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Re: Folding keys etc...

Hi Steve,

OK: here's one more try...

The first job is to reconstruct the 8 areas (translation lists) of the key:-

(a) Make a note of every set of 8 characters following each long gallows character. These normally have a space in the middle (ie, "abcd efgh") corresponding to the blank central area of the 3x3 key - but that's probably not important to the cryptogtaphy.

(b) Build a table of all these sets of eight characters. Then, the columns form the translation lists (against a presently unknown alphabet), one for each of the 4 gallows (and their 4 c--c struck-through versions).

(c) Where long gallows are missing (from missing folio pages), make educated guesses for their associated table entries based on the characters that follow each normal gallows and haven't yet been seen.

The second job is to decrypt the text using this single key.

(d) Whenever you encounter a normal gallows character, subsequently use the column of the translation table matching it.

(e) Translate all other symbols read using this table

The third job is to use frequency analysis and entropy statistics to guess at the underlying alphabet (and then hopefully guess at the language, and the contents).

How close is this?

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

PS: There's one other struck-through character which appears later in the manuscript which you don't mention: it looks like "c-'-c", ie the strike through c--c character but with an apostophe above it. Do you recognise that as a 9th gallows character?

PPS: what does "c_c_c = cut, 8am\\ = splice then two (2) back" mean?