For example, take K1, from the Kryptos sculpture, which has been long solved. It's text is as follows:


Now, I already know they keywords used (because the solutions are online) and they are PALIMPSEST and KRYPTOS. However, I do not understand how you would go about finding these keywords if you do not already know them.

Any help would be appreciated!

  • $\begingroup$ Someone in the DOD they might know! $\endgroup$
    – Q-Club
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Q-Club Just for the record: KRYPTOS is an art project by Sanborn in cooperation with a retired CIA employee. So, this is not what you could call “of governmental origin” which makes asking the DoD a rather unhelpful comment. Also: back in 1999, Jim Gillogly (a computer scientist from southern California) managed to decrypt part of the ongoing “puzzle” challenge, and so have others… so it’s definitely valid to ask how regular people (read: “civilians”) have solved these parts of the 4-part challenge. Yet, this was already asked (so it’s a duplicate). $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ TL;DR – As the linked Q&As already state: things like brute-force hill-climbing algorithms and crib-dragging. $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @e-sushi Nothing in those two links answers my question about how one would go about finding the two keywords for a Quagmire III. Especially considering K1 and K2 were solved by some people by hand. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesStrommer They (1 & 2) don’t satisfy? OK, then I’ll reopen the question. To clarify: are you asking more along the lines of Possible ways to crack simple hand ciphers? or something else related to attacking Keyed Vigenére Ciphers (like, for example, a “walkthrough” example of some kind)? $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 19:42


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