We offer a free, abbreviated Sample Issue of The Cryptogram, our bi-monthly publication for members of The American Cryptogram Association (ACA). This sample issue tells a little about the ACA, some of the types of ciphers we solve, and includes a number of challenge ciphers for you to solve. Solutions, membership information and a membership application can also be found in the sample issue. Hint: the cover contains an ornamental cipher, so you may want to print the first page so you can cut it into pieces!
What ciphers do we solve? ACA members solve around sixty different cipher types. The sample issue introduces some of the simpler ciphers to learn. It contains Aristocrats, Patristocrats, Cryptarithms, Xenocrypts, Transposition ciphers, Null ciphers, Swagman ciphers, a Checkerboard cipher, and an Ornamental Cover cipher. Give the sample issue a try!
Spoiler alert: Complete answers (plaintext) are listed toward the back of the issue.
Need some help? A hint or a nudge, perhaps? Available below are solutions to all the Sample Issue ciphers in the form of tutorial presentations. Each tutorial shows how one member approached and solved the cipher. You can read through each tutorial while you attempt to solve the cipher, using its hints to help you along. See if you can finish solving the cipher before the tutorial completes!
Note: These tutorial files were intended for on-screen viewing, not for printing. They have many slides (=pages), some being just a little different from the previous slide. If you must create a printed copy, consider using the “Multiple” Print option in Adobe Acrobat to put multiple slide images per printer page. For example, After clicking “Multiple”, select Pages per Sheet: Custom, 2 by 3, Page order: Horizontal, Orientation: Portrait. Then print a page or two to test if the size works well for you.
Non-English Aristocrats: X-1 and X-2
Route Transposition: E-1
Null Ciphers: E-2 through E-6
Complete Columnar Transposition: E-7
Checkerboard Cipher: E-8
Swagman Cipher: E-9 and E-10
Cover Ornamental (Aristocrat): Ornamental Cover
Tutorials created by BECASSE.