When I was a graduate student at Caltech, Professor Feynman showed me three samples of code that he had been challenged with by a fellow scientist at Los Alamos and which he had not been able to crack. I also was unable to crack them. I posted them to Usenet and Jack C. Morrison of JPL cracked the first one. It is a simple transposition cipher: split the text into 5-column pieces, then read from lower right upward. What results are the opening lines of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English.

1. Easier

MEOTAIHSIBRTEWDGLGKNLANEA INOEEPEYSTNPEUOOEHRONLTIR OSDHEOTNPHGAAETOHSZOTTENT KEPADLYPHEODOWCFORRRNLCUE EEEOPGMRLHNNDFTOENEALKEHH EATTHNMESCNSHIRAETDAHLHEM TETRFSWEDOEOENEGFHETAEDGH RLNNGOAAEOCMTURRSLTDIDORE HNHEHNAYVTIERHEENECTRNVIO UOEHOTRNWSAYIFSNSHOEMRTRR EUAUUHOHOOHCDCHTEEISEVRLS KLIHIIAPCHRHSIHPSNWTOIISI SHHNWEMTIEYAFELNRENLEERYI PHBEROTEVPHNTYATIERTIHEEA WTWVHTASETHHSDNGEIEAYNHHH NNHTW

2. Harder

XUKEXWSLZJUAXUNKIGWFSOZRAWURO RKXAOSLHROBXBTKCMUWDVPTFBLMKE FVWMUXTVTWUIDDJVZKBRMCWOIWYDX MLUFPVSHAGSVWUFWORCWUIDUJCNVT TBERTUNOJUZHVTWKORSVRZSVVFSQX OCMUWPYTRLGBMCYPOJCLRIYTVFCCM UWUFPOXCNMCIWMSKPXEDLYIQKDJWI WCJUMVRCJUMVRKXWURKPSEEIWZVXU LEIOETOOFWKBIUXPXUGOWLFPWUSCH

3. New Message

WURVFXGJYTHEIZXSQXOBGSV RUDOOJXATBKTARVIXPYTMYA BMVUFXPXKUJVPLSDVTGNGOS IGLWURPKFCVGELLRNNGLPYT FVTPXAJOSCWRODORWNWSICL FKEMOTGJYCRRAOJVNTODVMN SQIVICRBICRUDCSKXYPDMDR OJUZICRVFWXIFPXIVVIEPYT DOIAVRBOOXWRAKPSZXTZKVR OSWCRCFVEESOLWKTOBXAUXV B

Chris Cole

lib/DbaDatabase.php:134: Warning: dba_replace() [<a href='function.dba-replace'>function.dba-replace</a>]: You cannot perform a modification to a database without proper access