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Cracking Codes and Cryptograms For Dummies [Paperback]

Denise Sutherland , Mark Koltko-Rivera

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Book Description

Nov. 2 2009 For Dummies
The fast and easy way to crack codes and cryptograms

Did you love Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol? Are you fascinated by secret codes and deciphering lost history? Cracking Codes and Cryptograms For Dummies shows you how to think like a symbologist to uncover mysteries and history by solving cryptograms and cracking codes that relate to Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, the Illuminati, and other secret societies and conspiracy theories.

You'll get easy-to-follow instructions for solving everything from the simplest puzzles to fiendishly difficult ciphers using secret codes and lost symbols.

  • Over 350 handcrafted cryptograms and ciphers of varying types
  • Tips and tricks for cracking even the toughest code
  • Sutherland is a syndicated puzzle author; Koltko-Rivera is an expert on the major symbols and ceremonies of Freemasonry

With the helpful information in this friendly guide, you'll be unveiling mysteries and shedding light on history in no time!


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Product Details


Product Description

From the Back Cover

Solve compelling and challengingpuzzles to uncover secrets andconspiracy plots

Fascinated with the culture of conspiracy? Uncover the mysteries and test your knowledge of secret societies by solving cryptograms and deciphering codes that not only unveil historical fact and fiction but entertain you as well. Walk in the footsteps of a symbologist by solving everything from the simplest puzzles to fiendishly difficult ciphers, using secret codes and lost symbols.

  • Think like a symbologist — discover a variety of codes and wordplay and the strategies for solving each one
  • Build your code-cracking skills — work your way from solving simple cryptograms to difficult Masonic and double level ciphers
  • Uncover a bigger mystery — use the answers you discover to solve three conspiracy stories contained in the book
  • Appreciate the history of code and encryption — reveal the secret world of Freemasonry, the Illuminati, and the Knights Templar
  • Check your work — find hints and answers for all the book's puzzles

Open the book and find:

  • Over 350 handcrafted cryptograms and ciphers of varying types
  • Tips and tricks for cracking even the toughest code
  • An introduction to the history and relevance of using code
  • Puzzle strategies and hints to help nudge you in the right direction
  • Fun and intriguing anagrams and story wordplay puzzles
  • Fascinating number ciphers that reference the keypad letters on your cellphone
  • Puzzles of all levels: Easy, Tricky, and Treacherous

Learn to:

  • Expose conspiracies like the characters do in Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
  • Decipher cryptic puzzles
  • Understand the role coded messages play in secret societies
  • Use encrypted alphabets to unveil secrets of the past

About the Author

Denise Sutherland is a syndicated puzzle author. Her puzzles appear in a range of publications, including the Reader's Digest Mind Stretchers series, and she is the author of Word Searches For Dummies.

Mark E. Koltko-Rivera, PhD, is a 32degree Freemason and expert on the major symbols and ceremonies of Freemasonry. Using this expertise, he analyzed prepublication clues to uncover and blog about key elements of The Lost Symbol. He co-hosts the weekly podcast Masonic Central.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what you might think Oct. 22 2010
By Johnbo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book looking to get something that would give me basic understanding of many different types of codes and cryptograms. But what I ended up with instead was more of a workbook made almost entirely of puzzles using various different cryptology methods. Out of 336 pages, there are exactly 37 pages on history and code descriptions. The rest of the book consists of puzzles that have to be figured out by using what was written in the first two chapters.

If you are wanting something simply to add to your collection of sudoku and crossword books, you might enjoy this for a decent mental workout. But if your goal is to learn a little something about all the different codes that are out there, you may wish to look somewhere else.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cryptograms for the uninitiated Dec 18 2009
By EllenE. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I thought I was familiar with cryptograms--you know, those letter-substitution puzzles found in the paper. And I wondered how one could produce an entire book dedicated to those puzzles. Well, turns out those are just the tip of the cryptogram iceberg. This book has some of those, but also nine more types of cryptograms and ciphers for your puzzling pleasure.

The book starts with a very brief history of cryptograms, ciphers, and codes, and their used throughout history. I do wish there had been a bit more on codebreaking.

But this book is really about solving these types of puzzles, and it has plenty of them. They make up the bulk of the book. From substitution cryptograms to Masonic ciphers to keyboard codes and beyond--this book will keep even the fastest solver busy for months (and those of us who are a bit slower--probably years!). And if you get stuck, there's a section that offers clues to the puzzles.

There's also a twist to all the puzzles: they're all part of a broader story solved by inserting the completed cryptos into the text. This not only gives an incentive to solve all the puzzles, but also adds an element of difficulty: rather than each puzzle being a famous quotation (like the newspaper version), it's instead a seemingly random sentence or phrase.

If this really whets your appetite for the world of cryptography, the authors give a few references for further study. If you'd like to read a good fiction book on the subject, I highly recommend Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Nov. 13 2009
By N. Coleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic book. I bought it so I could write messages to my students in code and found that it is sooo much more. It is very easy to read and really hooks you in right from the beginning.

There is a lot more to this book than first glance. It explained a lot about how to do codes & cryptograms and write them as well for me (at a beginners level), but it was also really interesting for my husband who has studied formal logic & loves these sorts of brain twisters.

This one is worth buying - I'm thinking of buying another one so we aren't fighting all the time over who gets to read it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Codes & Cryptograms for DUMMIES Nov. 17 2009
By David S. Brockman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Having read "Cracking Codes and Cryptograms for Dummies" I believe that the book has a great deal of historic information. It also gives a lot of general information on how ciphers are made and used from when to now. The book also has a large amount of practice ciphers to help with understanding. I found the book to be extremely enlightening and would recommend it for anyone interested in cryptology.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book to Introduce You to the World of Cryptograms and Ciphers Dec 28 2009
By Vienna64 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book does provide background on codes and their history and explains how to go about decoding them. However, the book is also a collection of great codes and related puzzles (351 of them) to tackle, providing many hours of challenging fun. The puzzles are all excellent and the difficulty rating provided with each one is a fairly accurate guide. To add to the challenge there are links between the puzzles and also a story to complete based on the answers to the puzzles which I thought was a good idea although as a non-American I found the setting of the story in the US both unnecessary and a little irritating.

The puzzles not only vary in difficulty but also in type. There are cryptograms with various substitutions (my favourites), shift ciphers, masonic, rail fence and keyboard ciphers as well as anagrams and cryptic riddles. This variety kept the puzzles interesting and challenging as I worked through the book and was also educational as some of these were new to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and it was the first book I reached for when I wanted to relax.

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