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Problem Detail:

I am having a very difficult time trying to understand what exactly this question is asking.

How many valid English plaintexts are there for the ciphertext message CJU using a length-3, one-time pad of cyclic shifts, (i, j, k)?

If the encrypted question message is CJU and the one time pad is i, j, k would there not be exactly 1 solution? We are given the one time pad i, j, k so we can derive the plaintext simply by some alagebra

`(x + 9) % 26 = 3`

`(y + 10) % 26 = 10`

`(z + 11) % 26 = 21`

Where x, y, and z are the plaintext letters T, Z, J?

I feel like this is a trick question that I am not understanding

#### Answered By : David Richerby

\$(i,j,k)\$ is not a specific OPT. It's three variable names that you can use to talk about the key. The question is just asking, "Given all possible three-character OTPs, how many valid English plaintexts are there for the ciphertext CJU?"

In other words, how many different values are there for the triple \$(i,j,k)\$ such that "CJU" decrypts to an actual English word.