More information on Kryptos is available at http://elonka.com/kryptos
Thanks go to several people whose previous work on Kryptos gave me a foundation upon which to build.
Especially Douglas Gwyn, Jim Gillogly, Gary Warzin, and Ferdinando Stehle.
Okay, here's how I reverse-engineered part 3, once I heard Ferdinando's '192' number via Gary. I understood that there were simple mathematical formulae for deriving the answer, but I was curious as to whether I could come up with a more straightforward "pencil and paper" visual solution.
The section in question (part 3) was here:
First, I changed the line endings to put it into regular rows (not including the question mark), as follows:
The decoded message started with the character at the far right of the middle row, the "S" (which
may be a tie-in to the reference in the previous section of "ID by Row S"). Then from the "S",
there's a regular pattern. The next letter is exactly four rows down, where you wrap around to the
next column on the left when you have to start over at the top. The next letter is another four rows
down, and so forth. This leads to some nice diagonals:
Looking at the above, you can see the first words in the decoded message by starting at the "S",
going down 4 rows (wrapping to the next column to the left when you have to start over at the top)
to "L", down another four rows to "O", then down and around four rows to "W", and so forth, to
get the words, "Slowly, desparatly . . ."
This system would probably work just fine to pull out the entire message by hand, a letter at a time,
but I went poking around for a shortcut, which is what the rest of this file is about. I wanted to get the
letters that were supposed to be consecutive to actually be closer to each other, so I again changed line
endings, this time moving things out into three columns:
ENDYAHROHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBIDYSHNAIACHTNREYULDSLLSLL NOHSNOSMRWXMNETPRNGATIHNRARPESLNNELEBLPIIACAEWMT WNDITEENRAHCTENEUDRETNHAEOETFOLSEDTIWENHAEIOYTEY QHEENCTAYCREIFTBRSPAMHHEWENATAMATEGYEERLBTEEFOAS FIOTUETUAEOTOARMAEERTNRTIBSEDDNIAAHTTMSTEWPIEROA GRIEWFEBAECTDDHILCEIHSITEGOEAOSDDRYDLORITRKLMLEH AGTDHARDPNEOHMGFMFEUHEECDMRIPFEIMEHNLSSTTRTVDOHW?
This got the letters for "S L O W L Y" closer to each other, but I wanted the letters to line up
even more, so I changed the spacing a bit to push the letters into alignment, using the starting "S"
as a rotation point. This meant wrapping the question mark from the end to the beginning, and going from
three columns with widths of 48-48-48, to four columns with widths of (47/48)-47-47-3:
?ENDYAHROHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBIDYSHNAIACHTNREYULDSLLSL LNOHSNOSMRWXMNETPRNGATIHNRARPESLNNELEBLPIIACAEW MTWNDITEENRAHCTENEUDRETNHAEOETFOLSEDTIWENHAEIOY TEY QHEENCTAYCREIFTBRSPAMHHEWENATAMATEGYEERLBTEEFOAS FIOTUETUAEOTOARMAEERTNRTIBSEDDNIAAHTTMSTEWPIERO AGRIEWFEBAECTDDHILCEIHSITEGOEAOSDDRYDLORITRKLML EHA GTDHARDPNEOHMGFMFEUHEECDMRIPFEIMEHNLSSTTRTVDOHW
Since it was tedious to read backwards, I re-ordered the above three rows, so, numbering them from top
to bottom 1-2-3, I changed the order to 3-2-1:
GTDHARDPNEOHMGFMFEUHEECDMRIPFEIMEHNLSSTTRTVDOHW QHEENCTAYCREIFTBRSPAMHHEWENATAMATEGYEERLBTEEFOAS FIOTUETUAEOTOARMAEERTNRTIBSEDDNIAAHTTMSTEWPIERO AGRIEWFEBAECTDDHILCEIHSITEGOEAOSDDRYDLORITRKLML EHA ?ENDYAHROHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBIDYSHNAIACHTNREYULDSLLSL LNOHSNOSMRWXMNETPRNGATIHNRARPESLNNELEBLPIIACAEW MTWNDITEENRAHCTENEUDRETNHAEOETFOLSEDTIWENHAEIOY TEYAnd then I restacked the columns on top of each other. This was the "kludgiest" of the steps:
Then I unrolled it to get even longer strings. Each strip I pulled off, starting at the right, was 4 columns wide. So, the first strip was:
And the second strip I pulled off and placed under the first strip was:
Once they'd all been pulled off and arranged, I got this *long* column, as follows:
Starting at the top right and reading down each entire column, leads to the complete
message (arranged in left-to-right rows here for easier reading):
SLOWLYDESPARATLYSLOWLYTHEREMAINSOFPASSAGEDEBRISTHATENCUMBEREDTHELOWERPARTOFTHEDOORWAY WASREMOVEDWITHTREMBLINGHANDSIMADEATINYBREACHINTHEUPPERLEFTHANDCORNERANDTHENWIDENINGTHE HOLEALITTLEIINSERTEDTHECANDLEANDPEEREDINTHEHOTAIRESCAPINGFROMTHECHAMBERCAUSEDTHEFLAMET OFLICKERBUTPRESENTLYDETAILSOFTHEROOMWITHINEMERGEDFROMTHEMISTXCANYOUSEEANYTHINGQ?Or, to put it back in the same format as the starting rows:
Add in a sprinkling of punctuation, and it comes out to be:
SLOWLY, DESPARATLY SLOWLY, THE REMAINS OF PASSAGE DEBRIS THAT ENCUMBERED THE LOWER
PART OF THE DOORWAY WAS REMOVED. WITH TREMBLING HANDS I MADE A TINY BREACH IN THE UPPER
LEFTHAND CORNER AND THEN WIDENING THE HOLE A LITTLE I INSERTED THE CANDLE AND PEERED
IN. THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER BUT PRESENTLY
DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING Q?
I feel certain that there must be an easier and more graceful way to unravel the message in a visual format, but
this is the one that I came up with. I look forward to seeing other (what I'm sure will be more elegant) solutions!
St. Louis, Missouri
May 23, 2003