Dual cryptograms

Save for punctuation, the passages in each pair are substitution ciphers for each other. They could be solutions of the same cryptogram; such ambiguity can drive an automatic cryptogram solver up the wall.


This example is remarkable for the length of its words.

Hillary mentors silvery vervain; bindery  succors corrida slogger.
Barrens holding garcons conceal  Waltons' gypping pinnate griffon.

Hillary fondly tends medicinal herbs for a hapless runner who's taken refuge in a bookbinder's shop to escape Pamplona's running bulls.

The wild barrens hide everything: fugitive waiters and a thieving dog with wiry feather-combed hair.

Maine drag

This one, 129 letters long, far surpasses Shannon's `unicity distance' of about 30 letters, beyond which it is almost sure that any solution to a cryptogram is the only solution.

I hear
Fool red-coped gent
Rico sues Pepe re wanton
Duo brood dared help Al get cods
In great ME drag.
As he'd met vixens
In wet flood-kelp grot, duo
Did besot Al Rico.
O wail,
Keen Las Vegas pard, 
Love that gaga LA birder.
She flees Silas Wang in pad vest
Or plaid CA slip.
"It was cad Mozart
Or bad-knees Yang," pled she.
SOS, fated in love.

A swell buffoon, Al Rico, while fishing for cod on a Maine dragger, met a pair of mermaids who lured him to their sea cave and boozed him up. Now he's suing the captain, Pepe, for leading him into embarrassment.

A sensitive cowboy gambler, smitten by a valley-girl naturalist who's fallen in with the infamous Mozart/Yang gang, despairs as his beloved is pursued in dishabille by one of the gang's victims, to whom she protests her innocence, crying out that the real culprits are the gang's notorious leaders.

More dual cryptograms have been published in Word Ways; see my bibliography.

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Last modified August 4, 2003.