. "Second Order Homophonic Ciphers", Hammer, Cryptologia, 12 (1) Jan. 1988, pp 11-20. ==> cryptology/Feynman.p <== What are the Feynman ciphers? ==> cryptology/Feynman.s <== When I was a graduate student at Caltech, Professor Feynman showed me three samples of code that he had been challenged with by a fellow scientist at Los Alamos and which he had not been able to crack. I also was unable to crack them. I posted them to Usenet and Jack C. Morrison of JPL cracked the first one. It is a simple transposition cipher: split the text into 5-column pieces, then read from lower right upward. What results are the opening lines of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English. 1. Easier MEOTAIHSIBRTEWDGLGKNLANEA INOEEPEYSTNPEUOOEHRONLTIR OSDHEOTNPHGAAETOHSZOTTENT KEPADLYPHEODOWCFORRRNLCUE EEEOPGMRLHNNDFTOENEALKEHH EATTHNMESCNSHIRAETDAHLHEM TETRFSWEDOEOENEGFHETAEDGH RLNNGOAAEOCMTURRSLTDIDORE HNHEHNAYVTIERHEENECTRNVIO UOEHOTRNWSAYIFSNSHOEMRTRR EUAUUHOHOOHCDCHTEEISEVRLS KLIHIIAPCHRHSIHPSNWTOIISI SHHNWEMTIEYAFELNRENLEERYI PHBEROTEVPHNTYATIERTIHEEA WTWVHTASETHHSDNGEIEAYNHHH NNHTW 2. Harder XUKEXWSLZJUAXUNKIGWFSOZRAWURO RKXAOSLHROBXBTKCMUWDVPTFBLMKE FVWMUXTVTWUIDDJVZKBRMCWOIWYDX MLUFPVSHAGSVWUFWORCWUIDUJCNVT TBERTUNOJUZHVTWKORSVRZSVVFSQX OCMUWPYTRLGBMCYPOJCLRIYTVFCCM UWUFPOXCNMCIWMSKPXEDLYIQKDJWI WCJUMVRCJUMVRKXWURKPSEEIWZVXU LEIOETOOFWKBIUXPXUGOWLFPWUSCH 3. New Message WURVFXGJYTHEIZXSQXOBGSV RUDOOJXATBKTARVIXPYTMYA BMVUFXPXKUJVPLSDVTGNGOS IGLWURPKFCVGELLRNNGLPYT FVTPXAJOSCWRODORWNWSICL FKEMOTGJYCRRAOJVNTODVMN SQIVICRBICRUDCSKXYPDMDR OJUZICRVFWXIFPXIVVIEPYT DOIAVRBOOXWRAKPSZXTZKVR OSWCRCFVEESOLWKTOBXAUXV B Chris Cole Peregrine Systems uunet!peregrine!chris ==> cryptology/Voynich.p <== What are the Voynich ciphers? ==> cryptology/Voynich.s <== The Voynich Manuscript is a manuscript that first surfaced in the court of Rudolf II (Holy Roman Emperor), who bought it for some large number of gold pieces (600?). Rudolf was interested in the occult, and the strange characters and bizarre illustrations suggested that it had some deep mystical/magical significance. After Rudolf's court broke up, the manuscript was sent to (if memory serves) Athanasius Kircher, with nobody on the list having been able to read it. It ended up in a chest of other manuscripts in the Villa Mondragone [?] in Italy, and was discovered there by Wilfred Voynich, a collector, in about 1910 or so. He took it to a linguist who wasn't a cryptanalyst, who identified it as a work by the 12th century monk Roger Bacon and produced extended bogus decryptions based on shorthand characters he saw in it. A great deal of effort by the best cryptanalysts in the country hasn't resulted in any breakthrough. William F. Friedman (arguably the best) thought it was written in an artificial language. I believe the manuscript is currently in the Beinecke Rare Book Collection at [Harvard?]. Mary D'Imperio's paper is scholarly and detailed, and provides an excellent starting point for anyone who is interested in the subject. David Kahn's "The Codebreakers" has enough detail to tell you if you're interested; it also has one or more plates showing the script and some illustrations. I believe D'Imperio's monograph has been reprinted by Aegean Park Press. A number of people have published their own ideas about it, including Brumbaugh, without anybody agreeing. A recent publication from Aegean Park Press offers another decryption; I haven't seen that one. If you want *my* guess, it's a hoax made up by Edmund Kelley and an unnamed co-conspirator and sold to Rudolf through the reputation of John Dee (Queen Elizabeth I's astrologer). -- Jim Gillogly {hplabs, ihnp4}!sdcrdcf!randvax!jim jim@rand-unix.arpa I read "Labyrinths of Reason" by William Poundstone recently. I'm posting this to so many newsgroups in part to recommend this book, which, while of a popular nature, gives a good analysis of a wide variety of paradoxes and philosophical quandaries, and is a great read. Anyway, it mentions something called the Voynich manuscript, which is now at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. It's a real pity that I didn't know about this manuscript and go see it when I was at Yale. The Voynich manuscript is apparently very old. It is a 232-page illuminated manuscript written in a cipher that has never been cracked. (That's what Poundstone says - but see my hypothesis below.) If I may quote Poundstone's charming description, "Its author, subject matter, and meaning are unfathomed mysteries. No one even knows what language the text would be in if you deciphered it. Fanciful picutres of nude women, peculiar inventions, and nonexistent flora and fauna tantalize the would-be decipherer. Color sketches in the exacting style of a medieval herbal depict blossoms and spices that never spring from earth and constellations found in no sky. Plans for weird, otherworldly plumbing show nymphets frolicking in sitz baths connected with elbow-macaroni pipes. The manuscript has the eerie quality of a perfectly sensible book from an alternate universe." There is a picture of one page in Poundstone's book. It's written in a flowing script using "approximately 21 curlicued symbols," some of which are close to the Roman alphabet, but others of which supposedly resemble Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Ethiopian. There is one tiny note in Middle High German, not necessarily by the original author, talking about the Herbal of Matthiolaus. Some astrology charts in the manuscript have the months labeled in Spanish. "What appears to be a cipher table on the first page has long faded into illegibility," and on the other hand, some scholars have guessed that a barely legible inscription on the *last* page is a key! It is said to have "languished for a long time at the Jesuit College of Mondragone in Frascati, Italy. Then in 1912 it was purchased by Wilfred M. Voynich, a Polish-born scientist and bibliophile... Voynich was the son-in-law of George Boole, the logician..." A letter written in 1666 claims that Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II of Bohemia (1552-1612) bought the manuscript for 600 gold ducats. He may have bought it from Dr. John Dee, the famous astrologer. Rudolf thought the manuscript was written by Roger Bacon! [Wouldn't it more likely have been written by Dee, out to make a fast ducat?] "Many of the most talented military code breakers of this century have tried to decipher it as a show of prowess. Herbert Yardley, the American code expert who solved the German cipher in WW1 and who cracked a Japanese diplomatic cipher without knowing the Japanese language, failed with the Voynich manuscript. So did John Manly, who unscrambled the Waberski cipher, and William Friedman, who defeated the Japanese "purple code" of the 1940's. Computers have been drafted into the effort in recent years, to no avail." Poundstone goes on to describe a kook, Newbold, who was apparently driven batty in his attempt to crack the manuscript. He then mentions that one Leo Levitov also claimed in 1987 to crack the cipher, saying that it was the text of a 12th-century cult of Isis worshipers, and that it describes a method of euthanasia by opening a vein in a warm bathtub, among other morbid matters. According to Levitov's translation the text begins: "ones treat the dying each the man lying deathly ill the one person who aches Isis each that dies treats the person" Poundstone rejects this translation. According to Poundstone, a William Bennett (see below) has analysed the text with a computer and finds that its entropy is less than any known European language, and closer to those of Polynesian languages. My wild hypothesis, on the basis solely of the evidence above, is this. Perhaps the text was meant to be RANDOM. Of course humans are lousy at generating random sequences. So I'm wondering how attempted random sequences (written in a weird alphabet) would compare statistically with the Voynich manuscript. Anyway, the only source Poundstone seems to cite, other than the manuscript itself, is Leo Levitov's "Solution of the Voynich Manuscript, A Liturgical Manual for the Endura Rite of the Cathari Heresy, the Cult of Isis," Laguna Hills, Calif., Aegean Park Press, 1987, and William Ralph Bennett Jr.'s "Scientific and Engineering Problem-Solving with the Computer," Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall 1976. I will check the Bennett book; the other sounds hard to get ahold of! I would LOVE any further information about this bizarre puzzle. If anyone knows Bennett and can get samples of the Voynich manuscript in electronic form, I would LOVE to get my hands on it. Also, I would appreciate any information on: Voynich The Jesuit College of Mondragone Rudolf II The letter by Rudolf II (where is it? what does it say?) The attempts of Yardley, Friedman and Manly The Herbal of Matthiolaus and, just for the heck of it, the "Waberski cipher" and the "purple code"! This whole business sounds like a quagmire into which angels would fear to tread, but a fool like me finds it fascinating. -- sender's name lost (!?) To counter a few hypotheses that were suggested here: The Voynich Manuscript is certainly not strictly a polyalphabetic cipher like Vigenere or Beaufort or (the one usually called) Porta, because of the frequent repetitions of "words" at intervals that couldn't be multiples of any key length. I suppose one could imagine that it's an interrupted key Vig or something, but common elements appearing at places other than the beginnings of words would seem to rule that out. The I.C. is too high for a digraphic system like (an anachronistic) Playfair in any European language. One of the most interesting Voynich discoveries was made by Prescott Currier, who discovered that the two different "hands" (visually distinct handwriting) used different "dialects": that is, the frequencies for pages written in one hand are different from those written in the other. I confirmed this observation by running some correlation coefficients on the digraph matrices for the two kinds of pages. W. F. Friedman ("The Man Who Broke Purple") thought the Voynich was written in some artificial language. If it's not a hoax, I don't see any evidence to suggest he's wrong. My personal theory (yeah, I've offered too many of those lately) is that it was constructed by Edward Kelley, John Dee's scryer, with somebody else's help (to explain the second handwriting) -- perhaps Dee himself, although he's always struck me as a credulous dupe of Kelley rather than a co-conspirator (cf the Angelic language stuff). The best source I know for the Voynich is Mary D'Imperio's monograph "The Voynich Manuscript: An Elegant Enigma", which is available from Aegean Park Press. -- Jim Gillogly jim@rand.org Here's an update on the Voynich manuscript. This will concentrate on sources for information on the Voynich; later I will write a survey of what I have found out so far. I begin with some references to the case, kindly sent to me by Karl Kluge (the first three) and Micheal Roe <M.Roe@cs.ucl.ac.uk> (the rest). TITLE Thirty-five manuscripts : including the St. Blasien psalter, the Llangattock hours, the Gotha missal, the Roger Bacon (Voynich) cipher ms. Catalogue ; 100 35 manuscripts. CITATION New York, N.Y. : H.P. Kraus, [1962] 86 p., lxvii p. of plates, [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.), facsims. ; 36 cm. NOTES "30 years, 1932-1962" ([28] p.) in pocket. Includes indexes. SUBJECT Manuscripts Catalogs. Illumination of books and manuscripts Catalogs. AUTHOR Brumbaugh, Robert Sherrick, 1918- TITLE The most mysterious manuscript : the Voynich "Roger Bacon" cipher manuscript / edited by Robert S. Brumbaugh. CITATION Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, c1978. xii, 175 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. SUBJECT Bacon, Roger, 1214?-1294. Ciphers. AUTHOR D'Imperio, M. E. TITLE The Voynich manuscript : an elegant enigma / M. E. D'Imperio. CITATION Fort George E. Mead, Md. : National Security Agency/Central Security Service, 1978. ix, 140 p. : ill. ; 27 cm. NOTES Includes index. Bibliography: p. 124-131. SUBJECT Voynich manuscript. [NOTE: see alternate publisher below!] @book{Bennett76, author = "Bennett, William Ralph", title = "Scientific and Engineering Problem Solving with the Computer", address = "Englewood Cliffs, NJ", publisher = "Prentice-Hall", year = 1976} @book{dImperio78, author = "D'Imperio, M E", title = "The Voynich manuscript: An Elegant Enigma", publisher= "Aegean Park Press", year = 1978} @article{Friedman62, author = "Friedman, Elizebeth Smith", title = "``The Most Mysterious Manuscript'' Still Mysterious", booktitle = "Washington Post", month = "August 5", notes = "Section E", pages = "1,5", year = 1962} @book{Kahn67, author = "Kahn, David", title = "The Codebreakers", publisher = "Macmillan", year = "1967"} @article{Manly31, author = "Manly, John Matthews", title = "Roger Bacon and the Voynich MS", boooktitle = "Speculum VI", pages = "345--91", year = 1931} @article{ONeill44, author = "O'Neill, Hugh", title = "Botanical Remarks on the Voynich MS", journal = "Speculum XIX", pages = "p.126", year = 1944} @book{Poundstone88, author = "Poundstone, W.", title = "Labyrinths of Reason", publisher = "Doubleday", address = "New York", month = "November", year = 1988} @article{Zimanski70, author = "Zimanski, C.", title = "William Friedman and the Voynich Manuscript", journal = "Philological Quarterly", year = "1970"} @article{Guy91b, author = "Guy, J. B. M.", title = "Statistical Properties of Two Folios of the Voynich Manuscript", journal = "Cryptologia", volume = "XV", number = "4", pages = "pp. 207--218", month = "July", year = 1991} @article{Guy91a, author = "Guy, J. B. M.", title = "Letter to the Editor Re Voynich Manuscript", journal = "Cryptologia", volume = "XV", number = "3", pages = "pp. 161--166", year = 1991} This is by no means a complete list. It doesn't include Newbold's (largely discredited) work, nor work by Feely and Stong. In addition, there is the proposed decryption by Leo Levitov (also largely discredited): "Solution of the Voynich Manuscript: A Liturgical Manual for the Endura Rite of the Cathari Heresy, the Cult of Isis_, available from Aegean Park Press, P. O. Box 2837, Laguna Hills CA 92654-0837." According to Earl Boebert, this book is reviewed in Cryptologia XII, 1 (January 1988). I should add that Brumbaugh's book above gives a third, also largely discredited, decryption of the Voynich. According to smb@att.ulysses.com, Aegean Park Press does mail-order business and can be reached at the above address or at 714-586-8811 (an answering machine). Micheal Roe has explained how one get microfilms of the whole manuscript: "The Beinecke Rare Book Library, Yale University sells a microfilm of the manuscript. Their catalog number for the original is MS 408, ``The Voynich `Roger Bacon' Cipher MS''. You should write to them. The British Library [sic - should be Museum] has a photocopy of the MS donated to them by John Manly circa 1931. They apparently lost it until 12 March 1947, when it was entered in the catalogue (without cross-references under Voynich, Manly, Roger Bacon or any other useful keywords...) It appears as ``MS Facs 461: Positive rotographs of a Cipher MS (folios 1-56) acquired in 1912 by Wilfred M. Voynich in Southern Europe.' Correspondance between Newbold, Manly and various British Museum experts appears under ``MS Facs 439: Leaves of the Voynich MS, alleged to be in Roger Bacon's cypher, with correspondence and other pertinent material'' See John Manly's 1931 article in Speculum and Newbold's book for what the correspondance was about! There are also a number of press cuttings. Both of these in are in the manuscript collection, for which special permission is needed in addition to a normal British Library reader's pass." Also, Jim Gillogly has been extremely kind in making available part of the manuscript that was transcribed and keyed in by Mary D'Imperio (see above), using Prescott Currier's notation. It appears to consist of 166 of the total 232 pages. I hope to do some statistical studies on this, and I encourage others to do the same and let me know what they find! As Jim notes, the file is pub/jim/voynich.tar.Z and is available by anonymous ftp at rand.org. I've had a little trouble with this file at page 165, where I read "1650voynich 664" etc., with page 166 missing. If anyone else notes this let Jim or I know. Jim says he has confirmed by correlations between digraph matrices the discovery by Prescott Crurrier that the manuscript is written in two visibly distinct hands. These are marked "A" and "B" in the file voynich.tar.Z. Because of the possibility that the Voynich is nonsense, it would be interesting to compare the Voynich to the Codex Seraphinianus, which Kevin McCarty kindly reminded me of. He writes: "This is very odd. I know nothing of the Voynich manuscript, but I know of something which sounds very much like it and was created by an Italian artist, who it now seems was probably influenced by this work. It a book titled "Codex Seraphinianus", written in a very strange script. The title page contains only the book's title and the publisher's name: Abbeville Press, New York. The only clues in English (in *any* recognizable language) are some blurbs on the dust jacket that identify it as a modern work of art, and the copyright notice, in fine print, which reads "Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Serafini, Luigi. Codex Seraphinianus. 1. Imaginary Languages. 2. Imaginary societies. 3. Encyclopedias and Dictionaries-- Miscellanea. I. Title. PN6381.S4 1983 818'.5407 83.-7076 ISBN 0-89659-428-9 First American Edition, 1983. Copyright (c) 1981 by Franco Maria Ricci. All rights reserved by Abbeville Press. No part of this book may be reproduced... without permission in writing from the publisher. Inquiries should be addressed to Abbeville Press, Inc., 505 Park Avenue, New York 10022. Printed and bound in Italy." The book is remarkable and bizarre. It *looks* like an encyclopedia for an imaginary world. Page after page of beautiful pictures of imaginary flora and fauna, with annotations and captions in a completely strange script. Machines, architecture, umm, 'situations', arcane diagrams, implements, an archeologist pointing at a Rosetta stone (with phony hieroglyphics), an article on penmanship (with unorthodox pens), and much more, finally ending with a brief index. The script in this work looks vaguely similar to the Voynich orthography shown in Poundstone's book (I just compared them); the alphabets look quite similar, but the Codex script is more cursive and less bookish than Voynich. It runs to about 200 pages, and probably ought to provide someone two things: - a possible explanation of what the Voynich manuscript is (a highly imaginative work of art) - a textual work which looks like it was inspired by it and might provide an interesting comparison for statistical study." I suppose it would be too much to hope that someone has already transcribed parts of the Codex, but nonetheless, if anyone has any in electronic form, I would love to have a copy for comparative statistics. Jacques Guy kindly summarized his analysis (in Cryptologia, see above) of the Voynich as follows: "I transcribed the two folios in Bennett's book and submitted them to letter-frequency counts, distinguishing word-initial, word-medial, word-final, isolated, line-initial, and line-final positions. I also submitted that transcription to Sukhotin's algorithm which, given a text written in an alphabetical system, identifies which symbols are vowels and which are consonants. The letter transcribed CT in Bennett's system came out as a consonant, the one transcribed CC as vowel. Now it so happens that CT is exactly the shape of the letter "t" in the Beneventan script (used in medieval Spain and Northern Italy), and CC is exactly the shape of "a" in that same script. I concluded that the author had a knowledge of that script, and that the values of CT and CC probably were "t" and "a". There's a lot more, but more shaky." By popular demand I've put a machine-readable copy of the Voynich Manuscript up for anonymous ftp: Host: rand.org File: pub/jim/voynich.tar.Z It uses Prescott Currier's notation, and was transcribed by Mary D'Imperio. If you use it in any analysis, be sure to give credit to D'Imperio, who put in a lot of effort to get it right. -- Jim Gillogly jim@rand.org This post is essentially a summary of the fruit of a short research quest at the local library. Brief description of the Voynich manuscript: The Voynich manuscript was bought (in about 1586) by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. He believed it to be the work of Roger Bacon an english 13th century philosopher. The manuscript consisted of about 200 pages with many illustrations. It is believed that the manuscript contains some secret scientific or magical knowledge since it is entirely written in secret writing (presumably in cipher). The Voynich Manuscript is often abbreviated "Voynich MS" in all of the books I have read on Voynich. This is done without explanation. I suppose it is just a convention started by the founding analysts of the manuscript to call it that. William R. Newbold, one of the original analysts of the Voynich MS after Voynich, claims to have arrived at a partial decipherment of the entire manuscript. His book The Cipher of Roger Bacon [2] contains a history of the unravelment of the cipher *and* keys to the cipher itself. As well as translations of several pages of the manuscript. Newbold derives his decipherment rules through a study of the medeival mind (which he is a leading scholar in) as well as the other writings of Roger Bacon. Says Newbold, ciphers in Roger Bacon's writings are not new, as Bacon discusses in other works the need for monks to use encipherment to protect their knowlege. Newbold includes many partial decipherments from the Voynich MS but most of them are presented in Latin only. Newbolds deciphering rules (from The Cipher of Roger Bacon [1]) --------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Syllabification: [double all but the first and last letters of each word, and divide the product into biliteral groups or symbols.] 2. Translation: [translate these symbols into the alphabetic values] 3. Reversion: [change the alphabetic values to the phonetic values, by use of the reversion alphabet] 4. Recomposition: [ rearrange the letters in order, and thus recompose the true text]. The text I copied this from failed to note step 0 which was: 0. Ignore. [ignore the actual shape of every symbol and analyze only the (random?) properties of the direction of swirl and crosshatch patterns of the characters when viewed under a microscope. 14 distinct contruction patterns can be identified among the (much larger) set of symbols] John M. Manly in The Most Mysterious Manuscript [3], suggests that Newbold's method of decipherment is totally invalid. Manly goes on to show that it is not difficult to obtain *ANY DESIRABLE* message from the Voynich MS using Newbold's rules. He shows that after fifteen minutes deciphering a short sequence of letters he arrives at the plaintext message "Paris is lured into loving vestals..." and quips that he will furnish a continuation of the translation upon request! The reason I have spent so much time explaining Newbold's method is that Newbold presents the most convincing argument for how he arrived at his conclusions. Notwithstanding the fact that he invented the oija board of deciphering systems. Joseph Martin Feely, in his book on the Voynich MS [2] , claims to have found the key to deciphering at least one page of the Voynich MS. His entire book on the topic of the Voynich manuscript is devoted to the deciphering of the single page 78. Feely presents full tables of translation of the page 78 from its written form into latin (and english). It seems that Feely was using the exhaustive analysis method to determine the key. Feely suggests the following translation of (the first fiew lines of) page 78 of the Voynich MS: "the combined stream when well humidified, ramifies; afterward it is broken down smaller; afterward, at a distance, into the fore-bladder it comes [1]. Then vesselled, it is after-a-while ruminated: well humidified it is clothed with veinlets [2]. Thence after-a-bit they move down; tiny teats they provide (or live upon) in the outpimpling of the veinlets. They are impermiated; are thrown down below; they are ruminated; they are feminized with the tiny teats. .... " ... and so on for three more pages of "english plaintext". The descriptions by Feely say that this text is accompanied in the Voynich MS by an illustration that (he says) is unmistakably the internal female reproductive organs (I saw the plate myself and they DO look like fallopian tubes *AFTER* I read the explanation). The most informative work that I found (I feel) was "The Most Mysterious Manuscript". Of the five books on Voynich that I found, this was the only one that didn't claim to have found the key but was, rather, a collection of essays on the history of the Voynich MS and criticisms of various attempts by earlier scientists. It was also the *latest* book that I was able to consult, being published in 1978. My impression from the black and white plates of the Voynich MS I've seen, are that the illustrations are very weird when compared to other 'illuminated' manuscripts of this time. Particularly I would say that there is emphasis on the female nude that is unusual for the art of this period. I can't say that I myself believe the images to have ANYTHING to do with the text. My own conjecture is that the manuscript is a one-way encipherment. A cipher so clever that the inventor didn't even think of how it could be deciphered. Sorta like an /etc/passwd file. Bibliography ------------ 1. William R. Newbold. _The Cipher of Roger Bacon_Roland G Kent, ed. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1928. 2. Joseph Martin Feely. _Roger Bacon's Cipher: The Right Key Found_ Rochester N.Y.:Joseph Martin Feely, pub., 1943. 3. _The Most Mysterious Manuscript_ Robert S. Brumbaugh, ed. Southern Illinois Press, 1978 Unix filters are so wonderful. Massaging the machine readable file, we find: 4182 "words", of which 1284 are used more than once, 308 used 8+ times, 184 used 15+ times, 23 used 100+ times. Does this tell us anything about the language (if any) the text is written in? For those who may be interested, here are the 23 words used 100+ times: 121 2 115 4OFAE 114 4OFAM 155 4OFAN 195 4OFC89 162 4OFCC89 101 4OFCC9 189 89 111 8AE 492 8AM 134 8AN 156 8AR 248 OE 148 OR 111 S9 251 SC89 142 SC9 238 SOE 150 SOR 244 ZC89 116 ZC9 116 ZOE Could someone email the Voynich Ms. ref list that appeared here not very long ago? Thanks in advance... Also... I came across the following ref that is fun(?): The Voynich manuscript: an elegant enigma / M. E. D'Imperio Fort George E. Mead, Md. : National Security Agency(!) Central Security Service(?), 1978. ix, 140 p. : ill. ; 27 cm. The (?!) are mine... Sorry if this was already on the list, but the mention of the NSA (and what's the CSS?) made it jump out at me... -- Ron Carter | rcarter@nyx.cs.du.edu rcarter GEnie 70707.3047 CIS Director | Center for the Study of Creative Intelligence Denver, CO | Knowledge is power. Knowledge to the people. Just say know. Distribution: na Organization: Wetware Diversions, San Francisco Keywords: From sci.archaeology: >From: jamie@cs.sfu.ca (Jamie Andrews) >Date: 16 Nov 91 00:49:08 GMT > > It seems like the person who would be most likely to solve >this Voynich manuscript cipher would have >(a) knowledge of the modern techniques for solving more complex > ciphers such as Playfairs and Vigineres; and >(b) knowledge of the possible contemporary and archaic languages > in which the plaintext could have been written. An extended discussion of the Voynich Manuscript may be found in the tape of the same name by Terence McKenna. I'm not sure who is currently publishing this particular McKenna tape but probably one of: Dolphin Tapes, POB 71, Big Sur, CA 93920 Sounds True, 1825 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302 Sound Photosynthesis, POB 2111, Mill Valley, CA 94942 The Spring 1988 issue of Gnosis magazine contained an article by McKenna giving some background of the Voynich Manuscipt and attempts to decipher it, and reviewing Leo Levitov's "Solution of the Voynich Manuscript" (published in 1987 by Aegean Park Press, POB 2837 Laguna Hills, CA 92654). Levitov's thesis is that the manuscript is the only surviving primary document of the Cathar faith (exterminated on the orders of the Pope in the Albigensian Crusade in the 1230s) and that it is in fact not encrypted material but rather is a highly polyglot form of Medieval Flemish with a large number of Old French and Old High German loan words, written in a special script. As far as I know Levitov's there has been no challenge to Levitov's claims so far. Michael Barlow, who had reviewed Levitov's book in Cryptologia, had sent me photocopies of the pages where much of the language was described (pp.21-31). I have just found them, and am looking at them now as I am typing this. Incidentally, I do not believe this has anything to do with cryptology proper, but the decipherment of texts in unknown languages. So if you are into cryptography proper, skip this. Looking at the "Voynich alphabet" pp.25-27, I made a list of the letters of the Voynich language as Levitov interprets them, and I added phonetic descriptions of the sounds I *think* Levitov meant to describe. Here it is: Letter# Phonetic Phonetic descriptions (IPA) in linguists' jargon: in plain English: 1 a low open, central unrounded a as in father e mid close, front, unrounded ay as in May O mid open, back, rounded aw as in law or o as in got (British pronunciation) 2 s unvoiced dental fricative s as in so 3 d voiced dental stop d 4 E mid, front, unrounded e as in wet 5 f unvoiced labiodental fricative f 6 i short, high open, front, i as in dim unrounded 7 i: long, high, front, unrounded ea as in weak 8 i:E (?) I can't make head nor tail of Levitov's explanations. Probably like "ei" in "weird" dragging along the "e": "weeeird"! (British pronunciation, with a silent "r") 9 C unvoiced palatal fricative ch in German ich 10 k unvoived velar stop k 11 l lateral, can't be more precise from description, probably like l in "loony" 12 m voiced bilabial nasal m 13 n voiced dental nasal n 14 r (?) cannot tell precisely from Scottish r? description Dutch r? 15 t no description; dental stop? t 16 t another form for #15 t 17 T (?) no description th as in this? th as in thick? 18 TE (?) again, no description or ET (?) 19 v voiced labiodental fricative v as in rave 20 v ditto, same as #19 ditto (By now, you will have guessed what my conclusion about Levitov's decipherment was) In the column headed "Phonetic (IPA)" I have used capital letters for lack of the special international phonetic symbols: E for the Greek letter "epsilon" O for the letter that looks like a mirror-image of "c" C for c-cedilla T for the Greek letter "theta" The colon (:) means that the sound represented by the preceding letter is long, e.g. "i:" is a long "i". The rest, #21 to 25, are not "letters" proper, but represent groups of two or more letters, just like #18 does. They are: 21 av 22a Ev 22b vE 23 CET 24 kET 25 sET That gives us a language with 6 vowels: a (#1), e (#1 again), O (#1 again), E (#4), i (#6), and i: (#7). Letter #8 is not a vowel, but a combination of two vowels: i: (#7) and probably E (#4). Levitov writes that the language is derived from Dutch. If so, it has lost the "oo" sound (English spelling; "oe" in Dutch spelling), and the three front rounded vowels of Dutch: u as in U ("you", polite), eu as in deur ("door"), u as in vlug ("quick"). Note that out of six vowels, three are confused under the same letter (#1), even though they sound very different from one another: a, e, O. Just imagine that you had no way of distinguishing between "last", "lest" and "lost" when writing in English, and you'll have a fair idea of the consequences. Let us look at the consonants now. I will put them in a matrix, with the points of articulation in one dimension, and the manner of articulation in the other (it's all standard procedure when analyzing a language). Brackets around a letter will mean that I could not tell where to place it exactly, and just took a guess. labial dental palatal velar nasal m n voiced stop d unvoiced stop t k voiced fricative v (T) unvoiced fricative f s C lateral l trill (?) (r) Note that there are only twelve consonant sounds. That is unheard of for a European language. No European language has so few consonant sounds. Spanish, which has very few sounds (only five vowels), has seventeen distinct consonants sounds, plus two semi-consonants. Dutch has from 18 to 20 consonants (depending on speakers, and how you analyze the sounds. Warning: I just counted them on the back of an envelope; I might have missed one or two). What is also extraordinary in Levitov's language is that it lacks a "g", and *BOTH* "b" and "p". I cannot think of one single language in the world that lacks both "b" and "p". Levitov also says that "m" occurs only word-finally, never at the beginning, nor in the middle of a word. That's true: the letter he says is an "m" is always word-final in the reproductions I have seen of the Voynich MS. But no language I know of behaves like that. All have an "m" (except one American Indian language, which is very famous for that, and the name of which escapes me right now), but, if there is a position where "m" never appears in some languages, that position is word-finally. Exactly the reverse of Levitov's language. What does Levitov say about the origin of the language? "The language was very much standardized. It was an application of a polyglot oral tongue into a literary language which would be understandable to people who did not understand Latin and to whom this language could be read." At first reading, I would dismiss it all as nonsense: "polyglot oral tongue" means nothing in linguistics terms. But Levitov is a medical doctor, so allowances must be made. The best meaning I can read into "polyglot oral tongue" is "a language that had never been written before and which had taken words from many different languages". That is perfectly reasonable: English for one, has done that. Half its vocabulary is Norman French, and some of the commonest words have non-Anglo-Saxon origins. "Sky", for instance, is a Danish word. So far, so good. Levitov continues: "The Voynich is actually a simple language because it follows set rules and has a very limited vocabulary.... There is a deliberate duality and plurality of words in the Voynich and much use of apostrophism". By "duality and plurality of words" Levitov means that the words are highly ambiguous, most words having two or more different meanings. I can only guess at what he means by apostrophism: running words together, leaving bits out, as we do in English: can not --> cannot --> can't, is not --> ain't. Time for a tutorial in the Voynich language as I could piece it together from Levitov's description. Because, according to Levitov, letter #1 represent 3 vowels sounds, I will represent it by just "a", but remember: it can be pronounced a, e, or o. But I will distinguish, as does Levitov, between the two letters which he says were both pronounced "v", using "v" for letter #20 and "w" for letter #21. Some vocabulary now. Some verbs first, which Levitov gives in the infinitive. In the Voynich language the infinitive of verbs ends in -en, just like in Dutch and in German. I have removed that grammatical ending in the list which follows, and given probable etymologies in parentheses (Levitov gives doesn't give any): ad = to aid, help ("aid") ak = to ache, pain ("ache") al = to ail ("ail") and = to undergo the "Endura" rite ("End[ura]", probably) d = to die ("d[ie]") fad = to be for help (from f= for and ad=aid) fal = to fail ("fail") fil = to be for illness (from: f=for and il=ill) il = to be ill ("ill") k = to understand ("ken", Dutch and German "kennen" meaning "to know") l = to lie deathly ill, in extremis ("lie", "lay") s = to see ("see", Dutch "zien") t = to do, treat (German "tun" = to do) v = to will ("will" or Latin "volo" perhaps) vid = to be with death (from vi=with and d=die) vil = to want, wish, desire (German "willen") vis = to know ("wit", German "wissen", Dutch "weten") vit = to know (ditto) viT = to use (no idea, Latin "uti" perhaps?) vi = to be the way (Latin "via") eC = to be each ("each") ai:a = to eye, look at ("eye", "oog" in Dutch) en = to do (no idea) Example given by Levitov: enden "to do to death" made up of "en" (to do), "d" (to die) and "en" (infinitive ending). Well, to me, that's doing it the hard way. What's wrong with just "enden" = to end (German "enden", too!) More vocabulary: em = he or they (masculine) ("him") er = her or they (feminine) ("her") eT = it or they ("it" or perhaps "they" or Dutch "het") an = one ("one", Dutch "een") "There are no declensions of nouns or conjugation of verbs. Only the present tense is used" says Levitov. Examples: den = to die (infinitive) (d = die, -en = infinitive) deT = it/they die (d = die, eT = it/they) diteT = it does die (d = die, t = do, eT = it/they, with an "i" added to make it easier to pronounce, which is quite common and natural in languages) But Levitov contradicts himself immediately, giving another tense (known as present progressive in English grammar): dieT = it is dying But I may be unfair there, perhaps it is a compound: d = die, i = is ...-ing, eT = it/they. Plurals are formed by suffixing "s" in one part of the MS, "eT" in another: "ans" or "aneT" = ones. More: wians = we ones (wi = we, wie in Dutch, an = one, s = plural) vian = one way (vi = way, an = one) wia = one who (wi = who, a = one) va = one will (v = will, a = one) wa = who wi = who wieT = who, it (wi = who, eT = it) witeT = who does it (wi = who, t = do, eT = it/they) weT = who it is (wi = who, eT = it, then loss of "i", giving "weT") ker = she understands (k = understand, er =she) At this stage I would like to comment that we are here in the presence of a Germanic language which behaves very, very strangely in the way of the meanings of its compound words. For instance, "viden" (to be with death) is made up of the words for "with", "die" and the infinitive suffix. I am sure that Levitov here was thinking of a construction like German "mitkommen" which means "to come along" (to "withcome"). I suppose I could say "Bitte, sterben Sie mit" on the same model as "Bitte, kommen Sie mit" ("Come with me/us, please), thereby making up a verb "mitsterben", but that would mean "to die together with someone else", not "to be with death". Let us see how Levitov translates a whole sentence. Since he does not explain how he breaks up those compound words I have tried to do it using the vocabulary and grammar he provides in those pages. My tentative explanations are in parenthesis. TanvieT faditeT wan aTviteT anTviteT atwiteT aneT TanvieT = the one way (T = the (?), an = one, vi =way, eT = it) faditeT = doing for help (f = for, ad = aid, i = -ing, t = do, eT = it) wan = person (wi/wa = who, an = one) aTviteT = one that one knows (a = one, T = that, vit = know, eT = it. Here, Levitov adds one extra letter which is not in the text, getting "aTaviteT", which provide the second "one" of his translation) anTviteT = one that knows (an =one, T = that, vit = know, eT = it) atwiteT = one treats one who does it (a = one, t = do, wi = who, t = do, eT = it. Literally: "one does [one] who does it". The first "do" is translated as "treat", the second "one" is added in by Levitov: he added one letter, which gives him "atawiteT") aneT = ones (an = one, -eT = the plural ending) Levitov's translation of the above in better English: "the one way for helping a person who needs it, is to know one of the ones who do treat one". Need I say more? Does anyone still believe that Levitov's translations are worth anything? As an exercise, here is the last sentence on p.31, with its word-for-word translation by Levitov. I leave you to work it out, and to figure out what it might possibly mean. Good luck! tvieT nwn anvit fadan van aleC tvieT = do the ways nwn = not who does (but Levitov adds a letter to make it "nwen") anvit = one knows fadan = one for help van = one will aleC = each ail ==> cryptology/swiss.colony.p <== What are the 1987 Swiss Colony ciphers? ==> cryptology/swiss.colony.s <== Did anyone solve the 1987 'Crypto-gift' contest that was run by Swiss Colony? My friend and I worked on it for 4 months, but didn't get anywhere. My friend solved the 1986 puzzle in about a week and won $1000. I fear that we missed some clue that makes it incredibly easy to solve. I'm including the code, clues and a few notes for those of you so inclined to give it a shot. 197,333,318,511,824, 864,864,457,197,333, 824,769,372,769,864, 865,457,153,824,511,223,845,318, 489,953,234,769,703,489,845,703, 372,216,457,509,333,153,845,333, 511,864,621,611,769,707,153,333, 703,197,845,769,372,621,223,333, 197,845,489,953,223,769,216,223, 769,769,457,153,824,511,372,223, 769,824,824,216,865,845,153,769, 333,704,511,457,153,333,824,333, 953,372,621,234,953,234,865,703, 318,223,333,489,944,153,824,769, 318,457,234,845,318,223,372,769, 216,894,153,333,511,611, 769,704,511,153,372,621, 197,894,894,153,333,953, 234,845,318,223 CHRIS IS BACK WITH GOLD FOR YOU HIS RHYMES CONTAIN THE SECRET. YOU SCOUTS WHO'VE EARNED YOUR MERIT BADGE WILL QUICKLY LEARN TO READ IT. SO WHEN YOUR CHRISTMAS HAM'S ALL GONE AND YOU'RE READY FOR THE TUSSLE, BALL UP YOUR HAND INTO A FIST AND SHOW OUR MOUSE YOUR MUSCLE. PLEASE READ THESE CLUES WE LEAVE TO YOU BOTH FINE ONES AND THE COARSE; IF CARE IS USED TO HEED THEM ALL YOU'LL SUFFER NO REMORSE. Notes: The puzzle comes as a jigsaw that when assembled has the list of numbers. They are arranged as indicated on the puzzle, with commas. The lower right corner has a drawing of 'Secret Agent Chris Mouse'. He holds a box under his arm which looks like the box the puzzle comes in. The upper left corner has the words 'NEW 1987 $50,000 Puzzle'. The lower left corner is empty. The clues are printed on the entry form in upper case, with the punctuation as shown. Ed Rupp ...!ut-sally!oakhill!ed Motorola, Inc., Austin Tx. ==> cryptology/vcrplus.p <== What is the code used by VCR+? ==> cryptology/vcrplus.s <== This program will decode codes 1 through 1000. /* * Copyright 1991 Ken Shirriff shirriff@sprite.Berkeley.EDU */ char *tn[8] = { "6:30", "4:00", "7:30", "4:30", "3:30", "5:30", "6:00", "2:30"}; main(argc,argv) int argc; char **argv; { int num, month; int line, day; int time, chan; int shift; int wrap; int decnum; int num0; int table[32][32]; if (argc != 3) { printf("Usage: decode num month\n"); exit(-1); } num = atoi(argv[1]); num0 = num; month = atoi(argv[2]); decnum = decode100(num%100); if (num==103 || num==387 || num==474 || num==536 || num==658 || num==745 || num==929) { printf("number %d does not fall into the range of the others\n", num); } else if (num <= 100) { /* * Swap 1-9 decoded with 1-9 encoded */ if (1<= num && num<=9) { decnum = num; } else if (decnum<=9) { decnum = decode100(decnum); } day = 1 + (decnum-1)/32; line = (decnum+day-1)%32; } else { retry: /* * We decode the last two digits. * Then we shift according to the first digit. * Each shift moves us 3 days over and 7 lines down. * But since we are using the sheared table, the 3 days over * results in moving 4 days down. */ shift = (11 + num/100 - shift100(decnum))%10; day = 1 + (decnum-1)/32; /* 1-4 */ line = (decnum-1)%32; /* 0-31 sheared table */ line += shift*4; /* 0-31 + wrap */ /* * If we've moved down more than 32 lines, we have to wrap back. */ wrap = line/32; day += shift*3 + wrap; line += day; /* Undo the shear */ decnum = ((line-day-1)%31)+(day-1)*32+1; /* sheared table number*/ /* * If we decode a number >100 into something in the first 100, * we have to take the number there and start over. * This ensures that numbers 1-100 map into codes 1-100. */ if (decnum<100) { /* * Get the appropriate entry from the first columns, and start over. */ num = decode100(num%100); decnum = decode100(num); goto retry; } } /* * Apply the month correction. */ line = (line+day*month)&31; /* * Decode the line into the time and channel. */ time = ((line&16)>>2) | ((line&4)>>1) | (line&1); chan = (((line&8)>>2) | ((line&2)>>1))+1; printf("Code %d in month %d = %s, ch %d on day %d\n", num0, month, tn[time], chan, day); } /* * Decode 0-99 into a sequential number 1-100: * 1 * .. 33 * .. 65 * .. .. .. 97 * .. .. .. .. * .. .. .. 100 * 32 * 64 * 96 */ int decode100(num) { int day; int row, col, rem, div; /* * 4 special cases that make the modulo operations messy */ switch (num) { case 87: return 97; case 58: return 98; case 29: return 99; case 0: return 100; } /* * Break up into 7 rows of 5 columns on 3 days. * The numbers are broken mod 29 and then broken in half again. */ rem = num%29; div = num/29; if (rem<16-div) { row = 3-div; } else { row = 6-div; rem -= 13; } col = 4-(rem-1)/3; day = (rem-1)%3; /* * The numbers are then assigned consecutively down the columns. */ return col*7+row + day*31; } /* * Compute the 100's digit shift. */ int shift100(num) { int shift; int i,j; i = (num+30)%31; j = (num+30)/31; shift = ((i+1)/10)*7 + j*4 + i*3; if ((i==8 || i==28) && (j==2 || j==3)) shift += 7; if (i==6 && j==4) shift += 8; if ((i==17 || i==18) && j==3) shift += 7; shift = shift%10; return shift; }