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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Red Herring

A 'Red Herring' is a plot device used in literature to distract the reader away from the main event of the story by focusing on a minor event or describing characters in ways that go against our sense of the way those character should be. In cryptography, a red herring is a second hidden message that is intended to be discovered more easily so that the real message remains hidden to anyone who might intercept the transmission and break the red herring code. Only the intended receiver would know the key to unlocking the real message.

The cryptogram below, with two hidden messages, is a prime example of a red herring. One message is fairly easy to decipher, especially if you were able to decode an earlier puzzle that appeared here: http://puzzlepage.blogspot.com/2008/01/find-hidden-message.html. The second message, the one that's the real message, is hidden using a different code that has been made to fit in the same grouping of numbers. This is an extremely difficult cryptogram to solve, so feel free to ask for hints in the comment section.


21941648698194164869819416486981
54961847952716486981947648697358
39114467658829115524463869851941
76487962174268859915413638294575
51947682873991174467835921746687
82992113426384971634855658399727
12432613829431624856389791172446
83953124636885997711344766849911
44758746436849618496184961849618
49361849618898184961849618496184
69819416486981941648698194164869
81961635248698194164869819416486
89915214466889912144668899114466
88279911446688995114466889911446
75879618496188921246648691144666
89921347658591134764869871924164
86921354456289291314419885991234
61839518465768533281559123134362
84931546687899361547678297124312
44951746678897194362778135951543
64856618399613949711429889811444
48896919466819961882828694114914
49981941698618994964219181649644


Good luck!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm quite stumped. I saw that you had bold underlined Extremely, so I tried eliminating all but the most "extreme" numbers (1 and 9) but I can't make any head way. A hint would be appreciated. Thanks!

Erik said...

The word 'prime' is also bold and underlined. What happens if you print out the numbers as they appear above (maintain rows and columns) and highlight only the prime digits? What happens if you highlight the non-prime digits?

Anonymous said...

1941648698194164869814961849164869819476486989114466889115544686981941648961468899141689419468899114468914668899114684916486899146189416486899114468914668899114466849911448464684961849618496184961849618496188981849618496184961846981941648698194164869819416486981961648698194164869819416486899114466889911446688991144668899114466889911446688991144687961849618891466486911446668991468911464869819416486914468991144198899146189184668819114684914668789961468914144914668891946819146486618996194911498898114444889691946681996188886941149144998194169861899496419181649644
This is what i got when i took away all prime numbers.Any sense there???

I'll keep the prime numbers in on my next comment.

Anonymous said...

^ sorry, you can't see all the numbers there....



194164869819416486981496184916
486981947648698911446688911554
468698194164896146889914168941
946889911446891466889911468491
648689914618941648689911446891
466889911446684991144846468496
184961849618496184961849618898
184961849618496184698194164869
819416486981941648698196164869
819416486981941648689911446688
991144668899114466889911446688
991144668899114468796184961889
146648691144666899146891146486
981941648691446899114419889914
618918466881911468491466878996
146891414491466889194681914648
661899619491149889811444488969
194668199618888694114914499819
4169861899496419181649644

Anonymous said...

^^^ sorry, i cant b botherd

Erik said...

Rather than removing the prime numbers, try highlighting them.