I have an assignment in cryptography. I am not asking here answer, but meaning of question.

This is a question :

2.4 The following ciphertext was generated using a simple substitution algorithm. 53‡‡†305))6*;4826)4‡.)4‡);806*;48†8¶60))85;;]8*;:‡8†83 (88)5†;46(;88*96*?;8)‡(;485);5†2:*‡(;4956*2(5*—4)8¶8* ;4069285);)6†8)4‡‡;1(‡9;48081;8:8‡1;48†85;4)485†528806*81 (‡9;48;(88;4(‡?34;48)4‡;161;:188;‡?;

Decrypt this message. Hints: 1. As you know, the most frequently occurring letter in English is e. Therefore, the first or second (or perhaps third?) most common character in the message is likely to stand for e. Also,e is often seen in pairs (e.g., meet, fleet, speed, seen, been, agree, etc.). Try to find a character in the ciphertext that decodes to e.

  1. The most common word in English is “the.” Use this fact to guess the characters that stand for t and h.

  2. Decipher the rest of the message by deducing additional words. Warning: The resulting message is in English but may not make much sense on a first reading.

Some how I did answer for 1 and 2, but not able to understand 3rd question.

Does this mean, I should replace t, h and e characters and deleting rest??


"Deduce" = "guess, and test your guess"

You know where the letters t,h, and e are, so you might find a sequence "the-e". You can guess this will be "there" in the message, and then you have the substitution for r which you can also try, filling in more gaps and giving you essential clues for other words. If anything starts to look wrong, backtrack and revise one of your earlier guesses.

This is a lot like attempting a crossword, but the clues are the context of the words in the message.

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