Have you ever wondered how you could solve a cipher? Or you would like to know some of the techniques you can use to break or crack an encoded message? Then, you are in luck coz in this article, I will be discussing various methods you can use to solve any substitution cipher?
A substitution cipher replaces each letter in the alphabet with another symbol.
These symbols could be letters, numbers, arcane symbols, lines and dots, and unknown squiggles.
here are 15 tips and techniques to solve any substitution cipher
How to solve a cipher
- Scan through the cipher, looking for single-letter words. They are almost definitely A or I.
- Scan through the cipher, looking for two-letter words. They are probably IN, OF, TO, IS, AN, ON, BY, BE, IT, and OR.
- Scan through the cipher, looking for three-letter words. They are probably THE, YOU, ARE, AND, ANY, BUT, NOT, and CAN.
- The most common three-letter words, in order of frequency, are THE, AND, FOR, WAS, and HIS.
- If the three-letter word has a double letter. It is almost definitely ALL, TOO, and SEE.
- The most common four-letter word is THAT. Therefore, if the encrypted word has a pattern of 1–1, it is likely to be THAT.
- Look for apostrophes. They are always followed by S, T, D, M, LL, and RE.
- Look for common patterns at the end of words. These could be ED, ING, S, and TION. Many words end in E.
- Double letters cannot be AA, HH, II, JJ, KK, QQ, UU, VV, WW, XX, and YY.
- Count how many times each symbol appears in the puzzle. The most frequent symbol is letter E. Other frequent letters are T, A, and O.
- Look for repeating letter patterns. They may be common letter groups, such as TH, SH, RE, CH, TR, ING, ION, and ENT.
- Look for double letters. They are most likely to be LL, followed in frequency by EE, SS, OO, and TT.
- Look out for names, places and common words, which might occur in the code.
- Look out for common phrases at the beginning of sentences. For example, instructions often have sentences starting “YOU MUST…” or “GO TO THE…”
- Pencil in your guesses over the ciphertext. If it does not work somewhere else in the code, perhaps your guess was wrong, so try again.
Now I want to hear from you.
How do you solve a cipher?
Or maybe I missed one of your favorite technique of breaking or cracking substitution ciphers.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.