Tomorrow’s “Search for the The Lost Symbol” Answer Today – Part II

Will we see Matt Lauer at The House of the Temple tomorrow?

Will we see Matt Lauer at The House of the Temple tomorrow?

This is where we believe you will see Matt Lauer tomorrow morning for the third installment of the Today show’s “Search for the Lost Symbol” competition.

Each day, Lauer is reporting from a different “secret” location, in Washington D.C., that figures in the plot of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

These locations are supposed to be revealed in a carefully controlled manner. But, as we said yesterday, someone appears to be posting the clues that go along with the video reports one day early in an innocuous pdf document on The Lost Symbol Amazon’s page.

According to that document, tomorrow morning’s clue will be:

Houses the remains of this CONFEDERATE: CHOEPSLTGE

Our first instinct was that the answer is: ALBERT PIKE. After all, we are convinced he will play a key role in The Lost Symbol and he is the only Confederate general to be honored with an outdoor statue in Washington. But we could not figure out how to get the answer we wanted.

The solution came with the help of @bgates87, who, as we said yesterday, has been one of the leading Twitterers chasing down these riddles. William confirmed our hunch and supplied the evidence to prove it:

The clue is encrypted with what’s called a Keyword Cipher. It’s a substitution cipher that uses an altered alphabet to encrypt the plaintext. With a Keyword Cipher you use a keyword to rearrange the alphabet, moving all of the letters in the keyword to the front and omitting repeated letters. In this case, the keyword is CONFEDERATE, hinted at by the fact that it’s written in capital letters. So, the rearranged alphabet is:

C O N F E D R A T B G H I J K L M P Q S U V W X Y Z

You use this alphabet to encrypt the plaintext or decrypt the ciphertext. For decryption, it’s easiest to set it up like this:

C O N F E D R A T B G H I J K L M P Q S U V W X Y Z
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Now, to decrypt the message “CHOEPSLTGE,” you simply substitute each letter in the ciphertext with the letter it corresponds to in the plain alphabet. So, substitute the ciphertext letters for their plaintext counterparts…

So, Albert Pike it is! And why the House of the Temple? Well, Pike was one of the leading Masons of the 19th century. After his death, in 1891, he was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery. But shortly before the end of the Second World War his remains were moved the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction—aka the House of the Temple.

We’ll be writing about both Albert Pike and the House of the Temple a lot more in the coming weeks.

Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol.

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