View Full Version : What Got You Started With Cryptograms

11-14-2012, 08:00 PM
I would be interested to know why each of you are so interested in solving Cryptograms.
For me it was in my Senior English class in high school where our assignment was to read Edgar Allen Poe's "Gold Bug" (a cryptogram was introduced here). I was fascinated by this idea and have been solving Cryptograms ever since (and I won't even tell you how many years that has been, lol)....:eek:

11-14-2012, 10:19 PM
Many years ago, I lived in a place where they had a daily "Cryptoquip" in the newspaper. I enjoyed doing them every day along with the crossword and Jumble (I imagine the Cryptoquip was a syndicated feature... does it still exist?).

Then I moved away to a place that didn't carry them in the newspaper, and I stopped doing them for years (although I occasionally lamented that I missed them). Then one day a few months ago I was bored and sitting in front of a computer, and I thought, "surely there are cryptograms to solve somewhere online." A quick google and here I am, reunited with a long-lost pleasure.

11-14-2012, 11:04 PM
I too started with the cryptoquips in the local newspaper. I remember the first one I did when I lived in Winnipeg. I was babysitting on a Friday evening and feeling bored, I decided to try the puzzle. It took me FOREVER! I remember writing out all the letters of the alphabet and stroking them off one-by-one.
It really is so much easier and more enjoyable doing cryptograms on-line! In fact, it's downright addicting. :cool:

11-14-2012, 11:29 PM
I think Cryptoquips are still published in the pink section of the S.F. Chronicle. I know they are often someone's attempt to be clever with word play.

11-15-2012, 12:18 AM
It was in my local paper too, although I think they were called Cryptoquotes. The first time I looked at one, I didn't see how I'd ever be able to solve it.

11-15-2012, 04:14 AM
I have always enjoyed a variety of word puzzles, and I bought Penny Press puzzle books, which had cryptograms. Trying a cryptogram one day, I found that I liked solving them. I first started solving them about 5 years ago. They became my new favorite, but for my first 2 years of solving them, I had to cheat by getting a couple of letters to get me started. A year after being able to solve them without help (which was a thrilling discovery), I found this site. I still do paper-and-pencil cryptograms (I keep a book of cryptograms in my purse), but I much prefer online puzzles!

11-16-2012, 04:01 AM
When I was in 5th grade my teacher put a cryptogram on the board every day and we would solve it in groups for the first hour or so of the day. When I was in college I was sitting around bored one day and remembered how much I loved doing cryptograms, so I searched for a site online where I could do them electronically. Needless to say, it's addictive. :)

11-16-2012, 04:43 AM
I had never solved a cryptogram prior to coming to this site.
I always skipped them in puzzle books, thought they were for
real smart people.
Late one winter night, my mind was atrophying, and I googled
puzzles with a challenge.
This was one of the sites that came up.
I signed up right away and started to play.
And it made sense to me. A bit like finding you had a talent
you never knew you had.
I fell in love with solving then I got to know and like the players on site.
Interesting, intelligent, humourous people.
Thanks Stephen. And thanks for this thread.

11-16-2012, 05:31 PM
I can't remember when I first tried a cryptogram, but when I was a kid I would choose a puzzle book for road trips based on which one had the most cryptograms in it. I've always loved them. And think I always will.

11-17-2012, 02:38 AM
I enjoy the Cryptoquotes in my local paper and decided to look for more online. Now when I'm doing them in the paper I really miss having letters fill in automatically!

11-17-2012, 05:05 AM
I started solving Cryptogram's from magazine puzzle books at my nearby superstore market, and now, well "My name is Debbie, and I am a cryptoholic!" lol's

11-17-2012, 09:49 AM
I started buying puzzle books over 40 years ago, mostly because I loved crossword puzzles. I skipped over the cryptograms for many years, fearing that I just wouldn't be able to solve them. I finally got up the nerve to give it a whirl and instantly became enamored of the whole process of deduction. But those darned numbers puzzles still elude me, and I'm in awe of anyone who can do suduko (is that even how you spell it???)

11-21-2012, 07:19 PM
Like several of the others here, I started doing the daily "Cryptoquote" in the daily paper I subscribe to. I eventually stumbled onto this website, and of the few cryptogram websites I've been to, this one is the best organized and most fun. And with the message board/forum (that the others don't have) I've found that the vast majority of the participants here are people I enjoy having something in common with.

12-10-2012, 08:56 PM
When I was in grade school, my neighbor ran a beauty shop and she bought crossword magazines. After a while, she would get new ones and gave them to me. I was always whipping through other puzzles. Then one day I decided to try a cryptogram...and got hooked.

I have to admit that I take spells when all I want to do is cryptograms, and then all of a sudden I wouldn't touch one if my life depended on it.

Thanks for letting me come play with you guys. I think we'll have fun together.

12-11-2012, 08:12 AM
gryhnd51, it's sudoku, and it's really easy and super-fun if you start with the easy ones and have good instructions!

welcome, winechick!

06-15-2013, 07:53 PM
Uncle Sam.

06-15-2013, 08:09 PM
I loved reading The Gold Bug as a kid, and I would have to say that was also my first introduction to cryptograms. I guess you'll have to share any royalties from "The Life and Cryptography of Martayela" with me.


06-16-2013, 05:49 AM
I started doing them in the newspaper too. I first started in the mid 1970s,

When we first came on-line in the late 90s, one of the first things I looked for was a
site just like this, but I couldn't find one. Years later, I tried again and found The Baron.
I hate to admit how addicted I am to the cryptograms.

06-17-2013, 11:12 PM
in short, my Mom. We have always been a puzzle and game kind of family growing up and this was and still is my Mom's favorite kind of puzzle. Now I'm passing it on to my kids :)

06-18-2013, 02:45 PM
I started doing search word puzzles when I was in junior high. My oldest brother used to give me the puzzles from one of his classes because he didn't like to do them. After high school I bought a lot of word search puzzles. After a while I got bored because they were too easy and would take about a week to finish a book. I tried crossword puzzles but I wasn't good at them. I think I discovered cryptograms in the local paper. I started buying books of them and it was really fun. Every time I went to the store it seemed like there was less books and magazines on cryptograms, I think sodoku puzzles took most of the business.One day I wanted to see if there any cryptograms online so I started looking around and found a few of them. Baron's is without a doubt the best because it has great quotes to solve and a great competition.I have learned to solve cryptograms better than when I started or else my success rate would have been much higher.

06-18-2013, 07:48 PM
The newspaper cryptoquips were my first introduction and I was hooked right away. While I'm not bad at crossword puzzles, I was always a bit thrown because I think I like the patterns of words and I'm good at recognizing those patterns. In part, I'm a speech language pathologist because I have a love for language and speech, reading, writing, spelling (yes, spelling) and words in general. Cryptograms are just fun patterns to me. I bought many cryptogram books over the years and the ones I always liked best were those that had quotes. The ones that were super-challenging, such as tongue twisters, or ones where the words all started with the same letter, or contained obscure words, were not my forte' and I still don't enjoy them. So many wonderful people on this site and such fun.

06-18-2013, 09:46 PM
I started with the newspaper cryptoquips and later started buying the Penny Press books of cryptograms. Then, several years ago I couldn't fin them at the store so I looked online and found this site.

06-20-2013, 11:24 PM
I got a codebreaking book out of the library when I was a kid and then started doing the cryptogram in the daily newspaper or puzzle books. I've always loved any kind of word puzzles. Cryptograms have just the right combination of literary quotes with analytical pattern recognition. It got tedious to do them with pencil and paper though - that's why this site is so addictive!

07-10-2013, 02:10 AM
I've been doing crosswords all my life. The cryptograms in the newspaper have always been fun to me but a distant second to the crossword until I tried cryptograms online. It's something about not having to fill in all of the letters, just once each as you get them, that makes the experience so much more enjoyable. Doing them by hand is like work. Also, it is rewarding to see how much easier it gets with time. I would be interested to know why each of you are so interested in solving Cryptograms.
For me it was in my Senior English class in high school where our assignment was to read Edgar Allen Poe's "Gold Bug" (a cryptogram was introduced here). I was fascinated by this idea and have been solving Cryptograms ever since (and I won't even tell you how many years that has been, lol)....:eek:

07-10-2013, 05:12 AM
My family has always played scrabble and done crossword puzzles. One day, in line at the grocery store with my mom, I decided to buy Variety Puzzles by Penny Press (using my own $$$$). I loved the cryptograms more than all the rest. Years later, I googled Cryptograms and have been here ever since. Well, except when I had my hissy fit.


07-10-2013, 05:52 AM
My dad got me started with word puzzles at an early age, and I went on to be an English teacher for 30 years working with words for a living!. As soon as I retired, I started having time to do word puzzles again! I always did them on paper, but this online playing is so cool. I still like doing them on paper too! I'm relatively new to it online, but so far, it's enjoyable!

07-10-2013, 08:36 AM
LLL, you had a hissy?!!

07-11-2013, 10:35 AM
I can't remember a time when I didn't love language and language learning. Especially languages with different alphabets, like Russian or Hebrew and Arabic. Learning to decipher a new writing system is as much fun as decoding words in English.

07-11-2013, 11:38 PM
Years later, I googled Cryptograms and have been here ever since. Well, except when I had my hissy fit.


I have to believe that you must have started a quote... got called away to a phone call or something... forgot you'd started a puzzle and then logged off. The odds of you not solving a puzzle you've begun are about the same as me being struck by lightning... if I'm standing on Mars. Whatever it was that happened, you had a right to your grief and your time away. But I am glad to see that flippy fish climbing the monthly ladder again each month. It belongs there. Welcome back.

07-12-2013, 06:47 AM
I wasn't my usual hyper-vigilant self :confused:

01-16-2014, 05:24 AM
I had been intrigued by cryptograms for a long time, but I didn't know how to solve them. Then, on a particularly long flight, I found myself sitting next to an older gentleman who had a large book of cryptograms. I thought I was being subtle as I watched him solve them, but I guess I wasn't, because he asked if I solved cryptograms too. When I confessed I had no idea how they were done, he spent the rest of the flight teaching me the basics. By the time we landed I had solved quite a few. I hope that kind gentleman has somehow found this site, and gets as much pleasure out of it as I do!

08-04-2016, 10:30 PM
( sorry to break your bubble its 2016:( )

i started as a lover of anything pertaining to spys, and i find this a vaild skill for spys,
( i am not yet;) )

08-05-2016, 07:20 PM
Looks like this thread has been inactive for a while until our Newby chipped in. So I might as well share my story.

I discovered cryptograms back in the 60s when my grandmother and I sat at the kitchen table doing the crossword puzzle. The newspaper always ran a daily cryptogram as well, so I started doing them. Forgot about them for 40 years until my wife started buying puzzle books. She had no problem with the Sudoku, but was totally lost on the cryptos so she would pull them out of the book and hand them to me to solve.

To make a long story short, I got hooked again. Several years ago I was at the library on the computer and did a Google search for cryptograms. This was the first site listed. I clicked on it and played for a couple of months with hints. When I started getting a little more proficient I signed up for an account. And presto, years later I'm still here.

08-05-2016, 10:44 PM
I actually came here through the logic puzzle site. I've always liked logic puzzles, so one day searched the internet for them and ended up in the Puzzle Baron site. A while later I checked out what else the Baron had to offer and found cryptograms. I had never tried those before, so it took me a while to get started, but I soon got hooked, created a profile and here I am...

08-06-2016, 10:12 AM
A teacher introduced cryptos to me in grade school (4th grade I think). I've solved them intermittently since then, usually when I had to amuse myself on a plane. Last year I discovered this site, and installed a cryptogram game on my phone. Now I do several cryptos each day. I may have a problem...

08-09-2016, 06:49 PM
I was fascinated with cryptograms beginning around 6th grade, but for whatever reason, could not solve them. There was something that just didn't click. I did crosswords for years, starting in my teens.

When I was in my 20s (circa 40 years ago), one night I was partaking of a certain illegal substance, and while looking at the cryptoquote in the newspaper, all of a sudden it made sense. I worked that one and several more that night (having several days papers sitting around).

Since then I've been able to work cryptograms, even though I gave up on the illegal substances over 30 years ago.

08-09-2016, 07:09 PM
your story really made me laugh! (out loud, even!)

08-09-2016, 08:10 PM
That sounds exactly like the story of a savant!:)

08-11-2016, 06:58 AM
The logic of cryptograms is seductive, leading from garble to a coherent (usually) message. And I always imagine that I am a intelligence agent decoding secret messages from spys.

08-11-2016, 07:38 AM
bwbaer, that's a delightful summary of the allure of cryptograms :)