Having crept through the overgrown garden and tripped over a couple of rusty bicycles our intrepid IT expert connected a tap to the suspect's phone line. We detected the following email messages (only the outgoing ones were recorded for some obscure technical reason).
Hi there Julian,
You remember that super cipher system you invented? Well I've just put it on my computer. Here's a test message - it's a quotation from your favourite novel - let me know if you can receive it.
ZIT LXF WXKFZ TCTKNRQN OZ WXKFZ ZODT ZIT VGKSR KXLITR OF Q EOKEST QFR ZXKFTR GF OZL QBOL QFR ZODT VQL WXLN WXKFOFU ZIT NTQKL QFR ZIT HTGHST QFNVQN VOZIGXZ QFN ITSH YKGD IOD LG OY IT WXKFZ ZIOFUL VOZI ZIT YOKTDTF QFR ZIT LXF WXKFZ ZODT ZIQZ DTQFZ ZIQZ TCTKNZIOFU WXKFZ WN KQN WKQRWXKN
Oops, you're right - it was in the old system. Sorry, I ran the wrong program! Here it is in the new version:
WIGUW WEYUP UKDGU BMEBP CHBVP VZOUG WNKZP VPFZC YJHGK WGDMX GSGBW FAVZU LFPVM VTGEK UCOGX LVGYC YIVTE DBTOM PPUNG EJCSV GPEAL FUGRR NGEWZ DCZYK WKPWV CSDKL OXHTQ OMNPU UQNJF DZAQW ULQOJ WXKTH XMGMO TNUKP FSLUJ MAWVK CTOVA PQFBM ICSGC RBYNH ZJXMT BUJIT MGDTQ WCEAC DIWDM EVTA
That's great news. Here's a real message for you - this should explain a lot of what's been going on. By the way, shouldn't I have to use some sort of password or key or something for each message?
WIGUG VHWVC HKAVH OUCRB FNHXV JKIWF HCUUE MWCTT HWWRP NMJZK WFQVC JYFMK PIJBW VIKMK TUUWA RJTGE UVSEO PHVFW QOXNG XJVPS AVUOI UMKUF KPEWJ UGCAP LQFIT KIBKL QGQWJ CAJDN RAMXF PYNHQ EMOJW WTQLV IYJLY WMWQW YMMFK OPVMN VVICU ZAFZN AWOPG PMYZL XXYPK FIAOA AXNVR UFVUC HLTQN WPPKP NLRWJ FMTQG BXYZP URALG PYKMV KKIRE IAQZL OPWKG VOEHR I
A couple of days later we heard him on the phone to his accomplice. He delivered a very strange monologue as follows:
"The author of that favourite novel of yours? Well he shares his surname with another who came from Sheffield and who wrote a novel set in a fictional seaside town that shares its name with a real one in Devon. That town has a castle that isn't a castle, and the architect of that worked with another architect in Plymouth and this second architect died on the same day that an author first gave a lecture on manners. He gave part seven of the series on the same day as someone else became famous for surviving. The husband of the artist who painted this event wrote the biography of a man who was killed in a battle that ended a war. The peace treaty was signed on the same day as two Nobel Laureates were born. The one of these who wasn't a writer was born in a town where a famous conference took place and the man who presided over this had been crowned king only recently in a cathedral that was built by, and is the resting place of, a man who was the son of a king who made a famous gift. When was that?"
And the next day, he sent another email:
Here's another puzzle for you. In this list of words, each can be associated with another word, and that second list has a particular (and fairly obvious) property. The word pairs fall into a number of equally-sized groups. Can you find these second words?
VALLEY, ORGAN, IONS, HERB, TOWED, BACK, RACE, LANGUAGE, RHAPSODY, SUPREMACY, VIPERS, PIECE, MISCUE, SWEET, QUARTERS, CORN, GANG, BOOT, ABBEY, BANK, NORTH, MARS, SELF, FRONT, DAY, DEAL, QUEEN, DEAL, MUSK, USES, NONE, SEVEN, TIER, VISION, VENOUS, ADORN, HUMIDOR, LIFE, RAGGED, ME, ATE, TEE, EDGE, LIVERS, WELLS, HEAD, KNIFE, TOWERS, PRESSURE
Continue with the challenge