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Transpositions - how far is too far ?
#1
I am afraid that one could go deep into almost "magical" transposition and the result would still be perfectly acceptable.  This is not a good news.

Let's take an example


We all know that the letters YAR of K3 are slightly in superscript.  So let's take them, following a cycle of 4, 5, 7

YARLSHPTODYHACTYUDSLNNOM
MNTGAIARENEEIICMTNEERTEE
ETHETODTWAEOYQETACFTRMHE
ATMGYETEFFITUAORMENRIDDI
TTSPIRRIWAETILEITGOSDLOI
LMETDANEHMFUCDREIESSTDOW

Even better, we do replace, in K3, each superscript by the letters of K4 (in caps) : when there is no more, put a "z".

endOBhKohnRUrOeocXOeGibiHUsLnaiBShOnreLIlFsllBBl
WohsFLsRrwxVQeQprnPRtNhnrGKpSslnSOlTblpWTaQaewSJ
wQditSSnEahcKZnZudrWAnTaeoJKfLlseUDiIenhAWiIyteN
FhBencNYyPreiVTbTspaMZhFwenPKaWateGDeKrlbZXeToas
JCoDuetIGeKtoaUHaUertAUtEbseKCnAaahRzmztewzzezoa
gzzezfebzzczddhzzczihszzezoeazzdzrydzzrztrkzzlzh
agzzhzrdpzzozmgfzzezheezzmzipfzzmzhnlzztzrtvzzhz

Then we apply the classical double columnar transposition which was the solution of K3 : 24, 8

Then we remove the now useless small letters, to keep only the uppercases which are the letters of K4, reordered in a very exotic way.

BALIDOOPGFUNAOUKRKEYKLNBIXFTG
SWCSKUAWXUZTOQNFBCWJZWKTDSKJH
ETZGRVVPGRSBJSTQWIRUBALKLKMPT
HQZUISODQF

Supposing that this would be enciphered with Quagmire III (which does not seem to be the case, here.  This is just an example).

What is wrong with this ?  Nothing, except, maybe, that do this only with a pencil and a paper would be a bit fastidious.

This shows that an idea can be quite complex and yet prove to be simple to explain, and to apply, standing perfectly in the standards of what is regarded as "acceptable" from the cryptographer point of view.  After all, YAR (or RAY) is right under our nose, no ?

But there are a plenty of things under our nose : too much to explore, too many keys, to many (bad) good looking ideas.

Hence the question : how far is too far ?  Not talking only about transpositions.
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