When Reddit gets stuck
Blog reader YefimShifrin pointed me to a couple of interesting, long unsolved cryptograms on Reddit. Can a reader crack them?
A few days ago, I once again presented an unsolved cryptogram that I came across on Reddit.
In the “r/codes” group on Reddit, unsolved ciphers are discussed. I don’t find many of them too exciting, but every now and then there are extremely interesting posts. The post I mentioned at the beginning, which was about some kind of traffic sign, was definitely one of them.
There have been numerous reader comments, through which we now know that the strange sign is on a footpath on the banks of the Mersey in Liverpool. Unfortunately, the purpose of the symbols on it remains unclear. In any case, I have added the sign to the Cryptologic Travel Guide, run by Christian Baumann and myself, which now has 160 entries.
Blog reader YefimShifrin, who is also active on Reddit, has now alerted me to three other Reddit cryptograms. These have apparently been discussed there for some time without anyone having found the solution. Two of them I want to present today. The third puzzle will come in a separate article in the next few days. Unfortunately – as so often on Reddit – hardly anything is known about the respective backgrounds.
The number cryptogram
The following crypto puzzle has been discussed on Reddit for over a year:
This puzzle was posted by a Reddit user named “jonlemon”. He reports that the cryptogram was posted as a poster at a “Goodwill”. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find out what a “Goodwill” is – perhaps a charity event. Where and when this took place is unfortunately not mentioned. But there is a transcription of the text:
9999999999999999999999999999999999999 9999999999999999999999999999999999999 9999999999999999999999999999999999999 82456352444788954226654485652145563635 75654869221455879963354125489632545564 656587412356478899632115654889621582257 546498795616651321568451321654856543336 4532158532156696932121568631156547856134 365469887961132525796133266541321365560 278964532121354898545315789541321365485 154563878651265489532123654865132125453
Can any readers comment on this?
The character cryptogram
The following cryptogram was posted by a Reddit user named “sirgroovy”:
Background information is limited to the phrase “Can anyone figure this out?”.
While Reddit rules do not mandate background information, a transcription is mandatory on Reddit. Therefore, “sirgroovy” has created one:
BMALNIAULOGIRBKDIFUOIBSPRHJ RAKIGURBKDIQAJCUEKNSANCLORA IFLNBSPRBJOAITBJNGLNAIBKALU PBJTELNCMQCSORHIAJQBMUOGJAM NBIRQAIOBIEUQCKUOIFLSBKJQAK TAPJAILOAJNCMSEKONBJAKUNJBI UOCMQCLQTAJUPJCMOBJCMQBIUOA JUTRBLNAMQRKAUOBKAMOIAMNPBI AKUQJANBJDLROPBIQBUAJBIUOEL NCMQCOMQAMFKPAJCINAMBLNIHUQ BJTAKUPANBLEIMNPJOBIUOAJGUO AMPBJTQBMQAMCIPAMOANJBIUOLE ILOAIQCKEUJPCKQAMUPJAILOAUJ IPMOARKANMBLNIGUOAMBKNAKUSQ RANMOAJQILPJCUEIQFLNGLRAIHJ RAKIANJQILOMAINMCJQAIUPFMOJ TBMOCKQCSOREILOGIRBKDIUNRAI FMOAILGKAMOBKOAKPQJAILOFJOD IPAKUQCIFMALPBKALUTNKAJOCMQ AMGLQTAJUKOTJGLQIOAMOAQJAIL PKAONMILFUQAMDIFLSGIRBKDIQA JCUFMPAMBIAKUSQRAILPJDIUSNR FKQAJGUQAIUNBMQSBMOAILAKNSP JCUEILNIAKLPIAUQFLNBPCMQAMU ILOAPJIOMJOIAULPJDIUOCJPNAJ GIRBKDIPAMUNKFMNEKCUQPDIUQD OBLUKPAJINBKAIPJCUFLSEKOBKA MOIAJOIBMPAMDIUNCIEKCUNQAKU NBKAMQKTAILOARKNAUJBIUSPRAM UPCKUNAKGLQNAJCUEIMNBKNIEMP CJALIAJQBMEKQASQRGLQAITOMGK AMOCKPAMOGIOAMUILOAKIQMBLUT QCJTOAIUTLOAKIQMBLEILNIFMOC KQAKUQRIAULOGKPAILOIPBKUJOA ITBJNEILPJCUTSORFKQJTBSPRAM FJOCIQCSORAMOGIRBKDIQAJCUFI NQIHUQBIUOBKQAIGLQCPAISBMAL
The following graph shows a frequency analysis I made with Multi-Dec (also by Christian Baumann) (CrypTool would work as well, of course):
It could be a text encoded with a simple letter substitution. However, it is unclear in which language this text is written. Will a reader find out more?