Sunday Morning Puzzle #75 --- A Faulty Cryptogram

The new MacroHard CodeWiz 2003 cryptogramming software is supposed to make it easy on a puzzle constructor. Any wannabe enigmatist should be able to type in some text and let the program encode it using simple letter substitution. Our puzzlemaker could theoretically make dozens of mistake-free cryptograms in minutes, thus leaving him or her with plenty of time for household chores (i.e. sleeping, watching TV, snack preparation…).

Unfortunately, this program has a bug that creates a small problem with the cryptograms. For example, I entered three sentences (as well as a title and author) and the MHCW2003 produced the following cryptogram:


XOQTRWO KZ FXY OAREQKJ FJLL NGRAA, WWY OWXESSO KALR KRSXO JALR KUQX LXY OUQWRXURZA OGRWYO, JZOPJEKPUQ POCOJ FNUQEX OALW. WWLKKO QKURBOJ, WNUWNRXTYO KZLLXUO, WZRXNR QBRHRNR, WBUQ VAOLXRJK, WPJRW-WWXRUQO KWLTTO JWYUJX, WVQO-OWLTV, WBUQRSLJO, WHORQ, WWGORXOJ, WWVUJX, WXJLEWOJ.

PQL, GSUQRAA, FWY OGRWYO WLQ OWNRA AALR K RGOO, VRQ KGLQKOJ WGY FXY OKRF WRJ OW LALQ.

"VWLAUXRUJ" ONRJUAO OWGUJTWMO


Sigh. I guess I’ll have to go back to the old way of writing puzzles. Still, I gotta wonder: Are there any solvers out there clever enough to decipher the cryptogram anyway? If so, he/she could really “clean up” in the decoding biz!

Used to be one of my favorite pasttimes on the weekend. Unfortunately, it takes up WAY too much time that I don’t have anymore.

*WHAT *used to be one of your favorite pasttimes, Gal108??

Holy cow!

Would it help to know that there is neither a “Q” nor an “X” in the original text?

Probably not.

One final hint:

This is not a particularly difficult cryptogram once the nature of the cryptogramming problem is realized. Cheer up!

Perhaps you might gain something if you think about the tide?

I wake up sunday, eager to snuggle up with one of Biotop’s puzzles. I had finally been the first to solve one and was feeling quite bold.

I got nothing. Actually, I got just next to nothing. I can tell the general direction (I think) of Biotop’s clues. I know there’s some extra step here. Do I add letters to the cypher text? Take them away? Is another magic word the answer?

I’ve had this puzzle spinning 'round in my head for days now. I fear I may have loaded my skull beyond capacity.

Anybody else have any insight?

DocCathode:

I have a feeling you are very close to discovering the solution to this rather muddied cryptogram. Your imagery of the puzzle “spinning 'round” leads me to believe so. Spinning, however, is not necessary.

Perhaps, if you give it a try, you could ken more information from the cryptogram. Or possibly you might make a solving suggestion: Someone may tag along after you with the solution! After all, with “A man, a plan”…anything is possible.

So I’m finally back at the SDMB after nearly a month and a half hiatus. A perfect marriage and 3-week honeymoon in the mountains of North Carolina is recommended for everyone. Unfortunately, the pile of work back at the office, not to mention the weeks and weeks of threads to read, means there has been precious little time for actually posting.

Nor has there been any opportunity to put together new puzzles. So for anyone who misses the Sunday challenges, I resurrect this old unsolved cryptogram to see if somebody can yet make sense of sentences.

Here’s a few new clues that might help:

  1. The MacroHard CodeWiz 2003 makes only one tiny consistent error. Otherwise, the program performs quite well.

  2. Work with the second sentence. That seems to be the place, I think, to make the puzzle come clean.

  3. A pessimist might conclude from all this that:

FAUS’O W RZAORT … YRQ KXYO QFL EKJ.

Welcome back!

A clear text has suggested itself for Hint #3. Ordinarily, that would bust a puzzle wide open. In this case, it hasn’t.

It has, however, answered several nagging questions. I’ll get back to you soon.

I suspected Hint #3 might nudge a solver in the right direction. We’ll see.

Hard cryptograms shouldn’t (groan) deter gents… or ladies.

Ahhhh…

I was looking for a way to change the divisions between words, but I let the punctuation inhibit me. Encoding the letter before solves the problem very nicely.

Now we can fold this one and put it away.

Peregrine: You got it!

I got this idea sitting on some bleachers. You know how when you go to a sports event and you sit on these crowded silver bleachers with little black numbers? The bleacher gets crowded and everyone is sitting in tight. Then someone squeezes in on one end and everyone on the bleacher squishes down…and then you find yourself sitting on the next number and not the one you were originally on. So I sort of saw the last letter of each sentence as that extrra person trying to squeeze on the bleacher.

So much for the analogy.

I was a little surprised this puzzle took so many cycles to become cleaner then clean, but I knew the solution would at some point soak in.

And now I guess I’ll let this be the “close line.”