Once again, an unsolved cryptogram has been published on Reddit. No details are provided. It is not even clear what is above and what below. Can a reader solve this mystery?

Here’s the cryptogram I want to discuss today:


To my regret, there’s not much I can say about this encrypted note. All I know is the following:

  • This note was published in the r/codes group of Reddit by a user named OmniRaven three weeks ago.
  • OmniRaven has not provided any background information. So, I don’t know where this cryptogram comes from and who might have created it.
  • This cryptogram appears to be unsolved.

A Reddit user named JasonLeeH commented: “This is Hebrew, OP. You’ve got it upside down.” Ilya76666, another user, replied: “I was born and raised in Israel (native Hebrew speaker) and trust me, this is not Hebrew (the letters in the post above, even when flipped).”

Anyway, it is a legitimate question whether the picture shown above has the correct orientation. Here is how the cryptogram looks like when flipped:


No matter what is above and what is below, the cryptogram looks like it has been created with a MASC. The plaintext language is not known. The scan provided by OmniRaven is only an excerpt, so it is hard to tell the length of the ciphertext. Probably, OmniRaven did not provide more ciphertext and more background information because he doesn’t want the plaintext and the story behind it to become public.

The symbol consisting of two dots appears to be especially frequent – provided that the language in question is English, this character might stand for the E.

Can a reader break this cryptogram?

Further reading: The Darknet of the Eighties

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Kommentare (6)

  1. #1 Gert Brantner
    20. November 2018

    Looks very hard to tackle. IMHO the orientation of the first picture is the right one. Emphasis of handwritten characters tend to be on lower end. I also suggest a LTR reading.

  2. #2 Joshua Holden
    20. November 2018

    Most of the characters do in fact look a lot like Hebrew letters in the second (“flipped”) orientation, but some don’t. Also they don’t look like fluent writing; more like someone is imitating printed Hebrew, maybe someone who doesn’t know the letters very well. So hard to tell if it should be left-to-right or right-to-left or whether any of the letters have anything to do with their sounds in Hebrew.

  3. #3 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa
    21. November 2018

    If the plain text language uses the Hebrew character set, the language could also be Yiddish, which although heavily based on German, is sometimes written using the Hebrew alphabet.

  4. #4 häh?
    21. November 2018

    Let’s say it’s a MASC, we have two one-letter-words here:
    “-:-” and “three diagonal dots (problably)”- that one nowhere else to be found, maybe a full stop instead of letter?
    Also, there’s four two lettered words, 2 of those and quite a lot of others end with “..”. Or start with it.
    Line 5 and 6 might have the same “last” word.

  5. #5 Thomas
    21. November 2018

    Since the visible part of the cryptogram is way too short for frequency analysis, only pattern recognition might help. There seem to be two one-letter words in the first and the second line (unflipped). According to a reddit post, the sheet stemmed from Croatia. Unfortunately, there are several one-letter words in Croatian: a,i,o,u,k,s. Very frequent two-letter words are “je”, “ne” and “se”. Both two-character groups in line 3 have the two dots in second place, so that they might stand for “e”, as Klaus guessed. So the two-character groups could stand for “ne je” which means “is not”. But that’s not more than guesswork, for I don’t speak Croatian. Maybe someone who speaks Croatian (who does?) could recognize letter patterns. At least there are some repeated two letter groups that are reversed in other places.

  6. #6 Ronald Kyrmse
    São Paulo - BR
    21. November 2018

    The dot patterns could be Hebrew vowel signs. In “pointed” Hebrew writing only consonants are written, and vowels are designated by dot (and dash) patterns below and sometimes above the consonant letters. In this case the vowels are not applied to their preceding consonsnts, but stand on their own. The two horizontal dots stand for E, the three diagonal dots for U. A horizontal dash is used for A (and in this case seems to bear dots above and below, looking like a division sign). It seems that someone used a Hebrew font (or correspondence table) without realising that the vowels are supposed to be written above / below the consonants. Maybe this helps:
    together with this: