Not Physics, but Fun.

I was leafing through the October edition of Physics World this morning (well we do don’t we?).  I get it here about a week after it is mailed in the UK.

Neat puzzle in this months edition in partial celebration of 25 years in print (for a hundred years before that it was called “The Physics Bulletin”).  Anyhow I thought the puzzle was fun and the answer was a treat.  Here it is.

Can you crack the code?

TNVERI SMH EG ZSMRNPMUD: M SLRN PYMP VERRNVPT M ZSMRNP PE PYN TQR THNNZT EQP NXQMS MUNMT LR NXQMS PLKNT

There is a word missing from the above.  Please provide the word in encrypted form as the answer.

Author: Low Wattage

Expat Welshman, educated (somewhat) in UK, left before it became fashionable to do so. Now a U.S. Citizen, and recent widower, playing with retirement and house remodeling, living in Delaware and rural Maryland (weekends).

23 thoughts on “Not Physics, but Fun.”

  1. Hope there isn’t a deadline for this, LW. Will try for some time before Christmas. In other words it’s hard.

  2. C’mon folks it is not the Enigma code, it should take about twenty minutes once you get started, that’s the average claim for those who have solved it.

    Four big clues:

    The message is in English
    The groups are words
    There are 83 letters in the coded message and 12 are N’s
    Only two letters commonly appear in English alone, A and I

  3. Hmmm, I know it should be simple enough – I have drawn up a double lined grip and put e under all the N’s (are after consulting Wiki about the usual frequency of letter use in English) … ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency ) all the M’s have the option of being an I or A…
    and that’s as far as I have got.
    One more clue?

    Pretty please

  4. Thanks LW. I enjoyed that.

    Very clever. I won’t give the answer yet as it is a huge clue but it is 6 letters long, it comes immediately before the colon and is a surname in its coded form.

    Pseu, good evening. I went down the same route as you. ‘MUNMT is, therefore, either I*EI* or A*EA* and only one of those works..

    My real breakthrough came when I concentrated on the two five letter groups which are exactly equal in every respect..

  5. Pseu: Have a look at PYN (word 12)

    How many very common English words have three letters and end with the letter e?

    Then test your choices for P and Y with PYMP (7) check also with PE (11) and you should have a decode for the P, the Y, the M, and the E.

  6. “How many very common English words have three letters and end with the letter e?”
    There are 40 three letter English words, believe it or not that start with e – only 13 of them would I consider common! I’ll have another look.

  7. wooops! End with e not start with e!

    80 three letter words ending with e…. now I shall consider what of these is common. 🙂

  8. ‘Some one my age may die on the ice.’
    ‘I owe you, or I sue you… which will it bee?’
    ‘Oh, woe,’ she said, ‘do you have an axe?’
    ‘Joe wants a doe for his pie.’
    ‘The ewe lies in the less of the wind.’

    etc!

  9. Sorry Janus we are looking for a a six letter word and a surname.

    John Mackie :

    Very clever. I won’t give the answer yet as it is a huge clue but it is 6 letters long, it comes immediately before the colon and is a surname in its coded form.

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