Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Historical Cryptography

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Neal Stephenson is at it again!

He’s written a new book called Quicksilver, which is part of his new Baroque Cycle. It is, in part, about very old cryptography as described by John Wilkins in his book Mercury. What’s interesting to me, though, is that Mr. Stephenson used this old code to run a contest. (The details can be found here.) But, it’s already been solved! What’s more, the person who solved the mystery had never heard about Mercury, John Wilkins, or the cryptography system. Here’s a blow-by-blow account of how he did it.

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