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Instructions for Master Cryptogram Puzzle

  • Puzzle Goal

    Recover the original quote from the multi-encrypted cipher text.

    In each line of the quote, a letter in the original (plain) quote has been replaced with a letter from the cipher. In the example below, in the 1st line, every 'A' in the original (plain) quote would appear as a 'C' in cipher, while in the 2nd line every 'A' would appear as a 'W' and in the 3rd line every 'A' would appear as an 'R'.

    The encipherments of each line are related, so that solution is aided by working back and forth between the cryptogram and the recorded Plain/Cipher components below the cryptogram. Each line of the Plain is the same sequence at an offset, as in the example below:

    Plain 1: TGBOMQLEYPSWVXAKHDRJZICNUF
    Plain 2: OMQLEYPSWVXAKHDRJZICNUFTGB
    Plain 3: MQLEYPSWVXAKHDRJZICNUFTGBO
    Cipher : NTSQGXOMFPRWBECHJVKZUDALIY

    In solving, therefore, if a T and B are recovered for the 1st line of the cryptogram and are two characters apart (as above), when a T is entered in the 2nd line the B can be entered two characters apart to assist solution:

    Plain 1: T.B.......................
    Plain 2: .......................T..
    Plain 3: ..........................
    Cipher : NTSQGXOMFPRWBECHJVKZUDALIY

    can be updated to

    Plain 1: T.B.......................
    Plain 2: .......................T.B
    Plain 3: ..........................
    Cipher : NTSQGXOMFPRWBECHJVKZUDALIY

    and the on-line solving apllet will automatically decrypt any cipher Y in the 2nd line of the cryptogram as B.

  • Mouse Control

    In the cryptogram, click on or just above a letter blank, or on one of the letters typed, to place the cursor selector on that letter and enter the Plain letter. In the components box, click on or just above a letter blank to place the cursor selector and enter the Plain letter.

  • Keyboard Control

    • Arrows move the cursor up, down, left, or right.
    • Typing a letter causes it to appear at the selected location in the puzzle. The cursor will move to the next square.
    • backspace clears the letter under the cursor, and moves the cursor to the left.
    • delete clears the letter under the cursor.
    • space clears the letter under the cursor and moves the cursor to the right.
    • home and end move the selection to the beginning and end of the line, respectively.
    • ctrl-left and ctrl-right will move the cursor backward or forward to the next unentered blank.

    Note that after clicking one of the buttons below the puzzle (Save, Clear, Highlight, Hint, or Cipher on Top/Bottom), you must click on a letter before using the keyboard controls.

  • Buttons

    • Highlight will toggle between highlighting only the letter on which the cursor rests and highlighting all occurrences of that particular letter in the cipher.
    • Cipher on Top/Bottom will change whether or not the cipher letters appear above or below the plain letters.
    • Hint: Reveal Letter will enter the correct letter at the selected location.
    • Save records your progress. When you revisit this puzzle, your progress will be automatically loaded. Visit the help for more information.
    • Clear will restart the puzzle.

  • Links

    After the puzzle is solved, a Click Here for Copyable appears in the lower right. Clicking this link causes a box to appear with the final solution. You can use ctrl-c or command-c to copy the text, which you may then paste into an email or other document.

    After clicking the link, you may click the same area again (the text has changed) to return to the puzzle solution.

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