[Cryptography] Cryptonomicon and Solitaire

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Sat Dec 27 13:34:58 EST 2014

I've just finished reading Stephenson's book (although a few things were 
left in the air, the discussion of which would be massively OT), and I'm 
still baffled by Solitaire, despite reading Schneier and critics.

It seems to be a sort of a self-generated OTP, with some transposition 
thrown in for good measure; how else could the three-way cut with the 
jokers be explained, for example?  Bruce himself regards it as strong 
albeit slow, but to quote Mandy Rice-Davies (deceased, alas), he would say 
that, wouldn't he...

Speaking of jokers, I have never seen a deck where the two jokers were 
*not* the same, and as a kid I used to play those "spot the difference" 
games (and still do).  Perhaps my eyesight is worse than I thought, so 
where exactly is this "star"?  Naturally, I don't feel like marking them, 
but the only brand that seems to be available in Australia is "Queen's 

If ever I saw two jokers that were *not* the same, I'd be checking the 
backs of all cards damned carefully...

Assume I'm a CompSci/Maths graduate, with an interest in crypto.

Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Bliss is a MacBook with a FreeBSD server."
http://www.horsfall.org/spam.html (and check the home page whilst you're there)

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