[Puzzle] Memorizing ROT13

category: offtopic [glöplog]
Uv gurer. We all (even those whose native alphabet isn't Latin, such as the topicstarter) remember good old ROT13 encoding. Of course it would be cool to learn to (en|de)code messages quickly without any tools. But trying to memorize this lookup table...

...is a bit of pain, isn't it? It seems to be better if at least the first row would make any sense to memorize it easier. Id est, it must be a phrase that meets the following restrictions:

  • it must be 13 letters long (without whitespaces);
  • its letters must not repeat;
  • it must not contain letters that form a ROT13 pair.

When the phrase meets this requirements, we can write it as the first table row, and its ROT13-encoded variant as the second table raw, and perform much easier lookups (or even engrave it on a ring, who knows) that will imprint on your memory with time. I have found only two such phrases so far (CYBRAXDJSUITZ and GLFUCKWINDOZE) that form the following lookup tables respectively:

Could anyone suggest more such magic phrases?
added on the 2013-11-06 20:00:23 by Suborg Suborg
Does a ROT13 table exist where both top and bottom are such phrases? Maybe some sort of dictionary search can provide the answer in a reasonable timeframe. Excluding tables containing n-grams that don't occur in any words might already whittle down the solution space. It should be straightforward to encode those constraints as a SAT instance and run a solver...
added on the 2013-11-06 20:17:49 by algorias algorias
Does a ROT13 table exist where both top and bottom are such phrases?

If it does, it will be a godlike solution.
added on the 2013-11-06 20:19:00 by Suborg Suborg
Clearly I'm missing something here. How does a phrase like that help you to memorise the lookups, exactly?

How about memorising a bunch of words like Acorn, Banjo, Champ... where the first and last letter make up a pair?

(Interesting puzzle though. I'll have a go at it later.)
added on the 2013-11-06 20:27:39 by gasman gasman
gasman, I don't know exactly but it helps to get the positions faster. Maybe because I'm non-native speaker.

P.S. Your approach is very interesting too but I have to memorize 26 words instead of 13 (or specially select the words that can make sense when read in reverse, that's quote another puzzle on its own!).
added on the 2013-11-06 20:35:27 by Suborg Suborg
You take a pangram, such as "The five boxing wizards jump quickly" (31 letters!), you remove the redundant letters, and here you are:


Pick your choice:
* Zealous dominatrix whips frail, quivering boy with jockstrap! (52 letters) - Ryan Overbey
* Jack in the Box quickly varied its menu with fudge and pizza. (49) - Lorraine Beaumont
* Fog makes you shiver? Quick, zip down and buy a lynx jacket. (46) - Janna Hecker Clark
* Amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes. (40)
* The quick onyx goblin jumps over a lazy dwarf. (37) - Magic, The Gathering
* The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog. (33)
* Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. (32)
* The five boxing wizards jump quickly. (31)

In French:
* Aptéryx: fier volatile brun néo-zélandais, qu'on nomme kiwi en jargon autochtone. (66 lettres)
* Pornographie: Montre une walkyrie sexy qui cajole de vifs zobs. (52)
* Quel zigue joue ce patchwork auditif avec mon xylophone brisé? (52)
* Portez ce vieux whisky au juge blond qui fume. (37)
* Buvez de ce whisky que le patron juge fameux. (36)
added on the 2013-11-06 21:54:57 by baah baah
Alternatively, you take an heterogram, such as "The big dwarf only jumps" and you complete with the missing letters, here ckqvxz.


(in French: "Plombez vingt fuyards!")
added on the 2013-11-06 22:00:48 by baah baah
Baah, u seem to miss the point. A must match to N, B to O etc (i.e. the matches must differ in 13 positions exactly).
added on the 2013-11-06 22:14:42 by Suborg Suborg
Gasman, thevocabulary method also seems to cause some problems. Some words with certain beginning and ending just don't exist. At least I couldn't find them in the largest dictionary I managed to download.
Code:alien bro camp d???q enter focus ghost haiku i???v jigsaw k???x lady megahertz nova orb panic quad race self tag unleash verdi w???j x???k yarl zoom
added on the 2013-11-06 22:34:49 by Suborg Suborg
Even if we keep only one match for each pair, the x???k/k???x issue still remains.
added on the 2013-11-06 22:43:57 by Suborg Suborg
@suborg: yes i did... BB Image
added on the 2013-11-06 22:46:49 by baah baah
okay, kickbox.
added on the 2013-11-06 22:49:38 by Suborg Suborg
So, 13 shortest but readable words for Gasman's method, not sure it's possible for all 26:
Code:nova bro camp quad race self tag haiku verdi jigsaw kickbox lady zoom
added on the 2013-11-06 22:52:42 by Suborg Suborg
Ah well, if you're stuck for words then just make one up, the more stupid the better. Dafuq?!?, improv, wombaj (it’s a wombat that wears a badge), Xboxjoystick. They're not real words (well, improv is) but you're probably not going to forget them now...

Back on the original puzzle: I tried a strategy of "for each pair, choose the letter that you think is going to be most useful, then make an anagram out of it". That gave me "CowMilkThread".
added on the 2013-11-06 23:16:16 by gasman gasman

...and I'm done.
added on the 2013-11-07 01:56:52 by gasman gasman
Alas. Almost all your solutions are out, as they contain both E and R that form a ROT13 pair. Except one. As for MAWISOLDTRUCK...

...very nice!
added on the 2013-11-07 06:15:11 by Suborg Suborg
Bah, I copied the typo from your first post (NOPQSRTU)... OK, how about:

added on the 2013-11-07 10:45:28 by gasman gasman
My bad about the typo... Well, I'll try to check them out a bit later.
added on the 2013-11-07 11:37:38 by Suborg Suborg

Seems like all pass. Incredible!
added on the 2013-11-07 11:41:00 by Suborg Suborg
nice idea.. shame many posts here missed the point.

problem is there aren't any memorable sequences (words) in the second rows

so the key to solving this puzzle will be partial top and bottom matches where both lines form words, or at least parts of them
added on the 2013-11-07 11:59:00 by Canopy Canopy
One problem with this is that you're using too many vowels on the top row for the bottom row to have any.. so the algorithm to find the phrases would have to generate longer than 13 character strings so you could re-use vowels. Also swapped pairs, so that you could reuse the vowels on both rows.
added on the 2013-11-07 12:12:39 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
yup i realised the same thing after that it was the cause of my observation :)

with so many sets.. i guess theres a bit of mileage in filtering about 'bad' ones where there aren't two vowels per line.. to maintain a 2/3 split either way

I also found this site with all 26 combos on as flashcards
added on the 2013-11-07 12:24:40 by Canopy Canopy
Coming up with a phrase that spans both rows isn't going to happen. Such a phrase would have to be a perfect 26-letter pangram, and it's hard enough to find those (the best we have in the English language are things lke "vext cwm fly zing jabs kurd qoph" that rely on obscure words or proper nouns) without adding an insanely difficult restriction on top.
added on the 2013-11-07 12:31:02 by gasman gasman
I'm fairly certain a phrase that spans both rows DOES exist, but is longer than 26 letters.. what's the shortest possible, that's another question entirely.
added on the 2013-11-07 12:38:09 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
Ok, the phrases in German, Italian, Polish etc. are also accepted.
added on the 2013-11-08 06:30:45 by Suborg Suborg