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    Default Cipher

    Everyone seems to have lost interest or hit a dead-end, but maybe that is because the information we need to solve this is veiled by a cipher. The pictures led our "younger" deducers to the 12 locations. The 13th location is Roy Dodge who has gone underground with the most valuable No.12.

    My money is on this being a VIC cipher. Anyone else have any ideas? What have you tried so far? Perhaps we should make this the "fruitless ciphers" thread?
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    I've only dabbled but I have a number of ideas...problem is, its very easy to get lost with all the possibilities.

    What cipher method is likely? Any clues to support?
    What is the input string?
    What is(are) the keys?

    I've tried taking all the first and last letters of each of the five lines of every page. I've combined all the SHM locations, just highway and mile, in interesting ways to get a 52 digit string of numbers. Using a mod-10 method to produce alpha characters is part of how the VIC cipher works. Looking at letter distributions is very tricky as well...when you see lots of QJXZK characters you start to get worried, but then a cryptogram could be easily worked to clean that up...wish I had more experience...i'm such a noob.
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    I forgot to explain my supporting reasons for the use of te Victor cipher. It was introduced to us in 1953, about the same time the Peace movement launched a campaign against the use of nuclear weapons and the Duck and Cover PSA's featuring Bert the turtle were being shown to school children all across the nation. It was a Russian piece of microfilm contained in a hollowed out 5-cent piece. The cipher uses four steps: a keyword (the Russian word for 'snowfall' in this case, perhaps we will use 'marshmallow'), which is used to create a straddling checkerboard (Key is having at least 2 empty spots on the first row to create a coordinate system on the following two rows of a 3x10 grid of English characters, a well known date (when Russia defeated Japan in WWII) for enciphering, and the first 20 letters of a popular song (Total Eclipse of the Heart, perhaps?).

    I'm still struggling to understand the way all these steps work, but it looks to me like TCWAF is doing its best to give us this information. The toug part is figuring out what makes up the enciphered message.
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    So, after a few hours of inefficient brain activity, I have generated nothing spectacular with the VIC cipher. It remains a very good candidate, but I still haven't grasped all the ins and outs of the method. I've gathered that there's a standard practice and some adaptations that might be applied in it's workings. The terms I've tried to supply information towards are as follows:

    Personal Number: 03, 05, 12, 17, 20.
    Date: 10/31/1972
    Song Lyric: TURNAROUNDEVERYNOWANDTHEN (first 20 letters of Total Eclipse of the Heart)
    Keyword: MARSHMALLOW (MARSHLOW)

    Number String: 81262351805445958139276458056951084269753079089401 34 (52 digits from highway and mile solutions in just one configuration, there are others to consider)

    Text String: IELROERAISASSCIGKOIEIOSTPSEOPMWEEESDHYFSTEGWWTDASM TDNOHTEAHFTLDHLHLTWYTTDIBSNAPPTYDSTSECGGTDNTIGSIIH TMNWIEDOWTTESNADSIORHGDATDDHTKTBROSEFBTDTGDIIDGPAD TYDAMIYWKEIGGTOEDBCS (170-Characters, first and lest letter of every page having center justified 2-D pyramid shaped text blocks, front cover to back, line by line, left to right convention)

    I've had fun looking for rail cipher and other column transposions, such as using the YES song 90125 (convert to sequential key 45123) for a 5 column attempt, still nothing, but I'm barely scratching the surface of what's possible.
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    I put five too many letters on that string of lyrics.

    After barely wrapping my head around the vic cipher, I realize I didnt expect it to be so complicated. Sheesh, its intimidating for a beginner.

    New list of information needed to pull it off:

    1. Keyword
    2. Song lyric
    3. Date in d/m/year format
    4. Personal number (determines two different widths of transposition columns)
    5. Arbitrary keygroup
    6. Code source

    I must be nuts.
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    Here's the mod10 version of the 170-character string substituted by numbers A=1...J=0...Z=6...
    95285 58199 19939 71595 95906
    95563 35559 48569 05733 04193
    04458 05186 02482 82035 00492
    94166 05490 95377 04409 79998
    03439 54530 05941 49958 87410
    44801 02859 56204 07499 47614
    05413 95315 97705 54239
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    Still giving it a go with the VIC cipher. I needed an arbitrary key group of 5 characters so I thought to utilize Bert's last name D'GRNP without the punctuation and setting it to sequential digits 12534. This allowed me to assemble the many layers of preparation needed to establish the three keys needed to fit the straddling checkerboard followed by the two transposition blocks. I thought about using the number "5" from fourth floor as the personal number which when added to the results of some chain addition give column widths of 11 for the first tableau and 12 for the second.

    Note: this is all just an excercise and I'd be very surprised if this is at all the right track. Just seeing what is possible.
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    Great News!

    I successfully completed the VIC cipher using all my assumptions and as expected I ended up with gibberish instead of a nice clean message. I had to do the exercise to improve my understanding so I might refine my judgement on what look out for when testing my assumptions.

    Just consider how many options there might be for the date. Could be Scott Teplins birthday shown on his Drivers License on the website. Could be the date Roy Dodge solved the case in the Lobby. Could be the date the actual robbery took place. Could be Independence Day (4/7/1776) or Flag Day (14/6/1777) since Roy has a big American Flag on his wall. Could be St. Patricks Day Four (17/3/2003)...just a gut feeling on that one. Maybe a date associated with Gus?

    Even the popular song lyric could be something other than Total Eclipse of the Heart. I have a nagging feeling it's a Bon Jovi song from the Slippery When Wet album. Living On a Prayer mentions a "union strike", and there is that baseball strike poster on Pupkin's (Roy's) wall. Could be the 20 letters: ONCEUPONATIMENOTSOLO. Jon Bon Jovi has the nickname Captain Kidd, also the name of a famous pirate.
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    Here's one of my hunches that there is a serious cipher at work here, note the shape of the original Enigma Code Machine logo and the way the site menu appears at gustwintig.com . Also notice how the rotors of the machine look much like the seals.

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    There was a clue re: rail fence ciphers given at one of the readings...."the best defense is a good rail fence" or something along those lines?

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