Section 19 
Codes and Puzzles

19.1     Fundamentals
19.2     Number, Letter, and Other Puzzle Codes
19.3     Words in Code
19.4     Morse Code
19.5     Crossword Puzzles
19.6     Word Puzzles and Letter Searches
19.7     Sudoku
19.8     Samples

19.1       Fundamentals

19.1.1     There are many types of codes and puzzles and it's impossible to discuss all of them. This section provides the foundation of transcribing puzzles and simple codes, and serves as a guideline to formatting more complex situations.

19.1.2     A puzzle should be transcribed on a single page whenever possible. Place a long puzzle on facing interpoint pages when it won't fit on a single page. When single-sided embossers are used, an agency may choose to bind two-page puzzles so they face each other.

19.1.3     Special Symbols and Transcriber's Notes

Special Symbols

Transcriber's Notes

19.2       Number, Letter, and Other Puzzle Codes

19.2.1     When letters, numbers, or pictures are substituted for other letters, numbers, and/or pictures:

a.  Follow print when there are braille equivalents.

b.  When there are no braille equivalent symbols, substitute braille symbols may be used. Print puzzle symbols may have many possible braille substitutions and are devised by the transcriber.

c.  Substitute words or letters for pictures. Insert a transcriber's note explaining this usage.

All picture clues in the puzzle have been changed to word clues.

d.  Symbols are listed on the Special Symbols page or in a transcriber's note before the text.

See Sample 19-1: Symbol Code starting on page 19-10.

19.2.2     Linear Key Format. When letters are printed above or below the line(s) of code characters:

a.  Follow print using two consecutive braille lines for the code characters in 1-1.

b.  When the code characters are longer than one braille line, each set of code characters is preceded and followed by a blank line. When the code is enclosed in a box, place the blank lines before the opening box line and after the closing box line.

c.  The letter indicator is not used before single letters in a linear code key.

d.  Print capitalization of letters is ignored.

e.  Each braille letter is placed directly above or below its corresponding code character.

f.  When a single letter appears above or below a two-digit number, the letter is placed above or below the first digit of the number.

g.  Explain the puzzle format in a transcriber's note. Sample:

The puzzle code symbols are under the letters. A hyphen is between each symbol, and a space is between each set of symbols.

See Sample 19-2: Linear Key Format on page 19-12.

19.3       Words in Code

19.3.1     Coded Word Puzzles

a.  When numbers are substituted for letters, the numbers within each word are connected by hyphens.

b.  "Words" are not divided at the ends of lines.

c.  There are no blank spaces between the letters of each word, and there is one blank cell between the words.

Example 19-1: Number-Coded Words

Number coded puzzle with blank lines indicating a letter, and numbers under each blank line; groups of blank lines indicate words

,h[ c y tell : 5d (! worm is ! h1d8
#g-d-cc-ab-h-ae #cb-ca #bi-bj-i
#aj-bd-ag #e-db-ah-bb-ba #f-ad-c

d.  Use uncontracted braille when coded puzzles are scrambled letters.

e.  The letter indicator is not used before single letters in the puzzle or key.

See Sample 19-3: Coded-Letter Puzzle on page 19-13.

f.  Substitute a full cell = for a blank space within a word. Repeat the number indicator as necessary.

See Sample 19-4: Coded-Number Riddle starting on page 19-14.

19.4       Morse Code

19.4.1     Morse Code may be shown by a series of dots and dashes.

a    Morse code dot

c    Morse code dash

a.  Symbols are listed on the Special Symbols page or in a transcriber's note before the text.

b.  Insert a hyphen between individual symbols for a word.

c.  Insert a space between words.

d.  Ideally line breaks are at a space. However, because of the space required for Morse Code, the line may break after a hyphen.

Example 19-2: Morse Code (Letters Added for Readability)

Morse code dots and dashes spelling MORSE CODE; example includes letters above each Morse code letter for readability

cc-ccc-aca-aaa-a caca-ccc-caa-a

19.4.2     Follow print when sounds such as dit, di, and dah represent the Morse code sounds.

a.  A hyphen is used to connect the sounds of a single letter.

b.  A dash is used to separate the letters within words.

c.  Print punctuation to separate words, such as commas and periods, is omitted in braille.

d.  Division of words at the end of a line can be made after any dash.

Example 19-3: Morse Code with Word Sounds

Morse code indicated by a series of dah and dit

di-di-dit--dit dah-di-dah-dit--

19.5       Crossword Puzzles

19.5.1     The format for crossword puzzles is explained before the puzzle if there is only one puzzle in the volume. The format is provided on the Transcriber's Notes page if there are more than one puzzle in the volume. When the note is on the Transcriber's Notes page, insert a transcriber's note before the puzzle to indicate the location of the explanation. Sample:

For puzzle format, see page t4.

19.5.2     Puzzle Clues

a.  Clues are provided before the puzzle grid.

b.  "Across" and "Down" are cell-5 headings.

c.  Clues are listed in 1-3.

d.  The transcriber-assigned column letter and row numbers are given on the same line, after the clue.

e.  The number of letters in the puzzle word may be enclosed in parentheses, at the end of each clue.

f.  The transcriber-assigned column letter/row numbers, and the number of letters in the word, are enclosed in an embedded transcriber's note.

Example 19-4: Embedded Transcriber's Note

Single puzzle clue provided to show embedded transcriber's note in braille

#a4 ,p>5t's female * ,'a#a 7#h7,'

19.5.3     Puzzle Grid. A puzzle grid is the pattern of empty and filled-in squares.

a.  Puzzles shaped to resemble a flower, animal, etc., are squared off and the shape is described in a transcriber's note.

b.  Assign column letters (a-z) across the top of the puzzle grid (omit the letter indicator) and number each row in the puzzle grid.

c.     Each square to be filled in is represented by - (36).

d.  Each black square or blank space is represented by =.

e.  When the puzzle is larger than 26 squares across, the second set of column letters is doubled, i.e., aa, bb, cc. These doubled letters require a two-cell column.

f.  Letters included in the puzzle are written in their proper spaces without the letter indicator.

g.  Use the same number of spaces as there are squares in the puzzle; do not insert extra spaces.

h.  When possible, the grid is placed on one page.

i.   When the grid is too long for a page, repeat the column letters on line 1 on the next page (line 2 if a running head is used). The grid must allow space for the page number and the three blank cells preceding it. When it will not fit on the line with the page number, begin the grid on line 2.

j.  When the grid is too wide for one page, the grid is placed on facing pages or continued pages. A transcriber's note explains the format. Sample:

The puzzle grid is too wide to fit on a single page. The grid appears across facing pages.

k.  To reduce page-flipping, the grid and as many of the clues as possible are placed on interpoint facing pages when the puzzle won't fit on a single page.

l.   A transcriber's note is inserted before the crossword puzzle. Sample:

In the following crossword puzzle, each clue is followed by a transcriber-assigned column letter and row number. Numbers in parentheses at the end of each clue indicate the number of letters in the puzzle word. The clue letter/number and number of letters in the word are preceded and followed by ,' (6, 3). For example ,'a14 (5),'. In the grid, - (36) represents a square to be filled in, and = represents an empty space.

See Sample 19-5: Crossword Puzzle starting on page 19-16.

19.6       Word Puzzles and Letter Searches

19.6.1     Although it is not possible to provide specific formats for all such materials, these general directives are observed.

a.  Titles are preceded and followed by a blank line.

b.  Do not use a letter indicator before letters shown within a puzzle.

c.  Use uncontracted braille for word puzzles and letter searches.

d.  Insert a space between each letter. If a word puzzle or letter search will not fit on the braille page in this format, the space between letters may be omitted.

e.  Do not leave blank lines between lines of the puzzle.

Example 19-5: Word Puzzle

Word puzzle with list of unspaced scrambled letters

w s f l o w e r l l
q q f n w w i o y w
t y o b h a x s q k
j u e e a g b e r s
m u g p p e l r s a

f.  Insert (cont.) in an embedded transcriber's note, in cell 1, on the line following the last line of the puzzle on that page when a puzzle or letter grid requires more than one page.

g.  Follow print, and do not include the spaces between letters, for irregularly-shaped puzzles.

See Sample 19-6: Shaped-Letter Puzzles starting on page 19-18.

19.7       Sudoku

19.7.1     A normal 9 × 9 print Sudoku puzzle uses 30 cells across and 11 lines down in braille.

a.  Use a horizontal line of full cells = between each 3 × 3 box.

b.  Use a vertical line of full cells = between each 3 × 3 box.

c.  Do not enclose the puzzle in boxing lines.

d.  Each square is separated by a space.

e.  Each empty square is indicated by a dash -- (36, 36).

See Sample 19-7: Sudoku on page 19-20. 

19.8       Samples

Sample 19-1: Symbol Code, page 19-10

Sample 19-2: Linear Key Format, page 19-12

Sample 19-3: Coded-Letter Puzzle, page 19-13

Sample 19-4: Coded-Number Riddle, page 19-14

Sample 19-5: Crossword Puzzle, page 19-16

Sample 19-6: Shaped-Letter Puzzles, page 19-18

Sample 19-7: Sudoku, page 19-20