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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Forget 90210 — We've got a new "Zyp code"

Cryptopop designs challenging (yet "simple") substitution ciphers, called Zyptograms or "Zyps." He was kind enough to tailor one of these word puzzles just for us.



jdege said...

It's only rarely that I find a simple sub that a good probable word dictionary won't crack. This one is no different.

The ones I have trouble with are the high-numbered Aristos in The Cryptogram - where the puzzle consists entirely of 4-6 letter words with no repetitions. When every word in the puzzle has thousands of possibilities, combinatorial explosion makes for a truly difficult puzzle.

This one gave me pause only because YWWDITHOG wasn't in my dictionary. But WBJGHLDWN and ITHOLGZPW were. And there's only one match for the pair of them.

jdege said...

An addendum - the Zyps on Cryptopop's page seem not to have even the few pattern words that were included in this puzzle.

Cryptopop said...

My Zyps, of course, are meant to be more challenging than the standard sim subs. However, my aim is not to stump solvers, it's to provide a fun puzzle that gives one a sense of satisfaction upon solution.

There is probably no sim sub that cannot be broken by an experienced solver or by a good Dictionary Attack program--unless, of course, a composer uses obsolete, esoteric and archaic words or colloquial spellings or "made-up" words, etc.
Even phonetic cryps can be broken although they can be quite difficult.

jdege said...

It's easy enough to keep the text short, and to avoid words with few pattern-match possibilities.

But to make a text that's worth reading when you're done? That's an art I've never mastered.

Cryptopop said...

I suppose that depends upon what you call "worth reading."

To me a short, clever cryp using interesting words and incorporating various types of word play is well worth reading.

jdege said...


It's the "clever" and the "word play" that I've never been good at.

I've broken bunches of them, and marveled at them, but I've never been able to write them.