Golden Alice 2018 for Newly Discovered Cryptogram

Over the last 12 months, I have learned about many unsolved cryptograms I hadn’t known before. While some of these (for instance, a number of encrypted postcards) were quickly deciphered by my readers, a number of other cryptograms remained unsolved. In my view the most important still unsolved crypto mystery I learned about in 2018 is the one created by Arno Schmidt.

Source: Ernst Krawehl: Porträt einer Klasse. Arno Schmidt zum Gedenken

Arno Schmidt (1914-1979) was one of the most important German-language writers of the 20th century. He was a strict individualist, almost a solipsist, with an extremely pessimistic world view. Schmidt is little known outside of German-speaking areas, in part because his works present a formidable challenge to translators.

It was blog reader Rainer Boldhaus, who made me aware of a series cryptograms Arno Schmidt left behind. The solution is not known. I introduced these ciphertexts on my blog and I received many interesting comments, but the mystery remained unsolved. To learn about an unsolved crypto mystery created by such a prominent person is something very special for me. So, the Golden Alice in the “Newly Discovered Cryptogram” category goes to the Arno Schmidt cryptograms.


Golden Alice 2018 for Outstanding Work

Readers of this blog certainly know CrypTool 2, a crypto Software that implements numerous cryptographic methods. Originally, CrypTool 2 was mainly known for the many ciphers it supports. Meanwhile, it also features an impressing number of codebreaking tools, including Hill Climbing, Index of Coincidence, and frequency analysis – just to name a few.

By the end of 2018, a new Version of CrypTool 2 was released (CrypTool 2 2018.3). In my view, this new software is the most outstanding piece of work in the field of crypto history and codebreaking in 2018. So, the Golden Alice in the “Outstanding Work” category goes to CrypTool 2 and the team developping it, including Prof. Bernhard Esslinger (Overall Project Coordinator), Nils Kopal, Armin Krauss, and Prof. Dr. Arno Wacker. I will write more about the new version of this great software in January.

Congratulations to all the winners! I am looking forward to writing many more blog posts in 2019.


Further reading: My visit at the Cheltenham Listening Stones


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Kommentare (6)

  1. #1 Richard SantaColoma
    31. Dezember 2018

    Klaus! It is too bad you cannot award the Golden Alice to yourself, because you should be recognized for the most diverse, interesting, entertaining and informative cipher blog of 2018… and before, by the way.

    All the best in the coming New Year!

  2. #2 Thomas
    31. Dezember 2018

    Thank you very much, this is a great honor for me. As to your blog, I couldn’t agree more with what Richard has written.

  3. #3 Tobias Schrödel
    31. Dezember 2018

    Thank you very much, Klaus! I feel very much honored.
    How ever, Richard is right. You and your blog deserve to be honored as well. Your blog is outstanding!!
    Looking forward to meeting you in January!

  4. #4 George Lasry
    31. Dezember 2018

    Thomas, Norbert, and Tobias – congratulations on your impressive achievements and contributions!

    And huge thanks, Klaus, for your wonderful blog, and bringing to light so many fascinating crypto history stories and challenges.

    Happy new year!

  5. #5 Klaus Schmeh
    31. Dezember 2018

    @George: Thanks! Sorry, I forgot to mention you as one of the great codebreakers. I have now changes this.

  6. #6 Norbert
    2. Januar 2019

    Klaus, thank you very much for the great honor! Cryptology would not have become my hobby without your blog, so I agree with Richard, Thomas, Tobias and George that the Golden Alice “readers’ choice” should be awarded to you! At least a Golden Bob 🙂

    By the way, I hope that I will find more time for my hobby this year and that I will more frequently show up on your blog!

    Happy New Year to everyone!