Puzzle Tools and Resources

Stumped by a code? Need to know who won the Super Bowl in 1968? These resources can help you solve the toughest puzzles with ease.

Character encodings

  • ASCII and EBCDIC: LookupTables.com has reference charts for correlating numeric values in decimal, octal, and hexidecimal to characters in ASCII, EBCDIC, and other electronic encodings.
  • ASL: ThinkQuest provides a visual reference for the American Sign Language Alphabet.
  • Braille: Wikipedia has a braille translation chart, as well as general information about the encoding.
  • Caesar cipher: Wikipedia has general information on Caesar ciphers and links to Caesar cipher solvers.
  • Morse code: Wikipedia has a morse code chart, as well as general information about the encoding.
  • Naval signal flags: The Peabody Essex Museum has a visual chart of the International Code of Signals, a system of naval signal flags which use color and pattern to represent letters.
  • Phone Number: PhoneSpell has a great tool to find out what a phone number spells out.
  • Semaphore: The Australian National Botanic Gardens provide a visual reference for the Semaphore flag signaling system.
  • UNICODE: Unicode.org is the official source of all UNICODE encodings
  • Pigpen cipher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigpen_cipher
  • Beale cipher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beale_ciphers

Games

General

  • Flight Statistics: FlightStats.com
  • Flight Information: flightaware.com
  • Broadway: Internet Theatre Database has a wealth of information on Broadway shows, actors, and theatre
  • Dictionary/Thesaurus: Dictionary.com is a great resource for word related queries. Visca.com is another resource, which also allows searching by regular expression.
  • Everything: Wikipedia contains a wealth of usually-accurate information on almost any subject.
  • Fonts: Windows and Mac OS have character maps tools to view fonts.
  • Movies: The Internet Movie Database has a wealth of information on TV shows, movies, actors, and production staff.
  • Music: All Media Guide has a wealth of information about music artists, albums, and genres.
  • Television: TV.com has a wealth of information about television shows, episode lists, and actors.
  • When all else fails: Bing, Google, and Yahoo!

Geography

Music

Misc

Puzzle Types

  • Anagrams: Andy's Anagram Solver is a great way to take the word "nagamar" and turn it into "anagram".
  • Crossword puzzle clues: OneAcross can take crossword puzzle patterns and/or clues and find the word needed to fill in the puzzle. Crossword Maestro is also a great tool for visualizing crosswords (and Cryptic crosswords).
  • Cryptic crosswords: Wikipedia has information and links about these types of puzzles. Also see http://www.crosswordtools.com/cryptic-crosswords.php
  • Nonograms: For all you CS gurus, writing code to solve these is always fun. Check out The World of Cryptopics for information on where to get started solving these.

Science

Sports

Know of a helpful resource we haven't listed here? E-mail us at cpc@microsoft.com and we'll get a link up.

 

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