Playfair Ciphers

To encrypt a message e.g. Relieve Baden Powell at Mafeking 

  1. Pick a keyword without repeated letters – e.g. HEATONS
  2. Insert in a 5 x 5 square (combining I and J), starting with the key, continuing with the alphabet from A, again avoiding repetitions
H E A T O
N S B C D
F G I/J K L
M P Q R U
V W X Y Z
  1. Write out the message in digraphs (2 letter groups), again avoiding repetitions by inserting Q, X, or Z. The choices make the code harder for opponents to crack. With both choices, for the sake of your allies, be consistent. Let’s use Z and I here:

re – li – ev – eb – ad – en – po – we – lz – la – tm – af – ek – in – gz

  1. To encrypt the message, use the three rules of Playfair Ciphers:
  • Rectangles: Same rows, opposite corners

e.g. re becomes PT

  • Columns: One down, wrap if necessary

e.g. we becomes ES

  • Rows: One right, wrap if necessary

e.g. li becomes FK

Encryption:  PT FK HW AS OB HS UE ES UO IO HR HI TG FB LW

To decode, go up instead of down and left instead of right.

JCC Gold Status Challenge

Can you crack this Playfair Cipher (again using the keyword HEATONS)?

XF KC TU XK DE MU DW

JCC Platinum Challenge

Can you solve the brand new  PlayfairPuzzle ?