History Main / TheBookCipher

26th Mar '16 6:13:50 PM JackG
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* In the Season 2 finale of BBC's ''Series/{{Luther}}'', the numbers in a notebook is revealed to be this. This gives the police an OhCrap moment when the suspect's RoomFullOfCrazy turns out to be [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles full of books]]. [[spoiler:But as any book used must not only be the same title, but also the same edition, Luther realises this collection of secondhand books can't be the one used for the cipher. It's a Gideon's bible that the killers could find in any hotel room if needed.]]

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* In the Season 2 finale of BBC's ''Series/{{Luther}}'', the numbers in a notebook is revealed to be this. This gives the police an OhCrap moment when the suspect's RoomFullOfCrazy turns out to be [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles full of books]]. [[spoiler:But But as any book used must not only be the same title, but also the same edition, Luther realises this collection of secondhand books can't be the one used for the cipher. It's a Gideon's bible that the killers could find in any hotel room if needed.]]



* A different version occurs in ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', where the Machine sends a list of numbers and letters that correspond to the Dewey classification of the books in Finch's library.

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* A different version occurs in ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', where the ''Series/PersonOfInterest''.
** The
Machine sends passes on the social security number of each potential [[VictimOfTheWeek Victim]] or VillainOfTheWeek via a list of numbers and letters that correspond to the Dewey classification of the books in Finch's library.library.
** In one episode, Finch works out a PublicSecretMessage is a book code, and also realizes from the choice of book (on American Revolutionary War heroes) that it was sent by privacy terrorist group Vigilance.
24th Feb '16 3:13:48 PM margdean56
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* This is described and used in ''[[Literature/{{Chalion}} The Curse Of Chalion]]'' by LoisMcMasterBujold.

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* This is described and used in ''[[Literature/{{Chalion}} The Curse Of Chalion]]'' by LoisMcMasterBujold. In a culture in which printing is a relatively recent invention, there aren't many true duplicates, but the characters manage to turn up identical copies of a heavy theological tome.
24th Feb '16 3:08:46 PM margdean56
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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 "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.

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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 "TheDaVinciCode".''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.
18th Jul '15 7:51:54 AM rcmerod52
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Added DiffLines:

[[AC:Western Animation]]
* 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.
14th Jun '15 3:41:10 PM Aquila89
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* Used in [[TheGoodSoldierSvejk The Adventures of Good Soldier Svejk in the World War I]] when the officers are briefed on the newest cipher method, which apparently is a variant of the book cipher based upon the pages 160 and 161 of a German novel "''Die Sünden der Väter''". However, the book used is a novel in two volumes and [[TheFool the protagonist]], when ordered to deliver them to the battalion officers, was not informed that it was the second part which was needed and delivered the first tomes only, keeping the second volumes in storage, believing that 'they gentlemen officers would surely like to read the novel in the proper order, as anyone else, and after they had read the first part they'd be issued with the second part'. {{Hilarity ensued}} during the briefing, when only ([[HighHopesZeroTalent overly ambitious yet generally incompetent]]) officer-cadet Biegler was [[TooDumbToFool brave enough to point out]] that the example given does not make any sense, while other officers just kept calm and quietly assumed that their regimental colonel finally went completely bananas and would be soon [[KickedUpstairs promoted to the war ministry]].

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* Used in [[TheGoodSoldierSvejk ''[[Literature/TheGoodSoldierSvejk The Adventures of Good Soldier Svejk in the World War I]] I]]'' when the officers are briefed on the newest cipher method, which apparently is a variant of the book cipher based upon the pages 160 and 161 of a German novel "''Die Sünden der Väter''". However, the book used is a novel in two volumes and [[TheFool the protagonist]], when ordered to deliver them to the battalion officers, was not informed that it was the second part which was needed and delivered the first tomes only, keeping the second volumes in storage, believing that 'they gentlemen officers would surely like to read the novel in the proper order, as anyone else, and after they had read the first part they'd be issued with the second part'. {{Hilarity ensued}} during the briefing, when only ([[HighHopesZeroTalent overly ambitious yet generally incompetent]]) officer-cadet Biegler was [[TooDumbToFool brave enough to point out]] that the example given does not make any sense, while other officers just kept calm and quietly assumed that their regimental colonel finally went completely bananas and would be soon [[KickedUpstairs promoted to the war ministry]].
20th May '15 6:28:51 AM LadyJafaria
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* In ''Series/TheBorgias'', Micheletto's new lover Pascal is actually a spy for Caterina Sforza and is using a Book Cipher based on the poetry of Catullus. Even though Micheletto catches on that Pascal is doing this, he can't read. He ''can'' accurately redraw the shapes of letters, though, so he copies everything and takes it to Cesare to decipher.
3rd May '15 7:53:39 AM Morgenthaler
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* In the film ''Film/{{Unknown}}'', Prof. Bressler's [[spoiler:passwords]] are obscured by an Ottendorf cipher.

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* In the film ''Film/{{Unknown}}'', ''Film/{{Unknown 2011}}'', Prof. Bressler's [[spoiler:passwords]] are obscured by an Ottendorf cipher.
7th Apr '15 9:37:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* In the Season 2 finale of BBC's ''{{Luther}}'', the numbers in a notebook is revealed to be this. This gives the police an OhCrap moment when the suspect's RoomFullOfCrazy turns out to be [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles full of books]]. [[spoiler:But as any book used must not only be the same title, but also the same edition, Luther realises this collection of secondhand books can't be the one used for the cipher. It's a Gideon's bible that the killers could find in any hotel room if needed.]]

to:

* In the Season 2 finale of BBC's ''{{Luther}}'', ''Series/{{Luther}}'', the numbers in a notebook is revealed to be this. This gives the police an OhCrap moment when the suspect's RoomFullOfCrazy turns out to be [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles full of books]]. [[spoiler:But as any book used must not only be the same title, but also the same edition, Luther realises this collection of secondhand books can't be the one used for the cipher. It's a Gideon's bible that the killers could find in any hotel room if needed.]]



* A different version occurs in ''PersonOfInterest'', where the Machine sends a list of numbers and letters that correspond to the Dewey classification of the books in Finch's library.
* A variation in an episode of ''MurderSheWrote'' set in Russia. One of the clues in the Murder of the Week was a manuscript about Soviet politics, beginning with the sentence, "The first and last word on the fate of Lenin was always in the hands of the Soviet people." After noticing a number of glaring grammatical errors, Jessica Fletcher realized that the first sentence was the key to the code; the first and last words on each page, read consecutively, revealed the identity of a Soviet official who turned traitor.

to:

* A different version occurs in ''PersonOfInterest'', ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', where the Machine sends a list of numbers and letters that correspond to the Dewey classification of the books in Finch's library.
* A variation in an episode of ''MurderSheWrote'' ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' set in Russia. One of the clues in the Murder of the Week was a manuscript about Soviet politics, beginning with the sentence, "The first and last word on the fate of Lenin was always in the hands of the Soviet people." After noticing a number of glaring grammatical errors, Jessica Fletcher realized that the first sentence was the key to the code; the first and last words on each page, read consecutively, revealed the identity of a Soviet official who turned traitor.
7th Apr '15 4:45:25 AM jormis29
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/TheMentalist'': While undercover in the "Orange Blossom Ice Cream" episode, Jane is given a string of 81 numbers by a terrorist ArmsDealer so that Jane can use his PhotographicMemory to smuggle them to a contact in America. Jane quickly figures out that the numbers are a book cipher as the arms dealer keeps two filled bookshelves and, in Jane's words, "he's not a reader". After the American contact is killed, Jane has to break into the arms dealer's home to figure out which of the many book acts as the key.
4th Mar '15 9:15:26 PM jormis29
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* In the second episode of Creator/TheBBC's ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', they encounter a number [[spoiler:of symbols]]. This turns out to be [[spoiler:numbers written in an ancient Chinese script, with the book being a Tour Guide of London (which ends up as part of Fridge Brilliance, as the Chinese Gang use these symbols to arrange meeting points]].

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* In the second "[[Recap/SherlockS01E02TheBlindBanker The Blind Banker]]" episode of Creator/TheBBC's ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', they encounter a number [[spoiler:of symbols]]. This turns out to be [[spoiler:numbers written in an ancient Chinese script, with the book being a Tour Guide of London (which ends up as part of Fridge Brilliance, as the Chinese Gang use these symbols to arrange meeting points]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheBookCipher