August 2020 Menu

Logic Puzzles
“Uncle Bob”

Each month in 2020 I plan to feature a different type of logic puzzle. This month it’s…

More Decoding Puzzles

2. Codeword Crosswords

Codeword puzzles are very similar to cryptograms. They use a random substitution of the numbers 1 to 26 to replace the letters. Here is a tiny sample:

We will have to adjust some of our strategies for these puzzles. The first change is a minor one – we count frequencies of numbers instead of letters. The first decision we must make is whether to count once, or twice, the numbers in squares that are the intersections of two words. Those numbers are 16 and 18 in the sample above. If we made a list of the three words in the solution, both across and down, those letters would appear twice, so we will count the numbers at intersections twice and the others just once.

These puzzles, like the Crypto Lists to follow, are more difficult to solve: first, because there are often fewer letters altogether, and second, because we do not have sentence structure and sequence to give us clues. The words “the” and “and” most often will not appear.

There are other strategies that can be used, however – individual words have structures of their own. Second letters are often but not always vowels. Last letters are most often ‘e’ or consonants. If you compare lists of second and last letters, the ‘e’ might reveal itself. Spotting the double letters can help too.

Your puzzle contains all fairly common words and we give two letter codes for a start.

Get a print friendly pdf here.



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