Ok, so did all that, tried implementing a Cadenus Cipher encryptor / decryptor and applying a hill climbing algorithm on it on the full text and blocks of text with lengths multiples of 25.
Factors, factors, that must be key from the hints given, otherwise you wouldn’t have mentioned it twice in a row.
What is satisfying about factors of 3250??? I thought it could’ve been the fact it was a multiple of 25, thus I tried to decrypt with the Cadenus cipher, but no luck there, unless my implementation is just wrong.
I might just try looking at the text when it is arranged in different ways, with different row / column lengths, and rewritten reading along columns etc. and see if I see anything, but it probably won’t be that simple that I could “see” it.
I wish I had done more research before challenge 10 was released, I had false comfort from how quickly I had been solving the challenges. I thought I had learnt a lot this year compared to last year, learning about heuristic methods of automating decryption and evaluating how close to english the text was, but didn’t think that a transposition cipher would have me spending so long trying to solve without gaining any progress towards a solution.
Wait… 26 is a factor of 3250, and there are 26 letters in the alphabet? Could that be important? I really hope this doesn’t lead me nowhere again
Sorry for the rant Harry, I just wanted to put my thoughts down somewhere. You don’t need to let this through, it’s just nice to know that someone has read this.
[The Elves applaud your stoicism, and so do I. Happy Christmas, Harry]