Posted By BigMacKrell
Posted on: March 25, 2014

Posted in: Code Cracking 101

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Code Cracking 101: Caesar Cipher “Three Letters Back”

Code Cracking 101 TITLE 1 copy

Welcome brothers and sisters of the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel to the first episode of the miniseries, Code Cracking 101!

In this lesson I explain what a cipher is, what a Caesar Cipher is, and how to use one to decipher Alex Hirsch’s “Three Letters Back” code!

Since I first launched the video meetings of the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel and opened our ranks to all who wished to join, I have been flooded with pleas for help with the Trial of Membership. You see, in order to become a full card-carrying member of the Royal Order you need to not only be knowledgeable about Gravity Falls – you must also be adept in code cracking.

It’s easy to assume that most everyone has come across basic substitution code deciphering from an early age. I know that I grew up with my fair share of spy kits and cereal box decoders – but that just doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Basic code cracking skills have seemingly disappeared from the lexicon.

So, in an attempt to teach the basics to those who have had no experience at all with deciphering secret messages, I have launched Code Cracking 101 – a new miniseries to walk viewers through the various codes and ciphers used in Gravity Falls and the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel!

Before you can begin decoding messages, you first need to know what a cipher is. A cipher is a method by which you can change a message (encode) that can also be used in the same way to change the message back (decode). A cipher can take the form of a tool for someone to use to decode a message quickly, but what’s important to remember about ciphers is that they’re standard. Anyone who knows the method can decode or encode a message with it.

The Caesar Cipher gets it’s name from Emperor Julius Caesar, who used this cipher to encode messages sent between his commanding officers. He devised a substitution shift cipher – a code that replaces each letter of a written word with something else (in this case, another letter) which could be decoded by shifting two interlocking disks. Each disk of the Caesar Cipher has the alphabet (in alphabetical order) written on it, and requires a “key” in order to work. A number which accompanied the message to let the decoder know how many letter to shift the disk backwards by.

So download the FREE “three letters back” Caesar Cipher I’ve created for the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel (Click the image below to save and print), and start decoding the messages hidden through Gravity Falls. You can also use that disk to easily decode the riddle of the Trial of Membership!

As you can see, decoding messages isn’t impossible once you know the basics.

ROotHM Caesar Cipher Disk

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