Web Cryptogramer ©

Created By Dr. Ifay F. Chang

Icon & Clip Art Cryptogramer (Trade Mark Intended)

What is the message in this cryptogram?

This web cryptogramer © game is created for your entertainment. Cryptogram is like a hidden message buried in a puzzle. You need to use a key to solve the puzzle. The key is a set of cards with holes punched in them. When you lay the cards over the cryptogram with correct positions and orientations, the message will be reviewed. The example shown here is an icon & clip art cryptogram. The cryptogram contains a set of pictures and/or alphabets arranged within the cryptogram frame. Usually there will be no frame nor grid pattern used in the cryptogram and the pictures can have random orientations and positions. For illustration purposes, a grid pattern is used in this simple cryptogram and the solution key is just 4 cards of 3x4 and 4x4 cells with certain cells punched out. When the cards are laid over the cryptogram correctly, you will then find the hidden message. This game is fun to play and also fun to create by yourself and send to a friend. For instance, you can create a birthday card with clip arts which can carry your message in the cryptogram. You then provide a set of key cards with cells containing the message elements punched out. (Eliminate border and grid lines and punch out circles rather than squares will make the game more challenging to solve.) If you would spend the time, you might imbed several related messages in one cryptogram and provide your friend with multiple sets of  key cards. You can create alphabet cryptogram or mixed object cryptogram.  

The above web cryptogram contains 56 objects in 56 cells and only 5 cells contain the message objects. You would need to pick 5 out of 56 objects (56!/(5! x 51!)=3,819,816 possibilities) to see whether the 5 objects as a group makes sense. That is a pretty tough task. If a set of 4 key cards [ 1. 3x4 containing one message cell, 2. 4x4 containing 2 message cells, 3. 3x4 containing one message cell, and 4. 4x4 containing 1 message cell) were provided, the number of trial matches reduce considerably to 96. Because the message is short (5 cells), you probably can easily deduce the answer without physically moving the key cards. If physical key cards with message cell positions were provided,  you would get the answer in a few minutes. Let's see whether you can figure out with a virtual set of key cards. Write in your browser http://www.scrammble.com/webcryptogram/xxxxxxxxxx.html to see the answer to the web cryptogram, where the 10 x's are the numerical code for positions of the five message cells (For instance, if you believe the answer is Straight (86) is (55, 15) the Poker Player's (73) cards (27), then the ten digit code would be 8655157327 and the file name is 8655157327.html) After verifying that you have got the right answer,  write to mwsearch@mwsearch.com with your answer (10 digit code). If your answer is correct, MWSearch will send you an interactive CD, called Downtown Business calling Card. However, cryptograms can be far more difficult to solve than this example here. Let me tell you a story below to illustrate my point.

A pretty but strong willed maiden from Kansas went to work as a Black Jack dealer in Vegas despite of her fiancé's bitter objection (They shall remain nameless in this story). She did not want her fiancé to drag her back until she had made some money. After she worked a couple of years and saved up quite a bit of her tip money, she decided to marry her fiancé, her high school sweet heart back in Kansas. Excited,  she made a cryptogram out of alphabets and sent to her sweetheart. The cryptogram was typed on a 8.5 by 11 paper with size 12 font. The cryptogram contained 60x 80 alphabets. She imbedded (dispersed sparsely but in order)  her message "My Dearest Love, I will marry you. I will be waiting at the church at 1130 Flamingo Road every Sunday till you come.", a total of 91 characters in the cryptogram. She then made her key card with the correct 91 positions punched out with a hole puncher. Then she cut the key card into 48 (10x10 characters) identical-size squares so they can be easily fit into a letter envelope. She thought this would be like a 48 piece puzzle. Along with the cryptogram page, she wrote, "Dearest Love: I have put a very important message in this cryptogram. Use the key cards to find the message in the cryptogram. You will know where to find me. I will be waiting for you. Your True Love." Just before she mailed the letter, a tender emotion came to her. She thought this puzzle might take her fiancé too long to solve. So she made another key card and this time she cut it into eight identical rectangles, each would cover 30x20=600 alphabets on the cryptogram. Then she mailed it with a smile. She faithfully waited every Sunday. She waited and waited............... Fortunately, this story has a good ending. She eventually got married after waiting 90 weeks. Her fiancé had worked many hours a day and took him 90 weeks to figure out the complete message with the correct address. If she had sent the 48 square key cards instead of the 8 rectangular key cards, how long she would have to wait? She would have to wait for (8x48!)/(4x8!) times longer. She'd have definitely died as an old maid. So be careful with your creation!!!           

Making cryptogram can be an extremely interesting game. Through MWSearch, we have made the Cryptogramer Kit (Trade Mark intended) available for purchase. There are several versions of the Cryptogramer gameUse the Braino Scrammble online order form to purchase, the cost is $14.50 excluding tax, shipping and handling. Please include the order item name CGK (Cryptogram Game Kit) The game kit includes ready made cryptogram sheets and key cards which you can enjoy decoding the messages as well as  a detailed instruction booklet on how to make different versions of cryptograms. You can create and print your own cryptograms for entertainment and share them with friends. For volume order and/or licensing, please write to MWSearch@mwsearch.com. Special discount is available for teachers and school orders.

To see other games created by Dr. Chang, Click here.