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How To Solve A Cryptogram

Games : Puzzles

A cryptogram is a puzzle whereby a sentence or phrase is encoded into other characters or letters. For instance, the word 'Food' may become 'Gssa'. The individual letters are not important but the relationship between the letters stays the same as the initial word. That is, the 'oo' in 'food' has become 'ss' in the encrypted version, 'gssa'.

Because of this, when you are given a phrase you can work out which letter is where, and solve the puzzle - they are standardly between ten and twenty words long so that you have a much better chance of solving, and indeed to ensure that there is a unique solution (for instance just 'gssa' could also be 'book' and many other words).

A useful technique is to try and work out where the vowels are first. Look at a standard sentence in English to find likely placement. Typically the letter you see the most will be an 'e'. So try it!

Also spot two and three letter words - there aren't that many of these that are commonly used so there are less combinations to try. Certainly a three letter word is commonly 'the', 'and' or 'but' because these help with the flow of a sentence - notice how many sentences on this page with two letter words use 'of', 'an', 'to', 'be', 'is', 'in'... pretty much all of them!

Therefore through educated guesses you should be able to work out the real letters, and hence solve the puzzle.


By: Stephen

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