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A cryptolist is variant on a classic cryptogram, where shorter strings are grouped together in 'lists' connected by a particular theme and a shared encryption key.
Background[edit | edit source]
Cryptolists are a common feature of P&A Magazine's variety puzzle section.
Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]
Cryptolists are essentially an extension of the genre of cryptograms as a whole. Rather than taking larger strings of text and encoding them individually, cryptolists take multiple smaller strings and encode them together. This allows for a larger volume of strings, without sacrificing the amount of data that cryptograms normally have to work with.
Cryptolists often have a title or category listed, cluing the connection between the entries. This practice is extremely uncommon when they show up in puzzle hunts, however. Categories for cryptolists vary from puzzle to puzzle, and can include strings that are all members of a particular group (like Presidents of the United States), ones that share a particular literal quality (like 'contain a fruit'), and ones that share a semantic quality (like 'related to the color red').
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Notable Examples[edit | edit source]
- Games World of Puzzles Advertises Miracle Elvis Lotion! (MITMH 1997) - This puzzle was hidden in an issue of Games World of Puzzles, specifically in the cryptolist section of the magazine. One particular list could be solved, with the acronym of the answers spelling the final answer.
- From the Home Office in... (MITMH 2005) (web) - A series of cryptolist Top Tens in particular categories. In each case, a single entry is missing, and can be encoded properly to form an actual English word.
- Pictocryptolists (MITMH 2016) (web) - Rather than containing a series of words or phrases that fit a theme, this cryptolist puzzle contained numerous phrases missing a specific word, encoded using images rather than other letters. The goal is then to both figure out what the missing word is (thankfully presented at the top of each list, already-encoded), and configure the images into the right form based on what letter they represent.