Edith’s Cipher

A few days before my daughter was born I sat down to write her a short note wishing her luck in her upcoming life. I framed the message in a picture frame so that it can hang in her room and help guide her as she grows up. Not wanting to unduly influence her dreams and life aspirations (who am I to tell her what to do) with my message, I encrypted the message using a transpose cipher.

My hope is that she will know that I left her with advice that will help her accomplish her dreams. Hopefully she imagines the advice from the jumble of letters that she needs to hear each time she faces a challenge.

For fear of loosing the details of the cipher over time, I will document a few hints here. I started by writing out the message in plain text including punctuation. I substituted a letter that was not used in the message in place of the spaces between the words. I also made a substitution for punctuation marks. All of the different punctuation marks were substituted for the same letter.  Extra spaces were added to the end of the message until the number of characters was a perfect square (15×15) and all of the characters were capitalized. I then applied a transpose that systematically scrambled the order of the letters. Let’s hope it was good advice…


About Ryan

Ryan is currently a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory. His research area includes Prognostic Health Management of Electronics. For more information please visit: www.rdlowe.com
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