Open Secrets (Solution)

by Tanya Khovanova and Rob Speer

These are cryptographic messages that would be too short to decipher, except for the fact that you can look up their decoding. The ciphers are used in fiction, in history, or in one case on album covers.

In the order in which they appear, these are:

Written in Coldplay's X&Y Baudot code: AQUAl MAGNA
Written in Edgar Allen Poe's "Gold Bug" cipher: COLFERr
Written in "Daedric" from the Elder Scrolls series: DOCTOR WEfRNSTROM
Written in Futurama's "Alienese": ELEMENTARhY
Written in Commander Keen's "Standard Galactic Alphabet": MYLkO XYLOTO
Written in Bionicle's "Matoran" alphabet: NEVERoMORE
Written in the Pigpen (Masonic) cipher: OAoSIS OF LIFEWATER
Written in "Gnommish" from Artemis Fowl: ORANGE DyARTWING
Written in the Sherlock Holmes "Dancing Men" code: RbOYAL ARCH

If you reorder these so that each one is a clue for the next plus a letter (also a good way to discover what these ciphers are), you get:

Written in the Sherlock Holmes "Dancing Men" code: RbOYAL ARCH
Written in the Pigpen (Masonic) cipher: OAoSIS OF LIFEWATER
Written in Commander Keen's "Standard Galactic Alphabet": MYLkO XYLOTO
Written in Coldplay's X&Y Baudot code: AQUAl MAGNA
Written in Bionicle's "Matoran" alphabet: NEVERoMORE
Written in Edgar Allen Poe's "Gold Bug" cipher: COLFERr
Written in "Gnommish" from Artemis Fowl: ORANGE DyARTWING
Written in "Daedric" from the Elder Scrolls series: DOCTOR WEfRNSTROM
Written in Futurama's "Alienese": ELEMENTARhY

The diagonal line of extra letters spell BOKLORYFH, and the acrostic spells ROMAN CODE. You can transform the letters using Caesar's original cipher (A -> D, and whether this constitutes encoding or decoding according to Caesar is disputed on Wikipedia) to get the answer ERNO RUBIK.

Sources

Commander Keen, Standard Galactic Alphabet: Artemis Fowl, Gnommish: The Elder Scrolls, Daedric: Arthur Conan Doyle, Dancing Men: Coldplay's X&Y Baudot code: Futurama, Alienese: Masonic Pigpen cipher: Edgar Allan Poe, The Gold-Bug: Bionicle, Matoran alphabet: