Kryptos Sculpture Mystery

Kryptos Sculpture
Courtesy: CIA
In a courtyard at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, a large log of petrified wood stands upright at one side. Unfurled from that log is a curved page, covered with letters. The scroll-like page is made of copper and the letters are cut right through it. The sculpture is called Kryptos. The letters are a coded message.

"Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion (sic)." This is the beginning of the decoded part of the message. David Stein, a senior analyst at the CIA cracked most of the mysterious code. But the last 97 characters remain a mystery.

audio button Listen as All Things Considered host Linda Wertheimer talks with Stein and James Sanborn, the sculptor behind Kryptos.

Can You Crack the Code?
The message was encoded in several different ways. Below are the last 97 characters, in a code not yet cracked. If you think you've figured it out, email us at and include "Kryptos" in the subject line.

Get More Info
See Kryptos on the Web at: The Central Intelligence Agency
For the decoded parts of the message, see:
Ben Cheng's Problem Corner
More on the sculpture at: The University of North Dakota
including a clue from the CIA.