History Main / TheBookCipher

11th Jan '17 7:34:24 PM nombretomado
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* In ''A Presumption of Death'', LordPeterWimsey, on assignment for British Intelligence in WWII Nazi-occupied Europe, uses a code based on the works of Creator/JohnDonne. The Germans, suspecting that an intelligence service in which Oxonians have a major role would choose a classical work of English literature, systematically try such works until hitting the right one and breaking the code, coming near to catching the spy. Wimsey then improvises a new code, based on an unpublished text known only to himself and his wife.

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* In ''A Presumption of Death'', LordPeterWimsey, Literature/LordPeterWimsey, on assignment for British Intelligence in WWII Nazi-occupied Europe, uses a code based on the works of Creator/JohnDonne. The Germans, suspecting that an intelligence service in which Oxonians have a major role would choose a classical work of English literature, systematically try such works until hitting the right one and breaking the code, coming near to catching the spy. Wimsey then improvises a new code, based on an unpublished text known only to himself and his wife.
27th Nov '16 5:57:34 PM nombretomado
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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''.''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.
12th Oct '16 4:12:26 AM Morgenthaler
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* A book cipher plays an important role in the TV version of ''{{Sharpe}}'s Sword''. The key text is [[spoiler:Voltaire's ''{{Candide}}'']].

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* A book cipher plays an important role in the TV version of ''{{Sharpe}}'s ''Series/{{Sharpe}}'s Sword''. The key text is [[spoiler:Voltaire's ''{{Candide}}'']].''Literature/{{Candide}}'']].
1st Oct '16 11:47:36 AM jamespolk
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* ''Series/SeventeenMomentsOfSpring'': Stirlitz, a Soviet DeepCoverAgent in Nazi Germany in the closing months of World War II, uses one of these to decode messages sent from Moscow.
24th Sep '16 8:32:10 AM Morgenthaler
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* Used in ''[[Literature/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 ''[[Literature/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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25th Jul '16 2:24:19 AM PaulA
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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.

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* This is described and used in ''[[Literature/{{Chalion}} The Curse Of Chalion]]'' ''Literature/TheCurseOfChalion'' by LoisMcMasterBujold.Creator/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.
22nd Jul '16 10:41:43 AM JackG
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* ''Between Silk and Cyanide''. The SOE radio transmissions to their agents in Nazi-occupied Europe use a poem memorized by the agent, despite the author arguing that such codes are easily broken. He does however convince some agents to use poems they've made up themselves, rather than well-known poems they've learned at school (which the Germans would likely know about).
22nd Jul '16 10:35:55 AM JackG
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* ''Film/TheBaaderMeinhofComplex''. ''Literature/MobyDick'' is used when passing coded messages from the terrorists in their maximum security prison to their followers on the outside.
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.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheBookCipher