Christmas Quiz 2011

For the Christmas Quiz 2011, you must adopt the role of “Enigma” codebreakers. You will be spared the task of reading the morse - those fine ladies at Station X, Bletchley Park, have done it for you and provided you with the number blocks.

And here they are, each string carrying the name of a UK SOTA summit. But can you crack the code and work out which they are? Just like the WW2 days, you will not be told how to unlock the code, you must work that for yourself by analysing the number blocks received, just like Manchester’s own Alan Turing did originally.

  1. 50623 - 598253

  2. 1419 - 57582547

  3. 1271209 - 10370

  4. 34410 - 317955

  5. 1419 - 4818730

  6. 14839 - 4443145

  7. 53363

  8. 32338 - 559171079 - 598253

  9. 4097417 - 598253

  10. 14839 - 1707491687

  11. 34410 - 598253

  12. 784289 - 155636

  13. 1271209 - 85769219

  14. 6601 - 598253

  15. 1272155 - 97 - 361974

  16. 97 - 768638

  17. 25069 - 97 - 1118

  18. 32734771091

  19. 49102010878 - 104654

  20. 784289 - 97 - 768638

Please use this thread to reply to with your solutions, or to discuss the problems and strategies to solve them.

Merry Christmas.


In reply to M1EYP:

1419 = Moel?

53363 seems to be the shortest.


Im trying this first to see any association

Paul (now M0TVU) aka 2E0CVU

In reply to M1EYP:

There’s a common link in ‘97’ too …

In reply to M1EYP:

Unfortunately I have no time to look at this now (I will be travelling) but my first thoughts are:

It’s not really Enigma (if it is can I ask the Polish for help? ;o) )

Normally it would be groups of five that come from the telegraphers; I presume the spacings will give the lengths of the words?

My first thought would be simple substitution but…

There are only 10 characters so sometimes two characters would have to represent one letter. The different character lengths would make this slightly more difficult to crack than usual.

Of course it could be something more devious with the numbers representing some mathematical function acting on the letters of each word,


Frequency anaylsis reveals 3 & 5 as most common closely followed by 9. 4 & 6 are rarely used.

T & E most common letters Q & Z least common …

Hmmmm This leads me no where.

Thanks for making my brain hurt :slight_smile:

Paul (M0TVU)

Yes, it is not the Enigma code itself - but the similarity is that the messages are sent as digit groups and need to be deciphered to get the words.

The names of the summits encrypted use most of the 26 letter alphabet, so those hoping for a selection that can be made from a subset of 10 letters will be disappointed.

There are some hints of people starting to be on the right lines in this thread, but nothing convincing yet!

BTW, Jimmy M3EYP has not been party to any part of this morning’s enciphering, and I have destroyed all the notes I made in doing so. Therefore, please do not “smell a rat” if he decides to join in the challenge at some point!


In reply to M1EYP:

Cracked it… about to send an email to Tom to confirm but not going to give any clues on here :o)


In reply to 2E0CVU:
Mine hurts, too! we have 444 in No6 and 111 in No17 which indicates against simple substitution unless each time a letter appears or after so many characters the code changes - evil thought! Anyway, there is nothing to say that there are only 26 letters, there might be more numbers to cover things like dd, ff and ll in Welsh, ch, gh, dh, bh etc in Gaelic. I need a large malt…


Brian G8ADD


Last time I did a Christmas quiz, it was cracked within hours on the first day. This one was supposed to be different!

Anyway, thanks for being a good sport Helen and letting everyone else continue puzzling over it for a few more days.

Well done.


In reply to M1EYP:
You’re not angling for a job down here at the big doughnut shaped building in Cheltenham, are you Tom? ;o))

In reply to G4FUJ:

Given how weak his code has proved to be, I suspect not.

Have you cracked it now as well then Richard?

In reply to M1EYP:

Sadly not.

In reply to G3CWI:

ROTFL. It’s only a weak code as well.


I can now confirm that Helen M0YHB has cracked the code, and has produced the correct answer for number 17. I assume that when she has more time she will easily produce the answers for the other nineteen codes.

But she hasn’t spoiled it for anyone, so there’s nothing to stop the rest of SOTAland from continuing to apply the brain cells and solving these encrypted summits.


In reply to M1EYP:

ROTFL. It’s only a weak code as well.

I can only assume that you have designed it to be breakable!

Indeed. There wouldn’t be a lot of point in using one-time pads to make the code unbreakable for a Christmas quiz. Then again, if I was in a particularly bad mood…

In reply to M1EYP:
Sadly not got any time today to look at this but it looks like a great puzzle.

At a quick glance I think 97 = y

Hopefully find time tomorrow.


Frequency anaylsis reveals 3 & 5 as most common closely followed by 9. 4 & 6 are rarely used.

T & E most common letters Q & Z least common …

Hmmmm This leads me no where.

Thanks for making my brain hurt :slight_smile:

Paul (M0TVU)