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March 2004 HEADLINE PUZZLE - by Dave Smith

Comments or questions on Headline Puzzles should be directed to photon@cryptogram.org

 
The following are NOT headlines from recent daily newspapers. Instead, each line describes a portion of the same historic artifact. Each of the five lines is encrypted with the same mixed alphabet at different settings against itself. Find each headline and the three keywords (SETTING, KEY and HAT).
 

1. WMS XRTNF JNBSFCNX ANH RXQOQFNBBL GNHSC RF WMS IQXHW WMXSS VMNHSH RI WMS TRRF

2. BYP RPG LEER GOV BYP TOI EX BYP MOQPRTV

3. WMS TRRF'H IQXHW UZNXWSX ANH WMS CNL RI WMS FRFSH

4. UIN MBNF HNDD PS UIN BEK PH UIN HWDD QPPS

5. GSDI EFYF OVAHZFG JSOBESYGI MYVU CAHSY XQSIFI, HVZ ETZQ ZQF OVHOFXZ VM S EFFB

 

   Solution of the March 2004 HEADLINE PUZZLE:

 
   The Roman calendar was originally based on the first three phases of the moon
1. WMS XRTNF JNBSFCNX ANH RXQOQFNBBL GNHSC RF WMS IQXHW WMXSS VMNHSH RI WMS TRRF

   The new moon was the day of the Kalends
2. BYP RPG LEER GOV BYP TOI EX BYP MOQPRTV

   The moon's first quarter was the day of the Nones
3. WMS TRRF'H IQXHW UZNXWSX ANH WMS CNL RI WMS FRFSH

   The Ides fell on the day of the full moon
4. UIN MBNF HNDD PS UIN BEK PH UIN HWDD QPPS

   Days were counted backwards from lunar phases, not with the concept of a week
5. GSDI EFYF OVAHZFG JSOBESYGI MYVU CAHSY XQSIFI, HVZ ETZQ ZQF OVHOFXZ VM S EFFB


   Key Block:
   I D E S <- Hat = IDES
   3 1 2 4
   K A L E <- Key = KALENDS
   N D S B
   C F G H
   I J M O
   P Q R T
   U V W X
   Y Z

   Substitution block: (reading down the transposed columns)
   1             2           3             4
   A D F J Q V Z L S G M R W K N C I P U Y E B H O T X

1. N C I P U Y E B H O T X A D F J Q V Z L S G M R W K
2. O T X A D F J Q V Z L S G M R W K N C I P U Y E B H
3. N C I P U Y E B H O T X A D F J Q V Z L S G M R W K
4. E B H O T X A D F J Q V Z L S G M R W K N C I P U Y
5. S G M R W K N C I P U Y E B H O T X A D F J Q V Z L
   ^ Setting = NONES (reading down the substitution block)
 

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