Secret Code Breaking Tools

Stuck on a puzzle that requires you to become a codebreaker? The Secret Code Breaker can help. The site provides a number of free codebreaking tools that I’ve found far more useful in some circumstances than many other online tools.

One of the most useful ones is the Monoalphabetic Substitution Cipher Solver – while there are many cryptogram solvers available on the web already, this one has the ability to solve cryptograms when the spaces are removed.


An easy 4x4 KenKenKenKen, which began appearing in The New York Times in February, is a new numerical logic puzzle from Japan. The name means loosely “cleverness squared.”

KenKen shares some properties with sudoku. Each is a pure logic challenge in which numbers are filled in the squares of a grid. Unlike sudoku, though, in which the numbers act solely as symbols (letters or pictures would work as well), KenKen requires arithmetic.

The rules are simple: Fill the grid with digits so as not to repeat a digit within any row or column, and so the digits within each heavily outlined box (called a cage) go together using the arithmetic operation shown to make the target number indicated.

American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Directed by New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is the nation’s oldest and largest crossword competition. Solvers tackle eight original crosswords created and edited specially for this event. Scoring is based on accuracy and speed. Prizes are awarded in more than 20 categories, including a $5,000 grand prize. Evening games, guest speakers, and a wine and cheese reception allow solvers to meet each other in a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere.

The 33rd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament will be held on February 26-28, 2010, at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott, Brooklyn, NY.