Thursday, 30 January 2020


Via the never cryptic and always interesting Nag on the Lake we are informed that a new clue has been tantalisingly dropped regarding the bronze sculpture that adorns the courtyard of the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (previously) whose coded message has for nearly thirty years rebuffed obsessive efforts to fully decrypt it.
Professional and hobbyist code-breakers alike over the years have managed to solve three (the first two are Vigenรจre ciphers, a method using an interweaving of shifting and polyalphabetic substitution, the third is a transposition cipher with the fourth being a mystery) out of the four puzzles but the last remains a conundrum. The artist behind the work, Jim Sanborn—surprised that the mystery has taken this long to be decoded and perhaps out of a desire not to have it all unravelled posthumously—has issued a few hints first in 2010 with BERLIN, next in 2014 with CLOCK and most recently NORTHEAST with which letters of the cipher the solution corresponds with.