A code is a symbol which stands for more symbols – e.g.  178af0e17c38c2cf0b1075c4b4b55cf0--smiley-emoji-emoji-faces for I am happy.

Babington’s code comprised a substitution cipher, plus code symbols for the more common words (e.g. 2 for AND, 4 for WITH) and some more sophisticated symbols for various kings, queens, places etc, plus nulles (to be ignored), plus a double (double the adjacent letter) and so was thought to be uncrackable. 

Here is a substitution cipher mixed with code symbols for a JCC Coding Challenge.  

Can anyone crack it with just two clues? Let’s see … Please email me if you can.


  1. Both passages are from Jess’s favourite play (see Book Ciphers if you don’t know).
  2. Letters stand for letters. Symbols stand for words or, in one case, an instruction (eg null, void, double).
  3. Finding the cipher will unlock the quotations.
  4. The cipher has a related key

Example A

$  KSOG   MU{X  ∞  GI{EC  ¶YGEXLEG  UZ  §G

$  §G  MU{X  ∞  KFESY  SMSO  ¶  IUYE




Example B





Here’s a very big hint if you are struggling …

If you need a way in – start with the cipher.

Example A: There’s a single letter – S. That must be a or i.

There is another word SMSO – most likely away, or possibly afar.

So the key begins with S – and it’s related to the text. Who wrote it?