Introduction: ABRAKADABRA! Series of Cryptogram Puzzles
I have an endless passion for crafts and I am always curious to try
anything new. My preferred media so far is fiber, as in knitting / crocheting / weaving. But I experimented with pottery, stained glass, print making, beads and basket making, the sky is the limit as to what I will do next! I always try and create items that can be used in everyday life and use recycled material whenever I can. I am a baby boomer but not a grandma, Nana or some variation of it is my nickname!
Step 1: The Beginning
I used to collect proverbs and quotations that catch my attention and I also liked to solve word puzzles online – one day I decided to do something about those pass times. And I put 2 and 2 together and the result was ABRAKADABRA! A series of cryptogram puzzles based on my collected quotations, which I intended to market at airports and hospitals as an affordable entertaining diversion. However those 2 markets didn’t pan out and I sold ABRAKADABRA! to stores and in craft fairs, donated some to fund raisers and gifted some more. All in all I tremendously enjoyed the process and learned a lot along the way about self-publishing, freeware and book binding techniques. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventure.
Step 2: Tools
Aside from my laptop, inkjet printer and multiple freeware I used a paper cutter, a punch to create perforations for coils and plastic coils. I use a high density paper for the cover and regular printer paper for the pages. Every booklet was prepared and printed not photocopied.
Step 3: Preparing the Content
I used freeware to scramble the wording
The danger of the past was that men became slaves - the danger of the future is that man may become robots. Erich Fromm
XQI UZYCIB FR XQI PZVX NZV XQZX LIY WISZLI VHZGIV - XQI UZYCIB FR XQI RTXTBI EV XQZX LZY LZO WISFLI BFWFXV. IBESQ RBFLL
Created a key to match the correct character with its counterpart created after the scramble – this is a tedious and time consuming step but well worth the time and effort since it ensures that the scrambling is correct and will also serve as a solution key which I included on each page
Drafted a guide on how to play which included a freebie cue – repeating characters in the puzzles are in red
Added a disclaimer page for good measure
Dedicated the book to my best friend and mentor who passed away at age 99 years, 3 months and 23 days
Finally I couldn’t think of a better title than ABRAKADABRA! which was a healing symbol through different times and cultures – since I was at the beginning of a healing journey
Got a copyright and a price bar code to ensure the uniqueness of my chosen title
Step 9: Putting It All Together
- Decided to have 13 puzzles per booklet (my lucky number!) to keep the size reasonable for my primary markets
- The longest entry determined the booklet size which came to 6.5”X 8”, after making room for blank space throughout the page to use for various permutations while solving the puzzle
- Created to cover using various freeware and decided to use high density paper for the cover so I can print my design on my printer
- Examined multiple binding options, that I can do on my own, and settled on coils which would be reasonably easy for me to use to collate and bind the book and would be handy for booklet users to fold the booklet to get a one page view
Step 10: The Grand Finale...
Participated in the
Puzzles Speed Challenge