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Thread: Can You Crack The Enigma Code?

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    Writerian's Avatar
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    Post Can You Crack The Enigma Code?

    Hiya,

    Has anyone heard of this book by Richard Belfield?

    I came across 'Can You Crack The Enigma Code' on Amazon. According to the book synopsis it looks at some of the most difficult codes in history that have withstood years of investigation and shows the reader how they too can learn to solve or create almost any code.

    But the best bit .... is that the book contains a code devised by the author for readers to decipher and the first person to do so will receive an original, German World War Two Enigma machine, worth over 20,000.

    Apparently the author worked with a team of top cryptographers from Royal Holloway, University of London and set this code, based on the techniques that have been revealed throughout his book.

    There is a website associated with the book at http://enigma.isg.rhul.ac.uk/ but, despite the fact it was published in Sept 2006, there is no mention of it being cracked yet that I could see and the latest post on the Forum is dated yesterday.

    I think I might just order the book and have a go at this one.


    Writerian

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    It looks intriguing. If you notice on the forum, all of the puzzles are posted online. This is due to 2 of the 6 puzzles having errors in the book.

    It looks like these are quite difficult if the forum members are using Quagmire III and one time pad. Could be fun! If you get this book, will you tell me if it is worth the price of admission?

    Pianoman

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    A true German WWII Enigma machine would be a wonderful treasure prize indeed. I snapped this photo of the cipher machines at the NSA Cryptologic museum:


    I wonder how they attained one? Perhaps it is a repro?

    -Rusty

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    debreturns is offline Getting the hang of it. Copper debreturns is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Smile Engima Machine

    The web site says it's an original...interesting.

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    Writerian's Avatar
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    I've ordered the book, should get it sometime this week and will let you know what I think.

    Writerian

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    I ordered the book also - still waiting on it (but it's coming soon from Seattle).

    I've solved puzzles #1, #3 and #4 (waiting on book for #2). So far they weren't terribly difficult, just computationally intensive. They claim, "The puzzles are all solvable using pencil and paper alone," but I'm fairly skeptical of that claim. I just couldn't see solving #4 without a computer, and even with that it took quite some time for me. They also claim, "The puzzles in the book are interrelated; solving one puzzle makes it easier to solve the next one." However, nothing about #1 or #3 helped me at all with solving #4 (and others claim neither did #2) - though #1 did say what to do with #2. In hindsight, #3 does have a cryptic clue for #4, though not sure how useful it would have been...

    FWIW, I've been following this one on Q4T.
    Ai Cuff Guide Joey

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    Halfway there Ixnei! And without the book...I think an Enigma is soon to be lurking in your closet...

    Nice job!

    Pianoman

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    LOL! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge) I dunno, the puzzles did get quite a bit harder at each step, and there's still 2 more I haven't even looked at yet...

    The funny thing is, I really don't want an old clunky stinky enigma, period. And I'll bet it reeks - I used to have some 40's and 50's vintage electronics that I put 120V through, back in the 80's, and they smelled 'disturbingly' bad! I could hardly say no to a bit of cash tho, should that opportunity arise...
    Ai Cuff Guide Joey

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    Smile

    Well, my book arrived today and I'm amazed because its a First Edition!

    Anyway, I've had a skim through it, definately looks very interesting and I'm sure some of the stuff I learn from this book will help me with other hunts if it doesn't help me solve this one.

    Will let you know more when I've had a chance to read through it.


    Writerian

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    Writerian's Avatar
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    Default Extended Closing Date ......

    The rules of this competition state that:

    The prize consists of one genuine enigma machine used by the Germans during WWII
    The competiton closes on 31st December 2007
    The winner will be chosen at random from those who have successfully cracked the code.
    The prize must be taken between 31st December 2007 and 31st July 2008
    However, according to the Can You Crack The Enigma Code forum http://enigma.isg.rhul.ac.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=97 , the author has kindly agreed to extend the competition and change the rules to "the first past the post will be the winner!"

    So if you have your eye on this prize there's still a chance - you'll have to get 'cracking' though because at least one team appears to have cracked codes 1-4 and only have two left to decipher.

    Good luck

    Writerian

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