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Ciphers are a method of encrypting information. In Old School RuneScape, ciphers are used as a step in a Treasure Trail. They use a Caesar Shift in order to encrypt a NPC's name.

In order to decrypt a caesar shifted message, we must first count the number of times a letter appears within the cipher. For this example, the clue "BMJ UIF LFCBC TFMMFS" will be used. Make a list of the letters and how many times they appear:

  • B = 2
  • M = 3
  • J = 1
  • U = 1
  • I = 1
  • F = 4
  • L = 1
  • C = 2
  • T = 1
  • S = 1

As we can see, "F" is the most common letter within the cipher. Now, the letter "E" is the most common letter in the English language, so we always presume the most common letter in the cipher is "E" as our starting letter. It may turn out to not be the case, but it's a good place to start. So, because "F" is our most common letter in the cipher - we can presume "F" = "E". Once this presumption is made, we write out the entire alphabet in the correct order.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Next, under the letter "E", we write "F" because we think that letter "F" in the cipher is equal to "E" in the alphabet, and then fill out the rest of the alphabet starting from "F" and then looping back to the start once we reach "Z" to give us all letters like such:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A

So, we now have a table of sorts where the ciphered letters are on the bottom row, and the corresponding alphabet letter is on the top. So, if our cipher had the letter "Z" in it, for example, we could look for "Z" on the bottom row - look up and see that Z = Y. Now, we have this table; we can see if we are correct in our presumption that "e" was indeed "f" in the cipher. Remember - to decipher, you look at the ciphered message letter on the bottom and then read whatever the top letter is to read what it actually means. If you are enciphering a message, it would be the opposite way round. In our example and using the above table, our "BMJ UIF LFCBC TFMMFS" clue becomes "ALI THE KEBAB SELLER".

Now, in this example - our presumption that "e" is equal to "f" on the grounds the "f" is the most common letter in the cipher and that "e" is the most common letter in English was true - and "e" became our key to the cipher. However, in others it may not be so easy. For example - in the clue "ZCZL", "e" is not the key as that returns the answer "EHEQ". While it is possible it is doubly encrypted, we should explore other alternate keys instead. The next port of call if "e" is not the key is to use vowels, namely "A, E, I, O, U and Y" - as every word in English contains at least one of those letters. If we try using "A" as they key to the cipher, we get "Adam" - which is correct. However, if this was not the case - you should work your way through all vowels. If one of these is not the key, then go through the rest of the letters periodically until you find your solution.

List of solutionsEdit

Cipher Solution Location Challenge answer Level
BMJ UIF LFCBC TFMMFS Ali the Kebab seller Pollnivneach 399 2
ECRVCKP MJCNGF Captain Khaled Large eastern building in Piscarilius House 5 2
GBJSZ RVFFO Fairy Queen Fairy Resistance Hideout (requires Fairytale II - Cure a Queen to complete, use a fairy ring with the codes a•i•r, d•l•r, d•j•q and a•j•s in that order) Puzzle box 3
GUHCHO Drezel Paterdomus (fairy code CKS) 7 2
HCKTA IQFHCVJGT Fairy Godfather Zanaris throne room (requires you to have started Fairytale I - Growing Pains) 64 3
OVEXON Eluned Outside Lletya or north-east of the Tyras Camp; requires you to have started Regicide quest (after talking to the Elf Tracker). 53,000 3
QSPGFTTPS HSBDLMFCPOF Professor Gracklebone Arceuus House Library, ground floor (fairy ring code CIS, if 80,000 coins paid) 9 2
USBJCPSO Traiborn Wizard's Tower, 1st floor[U.K. floor] (fairy ring code DIS) 3150 2
UZZU MUJHRKYYKJ Otto Godblessed Otto's Grotto 3 3
VTYR APCNTGLW King Percival Fisher Realm - Requires Holy Grail quest (fairy ring code BJR, then run south) 5 3
ZCZL Adam Ironman tutor outside Lumbridge Castle 666 2
ZHLUG ROG PDQ Weird Old Man

Kalphite Lair entrance (north-west of fairy ring BIQ)

150 3
ZSBKDO ZODO Pirate Pete On the dock north-east of the Ectofunctus Puzzle box 3


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