How to Solve a Celebrity Cipher (2024)

Let’s solve one here together so you see exactly how to do it!

Have you tried to solve a Celebrity Cipher, a common newspaper puzzle featuring a quote from a celebrity, and just given up!For yearsIcouldn’t see how in the world anybody could figure it out! I’d never get past the given clue.

Now I have fun solving each day’s cipher. So can you!

A lot of How-to’s tell you

Do them in pencil and do a lot of guessing. I do them in ink and rarelyscratch out.
Count letters and memorize which lettersare most likely to be used in various combinations. For example, here’s the frequency of use for the alphabet: E, T, A, O, I, N, S, H, R, D, L, U, C, W, M, F, Y, G, P, B, V, K, J, X, Q, Z. It doesn’t hurt to know this, but I seldom have to call upon it.

Let’s solve a celebrity cipher right now together to show you how to do it!

Here’s a typical sample.Now don’t run scared—follow the simple steps below the cipher. First print this out [such as copy to Word and print]so you can do it with me now.

How to Solve a Celebrity Cipher (1)

  1. Always start with TODAY’S CLUE: C = Y. This clue is often crucial to solving the cipher—usually a letter you wouldleast likelyfigure out. This one letter might tip you off what the whole word is! Right away it tells me the first word is likely either WHY or ANY. It’s not likely WHY because there’s no question mark, so you’re not really guessing to make OTC =ANY. Anytime you figure out letters, fill in those letters throughout the cipher. Be a careful scribe because if you make an error, it can really throw you off later! Watch your handwriting for the same reason!
  2. Scanfor a one-letter word. This O will either be A or I.Rather than guess it’s more likely A than I based on word frequency,just look at the other O‘s. The first word isn’t likelyI_Y[IVY, ICY] so O = A and confirms that the first word is ANY like you already deduced! Now you can see that OKW =AND because it can’t be ANY which is already taken.
  3. Scanfor contractionsand note how many letters total and how many letters after the apostrophe. An apostrophe will be followed by S, T, D, M, LL or RE.Since K=N, rather than needing to know all contractions and their frequencies of use, you can deduce that this one is ISN’T, CAN’T, DON’T or WON’T. Patience, no need to guess yet!
  4. At this point you often hit a “What do I do now?” feeling. One rule to know is that no letter can be itself—these are called substitution ciphers.
  5. MK = _N and it is either IN or ON because O was A. It is apparent from considering the other M‘s that I is the right one. This results in MUK’R = ISN’T with U = S. Now you see that the first name is likely either SAM or SAL. The only SAL I know is Sal Mineo, and the last name isn’t that. Secondly, go with M because FMJ can hardly be _IL and is likely HIM and that makes FOU = HAS. Everything is fitting with M rather than L. While solving a cipher, your “guesses” must fit context and sentence structure.
  6. Now we make our breakthrough! Note the long word MKRGVGURGW which is already INT_ _ _ST_D. This has three G‘s but before you bother running odds forpossible combos, you candeduce the T_D will be TED and MKRGVGURGW = INTERESTED. So OVG = ARE.
  7. At this point words are filling in, and I can perceive the last name is ending in SON. Itcan’t be SEN or SIN because we already usedthose letters. And, though I don’t know who he is, I’ve heard ofSAMLEVENSON.
  8. So PFD =WHO. YDDV =POOR, since there are no MOORs being discussed! SoYOVGKRU =PARENTS and LMW = KID.
  9. TDDLU becomes either LOOKS or the more obvious in context BOOKS that PARENTS would give a KID. Well, some would give LOOKS but we already had L.So TDDLU = BOOKS.
  10. To fit in context, FDSUGBSX = HOUSEFUL.
  11. So Sam Levinson says “Any kid who has two parents who are interested in him and has a houseful of books isn’t poor.”

    Follow these same easy steps and strategies to solveCelebrity Ciphers! See “How to Solve a Difficult Celebrity Cipher”


    Need proof of God’s humor? He has brought you to this site in search of how to have fun solving puzzles. This site makes plain what the Bible—which God says He created as a puzzle—reveals about the purpose of life.
    God calls people to His truth in strange ways, and I hope you will be another happy victim!
    “How to Decipher the Bible”

How to Solve a Celebrity Cipher (2)

How to Solve a Celebrity Cipher (2024)
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