Think you’ve got what it takes to become a puzzle master? We’ve pulled together a list that will help you get ready, get set, and go deep into honing your cypher solving skills.

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So You Want to be a Code Breaker? Here’s How

So You Want to be a Code Breaker? Here’s How

Think you’ve got what it takes to become a puzzle master? We’ve pulled together a list that will help you get ready, get set, and go deep into honing your cypher solving skills.

Guides lead you to awesome discoveries in food, travel, experiences, and more. If you purchase any of the products we recommend in a Guide, Great Big Story receives revenue. Everybody wins!

We recently did a story on one of the greatest cyphers of our time: Kryptos. We even put a little “Easter egg” in there for you to try your chops at cracking a code yourself. Did you find it? Did this whole experience get you wanting to dig deeper into the mysterious world of cryptology? It definitely did that to us! We started researching famous cyphers and how to get into code breaking from ground zero. We found some pretty awesome places, people, books, and games to get your puzzle master mind moving.

See the Rosetta Stone

This stone tablet was created in Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC and is now at home in the British Museum in London. The Rosetta Stone wasn't originally created as a puzzle. It was a decree commissioned by a king and written in the three languages used across his domain: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Greek. When it was rediscovered in 1799, cryptologists were able to decode the message (and learn a couple of new languages) by seeing the same information in three languages carved into one stone. You can see the stone for yourself the next time that you’re in London.

From $25

Courtesy of The British Museum

The Imitation Game (movie)

Watch the emotional tale of a real life cryptanalyst (Alan Turing) who, along with a team of likeminded geniuses, raced against time during World War II to solve the code of the German Enigma Machine.

$3.99 on Amazon

Tile Lock Scrabble

Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that those little Scrabble tiles shifting around the board throughout a game is maddening. Luckily, Lock Tile Scrabble is here to save the day and let us focus on creating words from jumbles of letters without that pesky distraction.

$19.99

Visit Bletchley Park where Enigma was solved

An absolute must-visit for any lover of code cracking, Bletchley Park is the famed location near Cambridge University where the Nazi code system was cracked and WWII was able to come to an end. Imagine what it was like to be there, knowing the fate of the world is in your hands…if only you can crack the code. Did we mention that it’s beautiful, too?

£19 per adult

The Master Theorem - A Book of Puzzles, Intrigue and Wit

Equally as cool closed as it is open, this beautiful book outlines all sorts of puzzles, logic and cypher solving strategies, and nuggets of information that will get your gears turning.

$29.99

Monticello Wheel Cypher Secret Decoder

Send one of these code creating wheels to your friend and keep one for yourself. Then, pass secret messages back and forth using codes that only the two of you can solve with this puppy.

$16.99

The Code Book

Considered one of the keystone pieces on the topic, The Code Book takes you deep into the history and evolution of encryption from Mary Queen of Scots to the internet. Learn about the people, the math and the magic of hiding secrets within codes.

$17

Go To An Escape Room

If you’re more of a kinetic learner, you’ll love trying your skills at escape rooms. These wacky fun houses where you are challenged to solve puzzles, find clues, open locks and find your way out in one to two hours, have taken the world by storm. Most come with a host to help you if you get stuck and all occur in groups of 2+ so you’re never on your own. One of the most reviewed on Trip Advisor (we’re talking thousands) is Escapology in Orlando, Florida. Themes range from Budapest Express to 7 Deadly Sins. All escape rooms are different which makes us want to try each and every one.

Prices Vary

PBS Kids Code Breaker Game

Code Breaker is a free game on the PBSKids website that helps young code crackers exercise their cerebrum with number pattern recognition and building.

FREE

World’s Largest Crytpogram Puzzle Book

With 3,500 puzzles inside, we dare you to complete this book from cover to cover without honing your puzzle master skills.

$39.99

A Beautiful Mind (movie)

For a mind-bending journey into a brilliant mathematician’s paranoid inner-workings (which involves solving a top secret code, by the way) A Beautiful Mind is both intriguing and emotional.

$3.99

Official CIA Games Site

Believe it. The CIA has a games website chock full of all sorts of brain building activities from aerial identification games (where you have to find things in images taken from the air) to code breaking exercises to word scrambles. Prepare to get smarter overnight.

FREE

How to Read Egyptian Heiroglyphs

Another must-have for the book shelf of any budding (or official) cryptologist, How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs breaks down exactly what it claims. By the time you finish this volume, you’ll be impressing friends and family with translations of Hieroglyphics wherever you find them.

$33.95

National Cryptologic Museum

A hidden gem to most of the world and an epicenter of information for the cypher obsessed, National Cryptologic Museum is tucked away at the NSA (yes, the real National Security Administration) and features a fascinating library and interactive exhibits including an Enigma solving machine.

FREE

Escape Room in a Box

If you can’t “escape” (pun intended) to an escape room near you, the next best thing is to host your own escape room event at home. This box comes with everything you need. Just add friends and then have fun collecting information to solve 19 puzzles and open 3 locks before you’re turned into werewolves by an evil genius.

From $29.99

The Mammoth Book of Secret Code Puzzles

Elonka Dunin, the expert cypher solver in our super popular Kryptos video, loves puzzles so much that she made a book of more than 600 puzzles all her own. Start with simple substitutions and work your way up to strategies used throughout history.

$13.96

It’s no mystery that with this list in your hands, you’re on your way to encryption future-stardom. You might even be able to solve one of the internet’s greatest mysteries, the Cicada puzzle, someday.