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Next: Stage 3 Up: Descriptions of the Work Previous: Description of Solution Method

Stage 2

Solution found on September 24, 1999.

The message is clearly labeled as being a Caesar type encryption. It is therefore the easiest of all stages. As there are only 26 possible shifts to try, the solution can easily be found by hand by trying them all. It can also be done with a computer, for instance using the following Unix shell script:

multivac> l=''; while [ ${#l} -lt 26 ];
          do tr $l\A-Z A-ZA-Z < stage2.txt; l=.$l; done | less

Going over the 26 candidate plaintexts, it is easy to find the correct plaintext:

Faber est suae quisque fortunae.  - Appius Claudius Caecus
Dictum arcanum est neutron.
The codeword for this stage is thus NEUTRON.