Can you crack this cryptographic cipher?


Paladin Coin

Holly Sydney is Sydney’s first digital agency with a creative edge that puts us above the pack. Earlier this year in February, we celebrated the opening of the Australian War Memorial First World War Galleries. We worked with an amazing team of creatives and techsperts to complete one of our biggest projects yet: an interactive multimedia experience like no other in the world. With unique interactive content delivered to over 100 screens throughout the memorial, we brought rare artefacts such as Gallipoli surveillance photography to life with geospatial data.


To celebrate the collaborative effort of the memorial curators, historians, and the various creative and technical specialists that brought the exhibition to life, we pressed 45 gold coins branded with the word “Paladin”.



A knight renowned for heroism and chivalry.


Our chivalrous champions of the memorial project were also set a challenge. Around the edge of our coin is a cryptographic cipher that MD Zina Kaye concocted to test even our most seasoned puzzle solvers.


“I wanted to pay tribute to the First World War which saw the genesis of modern cryptography,” Zina explains. “The Holly family love a challenge and I couldn’t think of a more deliciously difficult Easter Egg for our friends.”


Maybe it was a little too tricky? Because so far no one has cracked the code – so we’re putting it out to you! Submit your answer to and if you're the first person across the line we’ll flip you one of these minty fresh coins and knight you as an honorary paladin. And if you're in Sydney, we'd love to shout you a beer!


The code is as follows:




And we have a winner!

Working in the realm of reddit's /r/codes, PTR47 from Canada solved our cryptographic cipher challenge in less than 24 hours! The cipher reads as this:




So how'd he crack it? Through the combined use of a crib and an online playfair solver. Using the context of WWI, PTR47 was able to sketch some of his crib together using words like “lest”, “we” and “with”. From then, he drew a table by hand to fill the blanks.

Congratulations and we salute you, Paladin and crypto cracker master PTR47 - your coin is on its way!