Puzzling Asked on January 2, 2022
It’s not everyday you get a text from a dead friend, especially if you saw them being executed by guillotine, which is why D.S.I North Daniels was a bit sceptical when his ancient Nokia Cityman 1320 recieved a text (ding!) from Jane Stephen’s number. Double-checking proved that it was the real deal, especially since it had Jane’s trademark cipher applied to it:
Unfortunately, North hadn’t met Jane for 7 years, so he couldn’t remember how the cipher worked. However, after a bit of a struggle, he managed it. Marvellous…
"Hang on, that’s not right – it’s complete nonsense!"
North read and reread the message, but it still failed to make any sense. Maybe he’d missed something. Jane’s research on border communications made her doubt security, so she was very cautious about sending messages, so she tended to go one extra step. "Hmmm…"
North’s eyes lit up, and after a quick bash on his laptop, he sprinted out of his room, and sprained his ankle on the 12th floor, so getting to the police station would take a little longer…
What is Jane’s completely decoded message?
To continue on from @Phylyp's work - they were first to realise the encoding mechanism for the message:
Using a very manual approach to the decoding, assisted by some Excel formulae which allowed me to keep tabs on the current possibilities for each letter, I have now fully decoded the initial message (punctuation mine):
What next? Note that these 36 extra words at the end of the message:
Now what? Well, note that in each case:
So what does Jane want North Daniels to do?
Quick, North! Go, go, go!
Answered by Stiv on January 2, 2022
I can't solve the entire message, but here's a start. I'm happy for someone else to take this idea forward in their own answer.
The encoding works - at least in part - like this:
Unfortunately for me, I've not been able to make any more progress after that, and it doesn't help being on a mobile either!
I have a suspicion that this bit of the puzzle:
Jane's research on border communications made her doubt security, so she was very cautious about sending messages, so she tended to go one extra step.
indicates that there's some further decoding required beyond what I've outlined above. So, if this helps, please use this and have at it!
Answered by Phylyp on January 2, 2022
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