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Secret Codes and Ciphers.

I have used many secret codes and ciphers in my journeys; here are a few of them.


Playfair

To do the Playfair cipher, pick a keyword or phrase that doesn't have any repeated letters. If there are repeated letters, then leave out later occurances. Then, take all the letters that did not appear in the keyword and put them afterwards in the 5x5 enciphering grid. I and J share the same space. Below, with the magic of TABLE tags, you shall see the results of making a 5x5 reference grid with the keyword "wizard".

Keyword is Wizard

W I/J Z A R
D B C E F
G H K L M
N O P Q S
T U V X Y

Due to having only twenty-five spaces, we were forced to compress I and J into the same square. You can do this to any pair of letters, Y/Z being the next most popular, except then you can't spell my name easily.

The method of enciphering a message is as follows.

Let us assume that the message to be enciphered is "ALL IS LOST, FLEE AT ONCE"

  1. Remove all punctuation "ALL IS LOST FLEE AT ONCE"
  2. Change spacing, pairing letters up. "AL LI SL OS TF LE EA TO NC Ex" (last letter added to get pair for last letter). In the event of pairs of letters showing up that are the same, either drop one of them or add a null character to break them up.
  3. Do the following manipulation on each pair:

AL = Find the letters 'a' and 'l' in the grid. As it happens, they fall in the same column - Therefore, replace them with the letters immediately below, namely 'e' and 'q'. This pair of letters changes to EQ in the ciphertext message.

LI = Find the letters 'l' and 'i' in the grid. These two letters fall at the corners of a square. Therefore, we shall swap these two letters with the letters on the other two corners. (usually horizontally) -- This results in switching 'l' for 'h' and 'i' for 'a'. The ciphertext so far is EQHA

SL = Find the letters ... They fall on the corners of a 2x2 square - swap and replace. Ciphertext is EQHAQM. note that the Q in QM stands for S whilst the Q in EQ stands for L. This is what makes the Playfair cipher more difficult to decode then single-letter ciphers.

OS= Find the letters ... They fall on the same row. Therefore, we replace them with the letters immediately to their right, wrapping around as necessary. Ciphertext = EQHAQMPN

Now You should try to encipher the rest of the message. You should end up with EQ HA QM PN YD QL LE UN PD LA. All that is left to do is respace it into five letter words, resulting in EQHAQ MPNYD QLLEU NPDLA. This is the message that you should send off to your friends. They can decipher it by following the enciphering directions in reverse using the same keyword.

The Three Rules are:

  1. If the two letters to encipher are in the same column, then replace them with the two letters that are immediately below each of the letters in the unenciphered text, wrapping around the 5x5 grid as necessary.
  2. If the two letters to encipher are in the same row, then replace them with the two letters that are to the right of each of the letters in the plaintext, wrapping around the grid as necessary.
  3. If the two letters are neither in the same row or the same column, then they define a square on the 5x5 grid. Switch each letter with the letter that is at the other corner on the same horizontal row. If you get confused, you can write me and I will try to help you.


Example Tables:

Keyword = "" (nothing at all)

ABCDE
FGHIK
LMNOP
QRSTU
VWXYZ

Keyword = "hacker"

HACKE
RBDFG
ILMNO
PQSTU
VWXYZ

Keyword = "keyword"

KEYWO
RDABC
FGHIL
MNPQS
TUVXZ


Opish

This is a secret language such as Pig Latin. However, as it was quite unpopular in the past, it is probably a good bet these days, unless you want to invent your own. It is very easy to describe, but somewhat confusing until you get the hang of it. To translate texts into the secret language, simply put an OP (ah-ph) after every constonant phoneme group. This will result in speech that is mostly uncomprehensible, as long as you use a monotone and don't put breaks in between words. However, reactions to this speech is sometimes not good. Be warned. There is another language like this one detailed below.

Turkey Irish

To encode speech into Turkey-Irish, put an AB (aa-b) before every vowel phoneme group. This was even more unpopular than Opish, and the relative lack of vowels in English allows you to speak somewhat faster, you might try this one if the adults arould you seem to comprehend Opish suprisingly fast. After learning Opish, it is much easier to pick up this one.

If anyone out there learns of other secret languages, please write me-I will not publish them without your express permission, so any secrets are safe with me.


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