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Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing (Dover Children's Activity Books)

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Learn to use the most important codes and methods of secret communication in use since ancient times. Cipher and decipher codes used by spies. Explore the famous codes that changed the fate of nations and political leaders. And enjoy hours of fun experimenting with cryptography - the science of secret writing. Beginning with simple letter substitutions and transposition cip Learn to use the most important codes and methods of secret communication in use since ancient times. Cipher and decipher codes used by spies. Explore the famous codes that changed the fate of nations and political leaders. And enjoy hours of fun experimenting with cryptography - the science of secret writing. Beginning with simple letter substitutions and transposition ciphers, world-famous science writer Martin Gardner explains how to break complicated polyalphabetical ciphers and codes worked with grids, squares, triangles and charts. You'll learn codes that are keyed to typewriters and telephone..even codes that use playing cards, knots and swizzle sticks. Experiment with invisible writing - inks that glow in blacklight and turn red under heat - and explore the possibilities of sending messages through outer space to unknown worlds.


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Learn to use the most important codes and methods of secret communication in use since ancient times. Cipher and decipher codes used by spies. Explore the famous codes that changed the fate of nations and political leaders. And enjoy hours of fun experimenting with cryptography - the science of secret writing. Beginning with simple letter substitutions and transposition cip Learn to use the most important codes and methods of secret communication in use since ancient times. Cipher and decipher codes used by spies. Explore the famous codes that changed the fate of nations and political leaders. And enjoy hours of fun experimenting with cryptography - the science of secret writing. Beginning with simple letter substitutions and transposition ciphers, world-famous science writer Martin Gardner explains how to break complicated polyalphabetical ciphers and codes worked with grids, squares, triangles and charts. You'll learn codes that are keyed to typewriters and telephone..even codes that use playing cards, knots and swizzle sticks. Experiment with invisible writing - inks that glow in blacklight and turn red under heat - and explore the possibilities of sending messages through outer space to unknown worlds.

30 review for Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing (Dover Children's Activity Books)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will

    I bought this book for my kids, who enjoy cryptography (written, not computer yet). I had a few hours to kill at the Las Vegas airport, so I read the whole thing in one sitting. It is only about 100 pages, and the material is very familiar to me. Even though the book was written in 1972, it is a good introduction to the basics; transposition ciphers, substitution ciphers, mono and poly alphabet ciphers, invisible ink, cryptographic "machines", and even a final chapter on making writing easier to I bought this book for my kids, who enjoy cryptography (written, not computer yet). I had a few hours to kill at the Las Vegas airport, so I read the whole thing in one sitting. It is only about 100 pages, and the material is very familiar to me. Even though the book was written in 1972, it is a good introduction to the basics; transposition ciphers, substitution ciphers, mono and poly alphabet ciphers, invisible ink, cryptographic "machines", and even a final chapter on making writing easier to read (e.g., extra terrestrial).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emmannuel

    A fun read and definitely would utilize some of these strategies for some codes in my story I'm writing. A fun read and definitely would utilize some of these strategies for some codes in my story I'm writing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jesus

    As a computer analysis this is a great book to own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sonia Focke

    This book is obviously written for children. It is also from 1972, so there is almost nothing on computer ciphers (and you can imagine how current that little is!) But it is a wonderful introduction to the world of ciphers, with examples for the best-known transposition, substitution and simple code-machines and how they work. It really is a great introduction, with a little bibliography at the end for those who want to know more. DON'T expect a detailed history of the ciphers. Gardner occasional This book is obviously written for children. It is also from 1972, so there is almost nothing on computer ciphers (and you can imagine how current that little is!) But it is a wonderful introduction to the world of ciphers, with examples for the best-known transposition, substitution and simple code-machines and how they work. It really is a great introduction, with a little bibliography at the end for those who want to know more. DON'T expect a detailed history of the ciphers. Gardner occasionally gives an example of a historical use, or one in fiction (such as the famous Dancing Man cipher from Sherlock Holmes), but his main aim is to show how they work, and he does this clearly and competently. My only quibble is the obvious American-centric view in the examples chosen (for example, the Japanese cipher machine is mentioned, because the Americans cracked it, but not ENIGMA) and the very dated references to the Soviet Union (not just the name - after all, that's what it was called back then - but the way it is mentioned. Cold war spy stuff.) I am seriously thinking of getting a book he mentioned, The Codebreakers, for a more in-depth view of the history of codes and ciphers, but I definitely recommend this for a first dip into this fascinating world.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Koen Crolla

    This book was written in 1972. The crypto community that exists today didn't exist yet at that point (NIST, then still the NBS, wouldn't put out its call for DES candidates for another year), and as such, the ``codes'' (by which he means simple substitution ciphers), ciphers, and secret writing Gardner discusses are really just children's games. The days when you could casually call the Playfair cipher ``hard to break'' without a paragraph of disclaimers are probably behind us. If you're the type This book was written in 1972. The crypto community that exists today didn't exist yet at that point (NIST, then still the NBS, wouldn't put out its call for DES candidates for another year), and as such, the ``codes'' (by which he means simple substitution ciphers), ciphers, and secret writing Gardner discusses are really just children's games. The days when you could casually call the Playfair cipher ``hard to break'' without a paragraph of disclaimers are probably behind us. If you're the type of person who enjoys newspaper cryptograms or being in a secret society with your 10-year-old friends you'll enjoy this book, but even those who enjoy the more heavy-duty classical cryptanalysis will find it lacking—the cipher-breaking discussion is aimed at people who have access to a pencil and some scrap paper rather than a computer that can calculate an index of coincidence on a whim. For obvious reasons.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    This is a great primer for codes and ciphers. This book perfectly whets one's appetite for more on the subject. It covers all the standard ciphers, and even includes instructions for invisible ink recipes and practice messages for every code and cipher discussed throughout the book. This is a great primer for codes and ciphers. This book perfectly whets one's appetite for more on the subject. It covers all the standard ciphers, and even includes instructions for invisible ink recipes and practice messages for every code and cipher discussed throughout the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    RA Ratterman

    Most books are rated related to their usefulness and contributions to my research. Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast. Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs. Most books are rated related to their usefulness and contributions to my research. Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast. Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.

  8. 5 out of 5

    James

    A short but fun read. A quick review of the development of cryptography through history up until the present day. It's a good starter book for anyone wanting to learn more about the subject but not wanting to dive into the algorithms just yet. A short but fun read. A quick review of the development of cryptography through history up until the present day. It's a good starter book for anyone wanting to learn more about the subject but not wanting to dive into the algorithms just yet.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael X

    Fun and games!! Cool book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Martin Gardner comes through with a wonderful introduction to code and ciphers. What fun!

  11. 5 out of 5

    jlf

    This book is written for a precocious child, but is a decent introduction to a number of basic ciphers. A quick and fun read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pieter

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hotspur

  14. 4 out of 5

    J. Dallas

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fadil Alturki

  17. 5 out of 5

    Haim

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carl

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dave Greene

  21. 5 out of 5

    Will Klutch

  22. 4 out of 5

    Federico Kereki

  23. 4 out of 5

    Basilios

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen Chambliss

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt De

  27. 5 out of 5

    John

  28. 4 out of 5

    Richard Hoffbeck

  29. 5 out of 5

    vandana viswanathan

  30. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Foulk

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