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Title Playfair? No!
Setter To be Guessed [Revealed with solution]
Series Magpie
Number Issue 36, no. 5
Magpie award
Date Nov 2005
Magpie Anniversary Gatherings Prove Inspirational Events
[Invitation to annual party]
DifficultyC
Grid 1414 carte blanche grid. The rows are labelled 1-14, the columns A-N.
Preamble To celebrate a special anniversary this month, a new code is introduced (see below). Eight names (four from the 20th century) are entered in code four of them are clued and coded as two pairs. Unclued entries give the name of the code, and the link between the names. Ten entries have a 1- or 2-square gap in them; two are abbreviations.
By bisecting sixteen of the twenty-four blank squares (arranged in eight blocks) and joining these lines, solvers are encouraged to give the completed grid a thematic structure, though this is optional and will not be marked wrong. Bars need not be inserted.
The code is similar to the Playfair square, but the diagram is different, with each letter on one of four diagonals.

The key word or phrase is written along each row starting top left, followed by the rest of the alphabet. Each word to be coded is split into pairs, e.g. WO RD PL AY. If the two letters are on different rows and diagonals, then the code letters are on the same row as the first and the same diagonal as the second letter, then vice versa e.g. WO = ZS. If they are on the same row or diagonal, then the code letters are before/above each letter to be coded (first/top letter becomes last/bottom one) e.g. RD = ZY, so WORDPLAY = ZSZYXIYL. For the two middle letters (here they are C & D), where a choice must be made, diagonals 1&2, 3&4 are twinned, e.g. CODE = DICV not DUCR.
Solution NotesReveal Solution & Keywords
Acknowledgements Preamble and Solution Notes reproduced with permission. © The Magpie 2020.
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