Golden Alice 2022: Here are the winners
Probably this is the last Cipherbrain article on this portal. I would like to use it to award the Golden Alice 2022 for outstanding achievements in crypto history and code breaking.
The year 2022 is drawing to a close, and as announced, the almost ten-year history of Cipherbrain on Scienceblogs.de is also coming to an end. The 1635th article is the last one.
I already have a new portal in mind to continue this blog, but first I want to take a break. If it starts again, I will announce this of course, probably also at this place.
Finally, as every year, I would like to award the Golden Alice for outstanding achievements in crypto history and code breaking. The Golden Alice is traditionally awarded in eight categories. Congratulations to all the winners and have a Happy 2023.
Golden Alice 2022 for the best deciphering performance
Once again, the countless deciphering achievements of my readers were among the highlights of being a blogger. The Freidman ring also kept my readers busy and led to great results. However, the greatest achievement in 2022, in my eyes, was George Lasry.
George Lasry, an Israeli crypto expert who may be known to many of my readers, was able to report no fewer than 21 decryptions of previously unsolved ciphers this year. Among them were numerous nomenclator-encrypted messages. This is particularly remarkable, since for a long time there was no specialist in solving this once extremely popular form of encryption. Apparently there is one again now, and I’m sure he won’t run out of work anytime soon. In any case, George deserves the Golden Alice for the best decryption performance.
Golden Alice 2022 for the best book
As always, I would also like to use this category for some publicity on my own behalf. I would find the new edition of my book “Codebreakers vs. Codemakers” eminently worthy of an award. My comic book “Versutus”, which has already been published in 2021, would also deserve a prize. Admittedly, however, I am not entirely impartial in this respect.
I would therefore like to award the Golden Alice to the recently published Voynich manuscript edition by the publisher Favoritenpresse.
Golden Alice 2022 for the best television documentary
The winner in this category is easy to pick this year. The eight-part documentary series “Cracking the Code”, which first ran in the UK and later in Germany, is, as far as I know, the most detailed TV documentary on the subject of cryptology in television history to date. I am of course proud to have made a few appearances in it. Regardless, there can be no other winner in this category for 2022.
Golden Alice 2022 for the best event
Back in March I blogged: 2022 will be a conference year like never before. Among others, there was the NSA Crypto History Symposium, the cryptovision Mindshare and the Voynich Conference. And of course the ICCH group presented great online talks again. However, to my knowledge, there was only one conference held that was real and focused exclusively on crypto history: the HistoCrypt 2022 in Amsterdam. I would therefore like to award this event the Golden Alice in this category.
In particular, I would like to dedicate this award to Karl de Leeuw, who organized substantial parts of the conference despite a serious illness and who died only a few weeks later.
By the way, the next HistoCrypt will be held at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The “Call for Papers” is running.
Golden Alice 2022 for the most interesting encrypted book
Encrypted books are one of my favorite topics. In 2022, my Encrypted Book List has grown from 111 to 129 entries thanks to some new discoveries. Most of the new additions are comparatively new encrypted diaries I found on Reddit. Unfortunately, the big hit was not there this year.
There was, however, an interesting coded diary from the First World War. To this I would like to award the Golden Alice in this column. Thanks to Tobias Schrödel, who brought this cryptogram to my attention, and to Armin Krauß, who solved it.
Golden Alice 2022 for the most interesting encrypted postcard
Also in 2022, encrypted postcards were among my favorite topics on Cipherbrain, and as usual, my readers solved almost everything there was to solve in this regard. A particularly interesting one was a card from Ohio that contained musical notes as well as an encrypted text.
The most exciting thing I found in 2022 was what came up when I asked my readers if they knew anything about coded newspaper advertisements from France. That there were such in the 19th century is mentioned in the literature. However, I had never seen a concrete example. My article fell on particularly open ears with blog reader Didier Müller from French-speaking Switzerland. He went in search of coded advertisements in an online archive of the newspaper “Le Figaro”, found what he was looking for, and put an entire database on this topic online. In the meantime, no less than 1834 encrypted newspaper ads can be retrieved there, about half of which are still unsolved. It would probably not be a problem to run a blog exclusively with articles on these ads. I am completely enthusiastic and hereby award Didier Müller the Golden Alice for the most interesting new discoveries of unsolved cryptograms.
Golden Alice 2022 for exceptional achievements
This year, I would like to award the Golden Alice in this section to all those who participated in the Friedman Ring Challenges! In particular, I would like to honor those who participated in the extensive discussions and in this way contributed to the solutions of the Challenges without winning the prize in the end. These individuals undoubtedly deserve a Golden Alice.