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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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puzzle me this
delirium happy
I remember when I was younger doing a type of puzzle that was like a crossword grid, except instead of having clues, all the squares had a number from 1-26, each representing a letter of the alphabet, with a few (normally three) of the letters given as a starting point. I was just wondering how well these would stand up to being done by frequency analysis (I think it's called. The way of breaking cyphers where you just compare the frequency of the symbols with the known frequency with which letters occur in the english language). I don't know whether you could more or less solve them in a fool proof fashion that way, or if the sample size wouldn't be large enough, and the words would be too random. Any ideas anyone? (oh, and does anyone know what that type of puzzle is called?)

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In Games magazine and all of the various spin-off puzzle books that they publish, these are called "Code Crosswords". I've got some right here on my desk, so if you're still interested (and didn't already investigate it), I'd be willing to do some geeky research with you. :D

I'm not sure how accurate this frequency analysis thing would be though. Part of the problem is that one rule of Code Crosswords is that every letter must be used at least once, and I suspect that makes the number of occurrences of each letter unproportional to the number of occurrences in everyday language. Also, I believe the intended method for solving these puzzles is to fill in the letters they give you, then look for partially filled in words for which there is only one obvious correct answer. Therefore, the puzzle will contain distinctly different words from normal vocabulary.

I'd forgotten all about this entry. I think that the name I knew the puzzle under was cross references, or something like that. And yes, the method you state is the intended method -- that's how I always used to do them. You're probably right about the difficulties in doing a frequency analysis thingy for them. Though I would be interested to hear how it works, if you feel like putting the time in.

I have an extremely large to-do list forming in a text file on my computer. It is a roughly categorized compilation of every stray to-do list I find in the process of cleaning my room. I shall now add "frequency analysis of code crosswords" to this list, and promptly forget about it until 2017. :D (By which I mean I really do want to try it out because I'm curious, but I just know I'll put it off indefinitely.)

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