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I'm studying the Kryptos sculpture with its cryptographic puzzles K1 to K4.

I understand that the keyword "palimpsest" was reverse-engineered using the tableau (and brute-force computer processing), but Sanborn always said that all sections could be solved using pencil and paper.

There are theories about the Morse, but I haven't come across a good explanation of how to tease "palimpsest" out of it.

I've been frustrated trying to find this in the Kryptos Yahoo group.

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I'm not concerned that it has any "meaning" just whether or not there is any other way to derive the keyword other than brute-force, from e.g. the Morse code. –  Dave Jan 21 '13 at 20:05
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2 Answers

It was never determined how to derive the keyword PALIMPSEST from the sculpture or its text. It was, as you stated, found by brute-force hill-climbing algorithms.

One theory is that crib-dragging the morse phrase SHADOW FORCES reveals IMPS at SHAD, and working form there retrieving the entire keyword, but I find this far-fetched and implausible.

The keyword for K2 can be found by crib dragging morse phrases, but for K1 it´s still a mystery.

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One theory that I came across recently on the Yahoo! group is that it's possible to derive PALIMPSEST from the Morse by "padding" with the extra "e"s (and a tiny bit of hand-waving): ` EEEEEPOSITION VIRTUALLY EEEEELUCID INVISIBLE EEEEEMEMORY INTERPRETATI EEEEESHADOW EEDIGETAL FORCES EEEEETISYOUR` –  Dave Jan 21 '13 at 20:07
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I can't seem to get linebreaks to work. Look at the 6th character in each group: EEEEEPOSITION VIRTUALLY EEEEELUCID INVISIBLE EEEEEMEMORY INTERPRETATI EEEEESHADOW EEDIGETAL FORCES EEEEETISYOUR –  Dave Jan 21 '13 at 20:14
    
Interesting theory, however the Es do not appear like that in the morse.. I´m going to take a look with my transcripts to see what other ways there may be to construct PALIMPSEST. Thanks! –  John Willemse Jan 22 '13 at 10:08
    
Right, the discoverer of this (Nick LaMey, I believe) "Padded" them. An alternate algorithm is to just take the first character of some words and the sixth of others, with the exception of "DIGETAL" and you remove the need for the "E"s altogether. It's not obvious which words to use where and in what order however. –  Dave Jan 22 '13 at 16:15
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Part of the challenge is that we have seen mixed alignments of the morse code images. It would be helpful to see a single image, taken from about 20 feet up, so that we can see the relation of the letters together. As an alternative, a sketch with the alignment would work. If you've going to make (or direct us to) a diagram, then please also include the location of the compass. I haven't seen any image of that other than the close up.

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