I'm studying the Kryptos sculpture with its cryptographic puzzles K1 to K4.
Similar to the "palimsest" keyword for K1, the keyword "abscissa" for K2 was determined by brute-force.
To better understand the puzzle as a whole and ultimately solve K4, it's important to understand how the "agent in the field" might have discovered these keywords.
One suggestion is that the keyword "abscissa" is derived from the plaintext of K1 which reads:
BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION
Which, given a sort of "cryptic crossword" reading can give you:
- Between "Subtle Shading And" -> "SSA"
- ... the ABSence -> "ABS"
- ... of Light (speed of light == "C" in physics) -> "C"
- ... lies the nuance of Iqlusion -> "I"
And with standard sort of anagram "fun", one comes up with "ABSCISSA."
Not very strong, but maybe believable.
Is there a better theory out there?