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The tamam Shud Code: what they said

With the help of researchers who prefer to remain nameless, I’m able to publish an excerpt of their upcoming reports (pic) on the efforts to decipher the TS code.

These reports go back to the earliest days of the investigation and are derived from various sources, including Australian Naval Intelligence, SAPOL and the FBI. More contemporary opinions on the meaning of the code are also used: Stuart Littlemore, Sixty Minutes, Charles Wooley etc.



DS Leane. “What’s this about Brownie?”

“F.cked if I know boss, there’s no pattern to it that makes sense, maybe give the nobs at Naval a shot at it.”

later ..

DS Leane to Naval. “Any luck?”

“Only if you buy me a lottery ticket, this is rubbish. No order to the letters, cryptic or otherwise.”


DS Leane to Edgar Hoover. “Whaddya reckon?’

Hoover. ” Tried it every which way, son, if it’s a code it’s impregnable, we can’t find a recognisable pattern of letters anywhere. Whoever wrote it is a genius. Wasn’t an American by chance, was he?”


“Turn it upside down and you can see it’s the work of satanic forces working within our midst to bring down the Western civilisation ..” Written on a wall in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

“It’s a weed-based acrostic.” Reggie Fastfeather, comedian, part-time crypto-analyst and famous for interpreting nearly all of Bob Dylan’s early works. “Dude was baked when he put this together.”

“Could be a goer for the band’s name.” Alex “Zac” Zytnik, lead guitar of the psychedelic, progressive and surf rock band Tamam Shud. “I’m getting some spacey vibes here.”


“It could be a transcription of the Rubaiyat in a pre-historic Celto-Ethnic Latin dialect.” Mohammad Abdulazziz Richter, computer analyst and teacher of computer linguistics said to his class. “If only I could find a pattern to the subsequent repetition of the regulative and negative alphabet dis-orderment in the makeup of said code.”

“And the code, it’s just an incomprehensible jumble of letters with no apparent order, right?’ Stuart Littlemore, ace lawyer to Alf Boxall.

‘Yeah, right, whatever. Beer?”


“Beats me, nothing about it suggests anything.” John le Carre, author. “But that is not to say there isn’t a hidden pattern in its substance that might lead to a purpose.”

roger that.

“What’s with all the A’s?” Felicity Cramdocker, primary school teacher.

“Hey Gerry, want to talk about the code some more?”



Whoever wrote the Code page commenced with the first line ending in D. Next, he or she wrote the second line MLIAOI and then moved on to the third line MTBIMPANETP and realised that there may not be enough physical space on the page for both of the M sections/code letter groups to be placed on separate lines and so they were joined onto one line which consisted of 2 groups.Whilst we have MTBIMPANETP in that 3rd line we have the two groups, MTBI and a second, separate group of MPANETP. Next, we move to the sequence MLIABOAIAQC but there wasn’t enough physical  room on the page to insert the VTT after it so it was moved to the next line as follows: VTT MTSA MSAGAR Space on the page was extremely tight and that’s why the lines werecompressed’ as in: the 5th message group MLIABOAIAQCVTT followed by the 6th message group MTSA and finally followed by the 7th and last message group MSTGAR. Please note, the very last letter on the code page is not in our view the letter B but the letter R with a ‘flourish’ beneath it (as published some years ago on this blog) The person who was to receive the code would know that the letter M was the key letter for each group of letters that followed the M.  Gordon Cramer. Thanks. We’ll be in touch.

“Hey baby, mrgoab?abd?” Common pick-up line in an Adelaide bar post Vietnam.

“PanetP, dickhead!” Common response.


“Doesn’t matter what you do with it, whoever wrote it was not quite right.” Jack Nicholson, actor, who was never not quite right.’

“It’s a relatively easy code that should not present a problem in deciphering.” Simon Singh code breaker extra-ordinary, who left the building before doing so.


“Random, it’s all random, man.” Miles Davis, musician. “No beat, no pattern. I can’t find no juice.”


zzzzzzzzzzzzz ..


“It’s dead easy to see the column of four A’s.” … Dome aka Nick Pelling

M R G  O A B  A  B D

M T B  I M P  A  N E T P

M L I  A B O  A  I A Q C

I T T  M T S  A  M S T G A B

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. MyName #

    Lol – was laughing more with each iteration, but lost it when you got to Simon Singh (presumably he’s planning a BBC series about it)

    February 25, 2021
  2. We’ve added a few more.

    February 25, 2021
  3. Clive #

    Why the gap before the final two lines?

    February 27, 2021
    • The view here is that the writer was doing his best to avoid anyone seeing his column of A’s except for the individual who knew how to find them, a break such as the one you’re referring to, Clive, may be another interference.

      February 27, 2021
  4. Clive #

    MLIA (2nd line) the first 4 letters, MLIA are repeated again on (4th line) If the person who wrote this code made a mistake and, the 2nd line is wrong-why wasn’t it crossed out-instead of a long thin line?

    March 3, 2021
    • That’s a hard one to answer, Clive, without seeing what the original looked like before being inked up.

      March 4, 2021

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