Crypto challenge 15: Jnyxvat onpxjneqf sbe Puevfgznf

Rnfvat bss ntnva guvf jrrx, ohg jvgu n ovg bs n gjvfg gung fubhyq znxr guvatf zber vagrerfgvat. Cbvagf sbe gur crefbaf gb cbfg gur zrffntrf va cynvagrkg.

1) BPVZKNIG AV TAVCBQN QVY BUKRNKUG QYVUF BQVNDCAQM QUC UTDRNUC IYCQVDO BCVKF HAVUGB QUC

2) BREU VDWG BGCP QRL BRCOLSG VDWG BSFALGQ URWYCCZ JDTWVB DBRWLUL QALEU AECJ RC SM
LVL 8
KelvinYAsked:
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danrosenthalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here is what I got for the first one....
1) THE SPHINX WAITS QUIETLY THROUGH THE CENTURIES WHILE PHAROAHS LIE RESTING IN PYRAMIDS
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dagesiCommented:
Just to confirm before I start... assuming it's the type of information that is provided...
But...
Are spaces actually representative of spaces between words?
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KelvinYAuthor Commented:
dagesi,

Generally, when the ciphertext is not broken up into equal sized groups you can safely assume that the spaces represent breaks between words. That is the case here.

If you look back at previous Crypto challenges you will see that the convention is to encode the title and instructions in a fairly simple cipher and to make the point-worthy message(s) more challenging. At the moment I'm alternating between really tough and not so tough challenges from week to week.

In the title and instructions for this challenge you will also notice that capitalization and puctuation has been preserved, which is often a good source of information about the plaintext. In the two challenge ciphertexts you will see that the text is all in CAPS, but that the word spacing has been preserved.

Good luck and have fun.
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keola75Commented:
Hi...I'm fairly new at this.  If I'm understanding things, you have encoded the title and instructions in simple cipher and the numbered messages are a completely different cipher, correct?  I solved the title and first two sentences but wanted to make sure I was going down the right path with the numbered ciphers.  Thanks.
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KelvinYAuthor Commented:
keola75,

You are on the right path. The number ciphers have different keys and are usually encoded using a more challenging scheme than the title and instructions. Have a look at some of the earlier PAQed challenges if you want to get and idea of how these challenges work.
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maramomConnect With a Mentor Commented:
2) Be on your guard against shifty looking dwarves with weapons and cows with guns.
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keola75Commented:
This is what I have:

Walking backwards for Christmas

Easing off again this week, but with a bit of a twist that should make things more interesting. Points for the persons to post the messages in plaintext.

1) BPVZKNIG AV TAVCBQN QVY BUKRNKUG QYVUF BQVNDCAQM QUC UTDRNUC IYCQVDO BCVKF HAVUGB QUC

THE SPHINX WAITS QUIETLY THROUGH THE CENTURIES WHILE PHAROAHS LIE RESTING IN PYRAMIDS (KEYWORD = ARGON; OFFSET = 13 (KLMPQSTUVWXYZARGONBCDEFHIJ))

2) BREU VDWG BGCP QRL BRCOLSG VDWG BSFALGQ URWYCCZ JDTWVB DBRWLUL QALEU AECJ RC SM

BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST SHIFTY LOOKING DWARVES WITH WEAPONS AND COWS WITH GUNS

A = n
B = o
C = p
D =
E = r
F = s
G = t
H = u
I =
J = w
K = x
L =
M =
N = a
O = b
P = c
Q = d
R = e
S = f
T = g
U = h
V = i
W =
X = k
Y = l
Z = m
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KelvinYAuthor Commented:
Great work, danrosenthal and maramom, and welcome to the contest danrosenthal. It's nice to see some new faces in this topic area. The points are yours and I will assign them after leaving the question open for a short while longer. Please post a brief description of how you cracked the code, if you have the time. This week's ciphers were monoalphabetic substitutions with the twist that the messages in were reverse. The title contained a hint about this. The title and instructions were encoded using ROT13.

The full messages were

Crypto challenge 15: Walking backwards for Christmas

Easing off again this week, but with a bit of a twist that should make things more interesting. Points for the persons to post the messages in plaintext.

1) THE SPHINX WAITS QUIETLY THROUGH THE CENTURIES WHILE PHAROAHS LIE RESTING IN PYRAMIDS
Key
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
KLMPQSTUVWXYZARGONBCDEFHIJ

2) BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST SHIFTY LOOKING DWARVES WITH WEAPONS AND COWS WITH GUNS
Key
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
LMPQSTUVWXYZIRCONABDEFGHJK

The current points totals after this challenge are as follows:

maramom    1675
RobinD    825
Infinity08    675
danrosenthal   125
NicoLaan    100
Galisteo8    75
JR2003    50
snoyes_jw    50
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KelvinYAuthor Commented:
Bad luck, keola75. It looks like your fine effort was just beaten by the other two. I hope you will be participating in future crypto challenges and with more success...
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keola75Commented:
No problemo...Be happy to participate in future challenges...Just have to be quicker on the draw :)
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dagesiCommented:
I'm going to have to beat my head against my desk... that's what I get for not decoding the title... I wondered why I couldn't make heads nor tails of 1 and 2... that'll learn me, eh what...? =]
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