Cryptograms a word or number puzzles that have a piece of encrypted text.

Cryptograms are puzzles that have a form of encrypted text embedded within them. These messages are generally referred to as ciphers. The difficultly of solving ciphers can be simplistic or very complex. It all depends on the purpose of the puzzle. Cryptograms were used in the Middle Ages for educational purposes, but they slowly found their use in being able to transmit and receive secret messages. When we look to solve a cryptogram there is a bit of strategy that you can deploy. You can begin your adventure by looking for a pattern in the text. How many single letter words are there? Those single letters can only be one of two letters (a or I). Those two vowels will appear in many different words which help us extend out the puzzle. The most common letters in used in words of the English language can be described by the mnemonic device ETAOIN. In order of frequency of use these are most commonly found letters in words. I would approach these puzzles by attacking those letters first. Also if you spot punctuation that you can work off, that is a big bonus. Apostrophes are a huge help, if the same two letters follow it is almost certainly a common contraction (ll). Apostrophes will also lead you to possessive (s).

These cryptogram puzzles can be really fun for students. The best way to approach any cipher is start with any single letters found with the cipher. In the English language, those can be only one of two letters (a or I), since those are the only words that would follow mechanics. Then move on to the letters (E, T, A, O, I, N) which are the most common letters in the language. If you spot any contractions, work off of them. Your last easy step to move on to words composed of two or three letters. These worksheets will give you a great deal of practice more with cryptograms.

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Printable Cryptogram Worksheets

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We Do the Best in Life When... Cryptogram

The passage below is a quote from Nelson Mandela.

Who's Who in the Zoo?

Follow the signs that say Big Cats.

Describe This!

What idiom could you use to describe all of the situations?

Great Advice!

Solve the cryptogram by figuring out the code. Fill in the missing letters to decode the quote and attribution. Write the quote on the lines provided.

Expressing Yourself

What idiom could you use to advise Jane and Darlene in these situations?

What Almost Happened to the Moon?

Decode the cryptogram to find the answer.

Advice from Steve Jobs

What is dogma according to Steve Jobs? Decode the cryptogram to find out.

How Smart are Sheep? Cryptogram

Decrypt the puzzle below to find out!

The Secret to Happiness

What's the key to living a happy, abundant life? Decode this clue from Oprah Winfrey. Then sum it up in a single word.

What Is A Safari?

Decode the passage.

Figurative Language Cryptogram Puzzle Worksheet

Decode the puzzle to find the definition of a metaphor.


Margaret Mead was a cultural anthropologist. Decode the cryptogram to find out what she had to say about appreciating yourself and others.


Decode the puzzle to find the definition of a simile.


Decode the puzzle to find the definition of an onomatopoeia.

The Way to Greatness

What did philosopher and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson advise people about how to go about life?

What Does Fireman Fred Want You to Know?

Solve the puzzle to find out! Then color Fireman Fred.

How to Wash Your Hands Cryptogram Puzzle

Solve the puzzle to learn how to wash your hands.

The Key to Success

Decode the cryptogram to read Thomas Edison's advice on being successful.

What's a S.M.A.R.T. Goal?

Solve the puzzle to learn what the letters in S.M.A.R.T. stand for.

Characteristics of Insects

Decode the puzzle to learn what all insects have in common.

On Fairness Cryptogram

Decode the cryptogram to read Oscar Wilde’s observation about life.

What makes a good friend? Cryptogram

Solve the puzzle to read some qualities that make someone a good friend.

What is a Leader? Puzzle

Solve the puzzle to find out how John Quincy Adams defined a leader.

Career Planning and Goal Setting

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010), American basketball player and head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the following:

Why Change?

Decode the puzzle to see what best-selling author and speaker Mandy Hale has to say about the impetus to change.

Joke Time!

Why did the boy bring a ladder to school?

How to Get from Here to There

What do you think is the difference between success and failure?

Code Cracking Worksheet

Use the key below to decode the question. Then answer YES or NO.

Crack the Code!

Use the key below to decode the question. Then answer YES or NO.

Are You A Super Sleuth?

Use the key below to decode the question and solve the mystery.