In 1905 a certain Miss Rhodes from Colchester, UK, received an encrypted postcard signed with “C.Y.K.”. Can you decipher it?

Writing about an encrypted postcard for me usually means taking a Geography lesson. Checking from which place in the world the card was sent and were the recipient lived is like a virtual trip. Today’s lesson has taken me to Colchester, a city near the Eastern shore of England. I have never been there before, but I got close to it when I stayed in Burnham on Crouch last year. One of the notable facts about Colchester is that the famous mathematician Roger Penrose was born there. Penrose is certainly familiar to many readers of this blog because of he invented the Penrose tilings.


The second notable fact about Colchester is an encrypted postcard that was stamped in this city in 1905. The recipient of the card lived in Colchster, too. I found a scan of this postcard on eBay. Here’s the picture side of the card:


And here’s the text side:


The recipient of the card was a certain Miss P. Rhodes living in 26, High Street. This address still exists today, it is located in the city center of Colchester.

The title “Miss” indicates that P. Rhodes was not married. I assume that this card was, like most other encrypted postcards, written by a young man to his lover.

The encryption is quite easy to break. So even, if you are not a master codebreaker, you will probably succeed in deciphering this cryptogram.

Further reading: Who can decrypt this shorthand postcard from 1904?


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Kommentare (9)

  1. #1 Larry McElhiney
    Carmel, Indiana
    30. August 2018

    So, I assume that the 2-11-05 must be the date of his letter. Though, if it is written as day/month/year, it was a Friday, so he probably saw her before the card got there! If written month/day/year it was a Wednesday.

    (This comment was written in Double Rot13)

  2. #2 Esme
    30. August 2018

    The stamp sais 3rd November 05

  3. #3 Gerry
    30. August 2018

    Well 😉

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    30. August 2018

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:
    Just having my coffee but i can see “dad” and “see” in MSC English. 4,1,4 dad 19,5,5 see

  5. #5 Gerry
    30. August 2018

    It could also be Miss E. Rhodes (instead of P. Rhodes). There is another Postcard to a Miss E. Rhodes on High Street in Colchester posted on March 13rd 1905:

  6. #6 Gerry
    30. August 2018

    4-1-4 is a mistake, it should be 4-9-4

  7. #7 Marc
    31. August 2018

    I wonder what kind of book she was writing

  8. #8 Rossignol
    Paris, France
    31. August 2018

    A book about French cancan ? 🙂

  9. #9 Daniel Schmidt
    15. September 2018

    Well, erledigt, bin bereit für 2. Stufe.