See Part II | See Part III

On a hiking trip, you find a piece of paper on the desk of an abandoned cabin: code

Also on this desk is an old-fashioned computer that is, unfortunately, password-protected. You are sure that if you can solve the riddle left behind on the piece of paper, you'll be able to get into the computer...

Happy riddling! (Hints will come soon if nobody can solve this...)


Hint 1:

You might want to try replacing "Leon Battista Alberti" with "Johannes Trithemius..."

Hint 2:

You could also replace Leon Battista Alberti with Giovan Battista Bellaso.

Hint 3:

The owner of the cabin made one careless mistake: the last three lines are in the order that they were used by him to create the message...

Hint 4:

Look at the Wikipedia page that includes all the names from Hint 1, Hint 2, and the last line of the note.

  • $\begingroup$ In what way is this an enigmatic puzzle? It seems like a pretty straight forward cipher. $\endgroup$ – Barker May 4 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Barker I didn't explicitly say that it's a cipher. All you got were a bunch of random phrases and letters that you had to decide the interpretation of. $\endgroup$ – I N T E R E S T I N G May 4 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ I don't believe that this is an enigmatic puzzle. We understand that the objective is to find some a password from the not left behind. In an enigmatic puzzle, the object of the puzzle is not known, hence the "enigmatic." $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J May 5 at 18:05

From the PARTIAL ANSWER! and hints

Cipher order reversed as per the hint 3


Wikipedia page for Tabula recta mentions all the names in the hints 1 and 2

Using Tabula recta with the keyword bythewaybythewaybythewaybythewaybythe gives

beo dulracaj az oq ofurq vl szsmrlnsqpxgrlc


Ceasar cipher with 42 shift gives

loy nevbkmkt kj ya ypeba fv cjcwbvxcazhqbvm


Enigma M3 with the given parameters and an empty plugboard gives

the password to my files is moonrockonearth

  • $\begingroup$ Really well done! Congratulations, and be sure to head over to PART II to go deeper into this mystery! $\endgroup$ – I N T E R E S T I N G May 6 at 11:18


Okay, so firstly, this is only a partial answer, as I do not have all of the clues figured out just yet, but I'm sure you can tell me if I'm on the right track

Our starting value is: cch kyhrydyc hd kq mgskx zh sxtkksroqnyeksg

The first clue comes in from Alan Turing, in 1940 he deciphered the Enigma machine, so we're looking at an Enigma Cipher, After the slash we have a series of Enigma rotor settings (and as there's only 3, it's not a 4-rotor machine)

UKWB - This is the reflector settings, which leaves I/7/18, I/12/4 and I/19/7 as our rotor settings. All rotors are set to I (Roman Numeral 1)

So we are limited to an Enigma Model 1 or M3, as these are the only 3-rotor Enigma machines with a UKW-B reflector setting.
Leaving the plug board blank gives us:

rpe lsfhokqy uu jp wvqll gd egxnwvpijudyuzt

Next, the second line

Brutus / Douglas Adams

Brutus is a character in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; so I reckon this is some kind of Caesar Cipher. This leaves Douglas Adams as the clue to solve the Cipher. In his novel series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", the most famous number is 42. (Being the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything)

Plugging into the Caesar Cipher the above string with Rotation of 42 gives us:

bzo vcpryuai ee tz gfavv qn oqhxgfzsteniejd

Finally the third line (Edited from OP's comments about the hint being used incorrectly)

Leon Battista Alberti / $\leftarrow$ BTW $\rightarrow$

Google searching this guy brings up that he was a cryptographer who developed his own Cipher (The Alberti Cipher).

The hints point to Giovan Battista Bellaso and Johannes Trithemius; who each have their own Ciphers... So maybe these Ciphers are needed next?

  • $\begingroup$ +1 You’re on the right track! I will put more hints for you. $\endgroup$ – I N T E R E S T I N G May 2 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, you are not using Hint 1 in the correct manner. $\endgroup$ – I N T E R E S T I N G May 2 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ @InventPalooza - Can you give any hint on Part 1? I'd like to know where I can find the rot13(ravtzn cyht obneq) $\endgroup$ – Raisus May 2 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(yrnir vg oynax) $\endgroup$ – I N T E R E S T I N G May 2 at 12:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Don’t use the hints as part of the original clues. Just use them to get to the clues which solve the puzzle. $\endgroup$ – I N T E R E S T I N G May 2 at 14:20


The page on the Vigenere cipher mentions all three of those people; however, I have absolutely no idea what the key is or what the slash means.


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