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Wheel Cipher Cache

A cache by Wily Javelina Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 02/18/2003
Difficulty:
5 out of 5
Terrain:
3 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This geocache is hidden in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains. The coordinates of the geocache are not listed on this page: they have to be calculated from information provided below.


Thomas Jefferson is often credited for the invention of the wheel cipher. During his tenure as George Washington's Secretary of State (1790-1793), it is believed that he invented the wheel cipher as a result of the need for protected communications between the United States and its allies. Jefferson's wheel cipher was made up of twenty-six thin cylinders, with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet written on the side in random order. The cylinders are held together with an iron screw, which is used to hold the ciphered message in place when it is encoded. The figure on the left is a World War I version of the Jefferson's cipher wheel, the figure on the right is similar to the wheel cipher used to encode the message on this page.

 

The message below is encrypted using a variant of Jefferson's wheel cipher. It uses ten wheels and does not randomize the order of the alphabet. A good way to visualize a wheel cipher, in 2-dimensional space, is shown in the table below. It represents a three-wheel wheel cipher. To encrypt a shift of 2 rotate the inner wheel clockwise two places, or in the table below slide the second line two places to the right. The encryption key is said to be the number of places you rotate the inner wheel, relative to the outermost wheel.

 

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The example above has an encryption key 2,4. Using this key the word "GEOCACHE" is encrypted to "ECMAYAFC". To encrypt the first letter of the word you locate it on the first wheel and encrypt it to the corresponding letter on the second wheel. For the second letter of the word you use wheels two and three. For the third letter, start again on the first wheel and repeat the pattern. If there are more wheels, use wheels three and four for the third letter, the fourth letter is encrypted using wheels four and five, etc.

The following message was encoded with a ten-wheel wheel cipher. It contains vital information needed to locate the geocache.

Sswqoprvzqxrykh, wpi xeeo cxevfuh xeq wmx he wxvst ris smyrbg uisup nxzgwqhysw. Yhpw, ishi rc qwc jbvsawxigpb dinnbs rp tyrm det efcselrb. qcmcm eao qwpfs iicc lu ubmfsrxqh, riso eao qwc dcevmskprfg ej j vxgef qyvlvb. Iff qqgqo fh jpqqxnn lc ris smamrbdffurlo lu riwi grbzac cij mc sp cmu oj ewi lu ris mehzlxlug riuyt. Iff pueaskv rp hxi lkzwc gfeq crb rcohuv xp qwc dwhguo fh 355.5161 bfuhinc qgsf bevcr. qwyu wi, mo ilj uffu xx cqppu kqptskv dscc xqo ztlush so det ajfspn gfif b vuemskv mg 355.5161 rukaobh rsiu rxbqw, uisd cxe otydv jln mfgavaviaokrc zck arvi qc bh jln mxrff.

  1. N 32° 12.467' W 111° 07.436'
  2. N 32° 11.644' W 111° 06.609'
  3. N 32° 12.516' W 111° 05.274'

I have released the AZ Cipher Key Travel Bug in the Tucson area. As the name implies, it contains the key to the above encryption. If you find it, you will have the decoder ring. Otherwise, if you are very clever, you can figure out the encryption on your own. Here is the first element of the key: 10, _, _, _, _, _, _, _, _. This should be all you need. The cache container is made of 3" PVC pipe, painted tan, and is very well hidden. The coordinates at the top of the page are at the recommended parking location. The cache is within 0.5 miles from there.

 

Additional Hints (No hints available.)



 

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