The Unsolved Code on the NOSS DEGG Note and the Grail Keeper

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“Let’s just say that he is the only one to point the way to the truth; but so dull in appearance, and short of that which is expected.”  The previous sentence was included in The Ultimate Quest; an armchair treasure hunt by William Lynhope.  The quote was part of an added sixth chapter which provided an alternative route for completion of the original quest.

This extra section involved a sixth question of ‘Who points the way; where and to what?’ but supplied an email for which to contact the ‘Grail Keeper.’  Originally, only five questions were required to be answered correctly, but as stated on page 58 of the book, “The route to and location of the Grail keeper is to be found within the pages of the book.”

The unsolved NOSS DEGG note was believed by some to reveal a phone number of which to contact the Grail Keeper.  Found on the last page of the armchair treasure hunt book was an image of a small slip of paper consisting of twenty-six puzzling letters.  Beginning with NOSS DEGG (the reason the note is often referred to as such), the complete sequence of letters is as follows:


The first fifteen letters can decode to ‘GRAILKEEPER IN UK’ by using a key phrase against the alphabet. However, continuing the same method to the last eleven letters proves fruitless.  Although it has been said someone had made contact (but was unable to answer all five questions correctly), the ending of this string of letters remains as elusive as the Grail.

The story within the hunt (which was suspended in 2011), begins with a ‘chance reunion.’ Anyone who has read Lynhope’s second book, Alpha to Omega, may question the truth of that statement.  The belief all things eventually form a connection seems to be a theme in Alpha to Omega, and may imply a deeper meaning would then be held in the chance encounter mentioned in the Quest.

This seems to be the case with the sixth question and the NOSS DEGG note also.  In order to answer the sixth question, one needs to know; ‘Who points the way, where and to what?’   It would seem, that if one could answer the question, one could probably also understand the method used in order to complete the decode of the NOSS DEGG note; since one needed to know the ‘route to and location’ of the Grail Keeper.

The initial part of the note was deciphered by use of the phrase, StephensonSaundersandGlass.  These twenty-six letters are set against the twenty-six letters of the alphabet.  By taking the corresponding letter of the note to the letter in the names, GRAILKEEPER IN UK is able to be deduced. As mentioned, the last eleven, applied only this way, remain unsolved.

The method to reveal ‘GRAILKEEPER IN UK’ involved a reversal of the letters, as well. Stephenson, Saunders and Glass, was the name of the law firm used in the story to go over the last will and testament of Simon Perceval’s uncle, Richard Fisher.  These were ‘reversed’ over the alphabet.

Glass then (or SSALG) begins the ‘way’ for the decoding of ‘GRAILKEEPER IN UK’.  For those familiar with the story, Glass is the lawman who finalizes the matters of Fisher’s estate.

This, I find interesting in relation to the sixth question, and to another possibility.  In a Shakespearean play, (Loves Labour Lost), there is an appearance of a character of a lawman named Dull.  In the book, Maranatha-Et in Arcadia Ego: The Companion (Priory Publications 2006), this scene with Dull is mentioned and believed to consist of numerous Rosicrucian metaphors.  As the inclusion of the rose in the Ultimate Quest and the mystifying assembly of men at the funeral, one may suspect a Rosicrucian connection to the Quest.

With the sixth chapter saying, ‘so dull in appearance’, I wonder if then Dull, the lawman, or Glass, the lawman in the story, doesn’t ‘point the way’.  What he points to and where is another matter.

The added chapter includes a reference to where Sophia (character of story) is ‘reversing skillfully’. Within the story, her skill of ‘shorthand’ is also referenced.  Is it possible then, ‘short of what is expected’ might hint towards the ‘hand?’  Considering this, then I wonder if it isn’t the lawman’s or Glass’s hand which points the way to the truth.

There is a part of the story which Simon passes the last will and testament of his uncle over to Glass.  Glass ‘speedily’ looks it over, and passes it back.  I am assuming he used his hand.

This just seems to me as if a connection to the ‘reversal of a man’s will’  isn’t being suggested. Glass (the lawman’s- hand which is dull in appearance and short of what is expected) could be seen to point the way.  And could this then be used to solve the rest of the NOSS DEGG note?


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8 Responses

  1. Madmonk says:

    Its interesting ref to Short Hand i recently read this. Mr Bacon thought is was “Greatest device for concealment”.

    The eighth chapter of Roger Bacon’s Epistle on the Nullity of Magic:

    “In the seventh place, the greatestdevice
    for concealment is that of shorthand, which is a method of noting
    and writing down as briefly as we please and as rapidly as we
    desire; by this method many secrets are written in the books of the
    Latin-using peoples. I have thought fit to touch upon these
    methods of concealment because I may perhaps, by reason of the
    importance of my secrets, employ some of these methods, and it
    is my desire to aid in this way, at least you, to the extent of my

    • jkile says:

      Thanks for that Madmonk. I hadn’t looked into shorthand all that much before, but it is quite interesting. I too just came upon a shorthand reference after writing the above post. Looking more into John Byrom (because of his mention in the Maranatha Puzzle Companion’s bibliograghy (Hancox-The Byrom Collection)), it seems he invented a geometric form of shorthand.

  2. madmonk says:

    I wonder if the dull refs is to something similar to Thomas Wright published poem in 1855. Called Sir Gawain and the Red Knight, it tells the story of Arthur’s knight Gawain’s quest to discover the Holy Grail, which he identifies with the Marian Chalice. On the opening page of the book in which the poem was originally published, there is an illustration showing the White Castle at Whittington and a cryptic quote by an anonymous British essayist:

    “If my readers should at any time remark that I am particularly dull, they may be assured there is a design under it.”


    • jkile says:

      Oh, how fascinating! Love it. Will look into this more. Would you have a link to the full poem? I can’t seem to find one.

  3. HaywardG says:

    Looking back to the archived site, the last question “…so dull in appearance….” is referred to as such:

    “As to question 6 (the ‘new’ question), no-one seems to have fathomed this cryptic clue.” Note that in the original quote ‘cryptic’ is underlined.

    I have no provable basis for this, but for some reason I can’t shake a connection to the short, lame god Hephaistos. He was the ‘ugliest’ of ancient Greek Gods and married to Aphrodite. His workshop was underground, and brings to mind the volcanic forges of the Earth.

    There is another forge/blacksmith reference:
    “Eight hours after the sun entered cancer young Jack got bored so he lit a fire to hammer home the point.”

    I believe Hephaistos forged a chalice for Zeus, in one legend, as dowry for Aphrodite.

  4. Maria Rigel says:

    Just checked Dull on “Love Labour’s Lost”. I think it’s interesting that they call the moon Dyctinna. Dyctinna usually is another name for Britomartis, a Greek goddess or nymph of nets and fishermen. I think the moon is associated with the hexagram, and the hexagram is associated with the tree of life, which is a net. So that could well be a Rosacrucian connection.

  5. Maria Rigel says:

    My current guess is that the answer to “Who points the way, where and to what?” referring to the Grail would be “St John, in Revelations, to Heaven.” But this still wouldn’t give you the key to any code.

    • HaywardG says:

      A possible answer to a general inquiry based on popular imagery and references, made available or expressed through their frequent usage. Except, in this instance, the subject of this puzzle lies within a specific book. The book is listed in the article, it is called The Ultimate Quest. And so, without addressing any of the specific material within this book, this supposition has little to no basis.

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