Cracking Codes and Cryptograms For Dummies Paperback – Nov 2 2009
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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
- 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
I don't have any secrets anymore, certainly not from members of my family, but I've maintained the interest. Two of the most treasured books on my bookshelf are Applied Cryptography and Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945.
This book has it all and cryptic crosswords. There's a short historical and introductory section giving the background to codes and cryptograms, outlining ways of making and breaking them, and then we get into the meat of the action. There are coded puzzles to be solved. Some easy, some more challenging. Hints are provided for those having difficulty, and if you are really, totally stuck, the solutions are right at the end.
But it's not just a list of crypto puzzles. There's three real life and little-known conspiracy stories for the reader to work out, using the puzzles that make up the rest of the book.
I'd like to say that there's hours of fun in this book, but there's not. Days and weeks of fun for a grown-up kid.
Highly recommended for the clever kids. Of all ages.