View Full Version : Cryptograms and Randomness

10-09-2015, 05:02 PM
Hi. I'm new here. So not exactly sure if this is where I should be posting this. But I had a question. Part of the fun of cryptograms is trying to crack them. Finding patterns in them in order to slowly break them apart. What if a cryptogram uses a key which produces pseudo randomness so that no analysis of the cryptogram is useful? In other words frequency analysis can't be used etc... In essence the cryptogram is for all practical purposes impossible to figure out even though there is a key to solving it. It's just that the key helps make the cryptogram appear random?

I guess there's not really an exact question here. Just was wondering what everyone's thoughts were.

PS. I think I've devised a key like this. I love making cryptograms and trying to see if my friends can solve them, but I think without the key, mine is possibly uncrackable.

Thanks, Aaron

10-17-2015, 01:06 PM
Hi Aaron,

I'm not sure what you mean about a "key". Or exactly what your question is, but I
wanted to say, hello. I hope you'll stay and enjoy solving.

10-17-2015, 06:44 PM
I don't know what your cryptogram code is, Aaron, but as many expert solvers as are on this website, I'm pretty sure it would be cracked.

10-18-2015, 02:33 PM
Most cryptograms, and certainly all those on this site, simply substitute one letter for another, with no letter representing itself and none representing more than one letter. I know some sites use "keywords" (I used to solve on a site that always indicated a key word in the solution), but they really aren't necessary in solving the cryptogram. The difficulty of a particular cryptogram is produced solely by the quote. The shorter it is and the fewer repetitions of letters, the hard it is to solve. If it lacks common words like "the" or "and", that also adds to the difficulty. I don't suppose there are any that are totally unsolvable, but those of us who attempt a lot of them know that some are quite fiendishly difficult.

10-20-2015, 12:55 AM
Hi Aaron. There's a lot of fascinating stuff in cryptography as a result of many centuries of people thinking up ingenious ways to keep their messages secure and other people thinking up even more ingenious ways to break them. I'd recommend checking out Simon Singh's The Code Book for a good overview of it all.

From what you've said, I wonder if your method might be similar to the Vigenère cipher (http://simonsingh.net/The_Black_Chamber/v_square.html) which was indeed considered unbreakable for over 200 years. The earliest known person to work out a method to break it was Charles Babbage (who is also credited with the invention of the computer) in 1854.

10-21-2015, 09:54 AM
Ernests, I see you're back in the top 100 (you had been there before, I think?). Nice to see you back!

10-22-2015, 06:24 AM
Thanks Barnabas. I was away for quite a while.

12-31-2017, 02:13 AM
The Zodiac Killer of San Francisco's cryptic message has never been cracked after decades of effort by the world's best.