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National Cipher Challenge 3 Part A

Ze Cxi kxvuuh svr epfiq v tvh yp jkvjn dfviyfb xijkhwyzpi sx zr zi qxvq ykpfcux, viq Z bxvi
qxvq. Sx pcmzpfruh yszinr Z vb ypp, viq ysx bpkx Z yszin vcpfy zy, ysx bpkx Z yszin sx zr kzlsy.
Sx ixmxk tvr mxkh tpkuquh rp ysx evjy ysvy sx jvi rxx zy bxvir zy bfry cx mxkh pcmzpfr.

Z rwxiy ysx uvry yskxx bpiysr xqzyzil v cppn pe Cxi’r jpuuxjyxq tpknr. Yszr lfh Sppnx vwwkpvjsxq
bx vcpfy zy vy ysx efixkvu viq zy rxxbxq v lppq zqxv vy ysx yzbx - rpbxyszil yp nxxw bx cfrh
fiyzu ysx qxwvkybxiy jpfuq rpky pfy v ixt rfwxkmzrpk epk bx, cfy yszinzil cvjn pi zy ysxkx tvr
rpbxyszil v czy jkxxwh vcpfy szb vwwkpvjszil bx qfkzil ysx cfkzvu zyrxue. Sx rvzq zy tpfuq cx v
ezyyzil bxbpkzvu yp Cxi, cfy ipt zy zr pcmzpfr ysvy sx spwxq Z tpfuq yxuu szb ze Cxi svq uxey
vih xmzqxijx pe szr qzrjpmxkh. Z lfxrr yszr svq cxyyxk cx ysx uvry yzbx Z frx vi veezix rszey. Z
yxayxq Cxi yp rfllxry v nxhtpkq rfcryzyfyzpi epk szr bxrrvlx yp bx. Bvhcx Z’uu qp ysx rvbx ixay
yzbx.

SOLUTION


If Ben really has found a way to crack quantum encryption he is in dead trouble, and I mean dead. He obviously thinks I am too,
and the more I think about it, the more I think he is right. He never was very worldly so the fact that he can see it means it must be
very obvious.

I spent the last three months editing a book of Ben’s collected works. This guy Hooke approached me about it at the funeral and it
seemed a good idea at the time - something to keep me busy until the department could sort out a new supervisor for me, but
thinking back on it there was something a bit creepy about him approaching me during the burial itself. He said it would be a fitting
memorial to Ben, but now it is obvious that he hoped I would tell him if Ben had left any evidence of his discovery. I guess this had
better be the last time I use an affine shift. I texted Ben to suggest a keyword substitution for his message to me. Maybe I’ll do the
same next time.
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National Cipher Challenge 3 Part B
QOBJBQX, B YESJ’Q OTEGBPTS NRBQT YKV HRAY SEJCTO XKR VTOT BJ RJQBG XKR QKGS HT ELKRQ YKKFT
EMMOKEAYBJC XKR. EGHKPQ ATOQEBJGX YT YEP LTTJ VEQAYBJC XKR AGKPTGX, EJS TUTJ BI XKR TPAEMTS QYT
VEQAYTOP YT VBGG FJKV QYEQ XKR EOT KJ QYT ORJ. YT BP ATOQEBJ QK EPPRHT QYEQ XKR YEUT SBPAKUTOTS
PKHTQYBJC EJS YT HEX TUTJ CRTPP QYEQ, QK PQTEG IOKH HEOF QVEBJ, “QYT ORHKOP KI HX STEQY YEUT LTTJ
COTEQGX TWECCTOEQTS”. BQ AEJ’Q LT YTGMTS, VT JTTSTS QK CTQ XKR PEIT. BQ BP PK PQOEJCT, QYT KJT QYBJC
B JTUTO GBFTS ELKRQ JTVQKJ VEP YBP BOOEQBKJEG SBPGBFT EJS BGG QOTEQHTJQ KI YBP AKJQTHMKOEOX
YKKFT. JKV YTOT B EH KJ QYT ORJ IOKH YBP JEHTPEFT. PQBGG QYT EPPKABEQBKJ PRCCTPQP E OBAY PRMMGX KI
FTXVKOSP IKO ABMYTOP! QYT LBC NRTPQBKJ BP VYTQYTO YKKFT VEJQP QYT NREJQRH PTAOTQ QK LT
PRMMOTPPTS KO PKGS. BI EGG YT VEJQP BP PBGTJAT QYTJ QYT AYTEMTPQ VEX QK CTQ BQ BP QK FBGG RP LKQY.
BI YT VEJQP VYEQ VT FJKV, QYTJ YT JTTSP QK FTTM RP EGBUT E GBQQGT GKJCTO EJS VT HEX LT ELGT QK
LEOCEBJ VBQY YBH KO YBP LKPPTP. LTJ

SOLUTION



Trinity, I hadn’t realised quite how much danger you were in until you told me about Hooke approaching you. Almost certainly he
has been watching you closely, and even if you escaped the watchers he will know that you are on the run. He is certain to
assume that you have discovered something and he may even guess that, to steal from Mark Twain, “The rumors of my death
have been greatly exaggerated”. It can’t be helped, we needed to get you safe. It is so strange, the one thing I never liked about
Newton was his irrational dislike and ill treatment of his contemporary Hooke. Now here I am on the run from his namesake.
Still the association suggests a rich supply of keywords for ciphers! The big question is whether Hooke wants the quantum
secret to be suppressed or sold. If all he wants is silence then the cheapest way to get it is to kill us both. If he wants what we
know, then he needs to keep us alive a little longer and we may be able to bargain with him or his bosses. Ben

								
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