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kreatoon 02-22-2018 05:21 PM

Cryptography puzzle
Hey guys!

I have this cryptography puzzle that I am struggling with.

The puzzle is as follows:

"There is a secret message intercepted which goes like this:


Unfortunately the receiver could not interpret the message so the message was sent again but now looked like this:


What was the message? What was the key used?"

I checked and these are not Caesar ciphers nor Affine ciphers. As there are so few letters I was unable to try frequency analysis. One thing I noticed is that the letters from both messages have uneven number of letters between each other e.g. the first letter of the first message is S and it's the 19th letter (counting A as 1) and the first letter from the second message is Y and it's 25th (inbetween are 5 letters) and so on.

Also, there are 5 pairs of letters that are the same and in the same position. R(4th), B (8th), T (10th), U(13th) and F(18th).

My logic also follows that if this is the same message then there must be something that is differentiating it every time. The most rational conclusion is that a part of the message is a part of the key? Let's say the first letter states some sort of a key variable or something and the message follows after that.

Haven't gotten far so if you guys have any hints or sources I can use that would be helpful.

Feelthecosmos 02-23-2018 01:12 PM

First off, are you sure it's in English?


This looks like it came from the Annual Report of the Estonian Foreign Ministry, so I'm not sure English is a given unless you have more context than I do. There's a common Estonian proverb (kes otsib, see leiab) that translates roughly to "He who seeks shall find." The first 7 letters would fit until you come to the first B, but it might be something to mess around with.

Secondly, my google translate of this page doesn't actually specify that the two messages are identical. Google translate returns "Because the recipient was unable to decode the message, a retry message was sent to him." That doesn't necessarily mean the two messages are identical. The second might actually be instructions on how to decode the first. Also, if you're trying number substitutions and the message is using the Estonian alphabet you're probably in for quite the headache.

Anyway, good luck with this, and I'm curious how this turns out :)

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