Tamás T.Dénes             



mysTery  mAkiNg




   Codebreaker’s ABC


(Cryptography for Everyone)





„Unlocking the door of the secret is not as difficult as unknowing people imagine.

  On the contrary. It is terribly hard to lock it.”

Akutagava Rjanoszuke (1892-1927) japanese writer


This book covers this very subject. The exciting methods of hiding or locking secrets, and even the opening of locks fitted on imaginary doors.

This desire is as old as humanity itself and is gradually becoming the everyday practice of the information society.

The Mistery Making trilogy includes three volumes: the Codebreaker’s ABC, the Codebreaker’s XYZ and Mistery’s facts (the latter two are to appear). These three books form the encyclopaedia of cryptography and cryptology – the sciences of hiding and solving secrets.

My aim is to introduce to the reader a world that is considered mysterious and the privilege of James Bonds, mathematicians and information and cryptography experts. I try to do it in a light, almost playful way. Exploring together with the reader, we may discover the essence of THE SECRET which, after all, is one of our most secret desires.

The Mistery Making Trilogy helps to guide you through this million year old ’time-travel’. It describes mimicry in nature, the ancient water telegraph, messages hidden in digital pictures, the ’big brother’ –sattelites, surrounding our earth, which make Orwell’s utopia (written 50 years ago) an everyday reality.

You will come across cryptography applied in E.A.Poe’s and Jules Verne’s works and, in the chapter Detective’s School, is shown a method which can help you to solve messages ’easily’ that have for centuries seemed unsoluble.

You will read about the cryptographic aspests of the language of flowers, horoscopes, starsigns, memes, the Braille system used by blind people, the sign language of the deaf, shorhand writing or the Lottery.

A separate chapter tells you about secrets hidden in music, and is illustrated by real sheet music.


More than 200 pictures and illustrations, together with more than 200 footnotes and an extensive bibliography helps you with orientation in the empire of secrets.

Above all, according to the subject, a mysterious companion will travel with you through this adventurous labyrinth. Its name is Codebreaker who is constructed from fragments of each of us. Who it is exactly is a secret although I hope it will be revealed by the end of the book.


On the web site of the Mystery Making Trilogy (www.titoktan.hu) you can find a number of  questions of mistery making and other pieces of information which complete the contents of the books. One of these is the audible (downloadable) version of the code sheet music included in the Codebreaker’s ABC.


Tamás T.Dénes has published around a hundred expert studies in Hungarian and international papers and periodicals.

Currently, he is researching information-security, its applications and problems; cryptography in mathematics and the sociology of the information society.

In forms of lectures, essays, articles and books, he is trying to prove that the key concept of the information society is information-security.





C o n t e n t s


        Preface: what is the secret?

1.    Thinking: the common secret of humanity


2.    The language: the secret itself ? 

2.1. Tower of Babel

2.2. The secret of Communication

2.3. Mimic and gesture (Metacommunication)

2.4. „Violent” pictures of faces

2.5. The „secret” communication of blind people

2.6. The „secret” communication of deaf people

2.7. Condensed communication  (the „secret” of condensation)

2.8. The secret of pseudonym

2.9. Condensed writing (Shorthand writing)

2.10. Further picture-condensation

2.11. The game of information condentsation (Picture puzzle)


3.    Writing: the secret itself ? 

3.1. A brief history of writing

3.2. Runic writing

3.3. Picture writing

3.4. Ideographical writing

3.5. Syllabism

3.6. Alphabetical writing

3.7. „Object” writing

3.8. A few words on deciphering of ancient texts


4.    „Natural” secrecy 

4.1. Secret of camounflage and optical illusion

4.2. „Shaping” secrets

4.3. Secret of human sight

4.4. Secret messages via hidden channels

4.5. Stegonography in the digital world

4.6. Road to the secret writing

4.7. „Mame” of secret or the secret of „mame”

4.8. From the language of flowers to the code-dictionaries


5.    Secret writing, codes and cyphering-systems

5.1. Simple letter-grouping

5.2. From one language to the same

5.3. Reading backwards !  (mirror-writing)

5.4. The "GNISREVER" game

5.5. Secret hidden in music

5.6. „Knocking” code

5.7. Let's mix it up !  (Is it "in order"?)

5.8. Anagrams  (the art of letter-mixing)

5.9. Shift code  (Caesar ciphering)

5.10. Code of Astrology

5.11. The secret of Constellations hidden in Ramsey’s theorem

5.12. Keyword code  (letter-key)

5.13. Cipher tables

5.14. Cipher tables and Lottery


6.    Secret Arithmetic or The Numbers are the symbols of secret

6.1. Arithmetic tale

6.2. Numerical systems  (grouping: the solution of the secret?)

6.3. Quipu: writing with knots

6.4. Secret of numerical-systems

6.5. Number mysticism

6.6. Partition-code

6.7. Paradoxon of „cuting”

6.8. Number-card game

6.9. Operation table  (Does  2+2  always equel  4?)

6.10. Letter arithmetic (game)

6.11. Date code  (number-key)

6.12. Again on the Tritheim-table

6.13. The Kircher-tale

6.14. Vowel-code  (Message within the message!)

6.15. Inlay game

6.16. „Predictions” hidden amongest the letters of the Bible


7.    Detective's lessons

7.1. Secret of "The golden bug"  (The enigma of  E.A.Poe)

7.2. Secrets of the heart  (Secret love-letters)

7.3. Jules Verne as a cryptographer

7.4. Secret „Journey towards tha centre of the Earth”

7.5. Solving a code from fragments of texts of different languages (Children of Grant captain)

7.6. Solving secret = the life of a man

7.7. Once again about "Caesar"

7.8. Deciphering without keys

7.9. The coincidence trial

7.10. The game might well be serious



Instead of epilogue:

INFOSANCE that is the chance of INFOrmation renaisSANCE society

Bibliography (international)

Bibliography (hungarian)

Name index

Subject index