N. Andrew Walsh n.andrew.walsh at
Fri Apr 3 12:09:52 CEST 2020

Hi List,

I have a somewhat odd request for advice, which I hope can be solved here.

I'm writing a large, multi-part document with Lyx. One part of it (in its
own separate child document) I want to encrypt. There are, however, some
factors to consider:

1) I want the encryption and decryption to be possible without resorting to
a computer program, and to be secure. So far, the only method I've found
for this is the Solitaire Cipher, described here: That is, I want somebody
equipped only with a printout of the encrypted file, a notepad (which can
be computer), and analog tools, to be able to decrypt the document.

2) however, the document includes footnotes, citations, and formatting. The
Solitaire Cipher only works with letters, so I have two issues: a) the
plaintext should have as little formatting as possible, so that it can be
output in a format that can easily be compiled into something matching the
rest of the document. I've thought markdown might work for this, but then:
b) I'd need to adapt the Solitaire Cipher in a way that can manage markdown
markings. Would converting everything to UTF-8 hex encoding make this
easier? Is there some other way? Is there some document format that can
compile into a pdf output including sections, headers, footnotes,
citations, etc., all without assuming the user has any particular software
on their machine? (without, of course, asking them to decrypt 20 pages of
raw pdf data)

3) page numbers and footnotes are numbered continuously, which means I'd
need to force the next child document after the encrypted one to start both
at specific numbers. Page numbering might not be an issue if the encrypted
text is included as a child document, but footnotes and cross-references
pointing toward the ciphertext would need to be tweaked. How would I do

I realize this is something of an odd request. Please don't ask why I'm
doing this (the answer will be "because Reasons™"). Is there a way to
achieve what I'm trying to achieve?

Thanks for the help,

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