The clues led the two solvers to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They did an internet search of famous quotations from the play, then checked it matched the code. Could it be solved without internet searching? I think so. As with all code cracking, it’s about looking for repeated patterns:
- There were 2 Caesar Ciphers combined in an ABAB pattern, starting with A at each new line.
- Two of them start with L. Statements often begin with I. Could i be encoded L? Then A is a +3 shift, said to be Caesar’s first ever cipher.
- This would mean the first line starts U A D O N
- a-d is often and. If so n would be encoded Z, a +12 shift for cipher B.
- The lines rhyme. So azz, which ends the first two lines in BAB, must equal riq in ABA. +12 +3 +12 means AZZ is code for own.
- +3 +12 +3 means RIQ is code for own. So we have almost certainly cracked the code!
Using this method on the entire code gives:
Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear’d in field and town:
Goblin, lead them up and down.