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Dorabella Cipher

Tool to decipher / encrypt like the Dorabella cipher, name given to a message coded by Edward Elgar, whose original plain message is not certain.

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Dorabella Cipher -

Tag(s) : Symbol Substitution

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Dorabella Cipher

Dorabella Encoder

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What is the Dorabella cipher? (Definition)

Dorabella's cipher is the name given to a message sent by composer Edward Elgar dated July 14, 1897, in a letter to Dora Penny. The message takes the form of 86 characters (with 24 distinct characters) written on 3 lines:

The 24 characters and their distribution (based on frequency analysis) are compatible with encryption by mono-alphabetical substitution. Edward Elgar never disclosed the original message but would have described his alphabet and substitution table as follows:

LetterSymbolLetterSymbolLetterSymbol
ABC
DEF
GHI/J
KLM
NOP
QRS
TU/VW
XYZ
dCode.fr

The translation of the message would therefore be BPECAHTCKYFRQDRIRRHPPRDXYXGFS
TRTHTCKLCERREHGQTRFRHUSQDXKKXFS
ESHUSEDUWGSERHUQSDCPGSHCDXC

Other alphabets have been proposed but this message has never been clearly decrypted even if several people have tried various translations, none has convinced the community.

The presence of a dot near the end of the first line is sometimes considered to be an 87th character (and therefore 25 distinct)

How to encrypt using Dorabella cipher?

Based on the alphabet proposed by Edward Elgar, it is possible to encrypt a message with this alphabet of 24 symbols whose letters I,J and U,V are grouped together to be coded by the same symbol.

Example: DORA is coded

How to decrypt Dorabella cipher?

As the translation of the Dorabella message remains to be discovered, the decryption can only be based on the supposed 24-letter alphabet. The decryption principle is a substitution (replacement) of symbols with the corresponding letters in the alphabet.

Example: is decrypted BELLA

It is not possible to differentiate between the letters I and J, nor between the letters U and V.

How to recognize a Dorabella ciphertext?

Dorabella symbols are arc/semicircles/halfcircles assembled by 1, 2 or 3 and oriented in 8 directions ↑ ↗ → ↘ ↓ ↙ ← ↖

All references to Edward Elgar or Dora are clues.

When Dorabella was invented?

The original message is dated July 14, 97 (for 1897)

Source code

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Dorabella Cipher on dCode.fr [online website], retrieved on 2024-06-25, https://www.dcode.fr/dorabella-cipher

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