Commercial Code

A commercial code is a way of encoding large amounts of information into shorter strings, primarily for use in telegraph operation. Between the desire to sent messages quickly and the fact that many telegram services charged by the word, various codes were devised in order to cut costs and improve message speed.

Background[edit | edit source]

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Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]

Commercial codes can be an interesting topic or encryption method for puzzles, particularly if they're thematic to the time period in which the codes were mostly used. However, due to the wide variety of different commercial codes that have been established and documented over time, puzzles will usually need to indicate what code is being used.

When used, commercial codes are best used in word puzzles, where the words that make up the code can be clued in various ways, as can the meanings themselves.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

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Notable Examples[edit | edit source]

  • ANDARAC (MITMH 2020) (web) - This puzzle leaned heavily into the theme of telegrams, going so far to be found in the wild-west themed Cactus Canyon round. In it, solvers are given a bunch of telegrams with a few words written on them, along with an enumeration for an unknown phrase. Clues in the puzzle lead them to the Anglo-American telegraph code, which lets them translate the words into clues, each solving to something that can go in the enumeration blanks. The kicker is that the title, ANDARAC, translates to one final instruction: "Answer by the Anglo-American Code".

See Also[edit | edit source]