Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, every month we post a new challenge created by the Forensic Technology team, focusing on logical, analytical and coding problems.
For this month’s challenge you need to put your spy hat on and decrypt a message.
The first step is to revisit the Challenge #1 blog. Shameless, we know.
Using the answer to the number of prime numbers that have digits that sum to 13, can you find the key word in the post? (Clue: we have decided that two or more words that are hyphenated should only be counted as one).
Found it? Great! The encrypted message is below, with a handy matrix that can be used to crack the code (and give you inspiration)! You will need to use the key word to decipher the original meaning.
We hope you ‘Blaise’ through the rest of this challenge!
Hint: Capitals are important and should be preserved.
We’ll be posting the solution next month, along with Challenge #3.
What's the answer?
i) Using the answer from the first puzzle (i.e. 141 primes) you needed to find the 141st word in the puzzle, which was ‘tactic’. Remember to count hyphenated words as one.
ii) Our message can then be decrypted using ‘tactic’ as the keyword in a Vigenère cipher. The keyword is repeated to match the length of the encryption excluding any numbers (see final decryption matrix in iii)). For instance, in the recta tabla below we use the column that corresponds to the first letter of the keyword, i.e. the ‘t’ column, to decrypt the first letter ‘r’ of the encryption. We can see that the letter ‘r’ in this column is in the ‘y’ row. Thus the first letter of the message is ‘y’. It’s important to preserve capitalisation as will be shown later.
iii) Repeating this process for each encrypted letter and the corresponding letter in the key gives the below message.
iv) Finally, with a bit more thought, you will arrive at the link youtu.be/N5vJSNXPEwA for you to enjoy!
Check out September's Paralympics themed challenge here.
If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving, logical thinking and technology, check out our Forensic Technology graduate programme roles to see if they are the right fit.