Did a Typo Help Defeat the Enigma Code and Win World War II?

During World War II, the Enigma code was one of the most daunting weapons in the German arsenal. Cracking the code would be the key to intercepting crucial information and outmaneuvering the Nazi war machine. In fact, unraveling the secrets … Continue reading

Farewell, Kazuhisa Hashimoto, Creator of the Konami Code

We talk about codes a lot in this blog. We’ve discussed codebreaking, hidden messages, encryption, spycraft, and password protection in the past. But we haven’t talked much about another kind of code, the sort that grants secret access to new … Continue reading

The Tap Code (and a Puzzly Love Story)

Instead of offering a puzzle for Valentine’s Day, this year I thought I’d do something different and share a story, a wartime puzzly love story for the ages. Our tale begins in Vietnam on April 4, 1965, when Air Force … Continue reading

PuzzleNation Product Review: Codenames

There are all kinds of games where communication is crucial. In You’ve Got Crabs, you must employ a secret non-verbal signal to inform your partner that you’ve completed a task, but without the other team spotting your signal and intercepting. … Continue reading

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