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Crypto List Puzzles Help

Crpuzzles Crypto List Puzzles are a classic cipher puzzle with a bonus: the solver completes work by deriving a Mystery Word(s) from the recovered Plaintext alphabet. CRpuzzles Crypto Lists have an easy-to-use on-line tool to eliminate the messy bookkeeping of printed cipher puzzle solving.

In Crypto Lists as opposed to Cryptograms, instead of a quotation or saying being enciphered, a list of words or phrases relating to the puzzle topic are enciphered: each letter is substituted for by another letter of the alphabet or, occasionally, by itself. For example, in a Crypto List Puzzle on Trees, a partial list of encipherments follows:

 1. CATALPA    2. SEQUOIA    3. PIN OAK    4. REDWOOD  could become
 1. KXMXRIX    2. NAZLQYX    3. IYV QXJ    4. BAUHQQU              

Punctuation is kept in place, and capitals/lower case letters are not distinguished separately.

To decipher Crypto List Puzzles, the solver must find each substitution and replace the Cipher letter with the correct Plaintext letter. For example, in the above, if the solver determines word 4 is REDWOOD, the result would be

    1. KXMXRIX

    2. NAZLQYX
    2.  E  O    

    3. IYV QXJ
    3.     O 

    4. BAUHQQU
    4. REDWOOD
as all the Cipher-Plain letter pairs are filled in manually.

CRpuzzles' Crypto List Puzzles online solving tool allows for easy entry and, if necessary, change or retraction of the substitution pairs. To decipher a Cipher letter, the solver clicks on the blank under any of the occurrences of the Cipher letter and enters the Plaintext letter; the program finds and makes all the other substitutions for the letter pair. If the solver decides that a letter of Cipher should be a different letter of Plaintext than previously entered, changing any of the of Plaintext letters to the new letter will effect changing all of them; if the new letter has already been entered for another Cipher letter, those entries will change back to blanks. If the solver decides that a letter pair is wrong but isn't sure what the Cipher-Plain substitution is, a space can be entered in place of the Plaintext letter and all occurrences will return to blanks.

Solving for the Mystery Word(s), which is always one extra word or phrase relating to the puzzle topic, adds to the difficulty of traditional cipher solution. As substitution pairs are recovered, the Plaintext letters are automatically recorded in the appropriate blanks under their Cipher equivalents. To complete solution, the solver finds the Mystery Word(s), which occurs in forward sequence in the Plaintext alphabet with repeated letters dropped. For example, in the Trees Crypto List Puzzle, the alphabet pair of

           HON  S  KTI REDMAPLY U  CW

yields RED MAPLE (Note that the repeated E does not appear). When all the Words in the Crypto List are recovered and RED MAPLE is entered in the blanks for Mystery Word(s), the puzzle is solved. As a solving aid, the actual length of the Mystery Word(s) will be given as the number of blanks provided for entry.

Sometimes, for difficult CRpuzzles Crypto Lists, it may be necessary for the solver to try to recover the Mystery Word(s) to help complete solution of the List words. Solvers can enter Cipher-Plaintext substitutions by clicking on the appropriate blank under a Cipher alphabet letter and entering the Plaintext letter; the tool will automatically make the correct entries in the List words.

Solvers who prefer to work on CRpuzzles Crypto List Puzzles manually can print the online page and complete the puzzle in the traditional manner; they can record the substitution pairs under the Cipher alphabet and solve for the Mystery Word(s); to verify, solvers can view the Solution page. Copyright © 2000 by Calvin J. Hamilton & Randall L. Whipkey. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement.