Cryptogram Quiz

Staff

What does the prefix 'crypto' mean?

The word cryptogram comes from the Greek words "kryptos" meaning hidden and "gram" meaning written or drawn.

Which of these terms refers to searching a cryptogram to determine how often a letter or cluster of letters occurs?

Identifying the most common letters in a cryptogram (frequency analysis) is often the first step toward solving it.

Using a 13-space substitution cipher, what city is named in this cryptogram? ARJ LBEX

Solving numeric substition cryptograms requires knowing the number of spaces in the substitution pattern. In this example, the entire alphabet is shifted 13 spaces to form the word New York.

What is the most common three-letter word in the English language?

Once you've identified the word "the," look for the "th" pattern throughout the cryptogram.

Which of the following mnemonics represents the most common letteres in the English language?

The letters in ETAOIN are organized according to their frequency in English, with "E" being the most common, followed by "T," etc.

Which of the following literary figures frequently created cryptograms?

Poe famously called for cryptograms to be sent from his readers, all of which he solved in short order.

Which of these is a type of cipher designed to create cryptograms by shifting each letter of the alphabet by between one and 25 spaces?

The Caesar cipher is so named because legend Julius Caesar used it to communicate with his allies.

Using the Caesar cipher, which of the following cryptograms means HELP?

KHOS is an example of a three-space shift Caesar cipher.

How many one-letter words are there in the English language?

There are 3 single-letter words in the English language: A, I, and O (usually used in poetry, O is able to stand alone in the English language).

Which of the following means two letters that together form a single sound?

Digraphs (example "th") are very useful in solving cryptograms.

Which of the following words would be the easiest to solve in a cryptogram?

I'll is a cinch to solve for two reasons: 'I' is the only single letter that can come before a consonant and the only possible double letter possibility to follow it is 'L.'

Which of these terms refers to a cipher in which one letter of the alphabet is substituted for another?

An example of an Atbash cipher is substituting the letter 'A' for 'Z,' 'B' for 'Y,' and so on.

One of the most famous cryptograms is the Zimmerman Telegram. During which war was it sent?

During World War I, the Zimmerman Telegram was sent by the German Foreign Minister to Germany's ambassador to Mexico urging him to bring Mexico into the war against the U.S. The telegram was written in code.

Which country decoded the Zimmerman Telegram?

The U.S. entered World War I within weeks of learning the contents of the Zimmerman Telegram from the British.

Which of the following is an example of a cryptogram?

An example of an anagram and its cipher is EARTH and HEART.

What is the meaning of the Shugborough Inscription in Staffordshire, England?

The meaning of the Shugborough inscription has confounded scholars since the 18th century.

Which of the following academic institutions hosts an annual puzzle hunt that commonly involves cryptograms?

The annual MIT Mystery Hunt often includes solving clues based on complex mathematical equations, pop culture trivia, and cryptograms.

Which of the following English monarchs survived an assasination plot organized in part by cryptograms?

The assasination plot against Queen Elizabeth I was devised by Mary, Queen of Scots and her supporters.

What was the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots, once her insurrection was uncovered?

Mary was beheaded while several of her co-consirators were hanged for their roles in the plot.

Using an Atbash cipher, what is the solution to the following cryptogram? GSRH JFRA RH LEVI

Atbash ciphers are simple to solve once you identify the substitution pattern. Once you've done so, THIS QUIZ IS OVER!

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About This Quiz

Cryptograms have been used for centuries by world leaders, clandestine lovers and anyone wishing to keep something under wraps. Test your knowledge of cryptograms as well as your skill at solving them.

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