This challenge closed on 04/12/2019. See below for the correct answers.
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Correct AnswerMeg, I’ve figured out what was bothering me. In your message a couple of weeks ago you wrote about “the guidance problems with Apollo X and the programme alarms and descent trajectory problems on XI”, then later on wrote about the Soviets infiltrating “the program”. I didn’t even notice at the time as I was too busy worrying about the New York Post affair, but I should have picked it up. When I first noticed I wondered if it was just a mistake, but it isn’t like you to make a spelling error like that so I realised you must have been copying a message from someone else. When you wrote “programme” you spelt it the way they did, the same way that it is spelt in the leak to the editor at the Post. Either this is a very strange coincidence, which seems very unlikely, or whoever you were quoting has the same spelling habits as our mole. In that case I think we have to take seriously the possibility that the two are related. I know you interviewed a lot of people, so it might be hard to remember who that was, but it is really important that you do. We are using a lot of resources on the mole hunt and I would rather that we closed down that investigation to release the investigators. Their time would be better spent chasing down the saboteurs. With the launch of Apollo XIII just a few months away we can’t afford to make any mistakes. The attacks on Apollo X and XI got increasingly sophisticated. While it seems likely that the power outage on XII was an accident, we haven’t definitively ruled out sabotage and our mole is convinced that it was the result of foul play. If you can’t remember where else you saw “programme” written down, then maybe you could ask Mike if he has any ideas who it might be. That spelling of programme is very distinctive and I have only seen it before in the UK, so maybe we are looking for someone that spent some time there in the war? That probably doesn’t narrow it down very much though given the number of troops we sent over. Whether or not you come up with anything, I would like to move you back to the sabotage investigation as soon as possible. If anything happens to Jim Lovell’s crew we will never forgive ourselves. Communications really need to be tightened. Our channels are pretty secure but with two ongoing investigations and hundreds of smart suspects there is a real risk our messages will get intercepted. Let’s also assume that the journalist from the Post will start getting curious and will try to eavesdrop. Usually I would recommend switching to a code book, but we haven’t set one up for this team, so we will have to continue with ciphers. Maybe we should double encrypt? Not sure how to agree on a system securely, but I have tried to suggest one here by concealing my recommended cipher in the key to this message. Seems to me that if you use that then read off the ciphertext the way hinted at by this paragraph then the message should be fairly secure. Harry
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