On December 1, 2008, Deborah Perez - known on our forum as "gutsygal" - posted the following:
I have a question: Has the 340 Cipher been solved...I ask because I remembered something about it...Z used my Highlights Magazine Word Find as a sample...he stated words were written backward, forward, diagonal...just as in Word Find Puzzles...does this sound right???
I am happy to announce that thanks to Debbie, for posting her childhood recollection, the Zodiac's 340 Character Cipher has been solved.
Like many before me, I tried to solve the 340 as a substitution type cipher, as was the Zodiac's ("I like killing...."") 408 Character Cipher, solved by Mr. Harden. After almost three years of work, I had to admit that such a route only led to one dead end after another. A couple of weeks ago, as I erased my cipher worksheet for the unteenth time, I remembered that Debbie had mentioned something about the 340 being a word puzzle. I looked up her quote, and decided to give it a try.
For a handfull of nickels and dimes I found on EBAY a dusty old stack of Highlights magazines from the years 1965 to August 1969.
I found one, and only one word search puzzle among the 1969 issues. This is page 9 of February 1969's edition:
05. HIGHLIGHTS FEB 1969 pg 9.JPG [ 39.34 KiB | Viewed 13425 times ]
Here is a close-up view of the word search puzzle:
06. HIGHLIGHT WORD SEARCH PUZZLE FEB 1969 PG 9.JPG [ 59.86 KiB | Viewed 13425 times ]
How many numbers did you find?
Here is the solution:
SOLUTIONS TO FEB 1969.jpg [ 79.41 KiB | Viewed 13425 times ]