# Peterhead Codes and Ciphers Club: Weekly Challenge

This is one of the cipher-based challenges I have created for my club. This is a lengthy puzzle so feel free to post partial answers.

My golden rule is that moving something that isn't glued down never results in a loss of information, so the way the pieces in the picture happen to be laid out is irrelevant.

You will need all the pieces except the draughts pieces. The draughts pieces would however be useful for keeping track of something you might need to keep track of if you were there in person.

All the board/paper components are double sided. The images are a bit large but it seems to me that it is better for them to be too clear than not clear enough.

Here are four of the messages in text form:

63 45 42 51 54 46 44 45 63 54 42 65 42 61 52 35 54 41 62 54 42 32 63 63 55 35 61 42 41 56 42 35 62 35 54 63

63 45 42 51 54 46 44 45 63 52 35 54 41 62 55 54 42 65 42 61 33 62 46 41 42 55 43 63 45 42 33 42 52 52 55 66 56 42 35 62 35 54 63 42 32 40 42 56 63 54 55 61 63 45

TTDOOPHHONSNREFNEEGNAOETDAEATKILLNHHIGESNNYTSRA

• Humongous!!! +1 Aug 18, 2019 at 8:25
• +1 as well. Is that you in the first photo? Aug 18, 2019 at 22:12
• That's my five year old son, he's proud of how he laid out the pieces. Aug 18, 2019 at 22:15

The first step:

Align the Nine Men's Morris board with the spaced letter grid. This gives a way to decode the ┤┘┘ note: the letters at the given intersections spell "ERROR / COORDINATES SHOYLD RYN FROM LLERO TO SICC". Presumably, the Ys should be Us, and the LL/CC at the end should be interpreted as Z/X.

This tells us to

renumber the 7x7 grid so that all numbers are 1 smaller. Doing this lets us decode the number notes, interpreting them as (row, column) coordinates:
THE KNIGHT LANDS ON EVERY SIDE OF THE YELLOW PEASANT EXCEPT NORTH
THE KNIGHT NEVER LANDS NEXT TO A RED PEASANT

Using those,

and a bit of Wheel-of-Fortuning, we can recreate the knight's path on the board: it spells out SECOND CRUSADER KINGS.

(Another hint that would have helped with the path: if you

decode the TNT note as a rail fence cipher with three rails -- hinted by the placement of the characters on the zigzag note -- you get "THE KNIGHT NEVER LANDS ON A PEASANT OR LOG". Do the same with the TTD note but five rails, and you get "THE KNIGHT ONLY LANDS ON THE NORTH SIDE OF A GREEN PEASANT". This is likely enough to logically deduce the path in full.)

This appears to decode everything except for the zigzag note and the p.yy note, both of which likely were hints at the various ciphers used.