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Errors?

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Re: Errors?

Postby rod » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:10 pm

The word DANGERTUE should read DANGEROUS.
[Edited for correcting DANGERTOUE to DANGERTUE]

The T (DANGERTUE) is an error. The symbol for O (DANGEROUS) is 'T'.
Zodiac must have thought that 'T' was the real letter and ciphered it to 'I'.
This makes sense, but according to the O symbols sequence, the missing symbol is the 'drawed I' and not 'T'.
I guess that this change was after he finished the cipher, because if he would've masked the Os and then the Ts, then the T symbols sequence would be correct, but it's not, because of this one symbol. Looks like the T symbols sequence was made and after that this new symbol was added.
I guess he was checking for mistakes and made one.

I think that the same applies to the E instead of S. It's an error.
Zodiac must have first masked the S with 'F' and when copying the cipher, he wrote 'E' instead.
This also makes sense but only if the words 'MOAT' would be 'MOST' and if the 'filled triangles' would be 'dotted triangles'. This way the S symbol sequence would be mostly ok.
Can this triangle errors also be explained by a cipher copy? Can the dotted triangles made with a felt pen look like filled triangles?

What about the way around?
This happens once, an A that should've been masked with a filled triangle is masked with a dotted triangle (paradice[A]ndall).
Could've he poorly filled the triangle and when making a copy it looked like a dotted triangle?
I'm not so convinced with this one.
The A symbol sequence needs some work since there are symbols missing and some that shouldn't be there.

Regarding the E on 'tha[E]wheni', this is also explained with a cipher copy from a poor original.
The correct symbol is 'N' (it's missing on the T symbol sequence) but Zodiac thought it was an 'H'.

The last one is the I on 'slo[I]down'. Once more it's explained with the cipher copy.
The correct symbol is 'A' but Zodiac thought it was a triangle (losing the legs).

Zodiac is most definetly poor sighted, afterall he wore glasses. Can this explain this errors?

Are these simple errors or did Zodiac messed with the cipher to make it harder/weirder?

Could there be errors on the last line (sorry for pushing)?

How many errors are on the 340? How to find them?
Last edited by rod on Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Errors?

Postby smithy » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:41 am

rod wrote:The word DANGERTOUE should read DANGEROUS.

The T (DANGERTOUE) is an error. The symbol for O (DANGEROUS) is 'T'.
Zodiac must have thought that 'T' was the real letter and ciphered it to 'I'.
This makes sense, but according to the O symbols sequence, the missing symbol is the 'drawed I' and not 'T'.
I guess that this change was after he finished the cipher, because if he would've masked the Os and then the Ts, then the T symbols sequence would be correct, but it's not, because of this one symbol. Looks like the T symbols sequence was made and after that this new symbol was added.
I guess he was checking for mistakes and made one.

I like the idea of his checking for mistakes and then making one because I subscribe to the idea that this cipher was written "all in one go" and not copied from an earlier try, but hang on a second it's "OUE" on the cipher proper isn't it? There's no "T" is there?
The "S" should be enciphered as an "F" and it's an "E", yep. That might be a "correction made in error" yep, especially since if you look at that E in higher magnification it does look like it was an "F" to start with - and an "F" would line up better, too, with the surrounding characters.

This also makes sense but only if the words 'MOAT' would be 'MOST' and if the 'filled triangles' would be 'dotted triangles'. This way the S symbol sequence would be mostly ok.
Can this triangle errors also be explained by a cipher copy? Can the dotted triangles made with a felt pen look like filled triangles?
What about the way around?
This happens once, an A that should've been masked with a filled triangle is masked with a dotted triangle (paradice[A]ndall).
Could've he poorly filled the triangle and when making a copy it looked like a dotted triangle?
I'm not so convinced with this one.
The A symbol sequence needs some work since there are symbols missing and some that shouldn't be there.

Yep - that triangle with a dot in might have been the start of a filled triangle which wasn't completed due to some interruption. The key word you use is "mostly" above, though, when we're trying to fit the sequence back together, since that doesn't cut it in doing so, still. Sloppy encoding, not checking off the sequence correctly (or not caring to).
Regarding the E on 'tha[E]wheni', this is also explained with a cipher copy from a poor original.
The correct symbol is 'N' (it's missing on the T symbol sequence) but Zodiac thought it was an 'H'.

Yep. I like that, but does it have to be because of a copy from an original? Couldn't his key have been badly written?
The last one is the I on 'slo[I]down'. Once more it's explained with the cipher copy.
The correct symbol is 'A' but Zodiac thought it was a triangle (losing the legs).
Zodiac is most definetly poor sighted, afterall he wore glasses. Can this explain this errors?

Corr! (Steady there Champ, that's a heck of a leap! I wear glasses when necessary, and they make my vision perfect!)
Are these simple errors or did Zodiac messed with the cipher to make it harder/weirder?
Could there be errors on the last line (sorry for pushing)?
How many errors are on the 340? How to find them?

My vote is for errors (although I don't necessarily agree with the method or reasons why, but we can't be definitive, so no reason why you should not be perfectly correct.)
Nope, no errors on the last line - phooey!
There are less errors - if any - on the 340 - and I think that's just as well. Just opinion, poor justification follows.

You don't mention the "THE I HAVE KILLED" error (or do you. Maybe I shouldn't have quoted you!)
I think that's pretty crucial, since it starts (effectively) the third part of the cipher.
Now this may well be horse [expletive], but..... if you look at the 408 as a whole (and I've been using the image here lately):
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=423&start=0
do you think the final third is as well-drawn as the first two? Are the character baselines wandering about a bit? (Or is it because that's not as clearly defined a section, am I fooling myself?)
The reason I mention it is because at the start of that third section, I think it's more than just a single letter that's missing there. It's been suggested that it should read "THEM I HAVE KILLED" and even "THEY I HAVE KILLED". Grammatically that sucketh, though. Perhaps it's "THOSE I HAVE KILLED"?
I'm currently tempted to believe it might have been "THE PEOPLE I HAVE KILLED" (since people's a word used twice elsewhere), but regardless, it's a bigger error than a poor character encoding or a spelling error like "EXPERENCE" because it affects the length of the cipher.
I think an error that affects the length of the material is pretty crucial, since if Zodiac did write this out once then make mistakes "moving" it into a prettier form for postage, then the errors you describe are quite feasible - but missing out a letter or two would have been unlikely - and missing out a word in copying it would have been highly unlikely, since the length of the cipher - so it divides into three - was pretty important, and that would have meant he copied out what was already an erroneous cipher.
I tend to believe that the cipher was written out in a single pass, then, and we're looking at it.
That opinion may well be wrong, but if it's right it rather erodes the importance of the cipher to Zodiac. It's tough to believe for we solution-chasers too, since we love these things and spend ages on them, that he perhaps sat down and crashed it out, once, with a bad key, and made enciphering, spelling and whole letter/word mistakes - and checked it perhaps only once, making a further mistake rather than a correction.

Referencing the Harden newspaper comments "He made mistakes in the application of his own cipher", I also reflect that this thinking might fit better with the 340. It looks very pretty and consistent in it's drawing (better than the 408 IMO) and I think was undertaken with more care. It does have a correction on it - a very visible one (who knows if it's "correct"?), and that does look as if it was undertaken as a check when the cipher was completely finished, which mirrors the process you describe above for the "E/F" error for that first DANGEROUS "S". It also implies, though, that it's the first version of the cipher. Hmmm?

I'd go on further about what his writing these out "in one take" - if indeed he did - means about his skills with ciphers, and how often he worked with them, but I have to end this conjecture somewhere........ :lol:

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Re: Errors?

Postby rod » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:01 pm

Sorry, it's not DANGERTOUE but DANGERTUE.

Will correct it.

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Re: Errors?

Postby smithy » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:25 am

rod wrote:Sorry, it's not DANGERTOUE but DANGERTUE.

Will correct it.


Can you post a graphic showing that please? I can never find the T, and always see DANGEROUE. (Although this is a minor quibble. Interested in your opinion of the rest of my bs sometime.)

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Re: Errors?

Postby rod » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:44 am

Here it is.
408solved.JPG

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Re: Errors?

Postby rod » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:56 am

smithy wrote:I like the idea of his checking for mistakes and then making one because I subscribe to the idea that this cipher was written "all in one go" and not copied from an earlier try, but hang on a second it's "OUE" on the cipher proper isn't it? There's no "T" is there?

Sorry, my mistake, it's "TUE" and then 'T' is the symbol for 'O' resulting in "OUE".

smithy wrote:Yep. I like that, but does it have to be because of a copy from an original? Couldn't his key have been badly written?

I've looked at this picture (I guess it's the original):
http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=234&fullsize=1
It doesn't look like a badly written 'H'. For me it's a clear 'N'.

I see your point when you say that it could've been written only one time, but if you look at the picture it's too clean to be a first print.

smithy wrote:Corr! (Steady there Champ, that's a heck of a leap! I wear glasses when necessary, and they make my vision perfect!)

:smile: sorry for my previous statement, didn't ment to offend.
But coming back to that. When do you find necessary to whear glasses? I'm just trying to make an analogy here... well there are a lot of reasons for Zodiac not to be wearing glasses when copying the cipher...

smithy wrote:You don't mention the "THE I HAVE KILLED" error (or do you. Maybe I shouldn't have quoted you!)

You're correct, I didn't mention it. Until now I was focusing on the "small" errors and checking if they could mean that Zodiac used some 1:N symbols (looks not :pray: ).

smithy wrote:I think that's pretty crucial, since it starts (effectively) the third part of the cipher.
Now this may well be horse [expletive], but..... if you look at the 408 as a whole (and I've been using the image here lately):
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=423&start=0
do you think the final third is as well-drawn as the first two? Are the character baselines wandering about a bit? (Or is it because that's not as clearly defined a section, am I fooling myself?)
The reason I mention it is because at the start of that third section, I think it's more than just a single letter that's missing there. It's been suggested that it should read "THEM I HAVE KILLED" and even "THEY I HAVE KILLED". Grammatically that sucketh, though. Perhaps it's "THOSE I HAVE KILLED"?
I'm currently tempted to believe it might have been "THE PEOPLE I HAVE KILLED" (since people's a word used twice elsewhere), but regardless, it's a bigger error than a poor character encoding or a spelling error like "EXPERENCE" because it affects the length of the cipher.
I think an error that affects the length of the material is pretty crucial, since if Zodiac did write this out once then make mistakes "moving" it into a prettier form for postage, then the errors you describe are quite feasible - but missing out a letter or two would have been unlikely - and missing out a word in copying it would have been highly unlikely, since the length of the cipher - so it divides into three - was pretty important, and that would have meant he copied out what was already an erroneous cipher.

Well, my native language is not English, so sometimes I just ignore some "strange" words and expressions that I assume are slang or some sort of local expressions that I naturally don't understand (and look fool when asking about it :smile: ).

Since Zodiac used some expressions like "ANAMAL" (I believe that he actually ment to write it like this) and "PARADICE", just to mention the ones on the 408, I assumed that "THEIHAVEKILLED" would fit into that.

Yes, having a word, or even a letter here would make a drastic change on the cipher.

smithy wrote:I tend to believe that the cipher was written out in a single pass, then, and we're looking at it.
That opinion may well be wrong, but if it's right it rather erodes the importance of the cipher to Zodiac. It's tough to believe for we solution-chasers too, since we love these things and spend ages on them, that he perhaps sat down and crashed it out, once, with a bad key, and made enciphering, spelling and whole letter/word mistakes - and checked it perhaps only once, making a further mistake rather than a correction.

Referencing the Harden newspaper comments "He made mistakes in the application of his own cipher", I also reflect that this thinking might fit better with the 340. It looks very pretty and consistent in it's drawing (better than the 408 IMO) and I think was undertaken with more care. It does have a correction on it - a very visible one (who knows if it's "correct"?), and that does look as if it was undertaken as a check when the cipher was completely finished, which mirrors the process you describe above for the "E/F" error for that first DANGEROUS "S". It also implies, though, that it's the first version of the cipher. Hmmm?

I'd go on further about what his writing these out "in one take" - if indeed he did - means about his skills with ciphers, and how often he worked with them, but I have to end this conjecture somewhere........

The fact that he corrected it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the first version. I agree that he was extra carefull, and maybe, after copying it he rechecked it and "corrected" it.

When you mentioned "the start of that third section" it remminded me of a previous thought, based on the fact that the third part included more errors on the symbol sequence... What if the slaves part is an additional part to the text? What if Zodiac originally meant to text only his hunting skils and ciphered it. After that, he had the idea to send it to 3 newspapers... and then why not send 3 distinct parts of the cipher to the newspapers? We wanted to make shure that they would print it. But then the cipher is too small do divide... and he decided to include more text and somehow got the slaves idea.

I'm mostly thinking this while writing it... I will first make a new version of the 408 cipher, correcting it's errors and rechecking the symbols sequence. Then I will come back to this idea and see if it fits.

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Re: Errors?

Postby smithy » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:10 pm

Rod - excellent stuff, don't worry about your English for one minute, and I wasn't offended I promise!
I like what you've posted - I'll give it some thought and reply ASAP; I hope others might join in??

I particularly like the idea of the third section (or additional lines making it longer) being added; that's something I've never considered..... Since "part two" ends with the text "ALL TH" if it was written as it now is, in three parts, I don't see a sensible end other than on "NAME" perhaps - but it's a refreshing new idea even so.
Cool! :wink:

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Re: Errors?

Postby rod » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:08 pm

Here is the 408 cipher with my corrections, in zkdecrypto format:

¼ºP/Z/uBºËOR¥ÐX¥B
WV+ÅGyF°¼HP¹K‚ÑyÅ
MJy^uI˽ÑTÔNQyDµ£
S¢/¼·BPORAuºÆRÌÑE
Ë^LMZJÄÒ\ÐFHVWžy
¹+ÑGD¼KI£°ÑX½µ¤S¢
RNÔ‚yFÌO¾ÑGBTQS·B
LÄ/P·B¹XÑEHMu^RRË

ÃZKÑÐI£WÑ‚½µLMÒ¼·
BPDR+Ê¥°\N¢ÅEuHËF
ZÃÐOVWIµ+ÔL£Ì^R°H
I¼DR¸TyÒ\ÄÅ/¹XJQA
PµM¾RuÔºL£NVEKH¥G
ÒI‚J˵¼½LMÌHA£Z¢P
¤uÐËA¼·BVW\+VTÔOP
^¥SÒÌÆuÅ°¾D¤GººIM

NË£SÃE/¼ººZÆAP·BV
ÐÅXÑWѸF·¾Ã+¹¼A¼B
ºOTµRuÃ+¸ÄyѸ^SÑW
VZÅGyKE¸TyA¼º·LÔ¸
H‚FBXA¤XADÄ\½L‚¥Ñ
¸ÅÄ··°ÅµPORXQFºGÃ
Z¹JTÔѸ¾JI+ÒBPQW°
VEXÒ¼WI°ÑEHM£¥uIË

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Re: Errors?

Postby rod » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:51 am

entropy wrote:Just an observation that I think the errors of "forrest", "anamal", "experence" and "paradice" are entirely consistent with Z's lousy phonetic spelling in the letters, whether these are real or feigned and almost certainly mistakes of spelling rather than substitution. The fact that he botches particular spelling rules consistently in both letters and ciphers has always led me to believe that Z was a genuinely crappy speller but I know most folks disagree with that conclusion.

I agree, but can that explain the missing of a word at "THE I HAVE KILLED"?

Reanalysing symbol sequence, it looks better... except for the letter L. L's symbols are 'B', 'filled square' and 'half filled square', but it makes no sense because only two symbols are used in the beginning. A possibility is that originally only existed the 'B' and the 'half filled square' and Zodiac for some reason decided to use filled squares as well, or entirely fill some of the half filled. If I set all squares to half filled (is the first used from the two) then the sequence makes sense.

And this leads us once more to the Zodiac's motive for filling figures...
-Did he decide to increase the difficulty and fill some symbols? And empty others?
-Can all this be explained by the use of a felt pen?
-Can this just be plain errors? Making so many errors on a simple cipher like this doesn’t fit to Zodiacs profile, or does it?
-Was he so poor sighted that he innocently made these errors? (just for laughs)
-I’ve just figured some other alternative... could’ve he get the cipher from someone else? And when changing it to add more text, or simply copying it to divide it in 3 parts, the errors started to appear? If he didn’t fully understand the cipher or wasn’t completely sure about it, he could’ve questioned himself: “Is this a filled or half filled?”, “Is this an H or a N?”, “Is this an A or a triangle?”. It wouldn’t explain the double cipher on the O from DANGEROUS...

The first part of the cipher (assuming the first paragraph) is error free.
The second part of the cipher have the first errors on the line (7th) before the last line (8th).
Most of the sequence errors occur on the third part of the cipher.

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Re: Errors?

Postby smithy » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:18 am

rod wrote:Hey what happened to that post? Its gone....
It was a little confusing but I got the idea with the L example.


Yes you did! :grin:
..and my current thinking leads me to believe that "Did he decide to increase the difficulty and fill some symbols?" is the best question from above. JMO.
I'm still thinking.

I wonder what a "correct" version of the cipher would look like hmmm? With the substitutions followed correctly, in order, with only two substitutions for the "L", and with (perhaps) the missing word (or letters "SE") from the first line of the last section re-instated?

Just wondering if it might help to look at it.
Trouble is on this lap top (my dear wifes) I can't download and install the Zipher alphabet and reproduce it.
Very frustrating. I'll do it next year. :wink:

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