Sherlock, the next message (pig pen code)

The next message from Anonymous has been received. It’s some form of visual code,

hiddenmessage3

and the clue is:

where is it the pigs live?

 

From this, I take it that we are dealing with a “pigpen cipher”, which is a geometric simple substitution cipher which exchanges letters for symbols which are fragments of a grid (Wikipedia article).  The image below is sourced from Wikipedia.

220px-Pigpen_cipher_key

Following this through to completion, I extract the message as:

SHERLOCK I HAVE FOUND YOU

 

Still the same “xx” signature, so Anonymous hasn’t chosen to reveal their name yet.

Sherlock – Anonymous writes again (SOMNEHCCGTEKOTYRIMOOLAIGU)

Sherlock has screened again on BBC1, and the next communication has been received from Anonymous. This message is:

SOMNEHCCGTEKOTYRIMOOLAIGU

and the clue this time is:

You’ll never find out who I am. I live off the grid.

[I’ve bolded the important part]

Not being on the grid implies to me that this is not a Caesar Cipher this time, but something more esoteric. A bit of trial and error leads to:

Sherlock I am coming to get you

This being found through starting with the initial ‘S’, and then taking every 5th letter of the code until the end, then repeating with the remaining letters.

Still no further word on a name for Anonymous yet, just the ‘xx’ signature.

[Update – I realised that I was a bit blasé about the “trial-and-error’ method of figuring out this code. To clarify, I guessed it would be a code involving the existing letters as letter-swaps/ciphers etc all involve a grid of some sort and using other components to decode. On this basis, I looked at how to manipulate or re-factor the provided letters in such a fashion as to provide a clear message. In this way a I got lucky, and on only my fourth attempt to use a letter-skip technique, I found that every fifth letter gave me the solution. It may be that there is a cleverer way to have chosen 5 as the skip length, ie the clue indicates that somehow, but I can’t claim that brilliance.]

just been checking Sherlock from BBC1 (dspcwznv t lx hlenstyr jzf)

I’ve just been looking at the hype around Sherlock on BBC1 last night (in the UK), and then went into the websites (The Science of Deduction, Dr John Watson’s blog) that have been built around the show for additional viewer interaction.

On Dr John Watson’s blog, there is a code requiring deciphering. It is:

DSPCWZNV T LX HLENSTYR JZF

and the clue provided is :

A Roman Emperor will help you work out what this means.

Putting my thinking cap on, I deduced a correlation with Caesar, and did a quick google for the Caesar cipher. Found an excellent site which deciphers these for you, so I whacked in the code and discovered that the key was the letter ‘L’ (a shift of 11 characters) resulting in a message which reads:

SHERLOCK I AM WATCHING YOU

I think Anonymous must be Moriarty!!