Freemason's Cipher

Can you work out how to use this code (Freemason's or Pigpen Cipher)?

Pigpen Cipher

Eg. A = a    R = r     S = s    Z = z

Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter
Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter Coded letter ?

A symmetric word looks the same in the mirror; like “MOM”. Can you find any words in the Freemason's Cipher which are symmetric? What is the longest one you can find?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Share your findings here!

Topics: Starter | Problem Solving | Puzzles | Symmetry

  • Transum,
  • If you haven't seen it already we have an online Presentation on Code Cracking which introduces pupils to the basic techniques of cracking simple codes. It also encourages pupils to use technology to do a letter frequency analysis of typical English text. The presentation links into our online Code Cracking Exercise which has three levels of difficulty and awards virtual trophies each time a code is cracked.

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
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Do some online research to find out more about the Freemason's or Pigpen Cipher.

This cipher features in Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol.

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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments:

However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below.

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL which will take them to another code breaking activity.

Student Activity



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