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comment by StJohn
StJohn  ·  551 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Any Polish Puzzle-Solvers on Hubski?

It absolutely is! If you have any Polish/code-breaking skills, I'd love to see what you can come up with. The Poles were the great unsung cryptanalysts of the Second World War — they can be great again!

Devac  ·  551 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, I'm a native speaker and study maths. After about an hour of mucking about with pencil and paper I got 91 possible matches for the "abcd efgc hbijkd" and "abcd efgc hbijkdl", but no good ideas for "edj gopq(-)rfl". I'll do some formal analysis over this week and get back.

StJohn  ·  551 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks, you're awesome! I'm usually a wiz with these in English (provided it's a simple substitution cipher), but I don't have enough knowledge of Polish to know what the most common letter combinations are, and what words often follow others.

Devac  ·  466 days ago  ·  link  ·  

OK, so I spent quite some time mulling it over. Here's a problem: I'm almost 100% certain that it either/or/and:

- uses some regionalisms that I'm not familiar with[1];

- there's a second layer of cypher below the symbols;

- there was at least one transcription error consistently repeated through the message.

That said, I talked to one guy from Cracow who said that it could be a part of some student prank or scavenger hunt. He promised to ask around. I'm also planning on spending my summer in Cracow so I'll do some sleuthing on my own if given enough free time.

I think that you deserve an update. I didn't forget or give up. But I also didn't solve it.

[1] - Those can range from "a bit weird, but I understand it" to "WTF? Was that even in Polish?!" and Lesser Poland leans closer to the second category. Good news, though: it's not the worst region in that regard.

StJohn  ·  466 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Damn, the mystery continues! If it was a scavenger hunt or something (and it's not a simple substitution) then I guess the chances aren't high that we might figure it out. Still, it would be amazing if we could find any new clues after all this time. Let me know if you find anything.

Devac  ·  466 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honestly, if it was part of a competition between universities or a scavenger hunt organised by one of their big four (Jagiellonian U, Cracow Tech, AGH or Fine Arts) it's extremely likely it got local coverage or/and was documented by at least one of the student unions. I wouldn't lose hope.

I just hope it wasn't some 'for the lulz' prank. Leaving a cypher that looks legit but is in fact just some gibberish can only be appreciated as the perfect anticlimax. :/

StJohn  ·  466 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can't believe it was just for the lulz — they went to so much effort, with the whole page of hand-drawn letters, and these things were plastered all over the street. If it was just gibberish, they put a ton of work into it. I don't think I'd mind being had, though. If they went to that much effort, they earned their victory.