History Main / TheBookCipher

15th May '18 9:07:00 PM PaulA
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* A ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Detective Comics]]'' story "And the Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels" involved the villain, Stiletto, using an obscure book about shoes for a cipher (the villain chose this book as a pun on his name--think "stiletto heels"). When Batman goes to the bookstore, the owner mentions how strange it is that he just sold several copies of a book nobody would buy normally. Batman asks him who bought the book in order to learn who's in on the plot.

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* A ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Detective Comics]]'' ''ComicBook/DetectiveComics'' story "And the Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels" (issue #630) involved the villain, Stiletto, using an obscure book about shoes for a cipher (the villain chose this book as a pun on his name--think "stiletto heels"). When Batman goes to the bookstore, the owner mentions how strange it is that he just sold several copies of a book nobody would buy normally. Batman asks him who bought the book in order to learn who's in on the plot.
7th Mar '18 9:46:18 PM TCF01
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John Doe has a copy of a book. Richard Roe has an identical copy of the same book, which he can use to decipher John's coded messages and code his own replies. The messages are written out in groups of numbers; Either the first number is a page, the second number a line on the page, and the third number a word inside that line, or it can also be just the page number and word number, if you want to make it easy. The Ottendorf Cipher is a specific variant that uses Page, Word, and then the letter inside that word, which lets you encode words that aren't found within the text - like, say, the address of a meeting place.

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John Doe has a copy of a book. Richard Roe has an identical copy of the same book, which he can use to decipher John's coded messages and code his own replies. The messages are written out in groups of numbers; numbers. Either the first number is a page, the second number a line on the page, and the third number a word inside that line, or it can also be just the page number and word number, if you want to make it easy. The Ottendorf Cipher is a specific variant that uses Page, Word, and then the letter inside that word, which lets you encode words that aren't found within the text - like, say, the address of a meeting place.
22nd Oct '17 12:42:49 PM RexVulpes
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Big and well-known books make better sources as you have more words to choose from (thus Literature/TheBible is often the source), and no one will react if you're walking around with a pocket version of ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode''. Relatedly, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your copy, a well-known book will be easier to replace without raising eyebrows, though some books are slightly different from edition to edition, so you need to make certain to get the right one (This also applies to the Bible, as the New Testament is an English translation of a collection of Latin documents, and the Old Testament is an English translation of a Latin translation of a collection of Hebrew documents. Better make certain you specify which version you want, as exact word choice can vary considerably between versions even if the general meaning of any given verse stays roughly the same). If you're walking around with an 1824 edition of a book, or asking specifically to buy a copy of the fourth printing of the second edition of something... people may well get suspicious (especially the detective who's after you). Of course, using a widely available book also makes it easier for other people to read your messages, should they be intercepted, and while the book itself may be utterly innocuous, sending a letter that is merely a long list of numbers is an unmistakeable indication that you are communicating in code.

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Big and well-known books make better sources as you have more words to choose from (thus Literature/TheBible is often the source), and no one will react if you're walking around with a pocket version of ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode''. Relatedly, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your copy, a well-known book will be easier to replace without raising eyebrows, though some books are slightly different from edition to edition, so you need to make certain to get the right one (This also applies to the Bible, as the New Testament is an English translation of a collection of Latin Greek documents, and the Old Testament is an English translation of a Latin Greek translation of a collection of Hebrew documents. Better make certain you specify which version you want, as exact word choice can vary considerably between versions even if the general meaning of any given verse stays roughly the same). If you're walking around with an 1824 edition of a book, or asking specifically to buy a copy of the fourth printing of the second edition of something... people may well get suspicious (especially the detective who's after you). Of course, using a widely available book also makes it easier for other people to read your messages, should they be intercepted, and while the book itself may be utterly innocuous, sending a letter that is merely a long list of numbers is an unmistakeable indication that you are communicating in code.
3rd Oct '17 4:37:26 PM Bissek
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* One episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Cyberchase}}'' used this, using a cookbook with the page-line-word code. Once the main characters find out that Hacker has a copy of the book and is using it to decode their messages, they quickly come up with a new code. Clueless Hacker still thinks the code is the same when he intercepts the new message.

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* One episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Cyberchase}}'' used this, using a cookbook with the page-line-word code. Once the main characters find out that Hacker has a copy of the book and is using it to decode their messages, messages (with no real explanation as to how he figured out what kind of code they were using and what book was the key), they quickly come up with a new code. Clueless Hacker still thinks the code is the same when he intercepts the new message.
3rd Oct '17 4:33:23 PM Bissek
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* In ''Literature/TheValleyOfFear'', SherlockHolmes decrypts a message enciphered with a book cipher by deducing which book had been used as a key text.

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* In ''Literature/TheValleyOfFear'', SherlockHolmes decrypts a message enciphered with a book cipher by deducing which book had been used as a key text.text, though he does get messed up at one point because the letter was written at the turn of the year and the cipher key was an almanac, resulting in Holmes' first guess as to which edition of the almanac to use being wrong.
3rd Oct '17 4:30:04 PM Bissek
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Big and well-known books make better sources as you have more words to choose from (thus Literature/TheBible is often the source), and no one will react if you're walking around with a pocket version of ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode''. Relatedly, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your copy, a well-known book will be easier to replace without raising eyebrows. If you're walking around with an 1824 edition of a book, or asking specifically to buy a copy of the fourth printing of the second edition of something... people may well get suspicious (especially the detective who's after you). Of course, using a widely available book also makes it easier for other people to read your messages, should they be intercepted, and while the book itself may be utterly innocuous, sending a letter that is merely a long list of numbers is an unmistakeable indication that you are communicating in code.

to:

Big and well-known books make better sources as you have more words to choose from (thus Literature/TheBible is often the source), and no one will react if you're walking around with a pocket version of ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode''. Relatedly, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your copy, a well-known book will be easier to replace without raising eyebrows.eyebrows, though some books are slightly different from edition to edition, so you need to make certain to get the right one (This also applies to the Bible, as the New Testament is an English translation of a collection of Latin documents, and the Old Testament is an English translation of a Latin translation of a collection of Hebrew documents. Better make certain you specify which version you want, as exact word choice can vary considerably between versions even if the general meaning of any given verse stays roughly the same). If you're walking around with an 1824 edition of a book, or asking specifically to buy a copy of the fourth printing of the second edition of something... people may well get suspicious (especially the detective who's after you). Of course, using a widely available book also makes it easier for other people to read your messages, should they be intercepted, and while the book itself may be utterly innocuous, sending a letter that is merely a long list of numbers is an unmistakeable indication that you are communicating in code.
1st May '17 10:10:25 AM jamespolk
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* ''Literature/TheSympathizer'': The narrator, a Vietnamese Communist spy reporting back to Hanoi about the activities of anti-Communist Vietnamese in America, uses such a cipher, which he combines with using invisible ink.
24th Apr '17 7:54:57 AM isolato
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22nd Apr '17 6:05:11 AM Antigone3
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\n[[/folder]]\n* ''[[Literature/{{Safehold}} By Heresies Distressed]]'': A group of Temple Loyalists uses a four-number book cipher (page, paragraph on that page, sentence in that paragraph, word in that sentence) to plot Sharleyan's assassination. While the cipher itself was devised by the Church centuries earlier, one plotter notes the irony that Charis' "heretical" introduction of Arabic numerals [[note]]pre-Merlin Safehold used Roman numerals[[/note]] makes the cipher much easier to use.

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29th Mar '17 5:55:49 AM jamespolk
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* GrahamGreene's heroes often use book codes. In ''The Human Factor'', several books are used, and an edition of Charles Lamb's ''Tales from Shakespeare'' is used in ''Our Man in Havana''.

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* GrahamGreene's Creator/GrahamGreene's heroes often use book codes. In ''The Human Factor'', several books are used, and an edition of Charles Lamb's ''Tales from Shakespeare'' is used in ''Our Man in Havana''.



* The German spy uses this kind of encryption in ''[[Literature/ErastFandorin The Death of Achilles]]''.

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* The German spy uses this kind of encryption in ''[[Literature/ErastFandorin The Death of Achilles]]''.''Literature/TheDeathOfAchilles''.
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