The solution of an anamorphic I reently found online might be considered obscene. I’m going to cover it in this article anyway.
In my new book Codebreaking: A Practical Guide, co-written with Elonka Dunin, an encrypted message written by a prison inmate is covered. One of our proof-readers made us aware that the plaintext of this note contains the “N-word”. It might have been okay to leave this passage in the book, as it is a quote, not a statement made by the authors. Anyway, we finally decided to delete the paragraph in question in order to avoid misunderstandings.
I was in a similar situtation when I recently found an anamorphic on Reddit. The solution of this puzzle might be considered obscene. However, as I don’t find it extremely disgusting, this time I decided to publish it. I will introduce this anamorphic at the end of this post.
An anamorphic is a puzzle based on a certain kind of secret writing. Here is an example on a postcard from 1905, provided to me by Tobias Schrödel:
To read the message, we need to compress the writing. Here’s what we get after a horizontal compression (turned by 90 degrees):
And here’s the result of a vertical compression:
Here’s another anamorphic postcard Tobias provided me (this one is from 1905, too):
Here’s the solution:
Another anamorphic postcard was provided to me by Karsten Hansky:
The plaintext is a German patriotic parole from the First World War:
The following advertisement puzzle from 1904 represents an anamorphic, too:
You certainly can solve it yourself.
Here’s another postcard with an anamorphic (source):
Blog reader Tony Gaffney sent me another puzzle of this kind:
Blog reader Karsten Hansky once provided me a scan of yet another anamorphic postcard:
All the anamorphics presented in this article have been published on this blog before. Let’s now come to a new one. It’s the anamorphic I mentioned at the beginning of this article. I found it on Reddit. To my regret, I don’t have any information about the background of this puzzle:
Good luck solving it! And don’t blame me for the solution.
Further reading: The Top 50 unsolved encrypted messages: 4. Kryptos