Ars Paradoxica codebreaking hints?
June 27, 2016 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Anyone out there listen to the Ars Paradoxica podcast? It's terrific -- I'm really enjoying it -- but now I'm breaking my brain trying to crack the codes at the end of each episode. Any hints? More inside, with some spoilers for stuff I've already figured out.

I've had partial success with the Blue codes -- specifically, I've cracked the codes for Episodes 1, 2, 5 and 9, along with the extra, unnumbered teaser released between episodes 4 and 5. (they're all straightforward Vigenere ciphers.) However:

- Episodes 3.1, 7, and 10.1 are ALSO Blue codes and ought (? I think?) to work the same way -- but I only get gibberish when I try to decrypt them.

- I have not yet figured out how to crack the Red codes (Episodes 3.2, 4, 6, 8, 10.2, 11 and 13) or the Green code (Episode 12).

- I have tried: a variant Beaufort; an actual Beaufort; reversing the ciphertext; reversing the key; doing a ROT1 and a ROT25 on both the ciphertext and the key; shifting the key to start one letter sooner or later (red shift?) -- but no luck so far.

Mods, if this question is inappropriate for AskMe, I apologize & please delete this post. There's surprisingly little to be found elsewhere online, though, so thought I'd try here. Thanks!
posted by collectallfour to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and: It hasn't escaped my notice that 10.1 and 10.2 have the same ciphertext and the same keyword, but one is Blue and the other is Red -- suggesting, I presume, that the ciphertext can be meaningfully decrypted in two different ways. But I haven't figured out what else to try (especially since even the Blue decryption for that episode isn't working for me.)
posted by collectallfour at 4:58 PM on June 27, 2016

Best answer: It's a day later and I notice no other comments, so I'll let you know that there are some Reddit posts about this which might have more people involved to work through this with you. Just google for Ars Paradoxica reddit and you'll find some.

For me, I never heard of this before but it sounds like something I would enjoy, so I'm very glad you asked this question, thanks. Sorry I can't help.
posted by CathyG at 2:19 PM on June 28, 2016

Response by poster: I did see the Reddit posts, thanks! They're all a few months old & they haven't helped me past my particular stumbling block, which is I why I thought I'd try here -- but perhaps I'll go give a holler over there for a bit. Can't hurt! Thanks again. (And if anyone else does see this post and would like to chime in, I at least will still be following. ;) )
posted by collectallfour at 7:35 PM on June 28, 2016

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