Appendix II – PATRISTOCRAT SOLVING TECHNIQUES

  1. Do not ignore the cipher title. It can lead you to educated word guesstimates.
  2. Pattern crib – Align crib plaintext (pt) letter pattern with ciphertext (CT) letter pattern.
  3. Non-pattern crib – Drag plaintext crib through the CT, looking for additional logical plaintext.
  4. Letter frequency count – Locate high and low crib letter frequencies to CT high and low letter frequencies.
  5. Pattern words – Look for potential pattern words at the beginning and ending of the ciphertext. Verify them by dragging potential pattern word letters through the plaintext.
  6. Non-pattern words – Look for large non-pattern words from large word usage constructors (PETROUSHKA) at the start and finish of the ciphertext and drag their letters through the plaintext.
  7. Alliteration – Look for wordbreaks in cipher alliteration constructions by being alert to reoccurring letters spaced at average word lengths through the cipher (4.3 letters for normal writing).
  8. Look for high frequency CT digraphs (2letters) and trigraphs (three letters) that may represent high frequency pt digraphs “th, er, re, on, no, an, he, in, ed, nd, ha” and pt trigraphs “the, and, tha, ent, ion.”
  9. Google those cipher titles that may suggest quotations from famous statesmen, comics, personalities, etc. Plaintext may be revealed.
  10. Keyword construction recovery. Do not overlook the opportunity to use the keyword alphabet as an aid to recover additional plaintext. The K2 alphabet below suggests possible additional plaintext recovery.
         abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
T XYZC PH RABDFGJ MN
  1. “Keyblock discipline” is a term used by ZANAC to keep an eye on low frequency letter placements in K1 and K2 keyword alphabets. Letters occurring once or twice in the cipher construction are candidates for “b, c, j, k” at the beginning of the keyword alphabet sequence following the keyword and “v, w, x, y, z” possible candidates for the end of the alphabet sequence before the keyword. High letter (vowels) frequencies can aid in pinpointing the keyword placement.
  2. Look for triplets (that’s three identical letters in a row. (Ex. miSS Some). They are easy to spot; after the second letter you can undoubtedly place a word divisor. They narrow the number of possible substitutions to 2(or at most 5). They can confirm or infirm other guesses (by elimination). The most frequent triplets are S and L. You can also find O, E and F. (TWEETY)

Helpful Cm Articles for Patristocrat Solving

JA 91 – The Rookie’s Guide to solving Pats, LAMONT CRANSTON

JA 91 – The Science of Cryptanalysis, FAUSTUS

SO 91 – The Solution of Straight-Substitution Crypts, FAUSTUS

ND 91 – Ciphers – Vowel Spotting and Digraphs, PICCOLA

JF 92 – A Method For Finding Repeated Sequences, PICCOLA

MA 92 – Consonant-Line and Vowel-Line Methods, S-TUCK and BAROKO