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#1
Old 10-17-2000, 07:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 852
I have a few tricks I've picked up.
I'd be glad to swap these tricks for yours.
Some are obvious, and some are dubious, but here they are.
(The formats are shown like rhyme schemes: PKKP and XNNX become -> ABBA, etc.)
  • In no particular order
  • E is often the most used letter. (For a classic list of common letters in order, see Edgar Allen Poe's story The Gold Bug)
  • Double letters are usually EE, OO, or LL. SS if at the end of a long word.
  • A single letter is A, I, or O (in poetic/dramatic quotes)
  • An apostrophe signals N'T or 'S
  • A'BB is I'LL
  • ABB is usually ALL, TOO, or SEE
  • ABCA are usually THAT or ELSE
  • ABCADB is always PEOPLE
  • pairs of letters appearing a lot are usually TH
  • first word after a comma is usually AND or BUT
  • The most common 3-letter word is THE, but some newspapers shun it for that reason. To see if it's allowed, check the answer for the prior cryptoquote.
  • A letter that ends multiple words is usually E, T, or S. Next popular are D and Y
  • If everything you try seems to run into a contradiction, the quote is probably in second person. Look for words that could be YOU, YOUR and YOURSELF.
I guess you can tell what I do at the diner every morning waiting for my breakfast to arrive. When do you do the puzzles?
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#2
Old 10-17-2000, 07:25 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 1,324
Whenever I've done it I've been fairly methodical.
Code:
A|*************
B|**
C|****
D|******
E|*****************
F|****
G|**
H|*********
I|*************
J|
K|*
L|******
M|***
N|***********
O|************
P|***
Q|
R|********
S|***********
T|*************
U|****
V|*
W|**
X|
Y|****
Z|
After filling in the most probable ones, I just guess at common words.
#3
Old 10-17-2000, 07:26 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 1,324
ack! Accidently deleted a sentence.

It'd make more sense if I explained what I was doing. (although it's kinda obvious)
I just make a tick mark for every instance of a letter in the encoded phrase, then match them up against the most common letters in a normal distribution.
#4
Old 10-17-2000, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Texas.
Posts: 3,140
Start with 1 and 2 letter words, and work upwards from there.
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