Pat Ashforth & Steve Plummer
©Pat Ashforth & Steve Plummer 2015
Tips for Cracking Codes
In the English language some letters are used more often than others.
The most common (in alphabetical order) are A E S T.
The most commonly occurring 3-
Almost every 2-
A word with a single letter is most likely to be A or I
Some pairs of letters occur frequently together, such as SH, CK
There is no foolproof method but it often helps to start by looking for three letter words. You can probably tell, from the position in the sentence, whether a word might be ‘and’ or ‘the’. If you can establish that a symbol might stand for E, you can then find all the other Es.
Look for double letters. There are some letters that never appear in twos. Most appear after a vowel (sitting, happen, tell, for example).
Remember that the message may contain a name with an unusual arrangement of letters.
An alternative way is to use the frequency of the letters as your of starting point. Find the symbols that occur most often and decide which might be E (often the most common), A, S or T.
Some letters, such as J, Q, X, and Z occur rarely.
|Castor & Pollux|
|Explosion & Implosion|
|Have It All Ways|
|In the Pink|
|Single Vision & Double Vision|
|Some Square Over The Ranbow|
|Stand in Line|
|Step by Step|
|Points of Sail|
|Holes and Corners|
|The Other Man's Grass|
|Bunch of Fives|
|Moons and Nooms|
|Willow the Wisp|
|To the Point|
|Web of Intrigue|
|Wheels Within Wheels|