Race that’s longer than a marathon

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Possible Answers:

ULTRA.

Last seen on: Wall Street Journal Crossword – Mar 9 2019 – On the Line

Random information on the term “ULTRA”:

The Enigma machines are a series of electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines, mainly developed and used in the early- to mid-20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I.[1] Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries, most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II.[2] Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models, having a plugboard, were the most complex. Japanese and Italian models were also in use.


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Around December 1932, Marian Rejewski, a Polish mathematician and cryptanalyst, while working at the Polish Cipher Bureau, used the theory of permutations and flaws in the German military message encipherment procedures to break the message keys of the plugboard Enigma machine. Rejewski achieved this result without knowledge of the wiring of the machine, so the result did not allow the Poles to decrypt actual messages. The French spy Hans-Thilo Schmidt obtained access to German cipher materials that included the daily keys used in September and October 1932. Those keys included the plugboard settings. The French passed the material to the Poles, and Rejewski used some of that material and the message traffic in September and October to solve for the unknown rotor wiring. Consequently, the Polish mathematicians were able to build their own Enigma machines, which were called Enigma doubles. Rejewski was aided by cryptanalysts Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, both of whom had been recruited with Rejewski from Poznań University. The Polish Cipher Bureau developed techniques to defeat the plugboard and find all components of the daily key, which enabled the Cipher Bureau to read the German Enigma messages starting from January 1933. Over time, the German cryptographic procedures improved, and the Cipher Bureau developed techniques and designed mechanical devices to continue reading the Enigma traffic. As part of that effort, the Poles exploited quirks of the rotors, compiled catalogues, built a cyclometer to help make a catalogue with 100,000 entries, made Zygalski sheets and built the electro-mechanical cryptologic bomb to search for rotor settings. In 1938, the Germans added complexity to the Enigma machines that finally became too expensive for the Poles to counter. The Poles had six bomby, but when the Germans added two more rotors, ten times as many bomby were needed, and the Poles did not have the resources.[3]

ULTRA on Wikipedia