Encryption of the artist Guy de Cointet solved
The book “A Captain from Portugal” by the French artist Guy de Cointet contains several ciphers. Armin Krauß has solved the most important of them. Two others still pose mysteries.
Guy de Cointet (1934-1983) was a French artist who lived in California. In 1972, he created a nearly 40-page book titled “A Captain from Portugal.” The following image shows the title page:
All the pages of this book are here. On each page of “A Captain from Portugal” you will find a drawing or a sequence of symbols. The book does not contain any text in the usual sense. As a crypto expert, I find the following page particularly striking:
This looks strongly like a Pigpen encryption. And indeed, blog reader Rossignol was able to decrypt this text a few weeks ago. Here are the details.
Most of the other pages of “A Captin from Portugal”, including the front page shown above, contain strings of symbols in a “polygon train font”. Here is a typical example:
About 30 of the 40 pages are filled with longer polygon font texts. In addition, some other pages contain shorter text passages of this type.
Already at the end of 2020, blog reader Armin Krauß …
… found the solution to the polygon font puzzle. Unfortunately, I am only now getting around to posting it. As Armin found out, the polygons actually stand for letters. So the pages from “A Captain from Portugal” written in the polygonal script can be deciphered. Here is the substitution table that Armin determined:
Thus, for example, the title page of the book reads (unsurprisingly) as follows:
A CAPTAIN FROM PORTUGAL?
On page 4 of the book, one finds the following line, which looks like a subtitle or dedication:
With Armin’s table, this word sequence can also be easily decoded:
A SHORT STORY
Apparently this is the subtitle of the book.
The polygon font page shown above as an example has been decoded by Armin as follows:
Two more puzzles from the same book
The book “A Captain from Portugal” by Guy de Cointet has two more possibly coded passages to offer. First of all this one: