Introduction

Solving Rudiments

Let’s talk a bit about what our fellow hobbyists tell us has helped them develop a degree of skill and proficiency in their solving endeavors. All facets of cryptology are enjoyed – solving, constructing, writing, mentoring and above all, the friendships it generates with fellow ACA Krewe.

ANCHISES relates “I never knew LEDGE, but he took this Tyro and converted him into a solver through his excellent Novice Notes. That opus must be held in the highest regard by very many people, me included, for getting them started in the ACA with a clear exposition of how ciphers work and how one can go about solving them. Even though I solve with my computer, the solving algorithms and processes described by LEDGE for pencil and paper solving are very often the best routes for the computer to take also.”

We all begin as pencil and paper solvers and learn the basic fundamentals of the various cipher types. Those with abilities in computer operating and programming go on to utilize the computer for the elimination of a lot of the manual grunt work involved in paper and pencil solving. Much the same as an engineer, who builds structural edifices or lays out complex system designs and relies on the computer for his mathematical equations, the computer is a worthless solving aid unless the foundation of basic subject knowledge has been firmly imbedded in our minds. This said, our mission is simply to learn all we can about the makeup and idiosyncrasies of all the cipher types. 

Perhaps the best learning technique of becoming proficient in any endeavor is to cultivate an extreme interest about all of its working parts. What makes a particular “clock” or subject tick? Once you have acquired the interest and curiosity to want to know more about a subject, you will find a multitude of teachers, parents, friends, and soon to become friends, eager to impart their knowledge to you.

In our hobby, members are waiting to be of help everywhere. At the mailbox, by E-mail, at conventions and mini cons, cryptography buffs are eager to be of service. We have international (transoceanic) learning going on as we “speak.” You might be surprised at what you can learn besides cryptology.

Never underestimate the value of Google to call up our ACA Web site www.cryptogram.org or to research any term or technique which raises a question in your mind