Six Simple Cryptoquote/Cryptogram Solving Strategies

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     A cryptoquote is a word puzzle game that consists of short pieces of encrypted text. This text is generally a quote made by a famous author. Each letter of the encrypted text represents the correct letter of the quote. To solve the puzzle, you must uncover the original lettering that represents the full quote along with the author. Sometimes this is not easy to do. I have put together 6 simple cryptoquote solving strategies that can help you along the way:

1. Look for Common Words to Start - When starting off a new cryptoquote, the best thing to do is look for common words that people use. An example are words like "the", "at", "as", "to", and "it". Even basic single letter words like "I" or "a". These words are most commonly used in sentences and can appear at the beginning or in the middle. This can provide the best place to start.

2. Using Letters to Formulate Words that Make Sense - As you are figuring out the common words and filling them into the blank spaces in your head, look at the other encrypted letters in the quote that comprise the sentence. For example, check to see that if one word happens to be a word like "The", that it would not make a jumbled "nonsense" word somewhere else in the quote. If it does, then you can probably eliminate that unsolved word as "The" and try another 3 letter word. This will greatly help you develop your solving skills.

3. Double Letters - There are many words that have double letters. Several examples are "all", "too", "ball", "balloon", "vacuum" and "bookkeeper". There are obviously a lot more. Look for patterns of words that have double letters. If it is a small 3 letter word, you can also apply the common word strategy.

4. Contractions - A contraction is the shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of internal letters. In traditional grammar, contraction can denote the formation of a new word from one word or a group of words. This often occurs in rendering a common sequence of words or maintaining a flowing sound. An example of a contraction would be taking the words "You have" and changing it to "You've". Another example is "They will" and changing it to "They'll". In a cryptoquote, you can look for an apostrophe with letter patterns that may imply that the word is in fact a contraction. In the second example not only do you have an apostrophe, but you would also have a "double letter" which provides even more of a word hint.

5. Author Names - As you progress down your cryptoquote journey, you will find a lot of quotes that are from the same authors. Two examples of common authors are Mark Twain and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Each time you solve a cryptoquote, your knowledge expands with different author names. Also, as you are solving a cryptoquote, you will find author names that are already partially solved and thus from there you can figure out what the remaining letters of their name is. For example, you may have an author with a first name of 3 letters and the first 2 letters are "Ab" with the third letter missing. From there, after a little thought, you can safely put an "e" there to make it "Abe". Now, you look at the last name and see if it has the correct # of letters to perhaps be a famous American president.

6. Sounding Out Phrases - As you are progressing toward the end of your cryptoquote puzzle, you may run into several consecutive words with missing letters that you are stuck on. Well at this point in the game, you be able to figure out these words by reading what you do have solved and see if something in your mind can put together the missing words. When using this technique, it is often solved if it flows correctly.

Well there you have it; these techniques can help you get through a tough cryptoquote puzzle.
Good luck and have fun doing your next cryptoquote!

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