Sie sind auf Seite 1von 18

Solving Cryptograms

Version 3

By Delbert W. Waggoner
aka Del Waggoner

Version 1 of this document gives you basic instructions on solving Cryptograms. It explains what, when, why and how of Cryptograms. Version 2 added information to version 1 to attack the enciphered name of the cryptogram author. If you have actually attacked the enciphered author's name, you may call yourself a cryptanalyst! Congratulation! Version 3 is the final version of Solving Cryptograms. This versions adds the finer points to version 2. Hopefully you will develop the ability to pick out clues to reading whole enciphered words. Why can you do this? You can because you know the structure of the spoken and written English language (as spoken by Americans). See Tool #9. What are Cryptograms? Cryptograms are quotations, proverbs, or witty sayings by famous or notable people. Most of the time the authors name is included at the end of the cryptogram. Cryptograms are not codes but ciphers. Ciphers are messages where one letter is substituted for another letter throughout the entire message. Codes are secret writings in which a word means a phrase, a different word or an instruction. Cryptograms are technically called Caesar Ciphers. Why should we solve or decipher Cryptograms? Cryptograms exercise the mind. They are puzzles. They are portable and are included in most daily newspapers. They can be purchased in quarterly paperbacks of 300 or more. Cryptograms test our knowledge of the structure of the English language. Cryptograms are small in size and can be saved on the computer and solved or resolved at a later time. When is a good time to decipher Cryptograms? Cryptograms are easiest to decipher when you are most alert. That is early in the morning for me. Cryptograms are an excellent use of commute time for train, plane and automobile passengers.

How do we decipher Cryptograms? Cryptograms are created for you and I to decipher and enjoy. They are not intended to be impossible for us to solve. A particular Cryptogram could take us days, but normally it takes an hour or less. The remainder of this monograph is intended to provide you with enough basic instruction to solve most Cryptograms. What are Cryptograms about? Cryptograms generally fall into the following subjects: I (the author) am, I have, I would , I did, etc. You should, you can, you are, the implied you etc. People are, people should, people have etc. A noun such as Freedom, Spring, Peace, America etc. Trivia Proverbs, such as Chinese Proverbs, Irish Proverbs etc. Classification of the Structure of Words A system has been developed to classify the structure of a word and its cipher-test counterpart. This system is important for two reasons: you will develop an eye for commonly used words by their structure and for when you progress to use a pattern word dictionary for really tough cryptograms. Learn this system. For each cipher-text word: A is substituted for the first cipher-text letter and each occurrence thereafter. The next different letter is B. The next different cipher-text letter is C. This continues on through the cipher-text word. Examples: A cipher-text word such as XYZYVWZTR becomes word type ABCBDECFG which is plain-text for ANONYMOUS A cipher-text word like TUVWX becomes word type ABCDE which is plain-text for ABORT or ZEBRA or one of many other words. Short words without duplicate letters and/or without some letters that you have deciphered are very difficult to use a pattern word dictionary on. A pattern word dictionary of first names is included later in this monograph. Feel free to add new names as you find them.

Where do we start? The First Basic Step: Do a cursory letter frequency count of the cipher letters. This is done by writing or typing the cipher-text triple spaced. The line under the cipher-text is used to write the letters as you decipher them. Below the last line of cipher-text, write the alphabet on a line. Prepare a tally or count of the appearance of each cipher-letter in the cipher-text above the alphabet. It should look something like this: 1 A 2 B 2 C 1 D 2 E 1 U 2 V 2 W 8 X 2 Y 0 Z

+++

This chart tells you that X is a high usage letter, B, C, E, V, W, Y are medium usage letters and A, D, U are low usage letters. See tool #1. Use this frequency chart of your cryptogram to start. Tool #1, which is a normal distribution per 100 letters English text, shows the letter E appears the most. Tool E to be the most common final letter in words. Look for letter E also appears as the next to the last letter in The letter E forms the frequent digraph ER (tool #2). of #4 shows E. The words.

Examine the 3 letter words with a ending high frequency count cipher letter. This has a high probably of being E. The most common 3 letter words ending in E are: ARE, THE. Next examine the cipher-text for digraphs (2 letter groupings). The most common is TH closely followed by ER. See tool #2. The letter T is frequently found at the beginning and at the end of words. When you have deciphered TH, look for the frequently used word TH?T, that gives the vowel A. You are utilizing the classification of the structure of words. Next look for the appearance of 2 letter word T? , that gives you the vowel O. If you have a single letter, it is an A or an I. If the letter is used frequently, it is most likely an A. See Tool #1. If it does not work as A, try I. A common series of cipher-texts is: This deciphers to be: XY XZ IT IS and and XY XZ W IT IS A

If English is your first language, then you already know the structure of the language well enough to recognize most of the short phrases that you will find in Cryptograms. An Example: SVXZX QC RISVQRD KZIRD KQSV FYXZQWF SVFS SVX NFQSV, BIEX IN NZXXPIY, QRSXBBQDXRWX, FRP XRXZDA IN VXZ WQSQUXRC WFRRIS WJZX. PKQDVS P. XQCXRVIKXZ

Notice the 5 occurrences of the cipher-text digraph SV. This is the digraph TH. The 7th word is the digraph TH, unknown letter, and the letter T: THAT. This is followed by the 3 letter word starting with the digraph TH. This is obviously the word THE. The first word in the cryptogram is THE?E. The word is again easy: THERE. From your everyday use of English, the most common 2 letter word that follows THERE in the beginning of a sentence is IS. By determining the most used digraph you have deciphered the vowels A, E, and I. You have discovered the consonants T, R and S. The rest of the cryptogram is relatively easy solve. Also, there was 5 occurrences of the cipher-text letter X which was greater than any other ending letter. We should have easily suspected this was the letter E. We decipher: There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure. Dwight D. Eisenhower Authors The authors of cryptograms appear as one word names and two or more word names. Authors are not always persons. Sometimes authors are proverbs, sayings or anonymous. Proverbs usually are in the format of an ethnic proverb, such as Chinese Proverb. Sayings of unknown origin usually appear as Anonymous or Source Obscure. One word names can also be one of the ancient persons like Plato. If it is a really difficult cryptogram, deciphering the name may give you one or more vowels. Do not be surprised if you do not recognize the author. Crib: The following word structures of authors names may give helpful clues. ABCCBDE is William, Shakespeare is often quoted. ABCDAB is George, Washington is sometimes quoted. ABCBDECFG appears as anonymous. ABCDEF ABCDEFG is Source Obscure

Version 2 includes a pattern dictionary of authors first names. Sometimes this is the start you need to break the cryptogram. Further study Two software tools which make it possible to solve the very difficult cryptograms are: Cryptaid(e) and Pattern Words. These programs are available on the Internet. They do not solve the Cryptogram themselves, they give you additional tools to do so. These 2 programs are very useful if you carry a laptop or a notepad.

Appendix
Tool #1 Unilateral frequency distribution per hundred letters: E T A O N I R S H L D C U P F M W Y 13 9 8 8 7 7 7 6 6 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2

High Frequency

Medium Frequency

B 1 G 1 V 1 K,Q,X,J,Z Tool #2

Low Frequency = 0

The most frequent English digraphs per 20000 letters are: TH--50 ER-40 ON--39 AN-38 RE--36 HE--33 IN--31 ED--30 ND--30 HA--26 beginning of words endings of words

Tool #3

The most frequent English trigraphs per 20000 letters are: THE--89 AND--54 THA--47 ENT--39 ION--36 TIO--33 FOR--33 Important Ending Trigraphs ING

Tool #4 INITIAL T 17 O 10 A 9 W B C D S F M R 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 4

The most frequency initial and final letters in percent FINAL E 17 T 11 D 10 N S R Y F L G O 9 9 8 8 6 6 4 4

The are T E

first 3 letters in each column of the most valueable, especially: for beginning. for ending.

Tool #5

Relative Frequency of Letters. = = = = 40 % 35 % 24 % 1 % ==== 100.%

6 Vowels: A E I O U Y 5 High Frequency Consonants: (D N R S T) 10 Medium Frequency Consonants:(B C F G H L M P V W) 5 Low Frequency Consonants: (J K Q X Z)

Tool #6 1.

Vowel Consonant Characteristics

A, E, I, O, are normally high frequency, U is moderate and Y is low frequency: ( A 19.5% E 32.0% I 16.7% O 20.2% U 8.0% Y 3.6%)

The 4 vowels A, E, I, O and the 4 consonants N, R,S, T form 2/3 of the normal English plain text. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Letters contacting low frequency letters are usually vowels. Letters showing a wide variety of contact-letters are usually vowels. In repeated digrams, one letter is usually a vowel. Doubled consonants are usually flanked by vowels, and visa versa. It is unusual to find more than 5 consonants in succession. Vowels do not often contact each other. If the CIPHERTEXT letter with highest frequency is assumed E, Any other high frequency letter which never touches E, can be assumed a vowel. A letter that contacts it very often can not be a vowel. E is most frequent vowel and rarely touches O. freely. Both double

9.

10. The only vowel-vowel digrams of consequence are OU,EA,IO. 11. Three vowels in sequence may be IOU, EOU, UOU, EAU. 12. The first 4 or last 4 letters of a word contain a vowel.

#7 1. 2. 3.

Tips for identifying consonants: Those letters still remaining in the high frequency section will usually include T, N, R, S, H. H is the easiest to identify, it precedes all vowels, and forms TH, HE, HA. R is also recognizable with it reverses openly with all vowels T is usually found by frequency, precedes vowels rather than follow them, precedes consonants. S has a similar pattern to a lesser degree.

4.

ST -TS AND RT -TR are the only frequent consonant reversals.

5. TT and SS are most frequent doubles in language. frequently in cryptograms.

LL also appears

Definitions: Crib A crib is a helpful clue or freebee that was not intentionally included by the author of the cryptogram. Cipher-text The encrypted message: the cryptogram before you solve it. The solution to a cryptogram is plain text.

#8

Dealing with 2 Letter Words

First Letter Hi Frequency AM AN AS OF ON OR IF UP

No Letter Hi Frequency BY MY

Both Letters Hi Frequency AT TO

Last Letter Hi Frequency BE HE ME WE IT DO GO NO SO IN IS

Tool #9 The Most Common 3, 4, AND 5 Letter English Words in Columns THE BUT AND YOU NOT ARE NOT HER FOR HAD WAS HIS ALL THAT WITH HAVE FROM THIS THEY WHICH

(note the word structure on THAT and WHICH) (note: tool 8 deals with 2 letter words)

Tool #10 A Pattern Word Dictionary of First Names. (feel free to add new names to this)

3 letter names Ann Lee Lou 4 letter names Adam Alan Gage Iris Anna Anne Ella Emma Noor Acea Alka

ABB ABB

ABAC ABAC ABAC ABAC ABBA ABBC ABBC ABBC ABBC ABCA ABCA

Kara Zara Zita Cara Dara Hana Maya Nada Naja Rene Sara Lynn Tess Todd Mara

ABCA ABCA ABCA ABCB ABCB ABCB ABCB ABCB ABCB ABCB ABCB ABCC ABCC ABCC ABCD

5 letter names Aaron Emeri Susan Ellen Reece Keely Noora Aidan Elmer Renee Fayaz Helen Sarah Aleen Ameer Betty Gemma Holly Isaac Kelly Kerry Tessa Alexa Alita

AABCD ABACD ABACD ABBAC ABBCB ABBCD ABBCD ABCAD ABCAD ABCBB ABCBD ABCBD ABCBD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCCD ABCDA ABCDA

10

Alyta David Trent Daria Denae Karla Kayla Laura Malka Paula Talia Vanea Vanya Vicki Xaida Jenan Keala Nuala Shana Shara Tiana Brett Brynn Lacee Quinn Riann Scott Wiatt Wyatt

ABCDA ABCDA ABCDA ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDB ABCDC ABCDC ABCDC ABCDC ABCDC ABCDC ABCDD ABCDD ABCDD ABCDD ABCDD ABCDD ABCDD ABCDD

6 letter names Acacia Amanda Aparna Anakin Allora Cooper Elliot

ABABCA ABACDA ABACDA ABACDB ABBCDA ABBCDE ABBCDE

11

Keegan Isaiah Aiyana Ariana Leslie Tamara Autumn Helena Tanaki Hannah Connor Dallas Jessie Brooke Carrie Cassie Conner Sutton Willow Aliyah Nathan Zahrah Aislin Denver Faiyaz Jishin Kelsey Kemper Nevaeh Raegan Shikha Virgil Wesley Delmer Alicia Aurora Dalila Ceasar Gerard Janine Kaesey Keagan Reagan

ABBCDE ABCACD ABCADA ABCADA ABCADB ABCBDB ABCBDE ABCBDE ABCBDE ABCCBA ABCCBD ABCCBD ABCCDB ABCCDE ABCCDE ABCCDE ABCCDE ABCCDE ABCCDE ABCDAE ABCDBA ABCDBC ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBE ABCDBF ABCDCA ABCDCA ABCDCB ABCDCE ABCDCE ABCDCE ABCDCE ABCDCE ABCDCE

12

Teagan Winona Wynona Alyssa Anissa Brenna Cierra Reilly Sierra Stella Yvonne Andrea Angela Athena Elaine Evanle Bernie Daisha Dakota Danica Frazer Marina Sabina Tanika Trevor Larisa Lavina Bianca Chanda Kenyon Landon Ophrah Parker Shayla Briana Ariene Dreama Mykala Karlee Kaylee 7 letter names Tatiana

ABCDCE ABCDCE ABCDCE ABCDDA ABCDDA ABCDDE ABCDDE ABCDDE ABCDDE ABCDDE ABCDDE ABCDEA ABCDEA ABCDEA ABCDEA ABCDEA ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEB ABCDEC ABCDEC ABCDEC ABCDEC ABCDEC ABCDEC ABCDEC ABCDED ABCDED ABCDED ABCDED ABCDEE ABCDEE

ABACBDB

13

Amariah Cecilia Emerson Elleron Alliyah Allycea Allison Abraham Estelle Indiana Ashanti Eliesha Rebecca Makaila Malachi Natalie Kenneth William Colleen Garrett Jessica Kassidy Matthew Tiffany Tillman Abigail Tristin Tabitha Timothy Rosaona Randall Delbert Zachary Trinity Onarada Theresa O'Bannon Phillip Shannon Maittee McKeely Tyleena Lindell

ABACDAE ABACDCE ABACDEF ABBACDE ABBCDAE ABBCDEA ABBCDEF ABCADAE ABCADDA ABCADED ABCADEF ABCADEF ABCBDDE ABCBDEB ABCBDEF ABCBDEF ABCCBDE ABCCBDE ABCCDDE ABCCDEE ABCCDEF ABCCDEF ABCCDEF ABCCDEF ABCCDEF ABCDACE ABCDACE ABCDAEB ABCDAEF ABCDBED ABCDBEE ABCDBEF ABCDBEF ABCDCAE ABCDCEC ABCDCEF ABCDDAD ABCDDCA ABCDDED ABCDDEE ABCDDEF ABCDDEF ABCDEAA

14

Ibrahim Desiree Dakotah Heather Kirstie Westley Chandan Bernard Caitlin Chantal Cyntina Malcolm Stephen Vincent Bhavesh Yasilis Chandni Carissa Janessa Kalissa Makenna Vanessa Arielle Rhianna Brietta Maureen Melissa Mikenna Alondra Arminda Melanie Sabrina Tanisha Vaniesa Claudia Khushbu Brandon Brendan Bronwen Mikayla Miranda Quentin Quinlan

ABCDEAF ABCDEBB ABCDEBF ABCDEBF ABCDEBF ABCDEBF ABCDECD ABCDECF ABCDECF ABCDECF ABCDECF ABCDECF ABCDECF ABCDECF ABCDEDB ABCDEDC ABCDEDF ABCDEEB ABCDEEB ABCDEEB ABCDEEB ABCDEEB ABCDEED ABCDEED ABCDEEF ABCDEEF ABCDEEF ABCDEEF ABCDEFA ABCDEFA ABCDEFB ABCDEFB ABCDEFB ABCDEFB ABCDEFC ABCDEFC ABCDEFD ABCDEFD ABCDEFD ABCDEFD ABCDEFD ABCDEFD ABCDEFD

15

Giacomo Jaydene Ainslee Ashlynn Dawnell Kendall Talisee

ABCDEFE ABCDEFE ABCDEFF ABCDEFF ABCDEFF ABCDEFF ABCDEFF

8 letter names Mackenna Isabella Chanelle Danielle Michelle Rochelle Clarissa Kathleen Shayleen Angelina Beatrice Benjamin Shanequa Methijah Prinston Hermanda Michaela Jonathan Makenzey Patricia Carteney Victoria Chanekah Shiquita Braylynn Vladamir Cheyenne Margaret Nathalie Marlaina Jennalee Jennifer

ABCDEFFB ABCDEFFC ABCDEFFE ABCDEFFE ABCDEFFE ABCDEFFE ABCDEFFG ABCDEFFG ABCDEFFG ABCDEFGA ABCDEFGB ABCDEFGC ABCDEFGC ABCDEFGD ABCDEFGD ABCDEFGE ABCDEFGE ABCDEFDC ABCDEFDG ABCDEFEB ABCDEFEG ABCDEFBG ABCDEFCB ABCDECFG ABCDEDFF ABCDCEFG ABCDCFFC ABCDBCEF ABCDBEFG ABCDBEFB ABCCDEBB ABCCDEBF

16

Timothie Jeanelle Brooklyn Carrigan Sapphyre Samantha Sarabeth Rhiannon Beverley Zahaylah Savannah Amarissa Araviana

ABCDAEBF ABCDAEEA ABCCDEFG ABCCDEFG ABCCDEFG ABCBDEFB ABCBDEFG ABCBEEFE ABCBDEBG ABCADEBC ABCBDDBE ABACDEEA ABACDAEA

9 letter names Anastasia Annaliese Nekeasher Cassandra Hannelore Alexander Nathaniel Zachariah Giovianna Katharyne Brinleigh Christian Gabriella Eglantine Stephanie Catherine Mackenzie Chrislynn Jyaschree

ABACDACEA ABBACDEFE ABCBEFGBH ABCCBDEFB ABCCDEFGD ABCDAEFCG ABCDBAEFG ABCDBEFBD ABCDBEFFE ABCDBEFGH ABCDEFCGH ABCDEFDGH ABCDEFGGB ABCDEFGHA ABCDEFGHC ABCDEFGHE ABCDEFGHE ABCDEFGHH ABCDEFGHH

10 letter names Tanjenekah Carrington Alixandria

ABCBEFEGBH ABCCDEFGHI ABCDAEFGCA

17

Persephone Beannaithe Aleksandar Christopher

ABCDBAEFGB ABCDDCEFGB ABCDEAFGAH ABCDEFGBIC

Additional names and patterns can be added to the preceding ones. The tables of pattern words ( first names) are written in Open Office Calc; compatible with MS Excel. The Pattern Words, in this case first names, will be a valuable crib if you have no other obvious clues. End of monograph.

18