In The Da Vinci Code, what is a cryptex?

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The cryptex in The Da Vinci Code consists of a matching mechanism contained within a cylinder whose purpose is to hide a secret message written on a piece of papyrus protected within the cylinder. This cylinder has its flat sides blocked so that nobody can see what is inside of it. In order to access the coveted information on the papyrus, one must have the "password" formed using the...

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