Even though I was, in a recent post here, able to decrypt a few lines of the Action Line Cryptogram (and commenters Clay and SirHubert both improved upon my guesses and decrypted parts of other sections)… I remained hungry to do better. I wondered: might I be able to find something really close to the plaintext?
It was then that I made a lucky guess. 🙂
After stumbling around for a while online looking for plausible-looking Masonic sources, I found a Pennsylvanian bookseller (“Bookworm & Silverfish”) selling a small Odd Fellows pamphlet from 1899 that seemed very close indeed to what I was looking for. I bought it immediately, crossing my fingers really tightly…
Though I can’t claim that this particular methodology will work every time, in this instance it paid off handsomely, because the contents turned out to be almost exactly the cryptogram’s plaintext right down to the tiniest detail (there are a few minor differences, but these all seem to be completely non-critical).
If you want to see the booklet, I’ve updated my permanent Action Line Cryptogram page with a complete set of scans (all bar the blank back cover page).
How nice to be able to say: crack complete! 🙂