Mysterious sort

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ENIGMA.

Last seen on: Wall Street Journal Crossword – Feb 20 2019 – Level Up

Random information on the term “ENIGMA”:

This article contains technical details about the rotors of the Enigma machine.


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Understanding the way the machine encrypts requires taking into account the current position of each rotor, the ring setting and its internal wiring.

The right side of a rotor, showing the pin electrical contacts. The Roman numeral V identifies the wiring of the rotor.

The left side of an Enigma rotor, showing the flat (plate) electrical contacts. A single turnover notch is visible on the left edge of the rotor.

Since the same wires are used for forwards and backwards legs, a major cryptographic weakness is that no letter can map to itself.

The effect of rotation on the rotors can be demonstrated with some examples.

As an example, let us take rotor type I of Enigma I (see table below) without any ring setting offset. It can be seen that an A is encoded as an E, a B encoded as a K, and a K is encoded as an N. Notice that every letter is encoded into another.

In the case of the reflectors, in this example Wide B is taken (Reflector B in the table below) where an A is returned as a Y and the Y is returned as an A. Notice that the wirings are connected as a loop between two letters.

ENIGMA on Wikipedia