Challenge 16: Hollow Pursuits

I’m woefully behind on posting my weekly puzzles, so I decided to play catch-up by posting as many as I can churn out in one week. Here’s Challenge #16 for January 14, 2018.

This cipher has a picture clue!

This image should give you two pieces of information: the cipher type and the key. Each can be attained by chasing down a different piece of history related to the Jefferson Nickel: for the cipher type, a mystery; for the key, an origin story.

Additional hints:

  1. Notice anything strange in the image?
  3. The key is a person’s last name.
  4. The key in letters is 6 characters long. Once converted to numbers, it is 10 digits long.

Here’s the ciphertext. Good luck!

04626 96622 85647 35144 54308 36773 34454 49946 78139 97502 15140 54629 33318 40343 94106 38047 29352 60205 71207 00141 92727 02741 77363 79574 84881 53547 03375 19693 27344 36506 75347 16025 17167 59376 86687 47375 24945 21945 58548 50142 13828 3677

With, 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 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

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