Challenge 15: June 1918

Here’s Challenge #15 for January 13, 2018.

The year is 1918. You’re a cryptanalyst working for the Allies, and you’ve just intercepted this German Morse-code communication.

--. ..-. -..- --. ..-. .- -.. -..- .- -.. ..-. .- .- -..- / --. .- --. --. --. -.. --. --. -..- -..- --. -.. -..- ..-. / -..- ..-. .- ..-. .- -..- .- -.. --. --. --. .- ..-. -..- / .- -..- --. -.. .- -..- .- -.. -.. -.. .- -..- --. ..-. / .- -..- ..-. -.. .- .- -.. --. ..-. .- .- -.. -..- ..-.

Can you figure out the message and save lives?

Here are some hints:

1. You need to translate these dots and dashes into letters.
2. Is there anything unique about the resulting letters?
3. Who was the first to break this type of cipher?*
4. You’ll need 2 keywords: One for a mixed alphabet and one for a transposition.
5. Before entering the keywords, delete repeat occurrences of any letters. (Ex. NEBEL would convert to NEBL.)
6. I=J
7. The plaintext is in English, not German.

* For purposes of simplicity, this cipher type is an earlier version of the type he cracked. If you are familiar with the two types, it’ll be obvious which it is based on the ciphertext letters. 

With CodeAWeek.com, I hope to release one cipher, puzzle, or mystery each week. Anyone can attempt to solve. The winner is the first person to send a correct solution and a description of the solve method to codemaster@codeaweek.com. Once a correct solution is e-mailed, I will publish a follow-up post, congratulating the winner and revealing the secrets of the code.

You may post questions or theories in the comments, but DO NOT POST SOLUTIONS. E-mail them to codemaster@codeaweek.com.

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