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More puzzles from the Puzzle Palace

A reader pointed me to an apparently dull collection of NSA documents recently posted by that useful source, GovernmentAttic.org. One of the hidden gems is a "CMI Newsletter" containing a eight pages of crypto puzzles.

I've taken the liberty of posting the CMI Newsletter separately (PDF, click this link), but kudos go to GovernmentAttic for dredging up this diamond in the rough. If you work out answers, feel free to post them here, or at least provide a pingback so interested people can find them.

The whole FOIA post, and a related one, talk about NSA's "learned organizations" and other "private organizations." Here are the GovernmentAttic links:

  • Guidelines on private organizations - employee clubs are literally "private organizations that operate on agency premises." This document describes their procedures and provides a list of such clubs.
  • Sample materials from NSA "Learned Organizations" - these are a subset of clubs that serve as professional societies for various classified activities within NSA: crypto math, crypto linguistics, "collection," "international affairs," and so on.
The "Learned Organizations" document responded to a FOIA request for sample materials from these organizations: descriptions, histories, sample newsletters (often web page extracts), and sample "journal published papers."

It's an odd mixture. The sample info from the Crypto-Linguistic Association was classified Top Secret. though it contains little more than the list of club officers (redacted) and an advertisement for the Institute's cookbook (which, thankfully, appears to be Unclassified).

[security techno-geek note - yes, yes, the TS label is probably inherited from the network link]

The "TeST"

The "CMI Newsletter" is published by the Crypto-Mathematics Institute. Bits are redacted, though these mostly seem to be participant names, which are protected by the NSA Act of 1957.

Note that there are some instructions for the "TeST" partway through the newsletter.

If you're interested in NSA crypto puzzles and haven't already seen it, be sure to take a look at Boak's Puzzle.

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