Somewhere along the twisted path called “my career,” I picked up the reputation of being a code breaker. Th is is not the case. I would be hard put to solve the Jumble in the morning paper. What is the case is this: I know a fair amount about the techniques involved. Since, in recent years, cryptography

has become a severely mathematical and computer-involved subject, I have given courses on the topic, and some of my students have found jobs with the National Security Agency. Nonetheless, deserved or not, the aura of code breaker clung to me. The aura has long since departed.