# What are ciphers and logical tasks?

Through our courses, we use ciphers in the meaning of riddles and tasks. Anyone with a bit of wit, keen eye, creativity and, most of all, patience has a chance of solving them. They are simply prepared to entertain you and bring you a good feeling of the overcame obstacle. That is the main difference from the ciphers used in war communication, banking sector or web page encryption. The sole purpose of those is not to be figured out by the enemy.

How does our cipher looks like? Unpredictable. Often it is hidden in text or images, other times it is inside or on the surface of some physical object. In the outdoor events, you can even find it after inspecting the exterior of some building, statue, of city panorama or perhaps in a beautiful stained glass of a church. In all of these cases it will contain attributes leading to the principle of the cipher and therefore cracking it and finding the encrypted password. The cipher always has one very obvious solution that will motivate you to run for the next part of the adventure trail. All of this despite it is mostly adventure in your own head.

Our ciphers are distinctive in the following aspects:

• They have one unequivocal solution, where you will have no doubt of its correctness.
• To solve it, you require only a common knowledge or information that are accessible easily.
• Their principle presents interesting mind concept.
• They look elegant and intriguing.
• They lack any useless redundancies that would distract you from the correct solution.

## How to solve a cipher?

When you face a new cipher:

• Explore it thoroughly. See all that is there to see. Name these things.
• Firstly try more simple principles.
• Verbalize clearly what you want approach you wish to try and spend a reasonable ammount of time on it. It frequently happens that one has a right idea, but gives up too soon.
• Do not stick to one idea. Give yourself a time limit and after it passes, try a different approach.
• Brainstorm
• Be suspicious. Strange coincidences are very often no coincidences at all. Notice regularities.
• Do not be paranoid. Strange coincidences are very often only coincidences.
• Use all information and material that are available to you.
• In case of emergency: Read first letters. Break the item!

It is much more interesting and effective to try to solve a cipher in the team than by yourself.

For a team effort we recommend:

• Verbalize your ideas to the rest of the team.
• Listen to what others say.
• Repeat loudly what you have already tried.
• Work in parallel, try multiple options at once.
• Work together, one person makes mistakes more easily.

Cited from sifrovacky.cz.

Notice that principles and abilities you acquire from solving a ciphers can be used to solve many everyday problems and situations. Solving a cipher develops your creativity, ability to think out of the box and to solve complex problems, to cooperate, communicate and to reason.

## Examples of the ciphers

If you want a better idea as what our ciphers look like and how to solve them, we recommend you to try one fo the example ciphers below. After you click the image, the cipher will display along with the option of hint or solution. Do not, however, spoil your joy of solving the cipher by immediately displaying the hint or solution – try to think for a moment!
All of these ciphers are in Czech language but we believe you can do it anyway.

#### Z luhů a hájů

Obrázky načrtnuté rukou mohou skrývat různá tajemství. Objevíte jaké?

DIFFICULTY

#### Vánoční

K vánocům patří spousta zvyků a obyčejů. Poznáte, s čím pracuje naše šifra?

DIFFICULTY

#### Pohádky

Vyznáte se v pohádkách? Opravdu dobře? To vám stačit nebude…

DIFFICULTY

#### Hypochondrická

Býváte často nemocní? Třeba vám to u této šifry bude k něčemu dobré…

DIFFICULTY

#### Scanner

Filmy máme všichni rádi. Náš ale budete spíše nenávidět…

DIFFICULTY

#### Letní

Slunce, teplo, voda. Co dalšího patří ke správnému létu?

DIFFICULTY

#### Naše šifra

Jsme egoisté.
A nestydíme se za to 🙂

DIFFICULTY

Jen málo co charakterizuje podzim víc než listí padající ze stromů…

DIFFICULTY

#### Literární

Čtete rádi? Pokud ano, bude pro vás tato šifra jistě hračkou…

DIFFICULTY

#### PF 2018

K novému roku patří i správné novoroční přání. Poznáte, co vám přejeme?

DIFFICULTY

## Are you interested?

There are many cipher enthusiasts in CZ (us amongst them) and many really tough ciphering games to choose from. The games take place mostly in the vicinity of the large cities (Brno, Prague). They differ in daytime (day/night) difficulty, execution (there are games on bikes, lasting several days or even internet based ones). You can find more information on a fanweb sifrovacky.cz.

One of the oldest and most difficult games (since 2001) is TMOU, held in Brno each year. Although the ciphers of TMOU are much more difficult than in our games (there are no exceptions in 8 hours spend on solving one cipher) the fun in it remains the same. Try to get through the qualification (only first 200 teams can play) and perhaps in November you will go through TMOU. Hopefully we will meet there :-).

The second in our ranks of fame and difficulty is Prague based game Bedna. The difference from TMOU is that it is during the pleasant nights of May instead of harsh November winter. Its speciality is various puzzles and technical gizmos as for example Futuro Cube. We recommend!

Interesting books have been published about cipher solving. Most of them came from a pen of our friend Radek Pelanek.

We recommend especially:

#### TMOU

You have IQ of 150? That will not be enough…

Brno

#### Bedna

There are different ways of spending a spring night…

Prague