Monday, October 24, 2011

Morse Code and Second Mystery Picture

Today, a new mystery picture for the jungle-themed world has been released on, along with a coded message at the top:

So, naturally, Katherine Light and I once again cracked open our Morse Code sheet:

...and in a short time, deciphered the following message:

@SirWolfblood asks, "How did you decode it?"

Honestly, the last Mystery Picture and this one are the only times I have ever worked with Morse Code -- it was an intimidating cryptogram for me back in middle school.  Then again, after asking some military veterans at my workplace about their knowledge of Morse Code, they've confirmed that they're just as fluent as I am, save for "SOS."  So in a way, it's almost a "dead language"...which makes sense, considering that it can be internationally deciphered, and national security secrets are supposed to be national security secrets.  Anyway, my method of deciphering the code may be very primitive and inexperienced; I accept that!  But, since it was asked, I shall share!

Let's look at a different sequence:

   - - - - - . - . . . . .  | - . - . - - - - . . .

According to the Morse Code chart above, every letter has a minimum of one character OR maximum of four characters.  It gets a tiny bit more complicated when numbers are involved, but we can use a method called elimination to find out which letters are which.  We'll assume that the vertical line is a symbol for a space between two words.  And, to save some time, both of these are words, and there are no numbers.

So, starting with the first word:   - - - - - . - . . . . . 

Let's start with the maximum possible characters (4) as our first letter.  Already, we know that the first letter of this message CANNOT contain four dashes, as no letter is translated for that.  Thus, we must assume it is represented by the three dashes (or less).

So, we have this:   - - - / - - . - . . . . . 

So, we'll try to find a letter represented by three dashes:  O.  We don't know if it's "O" for sure, because perhaps the third dash may belong to another letter's sequence.  But, we have to assume, for the time being -- we can find out whether it's not by process of elimination!

Now we have:  O - - . - . . . . .

Let's repeat the process and look at the next four symbols:  Dash Dash dot Dash.  That stands for Q.  Okay,  per a general English language rule, there is usually a "U" after a "Q."  But, "U" consists of dot dot Dash.  So, this word is unlikely to be a real one, but we'll go along with it, JUST in case it's one of those weird words that your suspiciously "clever" friend used on Words With Friends or Scrabble.  Since we have dot dot dot dot as the next four, we'd collectively have "OQH."  Well, how about just dot dot, I?  "OQI."  What about just dot?  E.  "OQE."

To save some reading time, the rest of these combinations do not produce a common word.  So, let's backtrack to the very first letter.

We'll look at just the two Dashes, which represent M.  Again, we don't know if it's this, or the single Dash T, but, the coding must move on!

Thus, we now have:  M - - - . - . . . . .  

Taking a look at the next four characters, we have Dash Dash Dash dot, which equates to...nothing!  So, we'll look at just Dash Dash Dash, which comes out to O.

Therefore, M O . - . . . . . 

Repeating the system, the next four characters are dot Dash dot dot.  L.

M O L . . . 

Now, the true test of this word begins!  The next three characters, dot dot dot, equate to S.  Thus, we assume our first word is "MOLS."

Let's look at the second word:   - . - . - - - - . . .

The first four characters, Dash dot Dash dot become C.  

So, we have  C - - - - . . .

Repeating the process, the next four are ... oh wait!  Dash Dash Dash Dash doesn't exist as a letter, so the next best thing is Dash Dash Dash, which ends up as O.  

Thus, C O - . . .

Finally, Dash dot dot dot becomes a B.

So, we have "MOLS COB."  However, this doesn't make sense, especially if we know that it has to be a commonly used phrase.  So, let's backtrack once again on C, O, and Dash dot dot dot.  Knocking the last letter down a notch, let's look at what Dash dot dot is:  D.  Finally, the single dot is E.

"MOLS CODE."  Now, let's backtrack on the word MOLS, and see if it can be read any differently, too.

M O L . . . 

If we treat dot dot and the last dot as two separate letters, we'll have MOLIE or MOLEI, or MOLEEE.  Thus, let's backtrack again on "L."

M O . - . . . . .

Thus, let's backtrack again on "L."  Instead of looking at the following four characters, let's focus on just three: dot Dash dot.  This represents R.

M O R . . . .

Based on our system, the last letter could be H, but since "MORH" isn't a common word, we should break it down further.  dot dot dot then gives us S, and the final dot an E.  

M O R S E   C O D E

Kudos to such an intricate way to hide a message...not only do you have to decipher the entire phrase, but you have to ensure that each word fits and is context with the rest of the phrase.  Mols is supposedly a peninsula in Europe, and a "Mols Code" could relate to an actual guideline or set of rules placed by residents...but unless a theme is known, misinterpretation isn't difficult to discover.

Finally, here is some actual pen-and-paper work that I did on my end:

Anyone else feel that a telegram will be included in this new world?  I think it's very likely!


  1. My pages looked the same kevin. A series of lines were with all the possible first letters, and all the possibilities after it... it looked like one giant, screwed up, horizontal family tree by the end, with lots of words scratched out (and the scratches getting more and more desperate as it goes along, lol).


Let that thought out here: