The American Cryptogram Association (ACA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the hobby and art of cryptanalysis -- that is, learning to break ciphers.

Join Us!

Now is an ideal time to join the ACA. While supplies last, new members will receive a CD-ROM containing the contents of The Cryptogram from 1932 to 2009. For information on membership benefits and details on how to join see Membership.




If you wish to use PayPal as an option for paying your ACA dues or ACA For Sale items, please contact MANDRAKE:
treasurer (at) cryptogram (dot) org.

Free Web App.

The ACA's "Solve a Cipher!" program is now available as a free web app for users of Google's Chrome web browser. To get it, click HERE, or go to the Chrome Web Store and search on "ciphers".

New Expanded Free Sample Issue

The free sample issue of The Cryptogram available for download has been expanded with more explanations and many more ciphers to solve. Read about it and download it on the Sample Issue page under About the ACA .

2nd Edition PHOENIX Memorial CDROM

A member reported that the links on the index page of the 2nd Edition PHOENIX Memorial CDROM did not work with Acrobat Reader v9. It turned out to be caused by the default value of a preference option. Here is how it was corrected:


Documents->View Documents in PDF/A mode: NEVER

From the Edit menu, select "Preferences", then choose to look under Category "Documents".

The option "View Documents in PDF/A mode" should be changed to "Never".

FBI Code Breaking Challenge.

The FBI has a website with a code breaking challenge. Check it out.

THE RAT has made available for ACA members a program called Conmaker. It is designed for Windows users to easily create and submit cons to the ACA column editors. If interested, go to the Members Area / Downloads and get your copy.



2014 ACA Annual Convention

The National ACA Convention will be held August 22-24, at the Country Inn and Suites, 1837 Centre Point Circle, Naperville, IL, 60563. The rate is $89 per night (plus tax), which includes complimentary full breakfast buffet, Wifi, shuttle service within a 10 mile radius of the hotel, cookies and coffee in the lobby, and on Monday to Saturday at 5 p.m., fresh popcorn and pizza in the Fireside Lounge. The rate is also available for 3 days prior to and 3 days following the convention.

The hotel phone number is 630-505-3353. Up until July 31st, a certain number of rooms at this rate are held in a block for us. Please book before that date, and mention that you are with the American Cryptogram Association.

The convention will be hosted by CONFUOCO ( Members who want to present a talk on Saturday should contact NUCULAR (


Thursday, August 21:   For those who want to arrive early, there will be a field trip during the day and dinner at a local restaurant. The Meeting Room will be open for all those enthusiasts who would like to solve during the day and evening. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Friday, August 22:   Join us for another field trip or two during the afternoon (See President's Corner on page 3.), and pizza dinner (and many other good foods and drinks) in the Meeting Room. Lots of solving and socializing for as long as you would like!

Saturday, August 23:   Members will benefit from technical presentations for members during the day, while fun activities will be planned for the spouses while the members are busy with the presentations.

Cipher Contest (90 minutes) in the late afternoon.

Starting at 5:30:   appetizers, pictures, and an excellent buffet-style dinner at the hotel, with a special presentation and prizes after dinner. Feel free to stay into the wee hours for more fun!

Sunday, August 24:   Business Meeting in the morning, group lunch at the hotel, a field trip in the afternoon, and group dinner at a local restaurant for those who are still in Chicago/Naperville.

Field Trips for the ACA 2014 National Convention, Naperville IL

1) Naper Settlement, Naperville IL     Proposed Tour Thursday afternoon August 21.
Naperville's answer to Colonial Williamsburg, seen during the 2013 ACA convention. Naper Settlement is a family-friendly outdoor history museum featuring 12 acres of learning and interactive opportunities for all ages. Visitors will be immersed in history as they learn about the past and how it relates to the present, from pioneer times to today. Carpool to local site.

2) Riverbank Laboratories     Tour Friday August 22, 4 PM
Established by the eccentric millionaire Colonel George Fabyan on his estate in Geneva Il, it housed various departments that pursued personal projects of interest to Fabyan. It included a cryptology team that worked to decipher codes from the works of Sir Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, and enemy military communications. William F. Friedman, originally hired in 1915 to head the Genetics department, eventually became head of the Department of Codes and Ciphers. George Fabyan offered the U.S. Government the use of Riverbank's Codes and Ciphers Department during World War I and the estate played an instrumental role in history for deciphering German and Mexican codes. The National Security Agency (NSA) recognized the "voluntary and confidential service rendered by Colonel Fabyan and his Riverbank Laboratories in the sensitive areas of cryptanalysis and cryptologic training during a critical time of national need on the eve of America's entry into World War I." The building is recognized in the National Register of Historic Places. We will travel by bus, leaving the hotel at 3 PM. Leave for hotel at around 5 PM.

3) Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago     Tour Sunday afternoon August 24.
Contains numerous exhibits of interest to ACA Members. In particular, the German U-boat U-505 captured by the US Navy during WW II and associated cryptological materials. We will travel by bus, leaving the hotel at 1 PM. About 1 hour's drive to the museum. Leave for hotel at 5 PM.