MW Codes, Ciphers, and Puzzles Series: Segment 2: Morse Code

codes and ciphersIn the first segment of the MW’s Codes, Ciphers, and Puzzles Series, we talked about the simple form of Substitution Cipher known as the Caesar Shift.  The Caesar Shift simply shifts the letters of the alphabet by a fixed amount.

For instance, a shift of 1 would encode each letter of the alphabet by the letter next to it.  A=B, B=C, etc.

The text MYSTERIOUS WRITINGS would become NZTUFSJPVT XSJUJOHT.   (M=N, Y=Z, S=T, etc (each letter is shifted by 1).  To Decode, the text is shifted in reverse to reveal the message.

Segment 2 is going to talk about Morse Code and how it can be used to hide messages in not only Armchair Treasure Hunts but in other transmissions of text as well.

Morse code was developed by Samuel F. B. Morse using an electrical telegraph system around the mid 1800’s.  It involved the sending of long and short electrical pulses with a silence between them.   It was this system which was the forerunner for today’s International Morse Code standard chart.

As you can see from the ‘Key’, each Morse Code symbol, made up of long and short components, represents a letter of the alphabet or numbers 0-9.  To transmit a message, each text character is separated by a period of silence, and each word of a text is separated by a slightly long period of silence.

Although ‘Dots and Dashes’ are used in standard Morse Code transmissions, any combination of two differentiating items can be used in replace of the dots and dashes.  A third element, representing the ‘silence’ is also needed.

For instance, in MW’s Ring of Old Treasure Hunt Scroll (Since Solved by Don A. (read story)), X and O’s, with a common space, were used to conceal a text.  X’s represented dashes, and O’s represented dots.  A simple space between the characters represented the silence between them.

codes and ciphers

Morse Code on MW Treasures Scroll

As you can deduce, MW Treasures, was encoded at the base of the Scroll.

But Code Setters can create much more clever tricks to conceal Morse code elements.  In the A Treasure’s Trove treasure hunt companion, Michael Stadther used Morse code to conceal the message ‘Hidden Well’.

Can you spot the code below?

codes and ciphers

Hidden message in image using Morse Code

It is on the Mushroom.  Long and short ‘grooves’, with spaces between, on the Cap, cleverly hide two words.

There are limitless ways messages can be hidden using variations to the symbols of Morse Code.  As mentioned above, any two differentiating elements, with a third used to represent spacing, can conceal a message.

if a PeRSOn IS AwAre OF thIs OPtIon of eNCodiNg, iT Can easily be spotted, and decoded, when certain anomalies, consisting of three elements, are noticed.

Imagination    is limitless,    and so are the    ways a message can be hidden    using Morse    Code. Be on the lookout for them!

Simple. But    these types of    messages can be cleverly hidden and     found; offering satisfying fun!


Best of luck with all that you seek!  Treasure the Adventure!


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