Archive for the ‘Cryptology’ Category

The Venus Statue

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

“I wonder where the entrance to the sub cellar is?” said Dr. Arbuthnot Smythe, looking around the vast basement.

“What a beautiful statue of Venus, look there between the two pillars at the far end wall,” exclaimed Dr. Smythe, as his assistant Pascal’s flashlight illuminated it briefly.

“Really impressive, Dr. Smythe. The room is full of statues and artworks, but I see no trap door anywhere,” said Pascal, continuing to search the poorly lit space with his flashlight.

“Wagner T. Buckfuller’s granddaughter, Isabel, said his will indicates that her inheritance is located in a sub cellar with access through a trap door,” said Dr. Smythe.

“Wait, I see a tablet on the wall over there with some writing,” shouted Pascal, running over to a far wall.

Dr. Arbuthnot Smythe quickly followed to have a look at the tablet hanging in a blue frame.

“It seems like gibberish, said Dr. Smythe, “must be a code.”

Pascal pulled out a notebook, “Let me have it, Dr. Smythe.”



“That really is a mouthful,” exclaimed Pascal.

“Columnar code with a keyword, obviously,” replied Dr. Smythe.

“I wonder what the keyword could be, some particular fondness of Wagner T. Buckfuller’s?” said Pascal.

“When we discover it, the task will be an easy one,” said Dr. Smythe.

“Let’s have a chat with Isabel. Knowing her grandfather’s idiosyncrasies, perhaps she can give us a clue.”

Can you work out what the coded tablet text says in order to help Dr. Smythe and Pascal locate Isabel’s inheritance?

A Case of Lockjaw

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

It was a dark night in a snow-laden town high up in the Swiss alps and Mrs. Vogel was worried.

Yesterday, her young son Fritz had received a tetanus vaccination from Dr. Schwanzenbrenner and today her son was sweating, had a fever, headache and his jaw muscles were steadily tightening.

Mrs. Vogel had dispatched her husband Bruno to hunt down Dr. Schwanzenbrenner for assistance, without result.

Recently, on her birthday, Mrs. Vogel’s cousin Irma Spätzli had given her a multifunctional robot called Iggy, a small robot that, among other services, such as vacuum cleaning, could issue a homeopathic prescription for acute illnesses after receiving a verbal description.

Mrs. Vogel summoned Iggy who zoomed rapidly over to her, making humming agreeable noises, lights blinking brightly.

“Iggy: Fritz’ jaw muscles are steadily becoming more tense, he is sweating and has a headache. What do you prescribe?” entreated Mrs. Vogel, nervously stroking strands of falling hair into place.

Before Iggy could speak, Caesar, the family dog, appeared out of nowhere and jumped Iggy, thinking that Mrs. Vogel was being attacked. Iggy toppled over and his speaking mechanism turned into a thin squawk. Mrs. Vogel scolded the growling Caesar, made him back off and sit obediently.

However, Iggy had managed to issue a paper strip from its mouth with the following text printed on it: ”GvFizeuPlsr20ociertLdmaute0Cne.”

Mrs. Vogel surmised that Iggy’s communication circuits had been disturbed by the fall, causing the prescription to come out in a kind of code.

In desperation, Mrs. Vogel somehow worked out Iggy’s prescription and went to fetch the homeopathic remedy kit Irma Spätzli had given her.

After giving the indicated remedy to Fritz, he became more calm and the tension in his jaw muscles subsided. Fritz fell asleep and woke up the next day much improved.

Can you work out which homeopathic remedy Iggy prescribed?

Blackbeard’s Treasure

Friday, July 8th, 2016

A band of pirates arrived on the congenial island La Orchila looking for the treasure of the pirate Blackbeard. They had a rough map of the location stolen from a museum in London.

In a well-protected dell with a small spring, they saw a tree with the following markings placed in a band around it:


After scratching their heads and other parts and arguing amongst themselves, one pirate suddenly saw the light.

What was the message on the tree?

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