The Hidden Word

Monday, 25 March 2013   |   Creativity Games

Enigma machineThis week we're defining.

Game:  There are 4 random words below.  Your aim is to construce a sentence that has one of these words hidden in it in some way.  See strategy below for more info.

  • note
  • corn
  • tooth
  • snail

Challenge:  For extra challenge see if you can work out which word is hidden in other peoples sentences.

Strategy: Steganography is the art of hiding a message in plain sight.  You create some content that looks plain and simple.  Most people see it as just that and move on.  Those that know know how to decipher it and obtain the secret message.  You have to be fairly creative to do this,  and indeed to spot them and work them out.

For this game. Let's assume that one of those words is the password to get into a system.  The people you want to give access to the system you can't tell directly because then you would give away to the enemy who they are.  So we are trying to give them the password in a message that nobody else will suspect.  The challengers are crafty people who are trying to break your encoding scheme however.

Here are a few examples of how you could do it:

  • Maybe the first letter of each word forms the hidden message,  eg Hippos eventually look proud! (help)
  • Or you could have the following.  The first word is part of the message.  The number of letters in that word tell you which word is second in the hidden message.  The number of characters in that word tell you how far to jump for the third word and so on. eg:
     "Please tell my aunt Mary to send that lovely blue reinforced stitched jacket."
    (Please send reinforced) - Please has 5 characters so you jump 5 ahead to send. Send has 4 characters so you jump 4 ahead to reinforced.  Now it should ideally say "Please send reinforcements"  but that was a little harder to get in while making it still look innocent.  Sometimes you need to tweak it a bit and rely on the decoder to work out what you actually mean.

Anyways.  These are just a few examples to get you started.  See what you can come up with.


Get creative and have fun, join in below.