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Solving cryptograms is fun!
Would you like to see how it can be even more fun?

Cryptograms (sometimes called "cryptoquips" or "cryptoquotes") are fun to work out, but solving them with paper and pencil is slow and messy. Imagine how much easier it would be if only you didn't have to use a pencil.

That's why I created Crypto!™, a Windows program that acts like an electronic paper and pencil to eliminate this drudgery. Solving cryptograms with Crypto! is more fun because:

  • It is easier to try various letters and undo mistakes--no more tedious erasing!
  • Letter frequencies are computed for you--no more counting!
  • You can make the letters as big as you want--no more squinting!
  • There are various hints and helps to get you started quickly--no more getting stuck!
  • It comes with over 15,000 puzzles, so you don't have to buy puzzle books or wait for the newspaper to come.

"I'll be busy for quite a while crypto-ing to my heart's content. I have a zillion wonderful things to say about your product, you and your customer service. I'm your fan for life!" Linda J.

Sound interesting?

When you order Crypto!, you'll get over 15,000 puzzles for a lifetime of solving fun!

  • Order within the first 10 days of your free trial and you'll receive a 10% discount!
Order Crypto Now Download the free trial now!

Runs on

Windows 95/98/NT4/2000/me/XP, and all versions of Vista and Windows 7and 8.

Price

US$16.95 for one computer; $2.50 for each additional computer. You will be able to download Crypto! immediately after placing your order.

For an additional US$5.00 we will mail you a CD-ROM (there is a $3 shipping charge for this if you are not in North America). The CD has simple point-and-click installation and includes additional shareware and other software that is too big to send via download. The CD also serves as a backup in case you ever need to reinstall Crypto!.

The CD-ROM also includes a puzzle file that contains the entire text of the Holy Bible (King James version). If you do not order the CD, you can download this puzzle file here at no charge.

Revision status

The current version is 4.2. View a list of the new features in this version. Registered users of version 3.0 or later can download a free update to 3.10.


Detailed description

Crypto! selects a quote or phrase and encrypts it by scrambling the letters (for example, A stands for M, B stands for H, etc.) To solve the cryptogram, you have to figure out what the letters stand for. To give you an idea how this is done, here is a Crypto! puzzle that has been partially solved:

The left part of the window shows the quote: the red letters are the cryptogram, and the blue letters above them are the player's guesses of what they stand for. On the right you will see a list of the letters that haven't yet been used, a table showing the letter frequencies in the puzzle, and the number of hints used and time elapsed so far.

To work the puzzle, you use the mouse to click the letter you want to solve. It is easy--watch this example of a puzzle being solved!

Letter frequencies

One of the best clues to solving cryptograms is the letter frequencies. The most common letters in English text are e, t, o, a, n, i, r, s, and h; the letters that appear most often in the puzzle may (but are not guaranteed to) be one of these. When solving puzzles by hand, you have to compute the frequencies yourself--Crypto! makes solving puzzles more fun by taking care of this chore for you.

Selecting letters

To guess at a letter in the puzzle (called ciphertext), click on it with the mouse. Then click on the letter in the Unused Letters box you think it stands for. Your chosen letter (called plaintext) will appear above each of the ciphertext letters you first clicked.

If you prefer, you can make selections with the keyboard instead of the mouse. First, type the ciphertext letter, then type the plaintext letter. The result is the same as if you had clicked them with the mouse.

Order Crypto Now Download the free trial now!

Fixing mistakes

The worst part of solving a cryptogram puzzle with pencil and paper is all the erasing needed to correct a mistake. With Crypto!, fixing a mistake is easy: just click the letter with the right mouse button to erase it! Solving puzzles is more fun because it is easier to try different letter combinations.

Clues and hints

If you get stuck solving a puzzle, you can ask for a hint. A big hint tells you about a letter that is used many times, and a little hint tells you about an infrequently used letter. You can confirm that your choices so far are right, or undo any errors you may have made. But each hint you ask for adds seconds to your time, so if you're watching the clock, you'll want to use hints sparingly.

You can also point to a word in the puzzle and get a list of the words that it might be.

Making the print larger

To make the print bigger, go to the Options menu and choose Change Font. Pick whatever font and size you prefer. After doing this, you may want to resize the screen so that everything fits in the window. Take a look at an example of 15 point bold Courier.

Entering your own puzzles

You can also solve puzzles from books or newspapers with Crypto! Just type in the puzzle, and Crypto! will calculate its letter frequencies. You can also create puzzles of your own--enter an ordinary phrase or quote and Crypto! will make a cryptogram from it.

Printing puzzles

You can print puzzles to solve when you're away from your computer, or print puzzles you've created for your friends to solve!

Customizing the game

You can choose the font and text size you prefer. You can also choose the colors for different text elements. The letter frequencies and scores can appear on the left or the right, or you can choose not to show them at all. Purists will prefer to show the puzzle either as all capital letters or all small letters. If you wish, you can change the time penalties for the various hints. Finally, you can change (or turn off) the sounds that are played when you ask for a hint, make an error, or solve a puzzle.

Why not try it out for yourself?

"For some, part of getting up every morning is the first cup of coffee and the newspaper crossword puzzle. I prefer to rise to a cup of strong black coffee and a new Crypto to start the day right. Thanks again." Janice L.

It's a lot more fun to play Crypto! than it is to read about it! Why not download the 30-day free trial and try it out?

Order Crypto Now Download the free trial now!

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