Here are a few more encrypted texts Peter Nüchterlein, the writer-in-residence in Wernigerode, Germany, has found in a Vienna archive. Can a reader decipher them?
Peter Nüchterlein, the writer-in-residence in Wernigerode, a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, recently viewed and partly photographed several thousand archive pages from the Thiry Years’ War (1618-1648) in the Vienna Court Archive. I published five of these in a blog post earlier this week. Already on the morning after, blog reader Thomas Bosbach posted the solution. Congratulations, Thomas, this was amazing!
The encryption system used turned out to be a letter substitution (MASC) based on two-digit numbers, extended by a few numbers standing for complete words (i.e., it was a simple nomenclator).
Four more passages
Apart from the digit-based encryption, the scans Herr Nüchterlein provided me contain a number of encrypted passages of a different kind. These cryptograms are noted in a non-standard script. Here are four excerpts:
My guess is that a simple letter substitution (MASC), perhaps with a few tweaks, has been used. Perhaps, we deal with a simple nomenclator (i.e., most symbols stand for a letter, some for a whole word) again. The amount of ciphertext available should be sufficient for a successful cryptoanalysis. However, 17th century German is different from today’s German, which might make breaking these cryptograms more tricky than solving a recent encrypted text.
Can a reader break this encryption? I am sure, Peter Nüchterlein will be very thankful for a solution.