Kryptos Klue!

One of the Washington D.C. locations used by Dan Brown in The Lost Symbol was the enigmatic Kryptos sculpture at C.I.A. headquarters (actually at Langley, Virginia). Those who have watched this site over the years would know that DB had been planning on using Kryptos in his sequel to The Da Vinci Code since before he even wrote that book - it's a topic that interests him greatly.

Dan is sure then to be intrigued by the news that Kryptos designer James Sanborn has released a clue to help puzzle-solvers decipher the last remaining message hidden 'within' the sculpture, telling the New York Times that six letters from the remaining 97 letters that have yet to be solved — NYPVTT — are the 64th through 69th letters of the final 97 characters, and that they decipher to the word BERLIN:

It’s the first clue Sanborn has revealed in four years, after he corrected a typo in his sculpture in 2006 to keep crypto detectives from being derailed in their search for solutions.

Sanborn told Threat Level last week that he wanted to reveal a clue to mark the 20th anniversary of the sculpture’s dedication at CIA headquarters in 1990. He said it would be a “significant clue” and hinted that it would “globalize” the sculpture. Asked if this meant it would take the sculpture off CIA grounds and out of the United States, he conceded it would.

Code detectives were already at work trying to crack the rest of the solution Saturday afternoon following the new clue revelation. Members of a popular Kryptos Yahoo Group were brainstorming during a 90-minute conference call.

“The ‘Berlin’ clue makes a lot of sense, in historical context of the Berlin Wall coming down that year,” says code cracker Elonka Dunin, a game designer who moderates the Yahoo Group and maintains a comprehensive web site on Kryptos.

To keep up to date with any new discoveries, your best bet is to visit Elonka Dunin's Kryptos webpage. (For the trivia lovers out there, Dan Brown seems to have given an anagrammatic nod to Dunin in the naming of the character 'Nola Kaye' in The Lost Symbol).