By Richard Fisher
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Extra info for Brain Games: 134 Original Scientific Games That Reveal How Your Mind Works
After guessing at that digraph and then at the first word of the crypt, you may be able to solve this without further help. ) 8. The Gold Bug Cipher In 1843 Edgar Allan Poe won a $100 prize for his story “The Gold Bug,” the plot of which hinges on a mysterious cipher. The story has intrigued readers ever since. If you read the story, you were probably baffled by the cipher. No wonder. Numbers and symbols all run together— very confus ing. With minor revisions (changing certain symbols) here is the cipher as Poe presented it: 53## +305 ) )6 *; 4826 )4 #.
34; 48)4# #? ; Cipher. # + /( ) - 42 Cryptograms and Spygrams Taking a frequency count, you would write the following fre quencies over the cipher alphabet: 0 - 6 , 1 - 8 , 2 - 5 , 3 - 4 , 4 - 1 9 , 5 - 1 2 , 6 - 1 1 , 8 - 3 3 , 9 - 5 , *- 13, : —4, . - 1 , ; —26. - 3 , # - 1 6 , + - 8 , 1 -2 , ( - 1 0 , ) - 1 6 and - - 1 . The letter appearing most frequently in a sim ple substitution crypt is usually E. Looking over your frequencies, you decide which number or symbol you will try, first, for E.
Courage W A H T W C E 0 M 0 M N L C Y A L B L R A E V R Y S I N 0 T T H E A L C K F 0 F E R A B U I T T S 0 C N Q E U S T Y S D N Y E H A R R I S . ) 8. Value System F I U 0 Y A C P S N N E P A D R E C E F L T S U Y L E S S E F A R E T 0 N I N 0 Miscellaneous Types A N R E P E F L T C U Y L E S S E A M S N N Y R E U 0 V A H L E R A E E N 0 H D T W I L 0 E V. ) Cryptograms in which one letter of the alphabet consistently represents another letter are “sim ple substitution” cryptograms. Those in which the actual letters are concealed by moving them about are called “transposition” cryptograms (or ciphers).