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Headlines: The Key

A cache by The Rat Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/26/2008
Difficulty:
4.5 out of 5
Terrain:
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:


The Headlines puzzle was created by an NSA employee for recreational purposes for cryptographers who just want to kick back and solve something "easy" while honing their skills during lunch breaks and off hours. Headlines puzzles require solving five related cryptograms, each a simple substitution cipher with spaces and punctuation shown. Each of the five is encrypted using the same mixed alphabet shifted for each headline. See the full description on the American Cryptogram Association website. Headlines are enciphered using a setting, a key, and a hat, which combine to form the mixed K3 alphabet and its shifts. Be sure you understand this description before you attempt to solve this puzzle.

There are three caches in this series using the same five headlines. For the second puzzle you must find the key. To do this, solve the five cryptograms below, recover the equivalent K3 key, and from that recover the original key alphabet block which will contain the key. To do this you will need to master a technique called double-chaining. If you can't figure out how to do that, and few of you will, here is a link that explains the whole process: How to solve a Headlines Puzzle .

Once you have found the key (just the key word, not the whole alphabet block), assign numbers to all the letters according to their places in the alphabet, i.e. A=1, B=2..., Z=26. Multiply the middle four numbers together to get a five-digit number. Add to that 3004 to get another 5-digit number, and call that nnnnn. The North coordinate is N37 nn.nnn. Next add all the numbers of the key word, multiply that value by 50 and add 30 to get a four-digit number, and call it wwww. The west coordinate is W122 0w.www.

Here are the five headlines:

1. XLI HS QGGL HBDZQ SE DOCIGBI NK *ANZJ.
2. *M.Z. VJDOKE NJARM UX FAD OXDUKMU XD UY
3. *BCNW'Y INUGBM YANUB OZFEO ... OZFEO ...
4. *ESLGEJ YJMLWFJ OH *HGDZEVM EYWOSLHW
5. YNDTHZDJRHCF NHSCFT TBCND TRCPD, KNHDAFM, CR AQNEU

This cache is a micro. Bring a pen.

The other two caches are: Headlines: The Setting and Headlines: The Hat.


You can check your answers for this puzzle on Geochecker.com.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

abegunaqfbhgucbyr

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)