A Secret Code Lurking in the Library Stacks!

[Image courtesy of Wonderopolis.] The best thing about secret codes is that they can hide in plain sight. In the past, we’ve referenced all sorts of ciphers and codes that were employed to pass secret messages across open channels. But, … Continue reading

Elizebeth Smith Friedman, Codebreaker and Scourge of Nazi Spymasters

[William and Elizebeth Smith Friedman, hard at work. Image courtesy of National Geographic.] Last year, I rather ambitiously attempted to summarize the early history of American codebreaking and the NSA in a series of blog posts spanning World War II … Continue reading

Unsung Tales of Women in American Code Breaking!

[Image courtesy of Amazon.] Dot Braden. Agnes Driscoll. Betty Hyatt. Elizebeth Friedman. Genevieve Grotjan. Ann Caracristi. Virginia Aderholdt. Ruth “Crow” Weston. You don’t know these names, but you should. Everyone should. They’re bona fide American heroes who dedicated their time … Continue reading

PuzzleNation Product Review: //CODE: On the Brink

[Note: I received a free copy of this game in exchange for a fair, unbiased review. Due diligence, full disclosure, and all that. /end disclaimer] There has been a tidal shift over the last few decades from the analog realm … Continue reading

Puzzle History: Codebreaking and the NSA, part 3

[Image courtesy of NSA’s official Twitter account.] At the end of part 2 in our series, we left off during the early days of the NSA, as American cryptographers continued to labor under the shadow of the Black Friday change in … Continue reading

Puzzle History: Codebreaking and the NSA, part 2

[Image courtesy of NSA’s official Twitter account.] At the end of part 1 of our look at the history of the NSA and American codebreaking, we left off with the pivotal Black Friday event. On November 1, 1948, all intel coming … Continue reading