Two helpful threads can be found on this forum as well. Currently on page 5 of the forum is a thread titled Solving Tips, and on page 12 Help for Newcomers can be found.
As for a couple of really quick basic solving tips... 1.) the letter 'e' is almost certainly the most used letter in the English language, though that of course is not going to be absolute for every quote you come across. 2.) I always start by looking at the three and four letter words and I'm specifically looking for a pattern like this "mpy" and "mpjm" tucked somewhere in the quote. If you see this pattern, you're almost always looking at "the" and "that". 3.) Cryptoquotes tend to make generalizations, which in turn use general terms. So quite often you might see the word "people" - notice that letters 1 & 4 and 2 & 6 are the same. So in a crypto it would look like "zfczmf". Other generalized terms with repeating letter patterns would be the word "always" (very similar to the word people but without the repeater in positions 2 & 6). Other good words to look for are "NothiNg" "UsUaLLy" and this list could go on and on. 4.) If you're stuck, take a look at where words are placed in the quote... for example a 2-letter word followed by a 3-letter word with no letter repetition might well be "is the" in the quote. A 3 letter word after a comma might be "and" or "but." 5.) If you see two 2-letter words which both begin with the same letter (for example, it would look like this "cu cm" in the quote), that first letter could just as easily be an "a", but for whatever reason it's usually an "i." Quite often you're looking at "it is". And, of course, a single letter word is going to be "a" or "i". If this is a beginner's type cryptogram in school, then these tips will probably be helpful. And just seeing the word I wrote reminded me that if you see a quote that starts with 5 letters and letters 3 & 5 repeat, you may well be looking at "thErE" or "thEsE."
Anyway, those are a few "starter tips". Good luck. Cryptos can be fun and addicting.
Last edited by Barnabas : 01-14-2014 at 12:23 PM.